'American Horror Story: Asylum': The season's craziest moments
After a first season that ranged from campy to genuinely disturbing, "American Horror Story" upped the stakes -- and the storytelling -- with a sophomore outing ("Asylum") that brought lunatics, serial killers, possessed nuns, Nazis, Santa Claus, the Angel of Death, and even aliens from outer space together in quite possibly the worst mental asylum ever depicted in pop culture. But before we start looking forward to next year, here's a look back at this season's craziest moments.
Adam Levine… Actor?
We should have known how insane the season would get when the "Asylum" premiere opened with the acting debut of Maroon 5 frontman and "Voice" judge, Adam Levine. And the craziest thing? He was actually pretty good! Granted, Levine's role as Leo Morrison -- one-half of a pair of newlyweds who get off on touring (and having sex in) famous murder sites -- didn't require him to do much more than make out with co-star Jenna Dewan-Tatum (a brave act in and of itself, considering who her hubby is), scream when his arm is sliced off, and then getting shot by a bunch of psychotic pranksters. But throughout his mini arc, he was totally convincing as a moron that's at least partially responsible for his own (presumed) demise.
Watchers in the Woods
While attempting to flee Briarcliff in the midst of a Nor'easter, Grace, Lana, and Kit come across a tribe of deformed creatures living in the woods surrounding the asylum. But these monsters aren't the products of the supernatural -- they've been created by science. Specifically, the scientific experiments of Briarcliff's resident mad doctor (and former Nazi) Arthur Arden, who set out to prove that he could create a race of radiation-proof superhumans… only to wind up with these woodland savages.
After having his manhood insulted by Briarcliff's resident sex queen, Arden repays her for the insult… by amputating both her legs. But that's only the start of the torture that the poor woman is forced to endure at Arden's hands. It's no surprise that she begs for death when she's discovered by "Anne Frank" -- the void would be a preferable fate to Arden's closet. And speaking of Anne…
Anne of a Thousand Face
There are a number of sob stories within the walls of Briarcliff, but few were as sad or as twisted as the tale of one Charlotte Brown, a housewife who was so taken with the tale of Anne Frank that she came to believe that she really was history's most famous diarist, inventing an elaborate story for how she survived the death camps that sounds just crazy enough to be true. But of course, it isn't. Even when her husband comes to claim her, though, Charlotte can't accept her real identity and, in the end, is only cured of her illusion by mind control -- by which we mean, a lobotomy.
A Clockwork Thredson
In an attempt to "cure" Lana of her Sapphic tendencies, Dr. Thredson subjected her to a graphic (for cable TV) crash course in aversion therapy, forcing her to stare at slides of naked women and then bringing in a male inmate for her to touch… in his special place. Making this scene all the more disturbing is the fact that both Zachary Quinto and Sarah Paulson are openly gay in real life and they're re-enacting a treatment that some so-called medical professionals might actually have tried at the time.