Stars: Zachary Quinto, Joseph Fiennes, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Evan Peters, Lizzie Brochere, James Cromwell, Jessica Lange, Chloe Sevigny, Adam Levine, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Clea DuVall
Writer:
Jessica Sharzer, series created by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk
Director:
Michael Uppendahl
Network:
FX, Wednesdays @ 10 PM
Original Airdate:
November 7, 2012

“I Am Anne Frank: Part 1” takes AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM down another interesting path that wasn’t previously discussed (but maybe hinted at) in the first several episodes.

So far in the series we’ve had aliens, demonic possession, and genetic experiments run amok in the woods ready to anything that crosses their path. Now, with the new episode we introduce Nazi war criminals, and some kind of conspiracy between the men running the asylum that doesn’t include any of the women in its darker shadows and roots of evil.

So first off let’s talk about the addition of the ever fantastic Franka Potente (from BBC America’s COPPER) as Anne Frank. Not only is Potente one of my new favorite actresses, she’s a really interesting asset to this show. Her character is much like the woman who at one time claimed to be Anastasia Romanov, complete with a plausible story as to how she escaped death. As most people know the story of Anne Frank ended in tragedy, ASYLUM resurrects her as a grown woman who escaped the camps and has been living under an assumed (married) name; content to let her diary and her supposed death exist as a galvanizing force against the horrors that the Nazi’s committed in WWII.

To tie her into existing storylines, the writers have chosen to have Anne Frank accuse Dr. Arden (James Cromwell) of actually being a Nazi “doctor” who experimented on the Jews of Auschwitz during the war. This all seems to add up to several elements of the Dr.’s personality and his propensity for turning certain patients of Briarcliff into monsters that live in the woods. We also have the Nazi memorabilia that the hooker found in the box on his mantle. However, as many things in this show are not what they seem, we can’t take all of this evidence at anything more than face value. I will say this; the actor (or CGI make-up) they used for a younger James Cromwell in the Nazi death camp is bang on in terms of a match!

One of the more sad and interesting elements of this episode is the gay aversion therapy that Dr. Thredson (Zachary Quinto) is using to ‘cure’ Lana (Sara Paulson) of her lesbianism. I know people who went through aversion therapy in the ’60’s, either by choice, or because family forced them into it. It was a horrible process, and I for some reason think it still might be lurking in some more backwater institutions in the South. Of course the irony of this series of scenes is that Quinto is an openly gay actor, so for him to be the one trying to convert gays to straight is almost an inside joke for the writers. Plus, I have a strong suspicion that Dr. Thredson is the actual Bloody Face serial killer. He seems to know a lot about the mindset that would cause someone to act out those crimes on women, and I’m not convinced that his trip to Lana’s house was the first time he had been there.

Next week more craziness, death, and all kinds of bizarre stuff, I’m sure. Until then, Pepper for President!

Related:TV Review: AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM – Season 2 – “I Am Anne Frank – Part 2″

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Article:TV Review: AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM – Season 2 – “I Am Anne Frank – Part 1″


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