[SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE LATEST AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM]
It’s getting down to the final episodes of American Horror Story: Asylum so it’s not surprising that we’re starting to see characters bid adieu. Last night, devil-possessed nun Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) and former Nazi Dr. Arden (James Cromwell) both bit the dust. Also, within this hour, is a clue to the super-secret season three storyline of American Horror Story as EW reported earlier. Murphy dishes to EW exclusively about more potential deaths as well as some hints as what next year’s AHS will look like.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I love the musical number. It’s almost like a Glee/AHS crossover.
RYAN MURPHY: Maybe. I never thought about Glee when we were doing it. The fun of it, I think, is that you’re in Sister Jude’s shock therapy-induced fantasy. The idea was to really do a musical number that was something very ‘60s crossed with Jacob’s Ladder because it was in her head and it was sort of the beginning of her descent. It was very fun to do. We spent almost a whole day doing it.
It was hilarious and, especially since the season has been so dark, it’s a nice moment of levity. And Jessica looks like she’s having a ball.
She did. She had a ball. I think after the darkness of the season I think she quite enjoyed looking like Dusty Springfield.
This episode was a real showcase for the actors, especially Jessica, Lily, Joseph, and James. Jessica really goes through the ringer in this.
I think she has so many great scenes in this episode. It was sort of interesting to see her return to her Frances Farmer roots. She likes those episodes. She had requested a big musical episode since I think “Nor’easter.” It’s a great showcase for her. And it was really designed as a big showcase for two of the actors who died to sort of send them off.
So is the devil gone? Did the Angel of Death take away the devil?
I really loved that ending for her character. We didn’t want she dies and the devil goes into someone else. I liked the idea that the only thing more powerful than the devil is the Angel of Death, which is actually the cousin of the devil. I liked that ending and I thought it was good. That’s always what happens historically around episode 10, we start wrapping everything up and characters die. So this was a big one.
I loved how it was shot when she was thrown off the staircase. It looked like Lily was tossed.
She was actually! I mean she didn’t do a five-story drop but she did a lot of that stuff. I think that’s what made it look so good because she really went for it.
So we also saw Arden come to a very tragic end as well. Was he just destroyed by the loss of Mary Eunice’s innocence?
Yeah, I think he’s destroyed because our version of that character was his whole life was someone who really thought he was not capable of love and to do all the inhuman acts that he did, he had hardened himself. I think when he felt that part of his heart open up and to have it close again was devastating. I also think the image of a Nazi doctor going into an oven is sort of a brilliant metaphor of him literally paying. Obviously, he’s a terrible character but I thought his end was very justified and somewhat poetic.
Now that Lana and Thredson are back in the asylum together again, how is this gonna play out? Will this be a cat and mouse kind of thing?
Well, we didn’t want them in-and-out, in-and-out. So it will play out and be resolved next week.
Does that mean someone might die?
Well, it is American Horror Story.
Grace gave birth to her baby. Will we learn more about this child and what it is?
It’s all revealed next week about what it was and how it was put in her and what the plan was. I think next week fully answers and puts that story to bed.
Next week is called “Spilt Milk?” What is that referring to?
Many things. I will say it has the most disturbing opening scene we’ve done ever. It involves Dylan McDermott and a hooker.
You’ve wrapped for the season. Two major characters died tonight. Is that the fate of most of the characters?
We knew from the beginning who would live and who would die. We do an interesting thing with the last two characters and take huge time leaps and go from 1965 to 1969 to 1973 to 1981. It’s a very interesting structure. We take you from 1965 all the way to the present day. It was a really ambitious thing to do in terms of a production point of view. It’s very satisfying, the ending. I know last year it ended and people were like, Well, then what happened? What happened to the ghosts in the house? What happened to Constance and that baby? No one will end this season having any questions at all about what happened to any character.
So, what will happen with Jude? She’s kind of a vegetable now.
I really wanted to explore the idea of the gravity and the social implications of the mental health system in this country. As you’ll see in episode 10 and episode 11, what happened to many of these institutions is they ran out of money and they sold them to the state and the state began to use them as warehouses for not just people with mental illness but people with really bad health care problems. Jessica was very attracted to this idea. So we really explore the decline of that system through her. But also the triumphs of people. What was important to me is that the show as we built to the conclusion wasn’t just so dark and unrelenting. I really wanted to have a couple happy endings and some of the characters do have that.
You said that next year will be lighter. Is that still the case?
I mean, I don’t think anything could ever be as dark as the mental health care system in our country. I sorta feel like for the third version I want to do something that’s a little bit more “evil glamour.” Just something that’s a little bit more…one of the things that I missed this season was I really loved having that Romeo & Juliet youth story with Violet and Tate. I want something like that again and we’re doing something like that in the third season. And we’re contemplating shooting the show in a different place. We’re contemplating shooting it in a place in the country where true horror has been. We’ve got lots of delicious plans.
‘American Horror Story’: The secret to season 3 is in tonight’s episode – EXCLUSIVE
‘American Horror Story’: Ryan Murphy on Dylan McDermott’s return and the upcoming episode in which ‘half the cast dies’ – EXCLUSIVE
‘American Horror Story’: Dylan McDermott talks his ‘Asylum’ debut and playing Bloody Face – EXCLUSIVE
Follow Tim on Twitter: @EWTimStack