American Horror Story: Asylum Analysis

Since week one of the new season of American Horror Story: Asylum, I’ve had this theory of Grace not being real. A figment of Kit’s imagination and now, of Lana’s imagination. From the first episode, the way she was presented almost made her seem out of place.

From the fact that she wasn’t “crazy,” then the strange way she had a “job” where she could quietly and discreetly give food to Kit in his cell was awfully convenient. She never once came in any major contact with people either. When trying to pull away the man that was trying to hold down Kit, she was shakily shown through the camera trying to pull him back, but failed. Then, back to her food drop-off, she immediately disappears once a guard comes in.

Coming into the second episode of this season, called “Tricks and Treats,” I was prepared to analyze every moment she was in, making sure to be attentive to her surroundings in order to support this, to my knowledge, not even spoken of theory.

As the minutes progressed, the evidence to her inexistence skyrocketed.

The first major moment followed Lana’s ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), with the camera often shaking to show her possible transition into insanity. So once in the waiting-like room, writing down notes to remember in case the ECT wiped her memory, Kit walks in and has a “conversation” with Grace. Throughout the talk, whenever the shot was shown through Lana’s point of view, eavesdropping on their conversation, Lana’s head always covered where Grace would have been shown, and in the distorted background, all that was seen was Kit at the edge of Lana’s ear. Since she was covering up Grace, literally, perhaps this could have been the moment that Grace was slowly starting to dig her way into Lana’s mind and insanity (farfetched, yes, but stay with me).

Then, when seen through Kit’s point of view, Grace was actually shown, but only then through his eyes. So the second that Lana quickly writes down a note, which we can’t exactly see, I suspected that she was noting that Kit was actually crazy. Why wouldn’t he be? He’s having an imaginary conversation with himself. Why shouldn’t she remember that?

Finally, we get Lana’s first glimpse and confrontation with Grace: taking a steam bath, similar to one of the promos shown before (more on that later). Could Lana finally crossed over into insanity too, just like Kit who is presumed innocent? Possibly. The entire confrontation between the two turns into a desperate attempt for escape so maybe that desperation is what drives this Grace into these patients’ imaginations.

But the best, most concrete evidence that can be found for Grace’s inexistence comes in her three final scenes.

When giving her last plea to escape, but not allowing Kit to come, Lana gets her notepad stolen by Kit during her talk with Grace on the couch. With no notice as to how Kit would even know that Lana had a notepad for herself, it’s possible that Lana was either talking to herself, like a schizophrenic, or maybe even to Kit during that conversation. Kit had to of known in some way about Lana and her notes…

So later, during the exorcism, we see the patients all rushed back into their corridors. This is the first of two scenes I suggest watching back because they’re so crucial.

Lana returns to her cell, but right before we see a quick reaction shot of Grace walking into the cell which, from the shot, is directly across Lana’s cell. However, a few seconds later, Lana attentively peeks out the fenced window on her cell door and during the camera switch to her point of view, she looks directly across into the room from hers. Instead of seeing Grace, Kit sits down in his bed and makes direct eye contact with Lana.

The cinematography is what really makes this scene in particular, among the rest, actual hints to this idea.

But, with every good theory comes the counterpoint. The moment when all of the epiphanies and revelations gain that moment of doubt. That moment came when Sister Jude orders in Grace and Kit for their punishments is what truly disproves all of this long, overdrawn analysis.

With every counterargument, though, comes even better confirmation.

For starters, the cinematography and camera work was top notch, once again. The moment we see Kit and Grace dragged in by the two workers, we should be getting a double shot of the two actors walking in. Instead, even when the man that’s holding Grace is shown, Kit is always in our line of sight for Grace, and we can never see her for those brief few seconds.

That’s not what affirms this theory though. The affirmation for Grace being some sort of figment comes in the two or three seconds we see Kit and Grace lying on the table. Briefly, Grace double takes and looks at the glass with the cigarette in it. But why? Every shot and decision made is always done with reason in filmmaking.

When playing back, and with extra attention to the position of the glass, its seen in two different places in all but those two or three seconds. Of course, this could have been what many may find under a goof under, but the fact that the actors were directed to take a glimpse of the glass almost simultaneously disproves that.

First. The glass is to Kit’s right in the double shot of the two.


Second. It’s seen at Grace’s right

Finally. It’s back to Kit’s right.

All of these shots are one after another and since both Grace and Kit look at it in each of their takes makes is no coincidence.

So. Is the idea that Grace is too good to be true prove she’s not real? But how isn’t she real, and how does Jessica know of her existence and come into contact with her? Is she aware of her if she’s dead and maybe a ghost (season one, anyone?)?

I leave you with one final picture, which I’m not going to lie, did not even come into mind until I was writing the paragraph about Lana and Grace in the baths.

Remember this promo picture of that creepy nun that cries blood peeking out of this bath? It greatly resembles the baths that the two use, so does it could have some significance with Grace and the fact that she was able to cut herself out with that blade?

Approve? Disprove? Have any other proof supporting this Grace theory, or even refuting it? Speak out in the comments!

I do not own the rights to any of the photos, FX or the American Horror Story Asylum productions