"The Origins of Monstrosity" is the sixth episode of Asylum. It premiered November 21, 2012.
A 911 caller tells the dispatcher to send police to Briarcliff. He implies that he is the real Bloody Face and that those killed were impostors. The police arrive to find Devon, Cooper, and Joey strung by cables to the ceiling and staircase rails.
The police investigate Briarcliff, tracing the car back to Leo Morrison. They identify his body and arm, but Teresa is missing. The iPhone rings (still held in the hand of Leo's severed arm) and the voice on the other end tells Detective John Grayson that he only killed the impostors. Teresa is lying on the modern-day Bloody Face's playroom table.
The mother of Jenny Reynolds brings her to Briarcliff and tells Sr. Jude of her belief that her daughter killed one of her friends while playing in the woods, stabbing her with a pair of scissors despite Jenny telling the police that it was a bearded man with a brown jacket.
Lana awakens in Thredson's playroom, where she's been placed in a bed surrounded by personal effects from her home. At first, she doesn't realize she is not back home, but Thredson's voice wakes her. He is cooking her croque-monsieur with nutmeg and tomato soup, what he calls the "perfect mommy snack." He explains that he grew up in the system, untouched and unloved, abandoned by his own mother. She compliments the food and expresses appreciation for this act of kindness. She felt abandoned at Briarcliff and she sympathizes. He says he was right about her, that she is "the one."
He tells her of his time in medical school and his epiphany when seeing the cadaver of "his mother." He knew it wasn't really her, but he used the cadaver as a surrogate for his touch hunger, though he was dismayed over the smell of formaldehyde and the feel of the cold skin. He needed a more lively subject. He describes abducting and skinning a live woman (Donna Burton, the first murder attributed to Bloody Face) but when Lana recoils he comforts her and explains that she is his new "mommy."
Sam Goodman, the Nazi hunter, calls Sr. Jude to tell her that Charlotte Brown was right after all about Arden, even if she was delusional. He will need a fingerprint to confirm Arden's identity. Sr. Jude ends the call and looks up to find Jenny, who explains that she was left behind by her mother.
Father Howard tours the church's new acquisition, Briarcliff Tuberculosis Center. He meets its supervising physician, Arden. As they wheel out the body of an afflicted former nurse, Arden describes his research on an immunity-boosting drug and germinates an agreement with the priest over the acquisition of live testing subjects.
Back in 1964, Msgr. Howard strangles Shelley with a rosary to protect Arden and himself and, upon returning to the asylum, confronts the doctor about his monstrous abuse of her. Arden argues that his experimental subjects are the next stage in human evolution. He introduces his newest subject, Spivey, whom Arden says can now survive a nuclear attack. The priest is disgusted and threatens to expose Arden's work, but Arden says that such disclosure will uncover all of Briarcliff's dark secrets (human experiments that Howard knew of,) which gives the priest pause.
Sr. Mary Eunice is cutting herbs in the kitchen, observed by Jenny. The sister says that she knows that Jenny did kill Josie, but that Josie deserved it. A flashback story shows young Mary Eunice McKee humiliated at a pool party, pranked into being naked in public. All that she wanted was to be liked by people, but she was "just everyone's victim." The sister tells Jenny she has "authentic impulse." She lets spill some secrets about Sr. Jude, and teaches Jenny to "defend herself."
The Monsignor enters Sr. Jude's office and tells her that he has transferred her to a home for wayward girls in Pittsburgh. She blames Arden for orchestrating the situation, over Howard's insistence otherwise. He tells her to pack her things. Some reasons that Sr. Jude was fired were: not having better watch over the patients resulting in one of them lifting a gun off of a man and shooting Arden, letting some patients escape due to inattentiveness, trying to make Arden look bad, and acting foolish in front of many while drunk.
Sr. Mary Eunice walks in on Sr. Jude packing, and the elder explains the situation. She bids the younger nun to get cognac and some clean glasses from the kitchen. Sr. Mary Eunice eyes the red lingerie.
Kit calls Thredson's home from jail. Kit accuses Thredson of manipulating him into confessing, and Thredson says that Kit needs to live with the responsibilities of his actions. Thredson seems angry that Kit would lie with delusions of "little green men." While they speak, Lana reaches a file and cuts through her chain, trying to escape. On the phone, Thredson is enraged at being called a liar and a bastard. He re-enters the playroom and sees signs that Lana has been exerting herself, discovering the nearly-cut chain. He strikes her and restrains her wrists. He is going to kill her for trying to abandon him and gathers the Bloody Face mask and a scalpel, disappointed that people can't live up to expectations.
Sr. Mary Eunice dances in red lingerie in the office. The phone rings, Sam calling. She answers in Sr. Jude's voice.
Sr. Jude pours Arden a drink to celebrate his victory over her. He won't drink the toast alone, so she takes a drink which convinces him to drink, leaving his fingerprints on the glass.
The younger nun comes to the hotel to meet Sam. He asks if Sr. Jude sent her, but she says that Sr. Jude does not know she's there. Sr. Jude later arrives with the fingerprinted glass, but Sam has been slashed. With labored breaths, he tells her that it was one of her nuns.
Sr. Mary Eunice comes back to Arden with Goodman's file on him. She has hidden part of it as insurance against him betraying her. He rages about having to hide this solitary life, but he questions her motives in protecting him. She says this is the beginning of a whole new era, and he should trust her with his soul and that everything will work out.
Jenny killed her brother, sister, and mother, and tells the police that it was again the bearded man in brown. As before, she has collected souvenirs.
Thredson admits that he was aware of Lana before her commitment. In flashback, he observes her saying to a crime reporter that she wanted to write about the origins of Kit's monstrosity. He is about to cut into her, and she says it is OK, as a mother's love is unconditional. He realizes his mistake and takes the mask off. He begins to "nurse" on her breast, "needing colostrum." She sobs.
Jenny Reynolds is a young girl whose mother feared that she murdered her playmate after discovering the girl's hair in her coat and left her at Briarcliff Manor. A possessed Sister Mary Eunice briefly "babysat" her, revealing Jenny was far smarter than other girls her age and she should eliminate anyone who attempted to mess with her. It was also revealed that Jenny did kill her friend. After dubious advice from Sister Mary Eunice, she is picked up by her mother. Jenny murders her entire family and describes to the police a fictional description similar to the one she gave to her first known murder while at the crime scene, having already grabbed hair from each of her family members as twisted trophies.
Mrs. Reynolds is Jenny Reynolds' mother and was concerned about her daughter when she correctly believed she murdered her "friend." She was later killed by Jenny.
- Sister Mary Eunice: "I know everything. I'm the Devil."
- Sister Mary Eunice: "This is the beginning of a whole new era."
- Thredson: "You can scream all you want, no one will hear you. Obviously, the basement is soundproof. Believe me, girls with bigger sets of lungs than yours have tried before."
- Monsignor Howard (To Dr. Arden): "Jude was right about you. You're a monster."
Cast and characters
- Zachary Quinto as Oliver Thredson
- Sarah Paulson as Lana Winters
- Evan Peters as Kit Walker
- Lily Rabe as Sister Mary Eunice
- Joseph Fiennes as Timothy Howard
- James Cromwell as Arthur Arden
- Jessica Lange as Sister Jude
- Chloë Sevigny as Shelley
- Dylan McDermott as Johnny Morgan (voice only)
- Jenna Dewan-Tatum as Teresa Morrison
- Mark Margolis as Sam Goodman
- Mark Consuelos as Spivey
- Nikki Hahn as Jenny Reynolds
- Lizzie Brocheré (Grace Bertrand) is credited but does not appear.
- The promo adds a scene that may have been rejected or seen on other episodes but it is unlikely since Jude isn't a nun anymore. The scene included Jude being restrained by Timothy and said: "You can't send me away".