I give Ryan Murphy a lot of flack. He’s pompous. He’s preachy. He’s pretty offensive most of the time. Still, every so often, I think that I let my dislike of the man interfere with the media he produces. “Continuum” is a perfect example of how I do not. Ryan Murphy is capable of greatness. He gave us some stellar seasons of Nip/Tuck and even a decent half season of Glee. He is certainly not without his talent. Of course, admitting this, forces me to question, where was the talent last night?
Sure, American Horror Story: Asylum has had its ups and downs all season long (which hasn’t even been that long, to begin with) but last night’s episode was just about it for me. Murphy’s lucky there is only one episode left and that I was stupid enough to volunteer to cover this one. Honestly, “Continuum” features some of the most obnoxious and stylized elements of Ryan Murphy’s work, but there’s one thing I’d like to get to before I dig into “Continuum” too deep. It’s filler: pure, unadulterated filler. Does Murphy even realize how offensive it is to have a filler episode in a 13-episode series? Or how awful it is to have your penultimate episode be so painfully purposeless? Okay, sure, it’s not “Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic rant” offensive, but as a television viewer, it’s not great either. Especially given how unceremoniously Murphy tossed Sister Mary Eunice’s storyline (pun absolutely intended) it is unforgivable to see nothing of importance in “Continuum.”
Just how little changed, you may ask? Well, okay, I guess there was some… er, conflict? I guess that would be the right term for the whole sister-wife/axe murderess/alien plotline. Man, even as I type that, I wish that I was kidding. Sadly, I’m not. Let me back it up for you… some time has passed since we last saw Kit and Grace and “skinned alive, but not really dead cuz of aliens or some stuff” Alma. Okay, that’s a pretty long title, even for me, so I guess we can just call her Alma. Anyways, the three of them are playing house with their United Colors of Benetton fam (Ryan Murphy, you are just sooo progressive…) Anyways, Alma and Grace differ on their perspective to their alien abductions, leading to Alma killing Grace over their differences. Really subtle, how people keep killing others over their differences. From there on out, we are forced to watch Alma go through the torturous routine of prison life. Again, I felt like I was supposed to feel something that I just plain didn’t, given that Alma straight up murdered someone not five minutes ago. I thought this storyline might have some sort of pay off, until Kit told Lana that Alma (seriously, who was in charge of these names?!?) was dead. We all know that Ryan Murphy doesn’t exactly stick to his word when he says characters are dead, but for the love of everything holy, if he wastes an on-screen revival on a character as meaningless as Alma? Don’t expect me to be happy about it.
Sister Jude is now Betty Drake after the Monsignior faked her death. Why Betty Drake? I’m assuming because it was the closest FX could get to Betty Draper without having their asses handed to them by AMC’s legal department. Briarcliff has been sold over to the government as a spill-over for the overcrowded prisons. Jude/Betty freaks out because she was promised her release by the Monsignior but Ruth Fisher complicates things. Oh, I’m sorry, not Ruth Fisher, I meant Moira from season one. Wait, that’s not right either… oh, yeah, the Angel of Death. Frances Conroy pulls double-duty as a new inmate and the Angel of Death. I think it’s supposed to mess with our heads, but given that Kit acknowledges that Betty is really Jude or whatever, it seems hard to believe that Betty/Jude is crazy. Unless they both are? Eh, it’s a Ryan Murphy show, so it could happen. Most of this storyline is spent on trying to make Frances Conroy seem menacing, but… yeah, it mostly ended up coming across as laughable. No, seriously, I had to rewatch some scenes because I was laughing too hard the first time. Thank God for closed captioning, right? Oh yeah, and at the end, you find out that the timeline is all messed up and Betty/Jude has been there for, like, three years. Seriously, the whole timeline thing is like the inbred afterbirth of a better episode of Lost and one of the more mediocre offerings from The X-Files.
Lana’s storyline is the only one that gets a definitive time. With the others we are supposed to wonder, but are left wondering why we pretend to care anymore, instead. It’s 1969 and Lana is a published author. Oh yeah, and she sold out. Like, big time sold out… I’m sorry, did I miss anything? Considering Lana was a driving force of the show for so long, her plotline has been pretty much resolved, except she’s still haunted by her past as well as her lies. Oh yeah, and she is Dylan McDermott’s baby mama, but we all saw that coming, right?
“Continuum” is the best example in excruciating irrelevance that Ryan Murphy has forced us to sit through since Glee did that second Britney Spears episode. I think he’d like us to think it’s working towards some big reveal in the season finale, but I’m torn between “don’t know” and “don’t care.” Instead, I’m just thanking my lucky stars that I only have to sit through one more episode.
WTFs of the Week
Seriously, again with the camera work? I guess it’s probably the most interesting part of the show these days, but does it really serve a function?
How does a 13-episode series have a filler episode? And is it possible that American Horror Story: Asylum has jumped the shark?
Do you think I should get my hair cut? I normally post three questions each week, but I honestly didn’t care enough to think up three questions for this episode…