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The AHS: Asylum Scene That Fans Agree Went Too Far

Ryan Murphy's "American Horror Story" has delved into some pretty twisted storylines over the years. Indeed, nothing seems to be off-limits on "American Horror Story," so long as the show leaves viewers with disturbing images ingrained in their minds. Murphy is an auteur, to be sure, with an unmistakable style, and his storytelling is always provocative.

Murphy and "American Horror Story" co-creator Brad Falchuk know what scares people, and it isn't always things that go bump in the night. As a result, "American Horror Story" often exposes the dark underbelly of the human psyche, tackling issues like homophobia, racism, and misogyny, all while shining a spotlight on the corrosive effects they have on both individuals and society as a whole. Entire seasons of "American Horror Story" have been scathing indictments of organized religion, American politics, and even the same entertainment industry in which Murphy himself has become a formidable creative force.

Unsurprisingly, "American Horror Story" fans have strong opinions about every season of the show, and they are as harsh with their criticisms as they are effusive in their praise. It turns out that even the most devoted of "American Horror Story" fans have their limits too.

Here's the "American Horror Story: Asylum" scene that the show's fans agree went too far.

American Horror Story fans can't forget Shelley's story in Asylum

"American Horror Story: Asylum" is a particularly brutal season of television, one that includes two serial killers, a former Nazi, and a storyline involving Satan corrupting the soul of a devout nun. The scene that resonates with fans in the worst possible way, however, involves Chloë Sevigny's Shelley. 

Dr. Arden (James Cromwell) brutally tortures Shelley throughout "Asylum" because she emasculates him. He finds the fact that Shelley is empowered by her sexuality incredibly threatening, so he cuts off her legs and performs experiments on her until all that is left of her is unceremoniously dumped at a playground. It's a heartbreaking, unnerving narrative twist and one that the show's viewers continue to have a hard time with, according to their comments on various Reddit threads dedicated to discussing the show's most disturbing moments.

"I regularly rewatch the series (usually put it on when I go to sleep), but I've only watched Asylum through twice because that scene is so disturbing," wrote u/k_dubba3. Elsewhere, u/FunnyRevolutionary17 agreed with their fellow Redditor, writing, "The most disturbing scenes in AHS for me are always the ones grounded in reality. Which is why I find Asylum and Cult and Freak Show are so disturbing." u/musical_fanatic similarly admitted that Shelley's gruesome end is one of the top three scenes of the series that "still scare me to this day."

"I can't even re-watch Asylum because of that and it's my favorite season," added u/Tuff_Wizardessu/lunalunalunaluna, meanwhile, revealed that they had totally blocked that twist out of their memory, writing, "I think I repressed Shelley getting her legs amputated because I didn't even remember that until I read this thread!"

In other words, it looks like even the most loyal "American Horror Story" fans seem to agree that Shelley's fate in "Asylum" went too far.