If the Nov. 14 episode of ''American Horror Story: Asylum'' is still sitting on your DVR, read no further. But if you saw it, this season's villain has been unmasked five episodes in.

November 16, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST

You’re probably still surprised that this season’s villain Bloody Face — a serial killer who skins and decapitates his female victims — has been unmasked just five episodes in. Spoiler alert! It’s Dr. Oliver Thredson (Zachary Quinto), Briarcliff’s dashingly square Don Draper–meets–Bobby Kennedy psychiatrist. Turns out the brilliant fiend was only masquerading as a heroic headshrinker in order to pin his crimes on Kit Walker (Evan Peters) and to abduct crusading journalist Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson), for reasons yet to be determined. ”I didn’t want to do ‘here’s the reveal’ and ‘here’s how it’s wrapped up,”’ says AHS co-creator Ryan Murphy. ”I wanted to do a five-episode arc [exploring] the mythology of this man and why he is this way. Zach Quinto is not just going to sign on for a stereotypical bad guy.” Especially since this isn’t Quinto’s first time at the serial-killer rodeo. The actor shot to fame as mutant murderer Sylar on NBC’s Heroes, a star turn that led to playing Spock in the J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot. He admits he was ”hesitant” to go psycho anew. ”But I was drawn to the fact that he’s not a superpowered serial killer who’s telekinetically slicing people’s heads open,” says Quinto, 35. ”It was an opportunity to revisit similar territory in a different way.” The experience has been rewarding — but he’s also ready to ”go in a different direction” after Star Trek Into Darkness hits theaters this summer. ”It’s like an era of association with certain roles — a part like Spock, or a part like Sylar — is coming to an end,” he says. ”I think it’s safe to say this will be the last serial killer I’ll be playing for the foreseeable future.”

(Additional reporting by Tim Stack)

An anthology series that centers on different characters and locations, including a haunted house, an insane asylum, a witch coven, a freak show and a hotel.
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