Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Episode 13 of FX's "American Horror Story: Asylum," titled "Madness Ends"
Compared to last season's finale, this year's seemed relatively low-key and subtle. Since the beginning of the season, I wasn't really a fan of the modern-day story, and when it came full circle with a 70-something year old Lana Winters prepping for an interview, I was ready to dislike it. However, and although it wasn't nearly are great as the first season's, this finale was surprisingly heartfelt and satisfying.
Excuse me for a lack of details as I only got a chance to watch the episode once the night of, so this recap is purely based from memory. But at least I had a chance to sleep on it and I feel better about the episode. I just needed the time to think about it and mull over what happened. So, present-day Lana has six bestsellers under her belt and is about to be honored at the Kennedy Center for her prolific journalistic work. This interview is the foundation for the episode, as it's told mostly through flashbacks. Lana asks for a glass of sparkling water and who hands it to her but her own son, Johnny. Wuh oh!
"Madness Ends" served more as an epilogue than a finale. We learn that after Alma died, Kit started visiting Jude at Briarcliff and brought her back to life, so to speak. Seeing how he helped her was heartwarming, especially the shot with him putting his arm around her. He ended up taking her home with him and she helped raise his alien kids, who are blessed with some sort of power that brings sanity to those who are crazy. When Jude was becoming delusional, thinking she was back at Briarcliff, Kit's children took her by the hand into the woods, where they probably smoked some pot. I'm guessing that's what brought Jude back to her senses. Yeah, that's totally it.
Everything was great at the Walker residence. The children loved Jude and she loved them in return. Unfortunately, after six months of bliss and swing dancing, she got sick and passed away. The scene with The Angel of Death (Frances Conroy) was beautifully shot, and I just sat there watching with my eyes wide open, filling up with tears. I know she's a fictional character, but I'm just glad she got her happiness in the end. Kit remarried later, his kids went on to become a big shot lawyer and neurosurgeon, and when he was about to die from pancreatic cancer, the aliens took him back. I'm glad one of the monsters this season was good. Right? We can all agree that the aliens were benevolent?
During her interview, Lana came clean regarding her child. For 40 years, she had claimed that the child died during birth, but now she admitted that she gave it up for adoption and it was still alive. After the interview concludes and the crew leaves, Lana pours two drinks. One for her and one for Johnny, who she had known was her son the entire time after the police had warned her that he was in fact a murderer. Maybe I missed it, but how exactly did the police connect Johnny to Lana again?
The dialogue between Lana and Johnny was pretty fantastic. There was absolutely no way that he was going to kill her and that the episode could only end with his demise, but it was still exciting to see it played out. In his final moments, she gave him what he wanted and that was genuine (at least to him) motherly love. But then she turned the gun on him and shoots him point black in the head, practically mimicking Thredson's death.
The final scene, a flashback to when Lana and Jude first met, was cute, albeit head-scratching. This season felt more like Lana's story rather than Jude's, so ending on Jude seemed a little strange. I didn't mind it, as the more Jessica Lange the better, but it didn't really pack any punch for me. Lange's delivery of the line, "If you look in the face of evil, evil is going to look right back at you," was exceptional, and that pretty much sums up the season.
I'm glad that there wasn't a cliffhanger this season like there was last season (with the demon child). I feel content with moving on, leaving these characters behind and moving onto the next macabre story. Until October, you guys.
The documentary-style storytelling was probably my favorite part of the episode. It made everything seem that much more authentic and grotesque.
Johnny bought a tape of Lana yelling at Thredson, threatening to kill their baby, ON EBAY. Like, what? That's the craziest thing I've heard all season.
Did Sarah Paulson look great this episode or did she look great? In the scene where she helps young Johnny when he's being bullied, she looked phenomenal. Who's doing hair and makeup? Can we get them an Emmy? Or just a "thank you?"
After Lana exposes his involvement with Arden's human experimentation, the former Monsignor kills himself from all the guilt. Joseph Fiennes' character never really seemed that important, so I was just like, "Alright."
Can we all just fangirl for a second over how Taissa Farmiga is coming back next season as a lead, along with Lange, Paulson, and Peters? And it's going to be light and romantic? Bless you, Ryan Murphy!