After a season of more questions than answers, American Horror Story tried to wrap its divergent stories in one neat bow. With the finale, “Madness Ends,” we discovered the fate of Briarcliff’s former residents.
- Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
- Writer: Tim Minear
- Cast: Zachary Quinto, Joseph Fiennes, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Lizzie Brocheré, Jessica Lange
Episode Title: “Madness Ends”
Set mostly in present day and told via flashbacks, “Madness Ends” attempts to close all the loose ends. Lana is being interviewed about her impressive journalistic career and gives insight into what eventually became of our Briarcliff favorites.
- Old Lady Lana: It’s satisfying to see that Lana not only had an illustrious career, but she’s being honored for her achievements. In present day, she’s being interviewed for a piece by the Kennedy Center and finally opens up about some hidden truths about her past (i.e. her son didn’t die in childbirth). The rest of the stories have endings that are too neat (and too tainted by the still-unexplained aliens), but Lana’s victory feels earned.
- Mother/Son Showdown: As promised, Johnny appears to enact his revenge on Lana for giving him up. He sneaks in during her interview and confronts her when it’s over — gun in hand. Lana uses the power of compassion to talk him down and just when you think they’re going to be a happy family, BAM! Lana shoots Johnny, killing him and ending the Bloody Face line.
- Timothy’s End: The story with the least audience interest got the least attention. Monsignor Timothy moved on from Briarcliff before Lana was able to shut it down. But she confronted him later, after he was promoted within the church. Even though he denies his involvement officially, actions speak louder than words when he commits suicide soon after.
- Kit and Jude’s Death stories: We learn that Kit continued visiting Jude and eventually brought her to live with his family. She was still crazy until his daughter took her to the woods for some unspecified alien voodoo. Jude becomes more or less herself, able to live out the remainder of her days (about six months) happily with the Walker family. As for Kit, he’s diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when he’s 40 and disappears. Apparently, he was called home by the aliens before his death.
- The Aliens: Why, Ryan Murphy? Why? The aliens have loomed overhead all season, but ultimately to no end. They’re a clunky deus ex machina and dragged down the quality of the entire season.
The AHS: Asylum finale managed to tie up its loose ends, but not necessarily to any satisfaction. The season was really Lana’s story and hers ends nicely, but the array of supporting characters (most of whom were never adequately developed), were more or less written off in random deaths. The aliens were never explained, and not in a good way. They seemed to swoop in when the writers found themselves in a corner. Recently, AHS has lost a lot of momentum and “Madness Ends” might have been the biggest disappointment of all.
American Horror Story: Asylum airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.
What did you think of this week’s episode?