Editor’s note: The following is a Hypable reader review of American Horror Story: Asylum’s finale
“It’s one hell of an ending, just not the one I wanted.”
After a long and torturous season, we’re finally given the facts and the answers to all of our questions, and a conclusion to every character’s story. “Madness Ends” opens with Johnny in the present, wandering the ruins of Briarcliff and fueling his rage towards Lana, his mother. Not surprisingly, he’s revealed as the killer of the honeymooners back in episode 1, carrying on the legacy as Bloody Face.
Everyone’s tale is unraveled through an interview with present day Lana—now a big-time writer after publishing her novel, Maniac, based off of her Briarcliff experiences. Lana is shown going back to Briarcliff with a camera crew, in the hopes of bringing to light the monstrosities of the institution. She had searched for Sister Jude, who she’d promised to bust out, but had found only an empty cell.
Later on, Lana discovered that Kit actually helped Jude escape, under the new name of Betty Drake. It was an unbelievable and very generous act on his part after everything Jude put him through. Kit takes her into his house, and she becomes a sort of grandmother to his children, and together they try to enjoy the scrap of their lives that they have left, after everything they’d seen and lost.
Timothy Howard was promoted to Cardinal of the church once Lana left the asylum, and his story came to an end when his guilt and Lana’s incessant questioning led him to commit suicide. Jude seemingly succumbed to the Angel of Death of previous episodes, and Kit had developed pancreatic cancer and mysteriously disappeared on his deathbed, though we’re shown that the aliens had something to do with it. I, for one, expected a more paramount death for such influential characters.
This episode wasn’t as thrilling as others have been and left little room for fans to draw their own conclusions. There is a bit of excitement towards the end, when we notice that Johnny is present during Lana’s interview, and he finally gets the chance to chat with her after everyone is gone. Lana cleverly talks him out of removing the gun from her head, and then turns things around and shoots her homicidal son instead.
Though Sarah Paulson (Lana Winters), Zachary Quinto (Oliver Thredson), and James Cromwell (Dr. Arden) all did a superb job in breathing life into their characters, Jessica Lange (Sister Jude) was without a doubt my favorite this season. The woman deserves an Oscar for simply being able to sleep at night after portraying such a lunatic character in such a demented situation.
It seems that producers set expectations too high with season 1, which was action-packed from the start. Season 2 as a whole didn’t live up to it, with such abrupt and meaningless deaths, certain dull moments, and I won’t even mention the aliens (but really, why aliens?). Wednesday’s finale was anticlimactic and left things too finite. Season 2 can be summed up as disturbing (in a good way), a little rushed (not in a good way), and not necessarily what fans expected, but admittedly an interesting tale. And though we don’t know for sure what season 3’s theme will be, we can hope to never have to visit Briarcliff again.
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