Season finale time already! It seems like just yesterday that we were following Adam Levine and Mrs. Channing T into that broken-down Briarcliff Manor and waiting for them to get their various appendages ripped off. And actually... we're back there again for the cold open. Dylan Face breaks into present-day Briarcliff, boarded up and crumbling, with a machete in one hand. He puts on headphones and listens to Tales from Briarcliff, an audiobook read by its author, Lana Winters. So it looks like she did go back and write about Briarcliff after all.
Dylan Face walks the halls, smokes some crack and listens to his mother describe the hellish conditions therein. In the hydrotherapy room, he imagines her in one of the tubs, telling him that he's an abomination who was conceived not in love, but in hate. Later, on the staircase, he imagines his dad, Ollie Thredson, who puts a kind hand on his shoulder and assures Dylan Face that he loved him even before he was born and it was Lana who took that love away from him. Dylan's nearly in tears. This all comes together later on in the episode, but for now it's hilariously simplistic, the workings of a mind that only operates on the most childish of levels. I know Dylan Face kills people and that's super scary and all, but for real: what a whiny wet noodle of a bad guy he is.
From outside, Dylan hears the familiar (to us) voices of Adam Levine and Mrs. Channing T, who are still on their honeymoon thrill tour, about to enter its last stop. It's "Four months ago" per the title card. Hey, remember when Adam and Mrs. Channing were having sex on one of the gurneys and heard a noise? That was Dylan Face. Remember when Adam went sticking his arm into slats in doors that he shouldn't have? That was Dylan Face inside. Remember when Adam then got his arm hacked off by the monster inside? That was Dylan Face, too. Hilariously, watching his end of it, all Dylan Face wanted was a place to be quiet, smoke his crack and listen to his book on tape. He really only donned the mask and picked up his machete when Adam started shining his obnoxious phone all around. Lesson to be learned, kids. With the same scream that closed the first episode of our season, we head into our final scary-ass opening credits.
After the break, we're still in the present day, only this time at what looks like a chichi New York penthouse apartment, with a generously stocked wet bar and photos of one miss Lana Winters adorning the walls. Lana is being prepped for an on-camera interview, and her interviewer is gawking at all the photos of Lana with various celebrities. Bono drew a drawing of her on a cocktail napkin! The interviewer -- who IMDb tells me is named April Mayfield, so okay -- reminds Lana of her own reputation, which is awfully convenient for the rest of us. "Six best-sellers, a reputation as the only one that men will open up to -- world leaders, stars, disgraced politicians..." So she's Diane Sawyer or Barbara Walters, but with teeth. And I should note that while old-lady makeup still looks awkward on just about anyone, the hair/make-up/wardrobe work on Lana throughout this episode across all time periods is a wonder to behold. April asks about any "one that got away" interviews, and the question is answered ("Mao and Rielle Hunter") by Lana's partner, a grande dame Broadway type played by Joan Severance. Her name's Marian, and while she and Lana are open, you can tell they don't want their personal life to be the focus of the interview, so Marian jets. After Lana coaxes the lighting guy to move his key light ever higher -- gotta light those old gals as flatteringly as possible -- she and April prepare to get down to business. Lana doesn't want this career retrospective at the Kennedy Center to feel like a eulogy. April assures her she'll spend plenty of time on Lana's "nail-to-the-cross interview with Madoff," but she does want to start by spending some time on the "Bloody Face years." Lana says in no uncertain terms that she will no longer speak of Bloody Face. He's become a "goddamn household name," like some kind of "Heath Ledger Hollywood villain." She refuses to participate in that narrative any longer. April decides that discretion is the better part of valor and instead suggests with the exposé that made her reputation. Sarah Paulson gives the most fantastic, business-y reaction to this, throwing a thumbs-up while taking a sip of wine, perfectly semi-interested.