American Horror Story
Madness Ends

Episode Report Card
Joe R: A+ | 19 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
The Kennedy Center Honors Miss Lana Banana

Lana stubs out her cig and defiantly asks him what he's going to do now. "At my age," she says, "I don't imagine you'd have much use for the skin." Near tears, he tells her he's thought about this a lot. He pulls a gun from his waistband and puts it right to her forehead. She expresses surprise at the choice of weapon. Ollie Thredson, after all, claimed he didn't believe in guns. "Of course, he was lying about that too." Dylan Face tells her to shut up about him. Then things devolve into tearful "I just want my murder Daddy to be proud of me" stuff. I feel very Don Corleone about Dylan Face right now. YOU CAN ACT LIKE A MAN! Lana's gaze never breaks as she speaks with pity to her tormented son. She tells him his father was a monster; that's not who HE needs to be. She calls him "baby," which actually gets him to lower the gun, almost involuntarily. She says he could never be truly like his father. Not that sweet little boy she met on the playground. Her hand covers his. "Even then I knew you were a better man than he was." Her hand is on his face now. Her other hand gently takes the gun from him. "It's not just him that's in you," she says. "I'm a part of you, too." He starts to break down. "I've hurt people," he says. She tells him it's not his fault. Then she places the gun to HIS forehead! "It's mine," she says, and then PULLS THE TRIGGER.

She did it. The show did it. Stuck the landing. I almost can't believe it. They DID IT. They ended things on the perfect note of darkness. And yet also strength? Terrible, damaged, hard-won strength. Briarcliff ruined Lana Winters. There's no glossing over that. Jude was absolved, Kit's purity could never be truly tarnished, but Briarcliff Manor broke Lana. She escaped. She prevailed. But she never left it behind. I thought about halfway through the season that we were moving toward a reveal where a post-Briarcliff Lana would snap completely and take up the Bloody Face mantle herself, that that would be the big twist. I like this so much better. It didn't turn her into a serial killer, but it's made her capable of murder. Just once. Once is enough. And yet -- and here's where the dark heart of the show really gets me -- I am SO PLEASED that Lana's going out on top. Nobody got the better of her, ever. That bitch came to win.

Before we go, one last flashback. This one starts with something we've already seen: Lana's first trip to Briarcliff, angling with Sister Jude for an audience with accused Bloody Face Kit Walker. You remember. "You're outta your depth, Miss Lana Banana." The scene continues, Jude warning Lana about the dangers of outsized ambition. Lana says Jude seems rather ambitious herself and she's love to hear her story. Jude demurs, saying she doesn't believe their paths will cross again. She cautions Lana about the lonely road of the woman with lofty ambitions, but Lana says, "You have no idea what I'm capable of." Jude does have one word of warning, regarding her interest in the Bloody Face case: "If you look in the face of evil, evil's gonna look right back at you." Boy, I'll say.

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American Horror Story

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