“Madness Ends” (aired 1/23/13)
Lana = the Final Girl
It was a very interesting finale… Definitely one of the better episodes of “American Horror Story” this season, and in the show’s two-year history. It was captivating, yet at times didn’t quite fit the episodes before it in tone and cinematography. However, that’s not really shocking, since the series never really has the same tone, themes, or even continuity over the course of a season. It’s messy, confusing, weird, wild… And just when I thought this season was better than the first, it ended up being the same.
The season finale focused on our main leads: Lana, Kit, and Jude. It was a surprisingly happy, mostly painless ending for all of them. We’ve watched them in every episode, and they’re FINALLY free from the turmoil in their life! Lana may be an old bitch, but she’s a successful one, both in her career and personal life. Her scenes during her interview as an older woman were very intriguing, and shot so well. The moment when she corrects a gaffer about lighting the room and asks the reporter, “What are they teaching these kids in film school today?” makes you want to slap her and also high-five her. She’s a Shirley Maclaine-like pain in the ass diva, but she knows what she’s doing. Her documentary scenes in Briarcliff when she went back to report about how terrible a place it was brought to mind not only the real life Geroldo Rivera (and the Staten Island mental institution that plays a part in the documentary “Cropsey”) but also the fictional character from “Scream” who’s a big part of horror pop culture Gale Weathers, as I’ve mentioned before. Kit, who was released from Briarcliff in an earlier episode, has his two cute children (where did they come from?) and now an accidental Grandma in Sister Jude. He had helped her escape Briarcliff and took her in, adding her to his odd family. As Kit tells Lana about his life with Jude and the kids (during a flashback during Lana’s interview), the episode was actually touching. Jude, who had gone mental in her later years as a Briarcliff patient, had her ups and downs while adjusting to suburban life, but she seemed happy taking care of and teaching the kids. And Kit was happy taking care of her as she slowly started to die. Two of my favorite scenes in their story were their dance in the living room, and, of course, when Jude finally has a kiss with the Angel of Death with nothing but darkness surrounding them.
Two big things that were resolved a bit too quickly/easily, even though it was a great ending for both characters: Lana killing her screwed up son, and Kit being abducted by the aliens for good. The former resolution was great, and tense, but it wasn’t tense enough. I wanted to be afraid for Lana… She escaped (and killed) Bloody Face, but could she seriously escape and kill Bloody Face Jr.? This guy was, like, seriously demented! (That scene of him with the breast milk of the prostitute on his lips from a previous episode will haunt me for a while… So gross…) She’s a smart and tough lady, but all she had to do was get him on his knees and crying – which didn’t take long – and then sneak his gun out of his hands and then blow his brains out. Awesome how she was so smooth about it, but it happened so fast! I wanted more of a showdown between them… And definitely more of a clearer reason why he really wanted her to dead (that playground flashback didn’t really back up his case).
As for Kit’s ending… WHAT?! He just conveniently disappears forever by things that we never get to see, yet have been hearing about all season long? Things that haven’t appeared to him in decades (the last time we see him is when he’s around 40 or so I think). We never find out what the aliens want, what they’re here for, or anything? Are his kids aliens? because they acted weird. Um… Ryan Murphy, you got some explaining to do! It’s the one storyline (out of many this season) that really went NOWHERE, and was, by far, the most confusing – Remember when Pepper could suddenly talk to them? And Grace somehow came back to life (after being shot at Briarcliff) and was pregnant? And then Alma, who was abducted but came back, killed Grace? And then Alma was sent to Briarcliff, and was never heard of again? And the point of all of that was……?
It’s a fun show, and you can’t deny that it really “goes there.” The cursing, the gore, the sex/nudity, holy shit! FX is quickly become a middle ground that hasn’t existed before because of “American Horror Story.” It’s still basic cable, but feels like premium cable. If only the show tied up its loose ends better! And had a clearer vision from the start! Tell us more about the experiments in the woods… What was up with that big scary monster in the halls of Briarcliff during the storm… Why was Monsignor Howard even a main character… Why was the Angel of Death, a very interesting character played by a very interesting actress, not in it from the start… I could go on and on.
But one thing is certain… Lana is the sole survivor of the season. The final girl. Entering the ranks of famous scream queens from horror classics. That’s pretty cool.