'American Horror Story: Asylum' Finale Recap: 5 WTF Moments From 'Madness Ends'
The most surprising moments on Wednesday's season-ender of the FX series.
American Horror Story: Asylum came to an end with an episode more focused on stylization and speeding through each main character's journey than shock value. Though the tonal shift could have been jarring, somehow it ended up feeling surprisingly comforting instead.
And maybe I'm a bit biased, but it was also a really nice note to see the good guys win for once!
Note: Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen Wednesday’s episode, “Madness Ends.”
Here are five moments from the episode that had me going, WTF?!
1. Lana (Sarah Paulson) was able to produce a Briarcliff expose simply by walking back in through the tunnels. The state of disrepair the actual facility was in was uninhabitable. The state of neglect the patients and inmates were left in was even worse. But the fact that anybody could waltz in off the street -- with a big broadcast camera, two crew guys, and microphones -- should have meant that anyone could have wandered out, too. That was as worrisome as the state in which those patients and inmates were found.
2. And while on the topic of Lana, can we talk about how well she aged!? I'm going to be honest, I kind of thought Johnny (Dylan McDermott) would go looking for his mother in modern day, only to learn she had passed away a few years earlier. I thought the denial of closure was what set him off on his killing of other people. But no, there Lana was in 2012, fabulous and fit as ever, finally living an out and proud and celebrated life as a pioneer in journalism. The prosthetic work and Barbara Walters wig was jarring simply because it looked so real, it was like looking into Paulson's own future. Of course, what really mattered was that in addition to Lana's physical strength, she also proved the same "tough but not a cookie" personality from her heyday.
3. Monsignor Timothy (Joseph Fiennes) went out Rita Morgan style. There were a lot of evils at play in AHS: Asylum, from an actual devil to an oppressive society, but one's own Catholic guilt came into play on the finale when the Monsignor was finally caught and confronted with just how much he covered up during his tenure at Briarcliff. He couldn't handle Lana exposing his involvement in Dr. Arden's (James Cromwell) experiments to the world, and he killed himself in the bathtub, his arms hanging over the sides like his body was its own cross.
5. Lana came clean about her son with Bloody Face surviving childbirth. It seemed a bit opportune (and self-serving) that after years of protecting a secret as big as the fact that her baby with a notorious serial killer was actually given up for adoption, Lana would randomly let the truth spill out during an interview with a journalist she didn't seem to hold in as high regard as herself. The fact that the cameras were rolling when she did seemed equally calculating. There'd always be a record of the story the way she wanted to tell it if things went wrong with Johnny. But she always had a plan, and from the minute she heard her son was violent and potentially gunning (no pun intended) for her, she formulated one that used the media to spread her message yet again. I really shouldn't have been surprised by this, but I guess I just expected that to be some kind of shame she wanted to take to the grave. Even if she acknowledged Johnny to his face to appease him, it was a surprise to see her first share so much intimacy with the cameras.
OMG!: You really can find anything on eBay. Somehow that's where Johnny got a hold of the old recording his mother made, telling his father about her planned abortion. And I assume that's where he got the creepy skin mask that mimicked the one his father wore, too.
Thank you, TV gods.: It was just so poetic that Lana would take out her son the same way she did his father.
Awk-ward: Kit certainly proved himself to be more forward-thinking than most time and again in this series, and bringing Jude into his home, even after all she had done to him and the women he loved, fit that assessment perfectly. But it was still kind of weird for me (and how could it not be so for Kit and his kids, too?) to see her enter their home as a new maternal figure.
Hotness: The 70s were a good decade for Kit Walker. The darker hair, the free-flowing hippie clothes, the authority of fatherhood -- all of these things added up to a more mature, confident, attractive man.
Fab-u-lous: Lana's white dress at Kit's wedding made it look like she was the one getting married, but she looked so beautiful -- and for once unencumbered -- it was the perfect thing for her.
Celebuzz Meter (1-10): 8 -- While it was great to see Lana survive (and take out her son to boot), the episode was too talky and expositionally explanatory for a season that had made itself known for crazy twists and turns and shocking images.
What did you think of the finale of AHS: Asylum, and are you already excited for Season 3? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!