Well, it’s over.
And it ended as it began but I for one, still have about 148 questions.
It’s the present day and we meet Lana and her new sapphic squeeze, an opera singer or performer of some sort, as she’s being interviewed by a TV news crew and Lord, did the make-up people work on her face, to give her a necessary seventy or eighty year old look. Apparently, she’s an accomplished author with six–count ‘em–six best selling novels and not only that, she’s apparently, a TV personality too; an investigative reporter and host of her own TV show, you know the kind–that of the crime solving genre. She’s also about to be honored at the Kennedy Center.
Apparently, her ambitious need to expose Briarcliff as the hell hole it is, is what catapulted her to such success. The expose began as a documentary. She and a camera crew sneak into Briarcliff courtesy of that secret tunnel that Sister Satan introduced to at the very beginning. We hear how she demanded to see Sister Jude who according to Lana tells us, is still there, lo those many years later.
We treated to a scene of Lana and company entering Jude’s cell, dark and dank and dirty, and on what was once a bed–I think–sits a clump of humanity with wilder than wild hair. The camera lights prove it’s Jude, who was left in Briarcliff and forgotten. Jude was the only source left that could prove how the Church (when it owned the asylum) had looked the other way with regards to mistreatment and scientific experiments.
But is it really Jude? Nah, that was either Lana’s poetic license…OR…..really bad editing.
We learn that Kit actually rescued Jude and took her home to live with him and his two kids. The Sister Wives are no longer part of the equation. His mulato wife killed grace with a couple of ax whacks in the back. Jude’s name is now Betty Drake. Kit said he did it–took Jude into his home–as his way of forgiving and forgetting all that crap that happened to him at Briarcliff. Taking care of Jude, he felt, was his redemption.
He conveys to Lana that it was rough going for a while. After a lengthy detox, Jude was sedated for years. She’d forget where she was from time to time and think she was back at Briarcliff and scream and carry on, yelling at Kit’s kids mostly. She couldn’t understand why there were kids around her. There was no children’s ward at Briarcliff.
Years later while in the midst of a swing dance lesson, Jude develops a bloody nose. I’m thinking leukemia We see her on her death bed, whispering life lessons to Kit’s kids.
To the son: Don’t take shit from the man.
To the daughter: Never let men dominate you.
The kids are sent out of the room and Jude sees the Angel of Death making her last appearance in the corner of the room. There she is, decked out in black, wings fully extended and all puckered up to give Jude that final kiss that’ll take her up, up and away.
Or down, down, down, if you believe the Old Testament.
So, by 38 minutes into the season finale, Jude dies and we’re whisked back to present day. Lana accomplished her goal and closed down Briarcliff. She decides to take on the Monsignor–now a Cardinal in New York. She says he knows about Dr. Arden, the experiments…the cruelty, etc., and we learn that he offs himself in a bathtub. Slit wrists which are oozing life, turn the bathwater to a deep crimson.
Lana then tells the reporter that she carried Bloody Face’s child to full term and gave him up for adoption. His name is Johnny. We’ve met him before. Dylan McDermott’s character is genetically programmed to grow up to be the be Son of Bloody Face and all that that implies. His made an effort to pick up where his father left off. We saw evidence of that.
Anyway, Lana continues on with the interview and expresses regret for giving him up, but felt she had no other options. And wouldn’t you know, Johnny seemingly part of the camera crew. He even hands her some water during a break in the interview. Somehow, she knows it’s her son. After the camera crew leaves, she gets up to make herself a drink and knows he stayed behind. She implores him to finally come out of hiding to ‘get this thing over with.” She knows he’s about to kill her. Johnny is a psychotic sure, but he’s also an angry whack job, which never bodes well. He was a screwed up kid, in and out of Juvie and now here he is, 48 years old and wanting to whack his mother for giving him away and killing his father.
He pulls a gun on her, but she turn the tables and sweetly convinces Johnny that he’s not only a part of his maniacal father, but he’s also a part of he That means he has at least half the capacity to be a decent human being. He relinquishes the gun and she takes it away from him, only to point it at his forehead and shoots.
Like father, like son.
The show segues back to the very first show, when Lana was desperately trying to gain access to Briarcliff to get an exclusive with Bloody Face. She gained access to Jude’s office through a ruse. She claimed she wanted to do a fluff piece on the asylum’s bakery which apparently makes a dandy bread. Jude escorts her to the front door after learning that the all she really wanted was an interview with Bloody Face who was supposed to be brought to Briarcliff for mental assessment. She reminds Lana how difficult life can be for a woman with lofty goals and ambitions. This was 1962. The last thing we hear; the last thing we see are these two women facing each other with glares that had laser-like intensity. This was how the first scene with Lana and Jude ended 51 years ago, when Jude realized Lana only wanted to interview Bloody Face. Jude tells her that whenever you look into the eyes of evil, evil looks back at you.
Then, Lana leaves and Jude turns around as the camera pans to the face of a shiny, glossy statue of the Virgin Mary which stands in Briarcliff’s foyer. The head is tilted as if glancing in the nun’s direction. Gee, no hidden anti-Catholic sentiment there, huh?
I suppose it’s safe to say that Lana’s stint in the snake pit that was Briarcliff didn’t turn Lana into some cold, emotionless bitch with ambitions large enough to choke a whale. Lana entered Briarcliff that way and walked through its doors unchanged. Sister Jude recognized that right off the bat and in her special, ‘no holds barred’ manner, told her so. She wasn’t predicting Lana’s life per se, but she certainly called it. Lana didn’t have what Jude or Kit had: at least a small period in life where there was peace and normalcy.
If I’m right, then I’ll give the writers a rate-a-record score of 79 for adding a smidge of pathos, but was it enough? Not for me, then again, I’ve come to expect a certain shoddiness with AHS..
Characters were killed off too soon. There were more holes in the plot line than in Bonnie and Clyde’s ambushed car. We didn’t get to spend much time in Johnny’s head. I could’ve used an episode delving into all of his angst. What about that evil little girl who killed her friend and then her whole family? What happened to the crazy ass serial masterbator???? And Kit’s alien space babies? The ones that were so ‘special’? One grew up to be a doctor, the other a lawyer. Hhhhh’mmmmm, do those two occupations in this day and age really make them all that ‘special’? Well, for a Jewish mother, maybe……
Lana was the only major character who survived. Sister Satan and Dr. Arden were burned to death in the asylum’s crematorium. Threadson was shot in the head several episodes back. The Monsignor/Cardinal committed suicide. As far as I’m concerned, all three deaths happened prematurely and allowed a season finale that was anti-climatic. In the finale, Jude died of cancer and so did Kit, although he was abducted by the same bright white light that became an obscure third or fourth level character on the show this season. Why wasn’t this connection to space beings expounded upon? Why did those space freaks murder and mutilate all those women? What happened to Pepper the Pinhead??? And why couldn’t we learn more about the forest dwelling critters that Arden created? And soooooo much more could’ve been done with the satanic angle, but nooooooooo!!!!!!
Season two jumped the shark so many times that poor thing’s dorsal fin was sheared off.
Anyway, I wasn’t as colossally disappointed as I was when season one ended. And while I have questions, I think that the unscripted dangling participles that I swat away like slimy tentacles are supposed to make me come up with my own answers; my own conclusions. Whenever I encounter endings like this in books, TV shows, movies and such, I hearken back to a press conference I attended back in 1993.
Directing wunderkind, Steven Spielberg came to Houston on a press tour promoting his boffo hit, “Schindler’s List.” This involved filling a theater with local high school kids, have them watch the movie then he would take their questions about the flick. All members of the press could do was watch and at least in my case, learn.
One astute young woman asked Herr Spielberg about the little Jewish girl in the Warsaw ghetto who had worn the pinkish red coat; the only bit of color in the black and white film. Her question focused on the coat color and what that was supposed to mean.
He responded without missing a beat, “It means whatever you need it to mean.”
That day, I learned that poetic license was a tool that the story teller could use at his or her discretion and it’s one that sometimes, an audience member has to employ as well.
Seriously, I can’t.
As for plotlines, I’m thinking a family of vampires moves into an abandoned but still ‘hot’ nuclear power plant and the fun begins when genetic mutations run amok while angry neighbors who complain, mysteriously after a mod painted van called “The Mystery Machine” filled with four hips kids including one beatnik lookin’ cat named Shaggy who pals around with his giant, snack eating, running in place while bongos play, talking dog with a speech impediment, arrives on the scene.
And here I’ll be at my keyboard poised at the ready in the minutes after the finale ends, closing the curtain on yet another fakakta AHS season. That’s when and where I’ll hold writers/creators Ryan Murphy and Bryan Falchuk responsible for series of shows that leave more questions unanswered, throw logic out the window and could have been/should have been so much better.
And because of that, I’ll fully expect one or both to appear on camera and admit that they would’ve gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids!!!!!