American Horror Story: Asylum Season 2 Review “Madness Ends”

American Horror Story Season 2 Finale 2012 Madness Ends

The second season of American Horror Story wrapped up tonight with the finale aptly titled “Madness Ends”. Last week the writers took us on a trip through three different story lines of Kit, Lana, and Jude. This week, we’re shown the season wrap-up primarily though Lana’s memories.

At this point in the present time, Lana is a famous reporter. She’s moved from print and made her mark on the industry through broadcast television. She’s made quite a name for herself, and people want to know the true story of Lana Winters. It turns out that Lana did return to Briarcliff. As her story begins, we get to see things through flashbacks – Lana and her camera and sound guy walking the tunnels of Briarcliff and right through the backdoor.

To say the play has gone to hell is putting it extremely mildly. Lana has her camera man shoot footage of the filth and sadness that covers the Briarcliff halls. There are too many patients and not enough staff to keep them clean, fed, and well cared for. Since the state took over the institution, it’s been overrun, and no one cares. Enter Lana who blows the whistle on the entire place.

In a really touching memory, Lana flashes back to rescuing Jude from solitary, and the stupid show had me tear up when Jude smiled at Lana and muttered a quiet “Lana Banana…” But things aren’t what they seem, and Lana confesses that Jude was already gone by the time she made her way to Briarcliff. But no fear – through some detective work (basically Lana shuffling through discarded files on the floor of Briarcliff), Lana discovers that Kit had actually rescued Jude from the horrors of Briarcliff.

Flash to the present where Lana requests a bottle of sparkling water, and lo and behold, it’s delivered by none other than her estranged son… who recognizes her, but Lana shows no emotion towards him at all.

Lana explains that her conversation with Kit went something like this: Lana is a bad person who wouldn’t save Jude, even despite her promise to do just that. So after Alma’s death, Kit visits with Jude almost daily, and ends up taking her home to live with him and his kids. The tables are turned and Kit is now responsible for Jude, not the other way around. Kit solidifies himself on my list of perfect fictional characters by nursing Jude back to health, and the kids step in and use their alien powers to help heal her from her past.

Cut to Jude dying and cradling the children. For the second time in the American Horror Story finale, I bawled as Kit stayed with Jude through her final breaths. The shot was amazingly beautiful – the Angel of Death spreading her black wings and leaning over an angelic looking Jude. The shot had my brain working overtime looking at the symbolism of Jude’s placement, coloring, and the contrast between her character at the end, and her character at the beginning. Things have turned completely, and Jude finally looks like she is at peace with herself.

Cut back to Lana who explains that she and Kit remained friends, and the kids went on to do great things. Kit, however, suffered from cancer, but before he died he vanished into thin air. As the audience, we get to see Kit being taken back to the mother ship, but Lana has no idea what happened or where Kit disappeared to… and she doesn’t seem overly alarmed.

To drop a huge bomb on the interviewer, Lana confesses that she lied about her baby dying at birth. Instead she explains that she put the child up for adoption. Lana shows major remorse, but explains that she wouldn’t have been a fit mother, and wanted to give her son a chance to have a life he deserved. So, major points for Lana… turns out that she has a heart after all, and even tried to contact the kid while he was growing up. It worked, but it was the only time that Lana allowed herself to see her child.

After the interview is over, it’s just Lana in her (gorgeous) apartment. I was on pins and needles waiting for Johnny to jump out and skin his mother alive, but instead, Lana pours him a drink and tells him to come out of hiding. He does, and in an extremely tense five minutes, talks about how his father loved him, and Lana took him away when she shot him.

Leave it to Lana to be able to talk her way out of things, and in a scene similar to her encounter with Bloodyface, Lana uses some amazing psychology tricks on the kid and ends up taking the gun out of his hand and popping a bullet right between his eyes. The circle is complete, Lana has successfully ended the reign of Bloodyface by killing her son.

Crazy, crazy, crazy! American Horror Story successfully does it once again! This time, dare I say it? Almost better that season 1. All of the pieces fit, but not in a nice neat bow, which wouldn’t have been true to the premise of the show. Instead, Ryan Murphy ends season 2 with a bang, leaving us wanting much, much more.

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