I am literally in awe of this show. Murder House was certainly a disturbing experiment, but this season of American Horror Story was an all-out twisted melange that unsettled me on an episodic basic. Mental instability, sexual perversions, horrifying gore – Asylum was unlike any TV season I’ve ever experienced, and it was downright brilliant.
I would have preferred to review each of this season’s episodes on their own, but due to the sheer volume of shows I’ve had to catch up with, I binged on the entire season in the span of two days. This review won’t really do justice to the whole season, but really the entire thing was beautifully twisted. Psychotic Santa (who will give me nightmares thank you Ian McShane), the Monsignor being raped and crucified, Frances Conroy as the Angel of Death, Jude’s musical performance, Lana’s torture and rape at the hands of Bloody Face, Dr. Adren’s freak experiments, lactating hookers, Pepper, the aliens! The show burned through a heck of a lot of plot with every hour, and it did so magnificently. My only complaints? I could have done without the alien stuff (which didn’t add much to the show), and Sister Eunice was dealt with much too early and easily. Lily Rabe as the demonic villainess was a revelation, and I do wish she remained the show’s big bad until the finale. She might have been my favorite villain on any show in a long time.
As for this finale, it was a spectacular climax to the season. I absolutely love the fact that it was told purely from Lana Winters’ perspective. Her transformative journey this season was superb and her final interview through the decades allowed us to get closure on every level. Tying in her son was genius, and I was extremely satisfied by her blowing his brains out and finally putting the Briarcliff saga behind her. Sarah Paulson was a standout this year; the woman endured so much misery with a resilience that really made you root for her.
Can I just say that Jessica Lange is such a talent? That can not be overstated. The woman is a goddess and she blew me away in every one of her scenes this year. Sister Jude’s journey was also marvelous and Lange undoubtedly deserves another Emmy for her spectacular performance. I actually felt real sadness when Jude died and that’s quite an achievement since the character was a monster a lot of the time. I can’t wait to see what Ryan Murphy has Lange playing next year.
Kit’s compassion towards Sister Jude also got to me. That he and his kids could create a family with her really touched and moved me. And I’m at least thankful the aliens got to have a purpose here as they cured our Sister so she could relish her final months.
And finally, how awesome was the episode’s final scene with a flashback to Sister Jude warning Lana of the adventure she was about to take? Ominous and engaging, it was the perfect ending.
I couldn’t have asked for a more stunning finale. This year was one of the most expertly-executed seasons of television I’ve ever watched. Yes Ryan Murphy, you are indeed a mastermind.