These episodes sped things up. The two before the finale felt a little all over the place in comparison with the detailed, slower season we've been used too. Episode 11 spans seven months, and it seemed like the 12th season took up a decade. The finale brought us to the present day.
The eleventh episode started out with John, Lana's baby, all grown up and getting breastfed by a hooker. Of course, the idea of a grown man with mommy issues suckling on a woman's teet is both disgusting and hilarious. It was one of our favorite AHS openings. Grace has a baby (helped along by aliens) and tells Kit the baby is special and will "change the way people think." Howard has the baby taken away to an orphanage, predictably, since Grace is an axe murderer and Kit hasn't been cleared yet.
Later, Kit is released and very smartly secures Grace's freedom too. He joins Alma and her baby, who are waiting for him in their old house. For a while, the oversize family is happy together. No one likes polygamy, but in this situation, we were willing to let them have it, hoping they'd all be happy. Sadly, Alma's time with the aliens did a number on her brainpan. She kills Grace and ends up in Briarcliff. Poor Grace and Alma. They had a whole host of crazy happen to them, and they were never as interesting as Jude or Lana.
The real star of these episodes was dear Lana Banana, who went in for a glimpse of evil and had evil get a glimpse of her. Her bird at Dr. Thredson as she drove away from the asylum made us cackle and cheer. Lana is one bad bitch. She even kills Thredson and puts her baby up for adoption so that he can have a chance. Of course, she ends up having clean that mess up too. More on that later. We liked the way she confessed all of her motivations and lies in the interview, just in case it was her last.
We also liked Lana's descent into media whoredom. It made the character more nuanced and rounded her out. She's not just a victim. She has flaws, and her ambition is what got her into this trouble in the first place.
We loved Lana's commentary on Howard and how he was the special kind of liar who believes his own lies. We've met a few of those in our day. They definitely exist, and they are dangerous people you can't reason with. Howard's character definitely went places we never could have guessed from the first couple of episodes. We wanted more Pepper at the end. She died with hardly an explanation.
Jude's ending was more than she deserved. Kit is our hero. It genuinely touched us when he forgave and saved her. His genius children had a hand in it, and we loved Jude's advice to them at the end of her life. To the boy: "Never take a job just for the money." And to the girl: "Don't let a man tell you who you are." Kit went to alien heaven. There as much closure to be had.
The best part was having Lana kill John. That was one wallop of an ending. A great final episode full of just enough heart, subtlety, truth, and thoughtfulness to make all the drama feel worth it. We liked that some people had happy endings, and it was more about the legacies and aftermath than about giving us answers regarding aliens. We think that, even with all its problems, this season was better than last year. The last scene made us smile.
Spilt Milk: B+
Madness Ends: A+
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