“If you look into the face of evil,” Sister Jessica Lange tells Lana in an elegiac coda during the final moments of American Horror Story: Asylum, “evil’s going to look right back.”
The coda was set in 1963, during Lana’s first visit to Briarcliff, and by the present day, Lana will have learned exactly what that mutual gaze will mean. During an epic interview to celebrate her Kennedy Honor, 2013 Lana—who is married to an opera singer, it turns out—dwells on the post-Bloody Face aspects of her life. She won’t give Bloody Face Quinto another minute of airtime, she warns the reporter, preferring to revisit her career as a crusading on-air journalist who got Briarcliff shut down and may have caused Father Joseph Fiennes to take his own life.
During the course of her reminiscences, it comes out that Kit rescued Sister Jessica Lange from Briarcliff, bringing her to his home where she seemed happy with his two children. That wasn’t the ending Lana wanted, but it seemed like a lovely, bittersweet sendoff for the character to us. It also turns out that Kit—who, like Lana, always seemed to be wearing the era’s latest fashions, but unlike Lana, only the ones that dated extremely poorly—simply disappeared at 40 while suffering from pancreatic cancer. No explanation of the aliens or why they singled out Kit or what it means for his children to have been born of dead mothers. Nothing.
But if the aliens were given short shrift, Bloody Face McDermott had the season’s final 10 minutes. After killing the donut guy and taking his place on the crew, McDermott waits patiently until Lana is alone. She, of course, knows that he’s still there, offering him a drink without turning around. “How could I not know my own baby boy?” she asks incredulously when McDermott warily wonders how she knows it’s him. Cut to Lana being interrogated by the police about McDermott and his murderous rampage sometime in the past. But Lana has been down this path once before with Bloody Face Quinto, and she’s not going to take any chances this time. After disarming Bloody Face McDermott with the same motherly love she gave Quinto, she slips the gun out of his hand, holds it to his forehead, and calmly pulls the . One fully expected her to calmly call up her interviewer and request an update.
And though Jessica Lange and Lily Rabe shined this season, can anyone argue that Sarah “I am tough but I’m no cookie” Paulson ultimately owned American Horror Story: Asylum? Here’s to more Paulson in Season 3, whatever that may be.