This season of American Horror Story: Roanoke was full of scares, format change-ups, and some of the most grotesque scenes in the show's history.
But after nine episodes of twisted horrors, the scariest part of Wednesday night's season finale was how it felt more like an episode of American Crime Story.
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In the final hour, Ryan Murphy managed to jam in ANOTHER true crime docu-series, a journalistic special, and a ghost hunting show — all before throwing away the "found footage" gimmick in the final act, probably because they ran out of excuses to keep the fictional cameras rolling.
But after sitting through all the channel surfing, we finally found out who really survived the events of Roanoke's horror story!
The episode started on a Meta note with surreal footage of the My Roanoke Nightmare cast gathering at a Paleyfest panel, showing just how successful the first season of the horror reenactment series was.
Fans in the audience lose their sh*t over the survivors and actors of this show, with one smitten fan identifying with Lee (Adina Porter), who at that point was only suspected of murdering her ex-husband.
Not only is the scene a playful nod to the real life convention at which Murphy has long received fan worship, it also demonstrates just how big of a phenomenon My Roanoke Nightmare was before its "second season."
After the events of Season 2 unfold, Lee is a polarizing figure — not surprising considering girl was caught on camera killing multiple people after confessing to murdering her ex.
The next part of the episode turns into a courtroom drama (suddenly we feel like we're watching Season 2 of American Crime Story), as Lee's legal team manages to cook up a winning defense: she went crazy from being tortured by the Polks and smoking their super dank weed.
After Lee is acquitted on all charges, the district attorney brings her BACK into court (ugh) on accusations she killed her ex-husband Mason.
Lee's daughter Flora is brought to the stand and, under the instruction of Lee, is asked about her ghost friend Priscilla by the lawyer. Flora's paranormal friendship discredits her story in the eyes of the jury, and Lee is once again acquitted — but still loses Flora to Mason's protective family.
After the courtroom drama segment, we now witness the moment AHS fanatics have been waiting for all season: Sarah Paulson bringing back her Asylum character Lana Winters (her THIRD character this season), who is interviewing Lee in a live special a la 60 Minutes.
In this epic faceoff between the two flawed survivors, Lee explains she agreed to interview with Lana because they have a lot in common. Conveniently reminding viewers of Lana's shady past, Lee notes the Season 2 survivor killed her son Bloody Face at the end of Asylum. (Why not just give us a "previously on"?)
Though even with those similarities, Lana doesn't let Lee off the hook — and even accuses the murderer of kidnapping Flora once again, who apparently went missing an hour before the broadcast.
As Lee starts to rush out in search of her daughter, a vengeful Polk crashes the interview and shoots up the set. Thankfully, both Lana and Lee survive the encounter, because who wants to see either of these survivors die at the hands of a hillbilly cannibal?
Next, we channel surf to a ghost hunting show called Spirit Chasers, who happen to be investigating the Roanoke house that has now been closed to the public. The ghost hunters are joined by My Roanoke Nightmare star Ashley Gilbert (Leslie Jordan), who helps the team break into the spooky mansion… during the Blood Moon. Why? Because ratings, we guess?
As the team encounters a few spooky sights, they come across Lee (!?) who just so happens to have returned to the house to look for Flora. The team helps Lee despite her warning that the spirits are coming — because for some reason people still don't believe that.
Clearly, they should have. As Lee searches for Flora, the investigators, Ashley, the cameramen, and even a few cops are killed by the dozens of random supernatural spirits haunting the mansion — but Lee is spared, and she finally finds Flora.
Flora reveals she's been living in the woods with Priscilla for two weeks, and would rather stay there than go back home with her murderous mother. Not only does Flora refuse to go back with Lee, she straight up wants to die so she can stay with Priscilla and protect her from the Butcher forever.
In a last ditch effort to ensure her daughter's safety, Lee strike up a counter-deal, offering to die on the property and take care of Priscilla herself so Flora won't be the one living in Roanoke for eternity. Flora agrees, perhaps realizing she'll probably make new friends at some point.
As the episode ends, Flora escapes the haunted residence to a hoard of police, as Lee lets Priscilla kill her in the exploding house — making the greatest sacrifice so her daughter could live.
It was a sweet ending to a bumpy roller coaster ride of a season that left us with some major motion sickness.
What did YOU think of the Roanoke finale??
[Image via FX.]
Tags: adina porter, american crime story, american horror story, american horror story: roanoke, jordan, leslie jordan, ryan murphy, sarah paulson, scary!, tv news