Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't watched the American Horror Story: Roanoke finale yet.
After nine episodes of colonial ghouls, pot-smoking cannibals, pigheaded men and all manner of other expected quirks, American Horror Story: Roanoke came to a close tonight, and it was a blood-soaked doozie that took this season's TV aesthetic to its extremes, offering viewers a selection of small screen follow-ups that carried on the storylines from My Roanoke Nightmare or Return to Roanoke: Three Days In Hell. It was crazy and weird and uneven and absolutely didn't reach a full conclusion. Huzzah!
Following some faux Paleyfest footage and YouTube clips, things kicked off in one of the most meta ways possible, with the cable magazine show Crack'd catching viewers up on this season's sole survivor Lee Harris, who was actually acquitted for the plethora of things she was seen doing in all that video evidence, even though her own daughter Fiona claimed during the trial that she saw her father being killed by Lee. We then got to hear Sarah Paulson talking about this entertainment figure going free after a murder trial that seemed sure to end in a conviction, which is basically what happened during the finale to Ryan Murphy's other 2016 anthology The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Such weird parallels this season has had.
Though Sarah Paulson's other character died last week, the actress returned to her Asylum character Lana Winters for an exclusive live interview with Lee, which (as you all probably imagined) went haywire and ended in bloodshed. Just after it was revealed Fiona is now missing, to Lee's possible surprise, Lot Polk started mowing people down with heavy firepower before being shot down himself just before he could get his revenge on Lee. Cue the "Technical Difficulties" color bar. Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer both got namechecked in this portion, and that's exactly what this felt like, just with more psychos and people who've had their parts of their legs eaten by other people.
Then things flipped once more for the Ghost Hunters-ish paranormal send-up Spirit Chasers, which brought back the always great Leslie Jordan. Here, we got to watch the over-the-top and fucking stupid Spirit Chasers hosts (one of which was Walking Dead alum Emma Bell) stumble onto the haunted house of their dreams/nightmares when they visit the My Roanoke Nightmare house during the Blood Moon. They're surprised by Lee, who is still searching for Fiona, and they're then surprised by a super-cut of nearly all of the other antagonists we've seen so far in Roanoke. This was probably the most squeal-worthy scene of the season, as it packed in a ton of chaotic madness in a short amount of time. But Pig Man killed Leslie Jordan, so I cannot wholly champion it.
What could possibly be next? A rundown of cable and local news pieces about Lee holding Fiona hostage in the house, which Lana Winters popped back in for. This part rocked for bringing Denis O'Hare back as actor William Van Henderson. His time was really just a hilarious set-up for him to say he didn't go to the deadly reunion special, but he was certainly asked, and don't you believe otherwise. Classic.
Then, we get to the final sequence, which surprisingly wasn't part of any fake TV show. It was Lee and Fiona inside the main house, talking about what it's like to be a parent, and also how Lee murdered Fiona's daddy with a rock, and also how Fiona actually wants to be one of the house's ghosts to protect her ghost friend from The Butcher. You know, the usual things that parents and kids discuss. Lee agrees to keep Priscilla safe in Fiona's place, and while the cops are taking the young girl away, the house basically turns into a big box of flames.
But is everything all okay and great now? Nope! Why not? Because it's the Blood Moon, people! And The Butcher is coming! Oddly, I wasn't at odds with American Horror Story: Roanoke ending openly like this, since Ryan Murphy spoke about returning to the story of the Scathach and other elements of this season. So we can expect to see more news reports about this house next year and beyond.
I don't know what I really expected from this American Horror Story: Roanoke finale, as I didn't really know what to expect from any episodes before they started. Everything felt somewhat more cohesive than in past seasons, even with the usual baker's dozen of genre spooksters, and as a fan of higher-quality found footage and faux doc movies, this season had a lot for me to love. And that includes all the TV-ingesting-itself self-awareness happening throughout. I'm not quite sure where things will go for American Horror Story in the future, but my anticipation is reinvigorated, now that Roanoke has left a much better taste in my mouth than Hotel did. Or the Polk's psychotropic weed did.
We'll be waiting for a long time before American Horror Story returns to FX for Season 7, but Ryan Murphy has revealed that we won't go through the same secret-filled pre-release as last year. In the meantime, head to our fall TV schedule and our midseason premiere schedule to see what you can find coming sooner.