If it is one thing we all know for certain it’s that Ryan Murphy has a talent for tying up loose ends. No matter how crazy an “American Horror Story” season can get, we can always rely on this special knack of his to put a firm stamp on the story and send it out into the world. With “Roanoke,” he has once again shown us just how graceful his universe of horrors can get. And to help bring light to the darkness, Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) came out of retirement to bring this sucker home.
To call “Roanoke” a meta season would be a massive understatement. And just as we thought the show couldn’t break down any more walls, Wednesday’s (Nov. 16) finale presented Lee Harris’s (Adina Porter) continuing story through multiple sources. First, we catch up with Lee and the rest of the “My Roanoke Nightmare” cast at a Paley Center event. Showing just how much of an impact the series had on fans, it’s no wonder why Sidney (Cheyenne Jackson) would even think to pitch “Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell” to the network. But he did, and we all know how that panned out.
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With Lee as the sole survivor of the horrifying events that transpired under the Blood Moon, we soon turn our attention to another true crime series. Reminiscent of both shows like “Snapped” and “Making a Murderer,” and even Ryan Murphy’s own “People v. O.J. Simpson,” we watch as Lee’s life hangs in the balance on a show called “Crack’d.” And while Lee’s acquitted of all murder charges, her time in the spotlight isn’t close to ending.
This the first time Lana Winters has appeared in the “AHS” universe since “Asylum,” and her appearance here holds deep meaning. Much like Lee, she experienced her own captivity — and subsequent torture. And similar to Lee, Lana murdered a family member. But an act of defense and murder in cold blood are two very different things. It’s evident Lana knows Lee’s guiltm and that reason alone may be why she came out of retirement to bring a new “Lana Winters Show” to television.
Unfortunately for Lana, though, she hardly has a chance to try for Lee’s real truth before the surviving Poke enters the studio, guns blazing. Right as Lee learned of her daughter’s disappearance, both women faced certain death. But, as luck would have it, these two Final Girls cheated that outcome to survive a little bit longer.
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And then, as if there wasn’t enough found footage featured in “Roanoke,” we cut to another ghost hunting show, by the name of “Spirit Chasers.” Heading back to the Roanoke House during the Blood Moon, these poor saps have no idea what chaos they are heading into. But Lee does. And as she arrives, the murderous deeds commence once again.
The news may have shown this violent event as a police standoff at the Roanoke House, but Lana Winters — who we believe will never die — gives a deeper perspective: For Lee, this has always been about Flora (Saniyya Sidney). And the bloody season suddenly takes a poetic turn as we watch Lee offer her life in exchange for Flora’s. Doing her best to repent for her own murderous sins, she sets Flora free. Now, ghost-girl Priscilla has a mother figure to keep her safe from the Butcher’s harm — and Lee blows up the creepy building once and for all.
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It’s an oddly beautiful ending to a mostly brutal season. Not only do the Butcher and her people get their land back, Flora’s now able to visit her mother and her ghostly friend (as long as it’s not during the Blood Moon cycle). But you have to wonder… Who in their right mind would go back there? Maybe that’s a question Ryan Murphy plans to answer in a future season of the show.