A lot of really horrible things happened on American Horror Story this season, and we had a lot of trouble watching many of them.
However, when we're on season 17 of this show and reminiscing about the old days, it's not the disembowelments we're going to remember. Instead, we'll think back fondly on the mysterious weeks leading up to the premiere, and the joy of discovering what the season was about, and the delight at the many meta layers of the actors playing actors and the show within a show.
That delight got overshadowed by a whole lot of horrifying deaths, but tonight's finale took us back to the real-fake world of Hollywood in some truly incredible ways.
First, the show opened with a flashback of the entire cast of My Roanoke Nightmare at Paleyfest, which is a very real TV festival that takes place in both New York and Los Angeles every year. Fans demanded hugs from Rory (Evan Peters), and showered him with gifts, which is also a thing that happens to Evan Peters (and usually Sarah Paulson) at real Paleyfest panels.
Of course, that was long ago, before most of that cast perished in or around that dumb house in the woods.
We then learned that in the present, Lee had become quite the controversial pop culture figure after she was the only survivor of season two of My Roanoke Nightmare. Everyone knew she had killed her husband, but the question was whether she was in her right mind when she did it. Apparently, the Polks had been growing a verrrry strong and hallucinatory strain of marijuana on their farm, so she may not have been aware of her actions. Unfortunately, they did not find the very strong strain of heart she had eaten...
Lee's daughter, Flora, was really the only eye witness that could be called to the stand, but many jurors were convinced that the girl was making things up based on what she had seen on the show, and they decided Lee was not guilty.
That's when Sarah Paulson returned as Lana Winters, the journalist from Asylum, who came out of retirement just to talk to Lee. After having Lee send a message to her daughter, she interrogated her about Flora's location. Apparently, Flora had gone missing. The interview was then cut short when Lot Polk arrived to follow up on the promise had made on Youtube to get revenge on the death of his mother and his children.
He knocked Lana out and started shooting, but he was taken out by police.
While Lee went off to find her daughter, a ghost hunting show called Spirit Chasers was headed to the Roanoke house with Ashley Gilbert (Leslie Jordan), who played the psychic Cricket Marlowe. Of course, they decided to visit on the blood moon, and of course, they ran into the house's actual ghosts...and Lee, who assumed correctly that her daughter had gone off to find her ghost friend, Priscilla.
They almost made it out alive, but then they met the butcher and the colonists outside, and they all died immediately, along with a few cops who had shown up at the house.
While police considered the whole thing a hostage situation, Lee found Flora inside the house and made a decision. She would stay in the house to protect Priscilla from the butcher, as long as Flora was safe and alive. As Flora left the house, it exploded, but she waved goodbye to her mom and Priscilla from the back of a police car, while the colonists watch the house burn down.
So...happy ending! Or not. But we consider it a happy ending for us, because even at the end, even despite the many gruesome deaths we witnessed, we were still having fun. There's just something about TV shows making fun of TV shows that really gets us going, you know?
Goodbye, American Horror Story: Roanoke. We will miss you.
American Horror Story returns next year on FX.