Johnny Thredson is listening to Lana’s book about Briarcliff on audiotape as he roams the halls of the asylum. Walking into the hydrotherapy room, he imagines Lana, telling him that she couldn’t wait to give him up. On the tape, Lana is talking about how Oliver Thredson appeared to be a good guy, but was really a monster. Johnny imagines his father telling him that he loved him even while Lana was pregnant, and that he would have given anything to be a real father.
Four months earlier, our favorite horror freaks, Leo and Theresa, are exploring the asylum. Johnny is sitting in a cell as Leo reaches into the slot. Theresa tells him she wants to know what’s in the cell and promises him oral sex if he’ll check. Johnny puts on his Bloody Face mask and, as Leo reaches in a second time while Theresa pleasures him, hacks off Leo’s arm.
Lana, now significantly older, has written six bestsellers and is about to give a interview about her Kennedy Center honor. The interviewer, April, first wants to talk about Lana’s early years and the Bloody Face saga. Lana doesn’t want to talk about it, saying that she refuses to give him another second of airtime. Lana picks up a mirror to fix her eyebrows and is transported back to the 1970s. She and a camera crew sneak into Briarcliff via the death chute, and Lana says she wants to bring America into the asylum.
April asks why Lana willingly went back to Briarcliff. Lana says it was ambition that brought her back, and that she knew her future wasn’t in print. She changed to broadcast, knowing that there is “nothing more stimulating than crazy people.”
Lana was going to rescue Sister Jude, whom she had heard was still alive, from the asylum. Back in Briarcliff, Lana is filming “Briarcliff Exposed with Lana Winters” among the patients. She says that the church sold Briarcliff to the state of Massachusetts in 1965, and that the conditions have worsened since then. Her camera crew films the patients as Lana says the images and sounds say more than words can. An attendant walks in and asks Lana if she has permission to be there. She says he is the first they’ve seen since they’ve been here, and the attendant says there are too many people for them to watch. Lana demands to see Sister Jude, and is taken to her cell. Jude is rocking back and forth on her cot and Lana says she’s come to get her out of there.
In the present day, April apologizes that she doesn’t remember Lana finding Jude in her cell. “That’s because it didn’t happen,” Lana says. By the time she got there, Jude was gone. She says she needs a break and asks for a sparkling water. She is quickly handed one by — none other than — her son, Johnny Thredson.
Lana visits Kit at home, and he says he was just watching the news and saw that she shut down Briarcliff. She has a camera crew with her, saying that she wanted them to capture their reunion. She says she has a few questions, starting with who is Betty Drake and is she with Kit.
She said Jude hadn’t existed for years, and that the Monsignor had made sure of that. She said she didn’t know who she was looking for anymore, until she found a file that said Betty Drake had been released into Kit’s care in 1970. Lana asks why Kit went back for her, and he says it was something he could do. Jude didn’t belong there anymore than they did, he said, and he started visiting her at least once a week after Alma died. “There was still life there,” Kit said, but it wouldn’t last long if she didn’t get her out of there. The asylum was happy to have one less patient to look after.
Kit brings Jude into his home, and when Lana asks why, he says he did it for his kids. He said the only way he could leave Briarcliff behind was to find someone to forgive. First, Jude had to detox. Kit puts a cold compress on her head, and the kids help take care of her. They loved her, Kit said, but things got worse before they got better. Jude is screaming at Thomas, forgetting that she is no longer at the asylum. She breaks down and starts calling Kit a killer of women. He tells Thomas to take Julia outside, but the kids walk over to Jude and take her outside with them. They walk off into the woods, and something was different, Kit said. “Grace was right,” he says. “Those kids are special.”
Jude is teaching Kit how to dance as Thomas and Julia dance in a corner. Julia asks Kit to dance with her and Jude dances with Thomas. As she’s dancing with Thomas, her nose starts bleeding. Kit tells Lana she took away Julia’s dolls and gave her trucks so she would grow up tough, and she taught Thomas how to sew. He says she seemed happy.
Lying in bed, Jude tells Julia and Thomas she has a few more things to tell them. She tells Julia not to let a man tell her who she is or that she is less than he is. It’s 1971, she says, and she can do anything she wants. She tells Thomas never to take a job just for the money, and to find something that he loves and do something important. Kit comes into the room with food, but Jude isn’t hungry. Kit wants to talk to her, but Julia wants to stay with “Nana.” The kids leave, and Jude tells Kit that he’s a lucky man. “You better not screw that up,” she says. Kit tells her he’s not going to leave her alone, but Jude says she’s not alone. “She’s here for me.” She, of course, is Shacath. Kit says he doesn’t know who she’s talking about, but Lana says she does. Shacath asks Jude if she is finally ready, as they’ve been doing their dance for years. The wings come out, Shacath kisses her, and Jude is gone.
April says Lana’s next expose was controversial. Lana caught up with the Monsignor — now Cardinal Howard — and says that she found Arden’s files and learned that he was conducting human experiments. Lana says remains were found in the woods, and that Howard was responsible for everything that happened at the asylum. The Cardinal speeds off, and April says people blame Lana for what happened to him. Cardinal Howard dies in a bathtub full of blood, having slit his wrists.
Lana says she is going to come forward about a lie she has told for several years. She says her child — the one she said died in childbirth — lived, and that someone raised him. She says she prayed really hard that someone would give him the mothering he needed. The only person who knew was Marion, her new lover. Lana felt remorse that she gave him up, and used her “myriad sleuthing skills” to find him. She sees a young boy being bullied and steps in. She strokes the child’s face and he runs off.
As Johnny listens from his hiding place, Lana says she thought about him often. April asks if she thought about having children, and she said it was a different time for gay women. Instead, she became a godmother to Kit’s children. He had remarried to a girl named Allison, and Lana didn’t know if he or the children loved her more. He would have been proud of them, Lana says. His son, Thomas, became a law professor, and Julia became a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins. Kit, however, developed pancreatic cancer in his 40s. He was given chemo, but it was “just a waiting game.” He seemed more peaceful in the last few months, Lana said, but he suddenly disappeared. The aliens came for him, and Kit’s children said there was no reason to mourn.
After April and the crew leaves, Lana is left alone with Johnny. She offers to pour him a drink and says he doesn’t need to hide anymore. Johnny comes out and Lana says, “Let’s get this over with, shall we?”
Johnny says Lana must have had a pretty great life, and Johnny says it’s about to end. Lana asks how he got himself on the crew, and he says it was easy. He got friendly with the doorman, and killed one of the crew members. “This isn’t how I pictured it,” he says. It was how Lana pictured it, though. Johnny asks how he recognized him, and Lana said how could she not recognize her baby boy.
Detectives are telling her Johnny Morgan is suspected in a number of killings, but she says she doesn’t recognize him.
Lana tells Johnny he looks like Oliver, and that it was easy for her to forget how handsome he was. She asks him how he knew the truth about who he was, and he says she told him. After she saw him on the playground, he saw her on TV and realized she was his mother. He says he found the tape on eBay, and that was when he started loving his father and hating Lana. She admits she never loved him and Johnny flips out. She asks him what’s it gonna be, and says she doubts he’d be interested in her skin at her age. He puts a gun to her head and she says Oliver said he didn’t believe in guns. Johnny says he wants his father to be proud of him, but he can’t measure up. Lana says he was a monster and Johnny could never be like him. That day on the playground, she knew Johnny was a better man than Oliver. She takes the gun and slowly puts it down. She tells him she’s a part of him too. He tells her he’s hurt people, and she says it isn’t his fault, it’s hers. She puts the gun to his head and shoots him.
Back in the ’60s, we relive Lana’s first encounter with Sister Jude. Jude tells her they are not destined to meet again, and Lana says she has no idea what she’s capable of. “Just remember,” Jude says, “if you look in the face of evil, evil’s gonna look right back at you.” Jude stares at the statue of the Virgin as “Dominique” begins playing.
What did you think of the season finale of American Horror Story: Asylum?