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"American Horror Story" Madness Ends (TV Episode 2013) - Plot Summary Poster

(TV Series)

(2013)

Plot

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Summaries

  • Johnny sets out to complete his father's work. Lana leads the charge to finally shut down Briarcliff.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • Four Months Ago

    Johnny busts into empty, dilapidated Briarcliff listening to his mother Lana Winter's book on tape. He walks through the halls and imagines seeing her in the bath room, telling him he was conceived in hate and is an abomination.

    Lana writes about the Nor'Easter of '64 and Oliver Thredson. Johnny imagines seeing Lana and Thredson in the old Briarcliff halls. Thredson, dear old dad, tells Johnny he loves him and Lana stole that from him.

    Johnny hides as our doomed newlyweds Leo and Theresa come in on their honeymoon and stop from doing it to go investigate a noise. Leo sticks his hand in the room where Johnny is getting high and listening to the book on tape.

    Johnny takes the Bloody Face mask out of his bag and puts it on, taking out his machete as Leo sticks his phone in the room through the slot to take a picture.

    Johnny hacks off Leo's arm.

    Lana Winters now has six best sellers and a reputation as the only woman that men will open up to for big interviews. April the interviewer chats Lana up as a TV crew sets up. Lana's girlfriend, a famous stage star, casually brings her a glass of wine and leaves for work.

    Lana knows how to set up the lights to show her best features. She's being interviewed before her Kennedy Center honor. April wants to start with Bloody Face, but Lana refuses to give him any more attention. Instead, they start with the Briarcliff expose that launched her career.

    Back to Briarcliff, Lana leads a camera crew in through the secret tunnel entrance, determined to expose the conditions of the place.

    Back with April, Lana is asked where she got her sense of justice. Lana admits it was more about ambition. She switched to TV when she realized it was the future.

    "Briarcliff Exposed" runs with footage of patients in their filth. Lana narrates, explaining that patients are often left alone.

    They film patients until an orderly finally shows up. She asks if it's their policy to leave patients unattended and dirty. She demands to see Judy Martin.

    Lana shines her camera's light into a small cell where Jude is inside. She's filthy, her hair a rat's nest. She tries to hide from the camera and doesn't seem to understand what Lana is saying to her as she tells Jude she was put there to cover up the abuses of the church. Lana gently leads Jude out of there.

    Present

    April admits she doesn't remember that scene. It's because it's never happened. By the time she got to Briarcliff, Jude was gone. Lana did shut down Briarcliff, but it wasn't the ending she wanted.

    Lana calls for a break and asks for a sparkling water. A crew member brings her one. It's Johnny.

    Lana knocks on Kit's door after Briarcliff is shut down. Kit sees her camera crew nearby. Lana explains she wants to know who Betty Drake is, and if she's here.

    Kit won't talk on camera, but he sits down with her. Lana found out that Jude hadn't existed for years, she was now Betty Drake. She found a file that said Betty was released into Kit's care in 1970, a few months after he came to see Lana at the book signing.

    Kit questions Lana's motives.

    Kit went back for Lana because it was something he could do. He started visiting Jude after Alma died. He could tell there was still some of the old Jude left. Briarcliff was just happy to have one less patient to care for. He brought her home.

    He says he did it for his kids, to leave Briarcliff behind by finding some way to forgive. First they had to see her through detox.

    For awhile things seemed to go well. His kids got along with her, even when she yelled at them. But Kit says it got worse before it got better.

    Jude got confused, thinking she was at Briarcliff and Kit was Bloody Face.

    She raged with a broom, knocking things over. Kit tried to get his kids to safety, but they calmly took Jude by the hand and walked her outside.

    "I still don't know what happened in those woods. When they came back, something was different. Grace was right, those children were special," Kit tells Lana.

    Cut to Jude teaching Kit dance steps, seeming like her old self.

    Suddenly, her nose started to bleed.

    "For six months, she taught them how to swing dance and swear like a sailor. My Thomas learned how to sew and she took away Julia's dolls and gave her trucks, to make her tough. I don't know if those last six months made up for a lifetime of horrors, but she sure seemed happy," Kit says.

    Jude lies in bed as Thomas and Julie lie on the bed with her. She pulls them close, saying she has a few more things to tell them.

    She tells Julia not to ever let a man tell her who she is, or make her feel like she is less than he is. It's 1971, and she can do anything she wants.

    She tells Thomas never to take a job just for the money, but find something he loves.

    Kit brings her food, but she won't eat. She tells the kids to go outside and play.

    She tells Kit "she" is here for her. Kit doesn't know who she's talking about, but we see the Angel of Death. The Angel makes sure Jude is really ready this time before she gently kisses her to sleep.

    Back in the interview, April mentions that Lana's next story was "controversial." It was about Cardinal Howard and Dr. Arden. She cornered him, asking about Arden's human experiments and all the patients that went missing when he was there. Howard gets in his car and drives off.

    April says some people still blame Lana for what happened.

    Lana chalks it up to Howard's guilty conscience. We see him dead, with his wrists slit in a bathtub. Lana explains that Howard was "so corrupt and deluded he believed his own lies."

    "Lies are like scars on your soul, they destroy you," Lana asks. April asks if she's referring to more than Cardinal Howard.

    "I'm going to come clean about a lie I've told for 40 years," Lana says, mentioning how she wrote that her child had died at birth.

    "I just prayed really hard that someone else would give him the mothering he would need," she said as she explains Thredson's baby lived.

    In the other room, Johnny can hear as Lana describes a period of remorse she had in the 70s about giving him up. She tried to track him down.

    Lana goes to a playground and sees a kid picking on a smaller kid. She intervenes, asking the smaller kid if he's OK.

    That was the last time she saw him.

    She served as godmother to Kit's kids with his new wife, Allison. Thomas is a law professor at Harvard and Julia is a neurosurgeon at John's Hopkins. Kit got pancreatic cancer when he was around 40. Lana visited him.

    "And then the strangest thing happened, he disappeared," Lana tells April.

    Kit wheels through his living room and sees the old familiar bright lights. Kit's children insisted there was no reason to mourn.

    After the interview, April thanks Lana for being so accommodating. Lana sees everyone out and goes for a drink. She grabs two glasses, addressing Johnny and telling him he doesn't need to hide any more.

    "Let's get this over with, shall we?" she says to him.

    "So I guess you've had a pretty great life, huh?" Johnny says, coming out from where he was hiding.

    "It's been eventful."

    "It's about to end. You get that, right?" he says.

    "I knew it the moment I saw you," Lana says.

    Lana asks how he got on the crew. Johnny says he cut the throat of the first guy who showed up with donuts. He's in the trash bin.

    "This isn't how I pictured it," he says.

    "Really? Because this is exactly how I pictured it. I always knew this day would come," she says.

    She claims she recognized her own son.

    But cut to her meeting with two law enforcement officers who brief her on Johnny, including the fact he is believed to have killed five people, including the elderly couple who lived in Thredson's old home.

    Lana coolly lights a cigarette as she tells Johnny he looks like his father.

    She asks how he found out who he was.

    He says it was that day on the playground, he felt something.

    He found Thredson's confessional tape on eBay, the one where Lana threatened to get rid of the baby. Johnny thinks his father loved him, but Lana says he didn't. She gave him up so he'd have some chance at a life.

    Johnny stands up and yells at her. She asks what it's going to be and he takes out a gun.

    "Your father once told me he didn't believe in guns, but of course he was lying about that, too," she says.

    "I just want him to be proud of me, I can't measure up," Johnny says. Lana tells Johnny his father was a monster, and he's not. Even on the playground, she knew he was a better man than his father was.

    Lana calmly take his gun in her hands and lowers it as she tells him gently that she's a part of him, too.

    Johnny breaks down, saying he's hurt people.

    "It's not your fault, baby," she says. Then she raises his gun and points it at his forehead. "It's mine."

    She pulls the trigger, shooting her son Johnny, Son of Bloody Face, in the head, just like dear old dad.

    Flash back to 1964, Lana asking Jude to meet Bloody Face. Jude tells Lana she's got her pegged and can tell she's ambitious.

    "I do hope you know what you're in for, the loneliness, heartbreak, the sacrifice as a woman with a dream on her own," Jude says.

    "You don't have any idea what I'm capable of," Lana says.

    "Just remember, if you look in the face of evil, evil's gonna look right back at you," Jude says.

    Lana walks out the front door and life at Briarcliff goes on, to the tune of "Dominique."

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