FX's American Horror Story: Aslyum brings its thirteen episode limited run to an end this week with "Madness Ends." With most of the main characters dead or out of Briarcliff, the primary setting, weeks ago, "Madness Ends" feels like an extended epilogue, combined with the previous installment or two. But it all ties together by the close.
My early complaints about the second series of American Horror Story stem from the lack of character development. While the first season has a family as its heart, people we care about, the second season tends to be more about disturbing visuals and events. There are characters, to be sure, but things are happening to them, rather than seeing them take control of their destiny.
This sorts itself out as the season goes on. Once we can get past the disgust of the place, and the extremely evil souls that flourish within, then we can begin to root for Lana (Sarah Paulson) and Kit (Evan Peters), the victims / heroes of the story. This mirrors their own journey, having to get used to the place, and then find their courage, before they can attempt to change their circumstances.
In last week's episode, which is also set mainly post-Briarcliff, Lana and Kit are not in good places. Kit's misfortune comes by circumstance, while Lana just makes bad choices, but it's not a good way to leave their characters. Thus, we definitely need "Madness Ends" to not only redeem the two, but tie up loose ends so that a semi-happy ending might be found.
First, Kit, since he's the slightly smaller of the two stories. Kit is a good, good man. He manages to forgive Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) for locking him up unfairly and treating him so cruelly. But, while for most, finding forgiveness in their heart would be enough, Kit goes a step further and rescues Jude, both from the asylum, and from herself.
It's an incredibly touching story, to see Kit and his children (Brady Allen and Sade Kimora Young) welcome Jude into their home, caring for her, and bringing her out of her shell, restoring her in all of her glory, maybe more glory than she's ever had before. It goes well above and beyond what is expected of people, and they do truly save her, allowing Jude to become kind and have a family, living out her last days in comfort. By the time Death (Frances Conroy) arrives for the last time, Jude is finally ready to go.