American Horror Story: Season 6 Episode 10 review – Chapter 10
If you looked for our American Horror Story review last week and couldn’t find it, that’s because we had to skip one week due to limited resources for that particular week (if you’re interested in joining our fold, visit our write for us page). That shouldn’t be misinterpreted as us not having seen the episode, however. To touch on it briefly, we loved Taissa’s addition (she can do no wrong in our eyes) and the new point of view that the teens provided, even if the episode itself wasn’t great.
This week’s finale really let us down. It felt like a cheap last minute rush to squeeze in another handful of media show perspectives and then a final empty effort to tie in the season with a previous American Horror Story Season.
The first of these new angles was Paleyfest – which, as we’re sure you know, is a real panel on which TV show actors are interviewed in front of an audience (who surely aren’t allowed to be as lively as we saw here). We assume that the show used an actual Paleyfest stage for this, or perhaps replicated one of their own. What we still really dislike is how thick the writers lay on the “this is one of the most successful shows of all time” idea, as they did again during this Paley panel. We know that the fictionalised Roanoke show has hardcore fans (who would probably exist without the “greatest show of all time” moniker), so we really don’t need the writers to keep repeating the unrealistic success of the show – it just feels tacky and egotistic each time that it’s mentioned and it has done all season.
This was closely followed by an online social media glimpse at the audience member who claimed to be from London, England but who sounded so awfully un-British that it took us out of being invested in the episode. We checked and the actress (Danielle Macdonald) is Australian, which means that they had her attempt a British accent, which means that someone in production said “yes, that sounds like a British accent, let’s go with her,” despite the girl sounding so terribly far off base. It’s another example of production allowing something awful to seep through the cracks and make it onto our screens, much like they opted for the poor acting of the historian earlier on in the season (at least with that, we could see what they were going for).
Then came Crack’d – the documentary show that delved into the trial of Lee, who confessed on camera to the death of her husband, but who still wasn’t found guilty by the jury. Seeing her walk away grated at much on us as it did on the prosecuting lawyer, but at least she met her burning end before the season closed out, standing in front of the real Priscilla (who we finally got to see).
The next interjecting media show was the Lana Winters Special, with the character that Sarah Paulson played in Season 2 – the Mother who killed her son (Bloody Face). We get that Murphy has a nagging need to tie each season into previous seasons (with Season 2 being the one most often referred back to – see Pepper), but where Season 5 at least showed the Murder House, this Lana Winters link seemed very tenuous indeed to us and nothing much for fans to appreciate. All it gave us is more Paulson, who – as we’ve said many times this season – should take a backseat, not the limelight.
Then came Spirit Hunters, which we liked because it set Ghostsfacers from Supernatural firmly in our minds. While Supernatural did it much better, the satire of ghost-hunting programs was effective here too. Lee imploring the Spirit Hunters to leave (much like Sam and Dean have done to the Ghostfacers) and telling them that they deserved to die was nice little humorous moment. Having Emma Bell included as the technical specialist of the Spirit Hunters team was also a big plus.
Among all of the above the episode also spliced in news bulletins, such as William van Henderson (Denis O’Hare) being interviewed on a news Channel about Lee. This tallies up to six different media storytelling methods in one episode, which is far too many for any one hour stint. While what preceded,earlier on in the season, held a lot of varying storytelling methods too (the two seasons of Roanoke, plus the handheld footage, plus the teenagers’ footage and the the footage in the police precinct), at least those were spread out over several episodes. Here we were bombarded with point of view change after point of view change, most of which was centred around Lee, who is really quite a boring character. None of it worked very well and we would rank this final episode among the worst of this season and of the show as a whole.
This year, American Horror Story tried something very different and bold, some of which worked (the thrill of getting to see the real forms of the Roanoke ghosts), but most of which didn’t. We called near the beginning of the season that this would prove the show’s worst season by far and we’re sad to say that we were right, which gives us less hope than we’ve ever had about what’s ahead for the show in future seasons.
Image credits: FX