‘American Horror Story: Roanoke’ finale review: Lee Harris’ spirit burns out bright


We’ve seen “American Horror Story” take on many different environments over the years … but PaleyFest? We gotta say that this is something we didn’t see coming in the finale!

From the very onset of the episode with a visit to the popular TV panel (which was almost turned into a Thunderdome-like environment here), it felt fairly clear that we were getting something that was non-linear when it comes to its storytelling. Apparently “Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell” was a series that did air despite prior confusion, and it generated huge ratings! Basically, this was a healthy dose of art imitating life.

From here, the themes of the episode started to become clear: Celebrity, and the horrible things that can sometimes come along with it. In the days that followed the first season of “My Roanoke Nightmare,” we saw how Lee Harris became an almost-instant celebrity. Afterwards, we started to see things spiral out of control. She somehow got off as “not guilty” in the murders that were captured on “Three Days in Hell” — and found herself eventually being found not guilty in the murder of Mason. Flora, who desperately wanted a connection with her ghost-friend Priscilla, was a key cog in the latter trial. That’ll be important down the round.

Basically, all of these failed cases showed us further that while Lee deserved to be punished seemingly for some of her crimes, instead, she only found herself more fame.  All of this, and the twists and turns within her story, led to what was the biggest culmination of the entire episode to us: An interview with Lana Winters. Hey, “American Horror Story: Asylum” is back … sort of. Lana came out of retirement in order to interview her. As if that wasn’t enough, the nostalgia was all the more real when Lee told her that the only reason that she wanted to be interviewed by Lana because of what Lana went through. She would understand.

Things get crazy – Just because nothing can ever end peacefully on this show, this interview eventually became a bloodbath when one of the old hillbillies (we can never remember any names) came out guns a-blazing, ready to enact what was in his own words “justice” after everything that transpired in the past. Do we understand that pain? Sure, but that’s about it. Lana was knocked out, there was all sorts of gunfire, and we were left with a “please stand by” screen.

Spirit Chasers – Rather than giving us a clear update regarding what happened with Lana and Lee, the show decided instead that it’d be a good idea to focus instead on some idiots who thought it’d be a good idea to do some sort of ghost-hunter show where they went back to the Roanoke House and investigate. As it turned out, the two were more connected than we first thought. Lee eventually arrived back at the house during the filming of the show, desperately looking for Flora and refusing to talk about what happened.

We don’t have to spend a whole lot of time here speaking note by note on everything that went down with the Spirit Chasers gang: Basically, all of these idiots died, and somehow Lee (yet again) was the last person standing. Does she have Terrible Ghost Repellent or something that protects her in the midst of such madness?

The stand-off – Lee, once again, became the subject of national headlines as the police had her surrounded outside the Roanoke house while she finally found Flora. She got what she wanted in some family time, but it was pretty clear that it was coming at a cost. What did she think that the endgame was going to be here, that she’d hold off police long enough that the creatures of the night would come out and murder all the cops?

Eventually, Lee just wanted to ensure that her daughter would be safe no matter the cost. That meant telling her that she would look after Priscilla … and allowing herself to become a ghost in her own right. In these moments, Lee showed herself as being truly about her daughter more than fame, and understanding there was no other way to move forward, she immortalized herself in flame, spirit, and ash. We just hope that she’s a little less brutal of a spirit than the others wandering around the Blood Moon at night.

In the end, Flora is the sole survivor of the nightmare, the person who never wanted anything more than to find a connection she didn’t fear. That just so happened to be a ghost of all things. It’s hard to know what the show is trying to teach us other than the dangers of family and the terror that can come with immortality, but we have time to think about the bigger picture. For now, let’s just applaud Ryan Murphy and his team for an exciting, visceral final chapter. Grade: A-.

What types of horror stories do you want to see this show cover next season? Leave us a comment in the box below with your thoughts. If you do want to acquire some other news when it comes to the future of “American Horror Story,” be sure to head over to the link here right away. (Photo: FX.)

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