The first chunks of the episode were explanation-heavy, detailing the legal drama that followed Lee's Return to Roanoke stint. Though she admitted to killing her husband on camera, Lee and her lawyer split the jury -- because marijuana in the Polk grow house was found to be extraordinarily hallucinogenic and at least one juror couldn't "send a woman to jail based on ghost stories" -- and dodge murder charges. It wasn't exactly a victory. As courtroom footage showed, Lee's daughter Flora, who had been living with her grandparents, testified against her mom in court because she witnessed Mason's murder.
Thanks to a heavily teased Lana Winters sit-down, viewers learned why this rocky mother-daughter relationship was so key not only to this episode, but ultimately to the entire season.
Lee and Lana were a choice match-up considering the interviewer's history in the AHS universe. The latter first appeared in Season 2's Asylum story as a tenacious newspaper reporter investigating the Briarcliff Manor mental hospital. (The crossover cameo isn't the first time a character from a previous season has returned. Paulson's psychic, Billie Dean Howard, popped up in the Hotel narrative, for example. Same with Gabourey Sidibe's Queenie.) After braving a string of searing horrors, not unlike the double dose of trauma Lee endured, Lana proved herself to be that season's ultimate survivor.
But the two women share more than just a will to live. Both killed estranged loved ones (in Lee's case, her ex-husband; in Lana's, her son), and, near the ends of their respective seasons, also revealed themselves to be adept mental manipulators. They're heroines of the grayest hue, fighters whose primal instincts to attain their goals have turned them into unpredictable forces. Lana's crossover moment, the most anticipated moment of the episode, was unfortunately its most ephemeral, as she wasn't here to hijack the finale. She was here to help us understand the mystery that has been Lee.
"Flora, I'm going to tell you something that maybe you already know," Lee said during her interview with Lana. "But you need to hear it from my heart: I love you, baby, and I'm never going to give up." As Lana explained -- after surviving Lot's brutal attack -- she and Lee are two women whom trouble loves. "When we latch onto something, it becomes our destiny," she said, "and we will do anything to see it through." For Lee, her destiny was protecting her daughter. Always.