The last we left Lana (Sarah Paulson) on Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story: Asylum, she had lost a little bit of her way. Or so it seemed. The strong, fearless, independent journalist who stepped into Briarcliff to expose its conditions and the criminals it was thought to house initially suddenly veered off. Consumed by fame, and probably a bit of anger, she spun the truth and ignored promises.
Lana was always driven, cunning, and focused, though. She had a plan, and though she was forced to deviate it from a bit, her intelligence was always the biggest in the room, and so was her ambition. Lana's desire to expose Briarcliff will therefore come back in a big way for the series finale episode, "Madness Ends," which sees Lana returning to the asylum once more-- this time with a camera crew.
"That’s one of the first things when I and the writers landed on the idea of Asylum—that period of time, those documentaries that were made—there was a very famous documentary that Geraldo Rivera made in that time period, and this is a loose homage of that," Murphy said of the finale that showcases Lana's "most controversial" work.
"Also there was a brilliant movie that we were inspired by for this last episode, this brilliant documentary called Cropsey, that was also about the unraveling healthcare system in our country and how so many people were dumped there and left to rot there. All those abuses that you see, we studied pictures of, and we recreated. We did a lot of research. But that was our jumping off point. In the beginning of the series, we knew we were going to have that character going there, becoming a prisoner…and then go back to tear the joint down."