Frank Ockenfels/FX

Sarah Paulson Was American Horror Story: Roanoke’s Survivor After All

Thank you, ‘AHS,’ for those five extra minutes with Lana Winters

When it comes to American Horror Story, there are only three universal truths: Ghosts are tied to the property they died on, minotaurs are totally canon, and Sarah Paulson is the Ultimate Survivor — even if the odds are stacked against her, somehow, some way, she will survive. Case in point: the finale of American Horror Story: Roanoke.

If you don’t want to know what happens in the Roanoke finale, you might want to click away now.

FX

Narcissistic My Roanoke Nightmare actress Audrey may not have survived to the very end (she did come pretty close, though), but the OG AHS Survivor, Asylum's Lana Winters, miraculously did ... after being ambushed by a murderous hillbilly on live TV. Seriously, Lana: This is the second time an angry white man with a gun has ambushed your live television program — where is your security?

After Lee managed to be acquitted for all the murders she committed (Mason, Monet, and Audrey, whom she attempted to murder), she booked a primetime news interview with Lana Winters, retired journalist and the heroine of Asylum. But Lee didn't agree to speak to Lana because of her indomitable reputation in the news industry; she agreed because she knew that Lana had killed her own son — the serial killer known as Bloody Face — on live television. (That horrific event happened in the Asylum finale, remember?)

FX

But the Lana Winters Special was interrupted by Lot Polk, the last remaining Polk, before it could even get interesting. In fact, the most magnetic part of the entire finale was the moment Lee confronted Lana about her own murderous past. As much fun as it was to watch Paulson parade around in an Anthropologie frock with a posh British accent, seeing her inhabit Lana Winters again was so much more compelling.

The trigger-happy hillbilly attempted to kill Lee, but she escaped before he could get the job done. He did, however, kill most of Lana's crew. As for Lana, co-creator Ryan Murphy's favorite final girl once again survived the carnage (but also got punched in the face by Lot Polk). With the exception of Flora, everyone else on the show suffered a terrible death.

In the end, Paulson rightfully claimed her mantle as the Ultimate Survivor of AHS after Lee sacrificed herself to the land to save her daughter Flora. Despite our previous assessment, it appears that Lee wasn't the final girl after all. That title belonged to Lana Winters — it always did. Sure, she may have had five minutes of screen time all season, but it didn't matter. If American Horror Story: Roanoke existed purely to give us five extra minutes with Lana Winters, arguably the franchise's fiercest heroine, then it was all worth it.

FX