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Is everybody ready to do "The Name Game" again? #AmericanHorrorStory fan favorite Lana Winters is officially coming back to round off the sixth season of the #horror anthology show. Ryan Murphy confirmed that #SarahPaulson will be playing the dual roles of Audrey Tindall and Lana Winters this year.
We haven't seen the investigative journalist since the finale of the second season, Asylum, all the way back in 2013. If you remember back to Asylum, it had its own self-contained story, with an older Lana returning for a final standalone episode. Now aged 78, is Lana here to give a middle finger to horror again?
The news of Lana's return marks the first time that a character has crossed over seasons this year: While we have had references to other seasons, this would be a full on connection in the Murphyverse. Sarah Paulson may currently be happily pottering around the backwaters of America as Audrey Tindall, but with it tipped that there will only be one survivor of "Return to #Roanoke," how does Lana fit it? Let's run down the options.
1. She's the sole survivor.
Now, unless Lana is going to stab Piggy Polk with her knitting needles, it is unlikely that there is going to be much of a battle going on between Lana and the Roanoke horrors. However, if for whatever reason Lana does visit the Roanoke house, she has to be the sole survivor everyone is looking for. If there was ever an #AHS character that has survival instinct running through their blood, it is Lana. She escaped an asylum, gunned down a serial killer, then killed her own murderous son (who was also a serial killer).
Episode 8 set up the return of Wes Bentley's Dylan to Roanoke, and given the promo for Episode 9, we know that lots of other people will get pulled into the documentary. Forget TV, Lana is up there with Sidney Campbell and Ellen Ripley as the ultimate final girls. Lana has to walk out of the season alive.
2. She's related to Audrey.
Or, could there be a more literal reason that Lana Winters appears, using Sarah Paulson to play...another Sarah Paulson. If Audrey's British accent makes it through to the finale, which I'm not convinced it will, then could the actress somehow be related to Lana Banana?
What better way to connect the seasons, and have Paulson play a dual role, than by playing a younger version of her family. There is a plot-hole though: I'm sure by this point that Audrey would have mentioned her famous grandmother, who escaped the horrors of Bloody Face (twice), but maybe she is keeping it a secret for her deathbed.
3. She's in prison.
If Adina Porter's Lee is the sole-survivor of "Return to Roanoke" (she's our hot tip), then she can expect some time in the big house. Her confession to killing husband Mazon is caught on tape, and we at least know that someone finds the footage of what transpires on the show.
Imagine Lee's time in a penitentiary, only to find out she is sharing a cell with THE Lana Winters — infamous journalist-cum-slayer. Lana did kill her son Johnny Morgan, but the only problem is that it was in self-defense. Who knows though, the 78-year-old journalist could have been fiddled her taxes and be spending some time behind bars. Having the two share survival stories is a surefire way to pass the time.
4. She's in an asylum.
We already know that there will be a crossover season that ties together #Coven and #MurderHouse, but what about the piggy in the middle, #Asylum? Personally my favorite season ever, it would be a shame to not return in some way to the ideas Briarcliff Manor. Sadly the asylum closed in 1971, and most of the characters would be long dead by now., but that isn't stopping us.
What if Lana was driven mad by her run in with Bloody Face II, and decided to live out her final years in asylum for safety? The other option is that Lana decides to relive her own asylum days for another exposé on the mental health sector, or another book on survivors. She could visit our intrepid survivor (whoever they are) in an asylum. If one of the Roanoke crew does survive, chances are they will be pretty f**ked in the head, and would probably be heading for a straight jacket.
5. She's the editor.
This is where it goes full on Ryan Murphy, a twist, inside a twist, inside the twist— which isn't that unlikely. Lana is revealed as the person who finds the Roanoke footage, and is editing it together. Wanting to tell the story of those who lost their lives, the camera pans away and we see Lana sat there in the edit bay. Just as Lana gets ready to premiere her latest masterpiece, Piggy Man (or The Butcher) appears behind her with axe in hand — cut to black!
Announcing Lana's return in such a big way, it is doubtful that she would have such a small part, but just imagine the Inception-esque show, within a show, within a show. Who knows, we might even finally get a title card for the final episode.
Paulson's dual role joins a long list of other returning cast members for the end of the season. We know that both Taissa Farmiga and Matt Bomer will be appearing at some point in the final two episodes, and there is also the question of where in the name of Poker Face has #GaGa gone?
This season has divided critics, and having such a large number of characters means that some fan-favorites haven't been getting as much screen time as we would have liked. Finn Wittrock's turn as the most messed up character he has ever played lasted for all of about 45 minutes, so let's hope they give Paulson/Lana a better send off. As one of the few characters who has escaped the horrors of Horror Story, is karma about to come back around and bite her on her banana? We just hope that at nearly 80-years-old Lana Winters can still belt out a good song on the karaoke!