Tying off loose ends and making another surprise connection between the first and fifth season is how "American Horror Story: Hotel" finished its 12th and final episode. A warning to anyone who has not seen the last episode or any of the recent season, there will be spoilers in this article.
The last episodes leading up to the finale left the body count high and the theories for an ending scattered. The Ten Commandments Killer turned out to be John Lowe all along—and he was stuck in a love triangle with his wife Alex, an immortal vampire doctor and Sally a dead heroin addict, who cries during intercourse. He fled the hotel after finishing the ten commandments with "Thou shalt not murder", which came with the trophy of The Countess’s head. This completed the driving force for James March by locking his love in the hotel forever, and also completing his work through John.
At the end of the finale, we learn that John and his family went into hiding, where he attempted to provide for them until they had to move back to the hotel, which they referred to as "home". John was eventually found and shot dead by the police outside of the hotel, preventing him from being with his family for eternity in the Cortez.
Iris and Liz renovated the hotel and began to try to bring it back into its former successful light. But the obstacles in their way were the hotel’s deceased guests. Sally and Will Drake murdered as many guests as they could, until finally the two proprietors called a meeting. James March shockingly sided with Liz and Iris, claiming that if they could keep the hotel alive for a little longer it would be named a historical landmark and could never be torn down. This meant the ghosts could have a home forever, and finally everyone was convinced. Iris gave Sally a cellphone and got her addicted to Instagram and Twitter, which was a weird twist, but at least it got her to stop spouting nonsense every five minutes. Liz teamed up with Drake to produce more of his fashion lines, doing shows at the Cortez where he would be mysteriously seen.
Life went on, Liz got to watch her grandchild be born and later discovered she had cancer and would soon be dead. She chose to call all the ghosts together into a room and allow them, since they’re all friends now, to brutally murder her. As they get ready to, The Countess finally shows up to do her usual neck slicing on her "favorite creation". After her death, Liz is reunited with Tristan who claims she had "a lot more living to do" and that’s why he was ignoring her for so long. Too little too late maybe, but I digress.
The biggest surprise of the episode was the return of Billie Dean Howard, who you may not remember as the psychic from season one who helped Constance talk to her daughter after she was hit by a car and killed. It seems four years later Howard has become the host of a psychic reality television show, in which she communes with the dead in haunted buildings. She is called to the Cortez first to help Liz talk to Tristan, and then begins stopping by every year on Devil’s Night to document her strange experiences. John, in ghost form, shows up as she is poking around in his old hotel room. She can see him, so he takes her to March’s room for the Devil’s Night celebration with Jeffrey Dahmer, Aileen Wuornos and John Wayne Gacy. They scare her into leaving the hotel forever and all is well in the hotel.
Something interesting to note, both Scarlett and Will Drake’s son, Lachlan, are sent off to the Thatcher School, a prep school in Ojai, California. Can’t you just see Lady Gaga playing a terrifying headmistress at a boarding school? Food for thought.