American Horror Story: 1984: Sarah Paulson Not Returning for Season Finale

There's just one episode left of American Horror Story: 1984. Earlier this week, the penultimate "Rest in Pieces" saw all of the major players arrive back at Camp Redwood with Brooke (Emma Thompson) determined to take down Margaret (Leslie Grossman) while Margaret is determined to use Richard Ramirez (Zach Villa) and Bruce (Dylan McDermott) to carry out another killing spree -- this time of the musical talent so that she can turn the camp into a profitable tourist attraction. It puts things in an interesting position and left fans hoping that next week's finale, "Final Girl", would see the return of both Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson to help close out this chapter of the FX horror anthology series, but according to Paulson, that's not the case.

On Friday, an American Horror Story fan account on Twitter posted that both Peters and Paulson were going to return for the finale, with Peters playing Billy Idol while Paulson would reprise the role of Lana Winters. The report gained some traction with fans as the preview for "Final Girl" appeared to feature Brooke being interviewed by someone -- hinting that she would, in fact, be the so-called Final Girl. However, when a fan asked for confirmation of the report, Paulson replied simply that it is "not true".

Now, some fans are still holding on to the hope that this is simply misdirection, but it seems very likely that Paulson's "not true" response is the truth. While it had been reported early on that Paulson might appear in American Horror Story: 1984 -- Paulson herself had teased it during an appearance at Toronto International Film Festival in September -- the actress later clarified at the 2019 New Yorker Festival in October that she will not be appearing in the season. Evans had previously indicated that he was taking time away from the franchise after the particularly harrowing Apocalypse.

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While the news that Paulson isn't returning will surely be sad for many fans, the season finale won't be without at least one familiar face. Finn Wittrock will appear in the finale, though it's not yet clear exactly who he will play -- some fans suspect that he will appear in the 2019 timeline as a now-adult Bobby Richter, son of Mr. Jingles. Interestingly, Wittrock's appearance in American Horror Story: 1984 makes a post shared by series co-creator Ryan Murphy two-thirds of the way "true" in a sense. Last November, Murphy shared a photo featuring Cody Fern, Wittrock, and Darren Criss with the caption "Cooking up something good for these three..." While Criss hasn't appeared in 1984 and isn't expected to, Fern has been one of the season's stars, playing the aspiring actor Xavier Plympton.

American Horror Story: 1984 airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on FX.