It does stand out for its achievements: Kathy Bates, the crying-head scene and the whole atmosphere - it's maybe American Horror Story's coolest season. Too bad the script's all over the place and so many storylines miss the mark. I wish they could remake this into a though-through story. With a little more editting and thinking, this could be as good as Asylum.
Weaker than its predecessors, with its loosely woven web of surprisingly drab storylines and characters. The series' writers are especially incapable of giving enough depth and variety to the youngest cast members. Evan Peters and Taissa Farmiga are decent actors but are wearing out their welcome as doe-eyed teens in love...again. The Stevie Nicks bit was funny, at least.
Jessica Lange performs wonderfully in this season; she makes me want to be like her when I get old. Stevie Nicks' cameo makes this season got an extra point from me. However, it would be nice if the storyline has a different ending. It looks like the writers HAD TO finish the entire season in just 13 episodes.
Ryan Murphy & Co. IS one of the most idiosyncratic voices on television yes, but this is far from the relative lighting-in-a-bottle that was his season 1 (Murder House) or to an extent, Asylum. If not for the acting (Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates are superstars) it would be unwatchable. Script is straight convoluted, backtracking, retconning, uninteresting, plain bad - it just gets more and more stupid.
Reading some of the comments here it seems a lot of people were disappointed with this season. I personally loved it from start to finish. I felt the season as a whole was engaging and very entertaining, with very unique and interesting characters. I loved the whole cast. Extra points for featuring Stevie Nicks <3