But even without his signature voice, the show continued -- and strengthened -- its creative high with another laugh-out-loud, brilliantly sharp and satirical season that ended in an entirely unexpected fashion.
The enthralling miniseries from Ryan Murphy proved that, more than 20 years later, O. Simpson's murder trial and the events surrounding it are more relevant than ever.
Like he did in his first season, showrunner John Ridley employed an all-star cast of superb actors in telling a wrenching story that got more nuanced, surprising and heartbreaking until its chilling climax.
Though it ended with lingering questions, it also offered definitive statements; most notably a call for tolerance and compassion that haunted anyone who watched.
The plot swerves and steers in entirely unexpected directions as Keough's law student-turned-high-priced escort navigates two very different business worlds that ultimately aren't that different after all.
The remarkable final episode alone is a unique, layered experience that brings together the themes of the show, and demands multiple viewings.
Where Season 2 has transcended, though, is its willingness not to just turn the microscope on Quinn, Rachel and reality dating shows -- but the whole of television, and society.