American Horror story: Roanoke Chapter three
Original air date September 28th, 2016
Before reviewing this episode, I want to share some questions that have haunted me this past week. I have proclaimed my love for the format of this season–but will it last? Can the whole season maintain–what A Haunting or Paranormal Witness does, but with multiple stories? This leads me to my next question: will we get more than one story? Matt, Shelby and Lee’s story may just be the first; but, the title, My Roanoke Nightmare, seems to imply just one story. So if it is just one story, is AHS going to pull a New Nightmare? Will we, as the audience, get to go behind the scenes of the My Roanoke Nightmare production? Will the cast of re-enactors be cursed by association? For now, I will have to wait and see. I am in my jammies, the lights are off and I am ready for chapter three.
“It was something from a nightmare.”
The episode starts like the others, giving tidbits of what is to come. The story picks up with the police getting Flora’s hoodie down from the tree. They can’t explain how it got up there, but the unexplainable seems par for course for the Millers.
There is a lot of searching in the woods and Lee stumbles upon a clue; a gruesome mash-up of piglet and doll parts, mimicking the look of the werepig. (Is this where baby werepigs come from?). They delve deeper into the woods only to find more piglet/doll parts, which leads them to an abandoned farm.
“Who lives like this?”
Shelby apparently never lived in a dorm room.
Shelby, Matt and Lee search the farm and stumble on Romulus and Remus: AHS edition. Turns out the Polks had been squatting there for some time, but just up and left (possibly with Flora). The boys are taken in by the police, cleaned up, fed and questioned, and they will only say: “Croatoan”. In the “interviews” Matt says they later learn it was a warning. But of what?
Lee understands that the longer Flora is missing the higher the chances are they are looking for a body. Mason isn’t buying it. Once back at the Miller’s farm house Mason goes ballistic on Lee. He thinks Lee is hiding Flora and is just waiting for the right moment to run away with her. He threatens to go to the police and storms off. I can understand Mason’s reaction; easier to be angry. It is easier to believe that Lee is hiding her away somewhere. The other options are not something Mason can deal with.
The weary group settle in to get some much needed rest, only to receive a phone call—a real one, not a spooky one. The police have found a body,
Crispy critters! That is a burned up body. It’s Mason (called it). The displaying of the burned body seemed ritualistic. However, burning can cover up a lot of things, and an ex-cop would definitely know all about that.
During all this commotion Matt almost missed the notifications on his phone from the motion sensor cameras (they are still working). The cameras show Lee leaving the house and returning four hours later. But is this really Lee? Are the ‘evil powers that be’ manipulating what is being seen on camera? Shelby and Matt know Lee has motive to get rid of Mason–but is she desperate enough to commit murder? I don’t think so. Lee hears Matt and Shelby and gets outraged, but she never says why she went out.
“After what happened, you should keep the door locked.”
Yeah they should.
Enter Cricket, looking like the love child of Lucius Malfoy and Tangina (the psychic from Poltergeist). Cricket is a medium from New Orleans (not the same character Leslie Jordan played in season three). A psychic! I should have seen it, I guessed paranormal investigators. He was called (not on the phone) to help Lee locate Flora. Cricket has an impressive background, helping the FBI locate many missing children. Cricket wanders around the house and states he knows who took Flora. It was Priscilla (Nailed it). Lee and Shelby are believers; Matt thinks he is a con man.
A séance reveals the Kathy Bates is a ghost and her name is The Butcher—I’m guessing this is not because she worked behind a deli counter. At least we know what was up with all the knives in the previous episodes. The butcher thinks she is protecting the land from trespassers—the trespassers being the Millers. She will stop at nothing.
“Had I that child, she would’ve been flayed and roasted by now.”
The Butcher admits Priscilla is hiding and protecting Flora. She also says a couple things I think will be important later on. She refers to Priscilla as a “bastard’s seed”—this makes me wonder about her lineage. Also that Priscilla has hidden Flora off of The Butcher’s land. So how much of the land does she consider hers? The Butcher says she won’t leave it again; what happened the first time she left?
What will it mean? Cricket isn’t saying.
Cricket knows where Flora is and for the low price of $25,000, Lee can too. He provides a service, a costly one. Yeah I am sure Lee will take that well—oh here comes the gun. Cricket lives long enough to leave and whisper something to Lee.
When Lee was 17 she had her first daughter, Emily. When Emily was four, she went missing and was never seen again. I have been on Lee’s side since the beginning (I really hope she is staying sober), but two daughters missing? Lee either has the worse luck ever or something real fishy is going on here—I guess you could actually say that about every character in AHS canon.
I want to take a brief time out. Now everything we are seeing is a re-enactment. This is what Shelby, Matt and Lee are saying took place. Cricket could be a medium, or he could have found out about Emily through public record, like the MRN “producers” did. The viewers see Cricket talk to ghosts, but did he? Did Flora go missing like they said she did–or are we witnessing a cover-up?
Back to the Butcher: her real name Thomasin White. She was the wife of the Roanoke governor John White. Wes Bentley is her son Ambrose. When John went back to England for more supplies he left Thomasin in charge. She was bound and determined to stay exactly where they were until her husband returned. This did not go over well with some of the other settlers.
“I put this on thee, not for spite, but for justice.”
Seems like this is a little bit for spite, let’s be honest.
There is an upheaval involving an iron mask, hand shackles, and a banished Thomasin. The settlers decide to go inland. Thomasin, however, is wandering alone and hungry, being hunted down by a wild boar, the only thing left for her to do—repent. Thomasin prays for forgiveness and is saved by Lady Gaga.
Fed and revitalized, Thomasin is looking for some revenge and she gets it—in the form of “butchering” the traitors with a cleaver. She spares her son and decides they were right–the colony should go inland. This is where I think the colony could have benefited from some conflict resolution seminars. Compromise folks, come on.
Turns out she moved the colony to the land the farmhouse now rests on. Well, that is a few questions answered. Is what Shelby witnessed last week a ghostly peek at what happened to the colony?
Shelby, Matt, Lee and Cricket go out to the woods to find Priscilla. They encounter Thomasin and some of her “muscle”; Cricket tries to negotiate a trade between the ghosts and Lee. Matt and Lee decided if they get Flora back, they will burn down house so no one else can trespass on the land. At this point Matt is gone and Shelby goes to look for him (good luck not getting lost). Shelby encounters another dead pig, some Polks—ahem—getting friendly with their hands, and Matt with Lady Gaga, getting their freak on. Yeah…. Matt says he has no memory of what transpired in the woods. But hey good news! The Butcher agrees to the terms of Flora’s release.
Shelby goes back to the farm house. She calls the police and they arrest Lee (guess she told them about the video). She is a teensy bit upset about Matt agreeing to burn down the house and about his “relations” with the woman in the woods. I can see her being upset: I get that. But throwing Lee under the bus to get back at Matt… that’s cold. She could be at the point, much like Mason, that lashing out is better than accepting what is really going on.
This episode at least revealed the names of Kathy Bates and Wes Bentley’s characters. Lady Gaga; still doesn’t have name, however. Is she a ghost? Was she ever alive or is she some sort of forest elemental? Is she “Croatoan”? Matt says he has no memory of what Shelby saw; so was it really him? Are Lee and matt doing things in a trance or while being possessed? Or is there some shape-shifting happening?
Again I am left with so many questions. Are Lady Gaga and the Butcher still in cahoots with one another? Are the Polks under Lady Gaga’s influence? Why did they leave the two boys behind? Will Priscilla give up Flora?
I have been referencing Poltergeist a lot this season. Is the big bad an ancient Native- American curse? Is the land on top of Native- American burial ground? “Croatoan” is the name of the Native-American tribe that lived in the area (during the Roanoke colony) as well as an island (Now Hatteras island) close to Roanoke island. So this theory isn’t too far off base, but is it too obvious for AHS? Maybe by next week I will know more, maybe less. I do know I can’t wait.