American Horror Story: Roanoke Chapter four
Original air date October 5th, 2016
“Shelby had totally lost it.”
The episode picks up right where it left off. Shelby is upset about Lee and Matt going behind her back and agreeing to burn down the house. Matt knew she wouldn’t understand–they were only saying it to get Flora back. If that was the case, then why not tell her? Matt could say: “Hey hon, we are going to tell the murderous ghosts we are going to burn down the house so we can get Flora back, just play along.”
Matt isn’t as upset about Lee as he is about the gap in his memory. Shelby isn’t as upset about the house as she is about Matt getting it on with Lady Gaga. Poor Lee is just caught in the middle. Shelby and Matt have it out and it ends with Shelby believing that Matt does not remember what transpired in the woods.
Shelby goes to shower, and the werepig is waiting to attack. (This is why you always leave the shower curtain open.) There is running and screaming—at least Shelby is keeping up with her cardio. Dr. Elias Cunningham returns to save the day by yelling “Croatoan” at Mr. Piggy. (Seems he has a flare for dramatic entrances as well as his exits.)
Shelby thinks Elias is as crazy as he was in his videos. Lady, first, he just saved your ass. Second, he made a werepig disappear by shouting “Croatoan.” With all that has happened, you still think he is crazy? Okay, and if he is? If he can still help you, does it really matter?
Elias is a fountain of knowledge; “Croatoan,” it turns out, “is actually a word of dark power and blood magic.” What it means exactly and why it scared off Mr. Piggy is not fully explained.
Seems Elias was the guardian of the house making sure no one else lived there; but property taxes came due and he wasn’t able to pay. That is how the Millers were able to buy it at auction. Shelby thinks this story is a little sketchy and I agree. If it was so important to keep people off the land, why not have a contingency plan, a savings account, or work out a payment plan with the government?
Elias has files on all the families that had lived on the property. Everyone that lived there had mysteriously disappeared or died within months of moving in, all during the same time in October, during the Dying Grass Moon lunar cycle–six days when the spirits can kill.
There was the Chen family in 1973, killed by The Butcher and company. The killer nurses in 1989 were also nabbed by her. In 1952, three hunters turned their guns on each other. No one makes it off the land alive, except Elias and the Millers. This is assuming the good doctor is actually still alive–there has been a lot of interaction between the living and dead in past seasons. Also, who still wears turtlenecks with blazers?
Elias wants them to leave, and quickly. Shelby thinks this is just some scheme to get the house back and Matt won’t leave without Flora. Elias knows where Priscilla likes to hang out–he will take them to her.
Shelby feels horrible about Lee. Well, she should. They think if they find Flora it will clear Lee. Matt trusts him and Shelby still is weary. She can’t believe they are going back into the woods with him. This from the lady that went into to the woods at night with a guy because he was “psychic.”
Shelby spots Lady Gaga and sees red. She runs after her; she is going to get the bitch that got her hooks into Matt. You go Shelby! Alas, Shelby loses sight of Lady Gaga only to run into the huntsmen from 1952. They have their hunting rifles and look ready to use them. Shelby tries to use Elias’s trick and shouts “Croatoan” to no avail. He says that it won’t work. Why?
There’s Flora! She is playing with Priscilla, Mr. Piggy, the nurses and the Chens. She seems to be uninjured. Is she still alive? Before Elias can talk to Priscilla about releasing Flora, the horns sound and Dr. C is riddled with arrows. So, I guess he was alive. Priscilla runs off with Flora and the Millers run back to the house.
Cricket is waiting for them. He assures them Flora is still with the living (phew) and they would already be reunited had things not gone south the night before (yeah, Shelby). Now The Butcher is no longer interested in bartering with the Millers. So Cricket seeks out the “bitch with the real power”: Lady Gaga. (If I was her, that would be on my business card.) Cricket offers up Matt (because she needs a man—isn’t that always the way) and in exchange she shows Cricket the past and what really happened to the lost colony of Roanoke.
To make sure the colony thrived, The Butcher turned to human sacrifice. Not everyone was on board with this, namely Ambrose (The Butcher’s son). He thought the Witch of the Woods (Gaga) poisoned her mind against “the Lord Almighty.” Faced with another mutiny on her hands, The Butcher killed them all, binding them to the land and to her will. Ambrose was only spared by The Butcher before because he was her son, and she did warn him not to betray her again. How did he think this would turn out?
After she killed everyone, The Butcher offered herself up to be sacrificed by the Witch of the Woods. It was a blood sacrifice to the ancient gods, one “so great it consecrated this ground, bonding them to all of it for eternity.” It is on that anniversary that the spirits turn lethal.
Cricket knows a spell that can end it all, but he has to go back to his hotel. Uh-oh. Somehow I feel The Butcher isn’t going to allow this. As he Ubers back to the hotel, Flora runs out in front of the car. (This seems to be a theme for the show.) Cricket hops out and chases after her. Bye, Cricket. Nice knowing you.
Matt and Shelby are waiting for Cricket’s return. Shelby falls asleep and Matt loses a chunk of time again. He is called outside and finds the Witch of the Woods in the fruit cellar. He is the debt she is claiming. They start getting it on and Matt starts to see her past, her origin story. She had been an English girl, descendent of Druids and their Roman conquerors. Her family prayed to the old gods. She stowed away on a boat to the new world. When found out, she was set to burn at the stake as a witch. They believed she angered their sea gods. So she killed them to appease her older and more blood-thirsty gods. This created something new: a hybrid of old magic and the new world.
Matt and the Witch of the Woods are interrupted by Shelby screaming. An angry mob is headed to the house. The Butcher has Flora. Priscilla saves Flora before she gets killed. No worries, The Butcher has a backup: poor Cricket. Cricket gets disemboweled and the Millers know they are next.
In this episode we learn what “really” happened to the Roanoke Colony. The Butcher bound them to her and the land. I am guessing that means anyone that dies on the land must do The Butcher’s bidding, whether they want to or not. Lady Gaga is the Witch in the Woods and she helped The Butcher for her own benefit. Each year, with each sacrifice she grows stronger and her needs grow greater.
These answers lead to a lot of questions. Cricket says the Witch of the Woods needs a man–I am guessing it is to reproduce. Maybe she needs or wants a baby? The Polks have remained living, so I assume they know to leave before the spirits get all blood-happy. Were the boys left behind their sacrifice? Will Cricket and Elias make reappearances as ghosts? Will they be bound to The Butcher’s will? Or will they (especially Cricket) be different?
It does seem that ghosts are the common dominator of all the seasons. They are always bound to an area, a person or both. Is this the work of ancient gods? Is this somehow going to be explored more? Is this the bigger picture? Much like Cabin in the Woods, are there necessary sacrifices needed to keep order in the world? Am I thinking way too much about this? (Probably.)
I do feel like this story is coming to an end. Like I said in my previous review, I don’t think there is too much farther this story can go. Unless there is a major twist, I think we have one, maybe two episodes and then there will be a new story. Maybe with Sarah Paulson as Billie Dean Howard? Finally: where the heck is Evan Peters?