American Horror Story: Roanoke, Chapter Five
Original air date October 12th, 2016
“Let’s rouge each other’s nipples.”
EVAN! Finally, Evan Peters makes his first appearance of the season. In an interview, Doris Kearns Goodwin (the actual Doris Kearns Goodwin!) tells the story of Edward Phillipe Mott (Evan Peters), the builder of the Miller’s farm house. In 1792, Edward built the house to get away from society. He left Philadelphia, and his wife and child, to be alone. Well, alone with his lover, Guinness, and a houseful of servants.
Edward loves art. I mean he loves art. This house was designed to showcase his collection. Edward’s collection is worth more than most of the tobacco farms in the area. The construction of the house included underground construction to facilitate removal of the art pieces, should someone come after them. I assume this means escape tunnels–something more than the root cellar we have seen. The Millers haven’t done a great job checking out the property, so who knows what else is on the land?
Like every other story about people living on this property: everything was going great, then it wasn’t. Edward awakens one night to find all his art destroyed. I audibly gasped at this and shouted, “not the Peale!” I am pretty sure I sounded like Edward at that moment.
Edward assumes one of his servants was behind the destruction. He throws a dandy temper tantrum and locks them all except Guinness in the cellar. They can come out when the culprit confesses. Later that night, Edward is grabbed by The Butcher and killed. Guinness escapes to tell the story, but is accused of the murder and put in jail. He fails to tell anyone about the servants locked up. Talk about a jerk move.
Thus ends the story of Edward Mott. The house remained vacant and in the family trust until 1952 when the bloodline ended with a scandal. Does the Mott name sound familiar? Well it should. Season five of AHS gave us the character Dandy Mott, who died in 1952 after you know—some scandal.
Back to the Millers. Matt and Shelby have Flora, but are trapped in the house. The Butcher and gang are looking to spill some blood to appease their gods. Matt wants Shelby to take Flora and drive away while he distracts the mob, but the escape plans are thwarted at every turn. Flora is grabbed and dropped by a creepy spider Grace Chen (one of the Chens from ‘73). The mob sets fire to the Millers’ vehicles. Mr. Piggy is inside the house, and so are the hunters. The Millers make it to the basement—always a good choice.
Edward’s ghost appears and saves them by ushering them into one of his escape tunnels. (I love the special effects with Edward in this scene.) As he leads them through the tunnels, Shelby realizes that Edward is a ghost—duh. The period clothing and powdered wig didn’t give it away from the get-go? Edward isn’t doing this out of the goodness of his heart, but so that he can once again be alone. Either way, this gets the Millers out of The Butcher’s clutches—and right to the Polks.
The Polks nab them and bring the Millers back to the house where they had earlier discovered the two boys. Dr. Elias Cunningham is still alive—mostly. He isn’t all there (literally). Seems the Polks took a page from The Hills Have Eyes and started chowing down on him. Mama Polk (Frances Conroy) comes in and offers some hillbilly hospitality. I want to say: if a crazy lady offers you food, you say yes. Just pretend to eat it, whatever. Turns out the Elias meat is rancid. Being of no more use, Mama Polk has Lot kill him. I’m going out on a limb and saying Elias isn’t coming back from that.
We cut to Lee. She spent 48 hours being questioned by the cops and upon being released she has numerous messages from Matt saying that Flora is safe. Lee is unable to reach Matt and hitches a ride with the officer that questioned her.
The Polks have an arrangement with The Butcher and they are going to return the Millers to her. While transporting the Millers back to The Butcher (via the back of a truck), Matt overpowers Lot Polk. Cain Polk, the one driving, is shot, and Lot is thrown over the side. Way to go! Then they run back to the woods. NO!
Why didn’t they take the truck? Why didn’t they take the gun? Why didn’t they hogtie Lot and make sure he couldn’t get help? Why?
So the Polks recapture the Millers. Mama Polk is so not happy. The Millers took her babies and killed her son; if The Butcher didn’t want them so badly, she would kill them herself. As it is, Mama Polk does a Kathy Bates on Shelby’s ankle. I bet they wished they took the truck now.
When the Polks hand over the Millers, The Butcher tries to console Mama Polk, “tis a mother’s burden to suffer the birth of her babe, but all agony pales when placed in measure with the cold death of that child.”
I am pretty sure Ambrose is thinking, “thanks mom. Where was that sentiment when you buried a knife in my chest?”
Lee arrives and asks the officer to call for backup. Nope, he is out of there. Lee hears Flora scream and runs after her.
Just when it looks like Flora is a goner, Ambrose takes on his mom. He grabs her and throws himself (with her) into the bonfire. Edward reappears and cuts the Millers loose. Mr. Piggy goes after Flora and Lee runs him over. They all hop into the car and book it.
The four spend the night in a motel–very Poltergeist-y–before traveling back to LA for the Millers and home for Flora and Lee. Shelby is still haunted by nightmares.
This is the end of My Roanoke Nightmare. I fully enjoyed the story. I am glad it did end. As I said from the get-go, I didn’t think this story arc could carry a whole season. Also, ending this story line means actors can come back and play different roles. Who am I talking about? Evan Peters and Denis O’Hare. You caught me—they’re my favorites.
In the previews for next week, we see Cheyenne Jackson tell a camera person to keep rolling no matter what. Okay, I was a little slow figuring this out: the voice asking the interviewees questions, that is Cheyenne. So next, we will be following him around. I’m guessing he’s on the hunt for another story about Roanoke. Or will we be following all the cast and crew of My Roanoke Nightmare, like I predicted before?
The farm house ties one Mott family member to another and one season to another. The Millers were from LA; the first season took place there, as did the last season. Will Cheyenne’s character create more ties to characters and seasons?
“The living cling to life above all, but the trophy misprized is to die in peace.”
Was this Edward waxing poetic or will this line mean something more? In all of the seasons we see that death is only the beginning for many of the characters. Again, I feel the dead will tie together all of the seasons more than the living. I have an idea for an AHS season: Purgatory. All of the past characters that are dead have to work out their issues to fully move on. Really, I just want to see Dandy Mott and Edward Mott try to out brat each other. Which leads me to my final question: will we be seeing Finn Wittrock anytime soon?