With the pending shift in this season’s American Horror Story: Roanoke, viewers were not sure what was gonna happen in episodes four and five. What we got would humble audiences with the mid-season finale format. Ryan Murphy is truly a television God and did not disappoint.
In episode four, we received the typical, before the finale, format. There was a lot of setup, coupled with a crazy amount of action, that left us needing more by the end. So, what happened in this episode? Well, we got a hint as to what Lady Gaga’s character is all about. However, despite them claiming she was the power behind it all, I was left feeling underwhelmed. Kathy Bates’ character, The Butcher, is entirely too powerful to be overshadowed by a weak witch. I may get a lot of backlash from this opinion but I just don’t feel the “supreme” vibe from Lady Gaga.
Speaking of The Butcher, she murdered her entire colony, an act that made their spirits bound to her and the land for all eternity. Now that is power! It explains why they’re there and why she is to be feared above all the others. Towards the end, Flora is retrieved from her trip to the limbo between the living and the dead. However, Matt and Shelby now know that, due to the current moon cycle, they are in imminent danger. During this full moon in October, they can be killed by the ghostly apparitions and it seems they have no escape.
Episode four of American Horror Story: Roanoke gets a B grade from me. I would give it an A, but so far their portrayal of Lady Gaga’s character is not strong enough to warrant the fear they were requesting from me. However, the rest of the episode kept me intrigued and craving more.
Next, we’re treated to the mid-season finale, where Evan Peters is finally available for our viewing pleasure. In an interesting twist, he is a closeted gay man who is having an affair with one of his servants. His powdered wig wearing character is obsessed with one thing: art. Pushing the boundaries as FX is notoriously known for doing, there is quite the steamy scene between Peters and his lover, Guinness, taking place in a bathtub where we learn of his unusual affinity for the arts. This will help to explain his blowup later on in the episode. We also get a solid link to a previous AHS season. It seems as though Peters’ character, Edward Phillip Mott, is a distant relative of the psycho baby man Dandy Mott from season four. They even have the same hair curls, pompousness and affinity for the grandiose. Who would have thought?
Mott is also the original builder of the house. Turns out that these terrifying happenings have been going on before the building was even completed. This makes sense as it isn’t the house that is haunted but the land itself. Once he moves in during the full moon of October, the art that Mott loves so much is destroyed by the paranormal phenomena. Since he has no idea of the history of the land, he blames the servants. He screams at them to confess who “murdered” his paintings, and when no one fesses up, he locks them in an underground cellar shortly before getting murdered by The Butcher. All of them die except his lover, who ends up taking the wrap and going to jail.
Then we return to the adventures of Shelby, Matt, and Flora. Their deaths appear to be imminent as they are corralled in to the house by The Butcher and the ghosts of all whom she’s killed over the years. Enter Dandy Mott’s great-great-great-great grandpa Edward, who shows them the secret, underground escape passage he had built and they are off in to the forest. Seems his social anxiety has followed him to the grave because he does not want to be bothered with any new souls. Pay attention and you’ll notice that Evan’s face turns skull-like in the torch light a few times. Is this another shout-out to season one?
At least now we know what the “pig” reference was to in the pre-season teasers:
I’ll let you watch the rest of the episode to find out the big finale to the first half of American Horror Story: Roanoke. However, I will be taking points away for cliche plot twists. The episode, no matter the run-of-the-mill twists, was extremely exciting and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I will give it an A.
I would like to take a moment to touch on the shift in the series. Based on a preview snippet that literally couldn’t have been more than ten seconds, we are going to be witnessing a found footage nightmare. It looks like someone has watched the Matt And Shelby’s Roanoke Adventures and has decided to ghost hunt in the house. I am not a fan of this format with the exception of the film As Above So Below, so I’m not sure how I feel about this switch up. I think this could be the point in the season, as we have witnessed in previous years, that the show’s creators kill the show’s momentum and the rest of the episodes sink like lead balloons. Hopefully, I will be completely wrong but I highly doubt it. Check back next week to see what we thought of the new format and all of your American Horror Story: Roanoke needs.