❉ We continue with our reviews of ‘American Horror Story: Roanoke’. BEWARE SPOILERS.
‘American Horror Story’ turned up the heat this week and delivered a solid episode. The show is still running on the audience’s goodwill on what the twist might be, and thankfully we won’t have to wait too long.
‘Chapter 5’ starts with a bit of backstory on the Roanoke House. Edward Phillipe Mott (ancestor of Season Four’s Dandy Mott) is a rather eccentric art collector who doesn’t like the company of others. So he builds a house far from the city (and his family), in the woods, and stays there with his servants and his gay black lover/butler/portrait artist. He’s really quite… umm… handy.
One night his entire art collection is trashed and with him believing one of the servants did it, he locks them all up in the root cellar. Unfortunately, for Edward Phillipe Mott, it’s smack dab in the middle of the Dying Grass Moon cycle and he promptly gets a stake rammed through this body and marched into a fire. His lover/butler/portrait artist gets away, but of course, he is blamed for the murder of his Master. He also forgets to tell the authorities of all the people in the root cellar too. So that was a dick move on his part. And as humans are wont to do when they don’t get food or water, they all die.
Seriously. Could this house get any more haunted? In fact, it’s over haunted which seems to be a Ryan Murphy trademark. I’m making an appeal to Ryan…..Next season I would like a lightly haunted house next time. Maybe one guy in a sheet with some chains going ‘Boo’? Food for thought.
Back to the present day, Matt & Shelby & Flora are trapped in the house by Butcher’s mob. And inside the house various ghosts are ambushing them at every corner. Eventually, they head down into the basement where they run into the ghost of Edward Phillipe Mott. He shows them a way underneath the house that leads to the woods as an escape. Funnily enough, he saves them because he just didn’t want any more ghosts hanging about the place. Nice guy.
Of course, the woods aren’t safe either. They stumble upon the other old farmhouse where the two boys where foundling a pig. Before you could say “Bob’s your uncle AND your father.”, the trio have been captured by the rednecks.
They are mightily pissed that their Pig Boys have been taken away. Not only that, but they also have Elias on a table who is, remarkably still alive despite the arrows in his chest. He’s not all in one piece though. As a result of “Mama’s fixin’”, he’s missing an arm and a leg.
In comes Mama (Frances Conroy, in a surprise reveal that really perked me up), and she’s brought a plate of meat… You see, these aren’t your ordinary inbred rednecks, they’re also cannibals too! (What I like to call an Alabama Triple Threat. No singing and dancing here, folks.) Common sense prevails and none of them partake, except for Mama who spits out the meat and calls it spoilt. So Elias gets a hammer to the head, in what was a particularly gruesome shot.
Mama proceeds to tell the trio of their history with the house. For over 200 years their family has co-inhabited the land with the Butcher and her gang of ghoulies. They dropped a bit of blood, and the corn grows ‘purty’. Now they are going to take the trio back to her at the house.
On the drive back Matt & Shelby fight back. A rifle goes off and kills one of the truck’s passengers. Mama, pissed at the death of one of her children takes a sledgehammer to Shelby’s leg, crushing her ankle to ensure neither of them would escape. She then hands them over to the mercy of the Butcher.
Back in the city, Lee has been cleared of Mason’s murder. Once out of the police station she receives a text from Shelby saying that she knows where Flora is. And Lee once again gets the stupidest line of the episode as she says “And at that moment, I knew my baby was safe.”
Over at Roanoke House, Flora is the first up on the Butcher’s chopping block, much to the chagrin of others. Little colony ghost girl, Priscilla is unhappy because Flora was promised to be killed last.
At the same time Lee has pulled up to the house with a police officer. He quickly strands her there as he clearly knows of the happenings going on.
The Butcher is about to kill Flora when she is stopped by her repentant son. He drags her into the fire and they burn. Edward Phillipe Mott cuts Matt and Shelby lose and tells them to run. Pig Man picks up the Butcher’s knife and goes after Flora. That is until Lee gets to be badass and runs his disgruntled ass over.
And they escape. Shelby has a reoccurring nightmare that the Butcher’s kills her, but it’s just a dream.
And all is well. The end.
Except it’s not. We’re only half way through this season. Who knows what the next episode brings? All I know, is that the next episode will either make or break this season.
❉ The whole cannibal bit was pointless. It was a needless layer to the proceedings and too Texas Chainsaw for my liking. Elias was brought back for a good 3 minutes and a bit of gore. A waste.
❉ Frances Conroy was great. I wouldn’t mind her to have popped up in an earlier episode. Maybe she’ll appear in some capacity in a future episode. Hard to tell.
❉ Ryan Murphy really knows his audience. He’s got Evan Peters naked and gay within moments of his first appearance on this season. Bravo.
❉ I miss Cricket.
❉ The reveal about Shelby being crippled was perhaps envisioned as a big shock reveal, but it landed with a thud to me.
❉ The flickering skull effect on Edward Phillipe Mott was very neat.
❉ Why was Pig Man so anxious to kill Flora? Weren’t they best chums playing Marco Polo in the field? At the very least weren’t the other ghosts just killing and terrorizing at the Butcher’s behest?
❉ I really wanted them to have escaped the Roanoke House and then fled to last year’s Hotel. Now THAT would’ve been a good reveal. However it was an unrelated motel that only served as a Season Five reference because it’s close to being a hotel. So there.
❉ Next Week. Cheyenne Jackson makes an onscreen appearance! Is they guy who’s making the show? Are they trying to get Matt and Shelby to return to the house? Her famous last words sounded just like that. “We would never have to return to that house, ever again.” Suuuuuurreee.
❉ Was that Grudge type girl one of the Japanese family that lived there in the 70’s? It was out of place.
Decent all around. Some nice reveals and it feels like a sense a closure for this part of the season. Whether it will add to the whole we shall see. Til next week.
❉ ‘American Horror Story: Roanoke’ airs in the US on Wednesdays at 10pm on FX, and in the UK on Fridays at 10pm on Fox UK.