[content warning for violence and gore]
It’s been a rough couple of days here in the US of A, and I wasn’t really looking forward to watching this week’s American Horror Story. I wasn’t interested in blood and slaughter.
Blood and slaughter is certainly what we got, but the episode did have its redeeming points too. Let’s dive right in.
The episode opened a few minutes after last week’s ending. Wes Bentley arrived at the end of last week in a pig mask. Audrey asks him what he’s doing there, and he tells her that even though no one will return his calls, he has a call time so damn if he’s not gonna meet it.
Apparently he was a SEAL in Afghanistan, so he immediately takes charge of the situation. He wants to build a stretcher and walk Lee out, but they talk him into going back to the Polk house for Monet. Audrey genuinely wants to help Monet, but of course Lee has another agenda: she has to get her confession tape back.
They get to the house, and stupidly they send Dylan to start the car (I would think as a former cop, Lee would know how to hotwire a car) while Lee and Audrey go for the tapes. Lee, remember, is badly hurt from her time with the Polks. She’s limping and using a cane for Pete’s sake! Let the slowest person go start the car, while the able-bodied ones go running and saving people.
It doesn’t end up mattering, because one of the Polk boys sneaks up on our Big Soldier Man and stabs him repeatedly. Audrey finds and rescues Monet, while Lee finds the tape she needs. The guy who I thought was daddy Polk, but may in fact be one of the brothers AND the dad, finds Audrey and Monet. Audrey records him telling them he’s going to kill them, then she shoots him dead.
Outside Dylan (Wes Bentley) is still being repeatedly stabbed. The Polk kid murdering him sees the torches coming (from the Butcher and co.) and takes the truck, leaving Audrey, Lee, and Monet in the lurch.
While all of this is going on, scenes are intercut with the episode’s other plot line. Three kids have come to Roanoke during the blood moon to find out if any of what they saw on their favorite show, My Roanoke Nightmare, is real. Basically they’re doing it all for the Vine, but luckily they didn’t actually mention Vine since it’s gone now.
Sophie runs a huge My Roanoke Nightmare fansite, and she and Milo basically dragged Todd along with them. As they’re walking through the woods, they see a woman, hurt and covered in blood. It’s the producer from episode 6, the one who died in the car wreck. They chase her until they come to her car, where they find her dead body.
Obviously they freak out and run for the cops, but the cops don’t believe them. You’d think by this point they would know that during the blood moon Shit Goes Down at that house, but basically they’re just like, “Since that show started we get punks like you trying to prank us for likes on the TwitterBook!”
It’s a little unrealistic to me, because every police department has stories, and they’d obviously have them about that house and land, especially during that particular time of the year. Not that the cops would believe that there were ghosts (necessarily), but they did find the wrecked car…with no body inside…so clearly something weird is going on. As per usual.
The kids go back into the woods that night, and they run into Lee. While Audrey and Monet were running back to the house, Lee was lost in the woods. She ran into the Woods Witch lady and ate the pig heart, so I guess now she’s the new Butcher? Or Butcher 2.0?
I dunno, but anyway Lee straight up kills the shit outta poor Todd.
The kids run away, and after a while they find the production trailer and all the bodies. Dylan stumbles out of the woods, bloody and gross, so Sophie and Milo hide in the trailer. While there, they see the cameras filming Monet and Audrey in the house, with Lee on the way to murder them very hard. They decide they have to save them, so they leave the trailer and head for this god-forsaken murder house of hell.
Lee, meanwhile, gets into the house and is talking all crazy about the land needing blood. Audrey and Monet have watched the tape and seen Lee’s confession, so Monet confronts her about it. Aaaand Lee pushes her over the railing and into the foyer below, where she’s impaled on a stake.
Audrey screams and runs, but Lee catches up with her at the top of the cellar. She chops her shoulder with the cleaver (very inefficient) and pushes her into the cellar. It was a big day for falling down things.
Sophie and Milo get to the house, but they’re too late. The Butcher and friends arrive with Dylan, and we get a wonderful pov shot as they pull out his intestines. Lee grabs the kids, and they’re impaled (it was a big day for being impaled) and set on fire.
The next morning the cops FINALLY show up, because the footage the kids filmed was automatically uploaded to iCloud and apparently people watched it. That’s not…really how iCloud works…it’s a private…storage thing…but okay.
They find all the bodies, along with Lee, alive but seemingly with no memory of what happened the night before, or her role in it. They then find Audrey in the cellar, alive and traumatized. She sees Lee and grabs one of the cop’s guns. The other cops surround and shoot her. Lee is the only one left alive (as many people predicted), but it’s because she was complicit in all the murders. Hmmmmm.
I ate right before I watched this, which was a huge mistake. Things started getting REALLY gross about the time the Butcher showed up. I mean, Grey’s Anatomy (a medical show!) can barely get the word “vagina” past the ratings board, but this happened on AHS? Wow. It was a bit much for my squeamish ass.
This was a short episode, but a LOT happened. Everyone involved in the production, including the 3 kids who just wanted hits and likes, is dead except Lee. Right now the cops seem to think Audrey did it, because she pulled the gun on Lee, but a quick perusal of all the footage will show them otherwise.
The cold open included a brief monologue by Taissa Farmiga about the evils of patriarchy and racism. Timely, all things considered. She was talking about why My Roanoke Nightmare was so popular, and Milo remarks that it was “just scary.” She says, “Yeah, racism is scary. Patriarchy is scary.”
I can’t help but roll my eyes every time the characters start talking about the show-within-a-show’s popularity and cultural significance. It just feels so self-congratulatory.
Later, in the trailer, Milo is confused about what’s real and what’s not. They watched people (actors) “die” on My Roanoke Nightmare, but now they’re seeing actual dead bodies everywhere. He wonders if they’re props, or fakes, but Sophie reminds him that Todd’s death was 100% real, which sobers him up pretty fast.
It goes back to what I was talking about last week, where layers of reality on this show become blurred. There’s clearly an audience for all this fake murder, just as there was in-universe for the fake murders on My Roanoke Nightmare, but apparently there’s also an audience for “real” murder, since so many people watched the footage of the kids dying that the cops came out to investigate.
Also, it was super nice of the NC police to release their dashcam and bodycam footage, since it’s a state law in North Carolina (thanks, Pat McCrory!) that the cops don’t have to release any of that to the public. (I hope you can sense my blistering sarcasm here.)
And, uh, that’s what I got. Next week is supposed to be another big twist/format change, which is necessary at this point since basically everyone is dead. Also, can someone please just burn down that house already?