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American Horror Story: Roanoke: A Little Explanation and a Whole Lot of WTF

Raise your hand if you yelled “What the f–k?!” more than once during tonight’s American Horror Story

That phrase tends to get a lot of play during any season of this show, but something about the quiet “real life” setting of this particular season is making even the most basic of horror tropes terrifying and upsetting. 

So first, when two small cannibals were discovered in the barn, and a second time, when Lee’s ex-husband’s burned corpse was discovered, we found ourselves shouting against our own will, even as we kept reminding ourselves that what we were seeing was supposed to be a reenactment of something that apparently did happen, and not something that was actually fictionally happening.

Regardless of that extra layer of meta-ness, Roanoke is legit scary, so we’re somewhere in between loving it and hating everything. We were much closer to loving it tonight, as we actually got somewhere with what’s going on at the creepy house inhabited by Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr..

Tonight’s episode continued the hunt for Lee’s daughter Flora, whose clothes and toys kept appearing in increasingly frightening places.

The police were basically ready to shrug it all off, because they were too lazy/scared to search the massive woods, and Lee’s ex Mason was ready to blame Lee for making the whole thing up, just so she could hide Flora away.

Then Mason’s body was found, and security cameras showed Matt and Shelby that Lee had disappeared from the house with plenty of time to have burned him to death. So they were definitely suspicious, but they were even more suspicious of the psychic named Cricket (Leslie Jordan) who showed up to help find Flora.

He first conducted a séance, during which Kathy Bates appeared, broke the candle, and disappeared when Cricket yelled “Croatoan!” at her.

Shelby and Matt decided he was a crackpot, especially after this ridiculous man demanded $25,000 to track the kid down. But then Lee agreed to pay it after he whispered something in her ear that convinced her he was the real deal.

That’s when the fourth wall of the documentary broke a bit, as a producer confronted the real Lee about what Cricket had said to her. She asked for the cameras to be turned off, but when they were turned back on, she explained. Turns out Lee had another daughter, who she also lost when she left her in the car while she ran into the grocery store for a sec, and Cricket somehow knew about poor lost Emily.

After Lee paid him the money she somehow didn’t think to give to her brother to help he and Shelby escape the house of horrors, he explained part of the story of the lost colony of Roanoke.

Kathy Bates was the wife of the mayor, John, who headed to England to get supplies for the struggling colony. The colonists wanted to leave to find somewhere with more food, but Kathy Bates/Thomasin was determined to wait for John to come back.

So a couple of the men in the colony revolted, putting her head in that cage she was rather fond of in Coven, and leaving her to die in the woods. Thankfully, she was saved by Lady Gaga, who encouraged her to eat a pig’s heart and then go back and kill the men who had wronged her, which she did. Then, the colonists moved to the land where Matt and Shelby’s house now stands.

Cricket then took Matt, Shelby, and Lee out into the woods to make a deal with Kathy Bates, saying they’d leave and burn the house down, which apparently Matt had agreed to do but Shelby had agreed to no such thing.

Shelby then realized Matt had disappeared, and she went to search for him, which is when she found the night’s last big WTF moment: Cuba Gooding Jr. gettin’ it on with Lady Gaga…which he then had no memory of when he made his way back to the house to find Lee being arrested.

And so that’s where we’re at. Matt and Shelby have to burn their house down if they want to get rid of Kathy Bates, Flora is still missing, Lee’s headed to jail, and we’re still severely lacking in Evan Peters. At least now we’ve got that sex scene burned into our brains for the rest of our lives, which is fun, we guess.

American Horror Story: Roanoke airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.



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