The mystery of the farmhouse in the woods continues on American Horror Story: Roanoke, when Lee’s daughter comes to visit and is able to communicate with some sort of entity in the house. Meanwhile, Shelby finds herself once again witnessing something strange in the forest.
When we last saw Shelby on American Horror Story: Roanoke, she had stumbled upon some sort of strange ritual in the woods when she got lost there. Picking back up with this episode, she runs from the people she sees there, but eventually ends up back there just in time to see the people burn what might be a man with a pig’s head over a fire. It’s not totally clear what’s going on there, but it’s pretty messed up.
Just as the main woman in the group (played by Kathy Bates) sees Shelby, she screams at the others to seize her. Shelby makes her way out and runs into Lee in her car, where Shelby collapses. Not believing the crazy story Shelby offers, a police officer has her tested for drugs, but Shelby is totally clean.
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When Matt brings up the idea that they can leave the house and have someone else stay there, Shelby shoots it down. Apparently, she’s now convinced that the whole thing is a hoax made up by the Polk family as a way to drive them off the property. She’s willing to put up a fight, no matter what. But is she really so sure it’s a hoax?
Lee is given the opportunity to spend some time with her daughter, which she’s apparently so desperate for she’s willing to have the girl brought into what is possibly a dangerous environment. (I know she thinks most of what’s going on isn’t supernatural, or whatever, but it still seems like a bad idea to me.) Anyway, her ex, Mason, brings Flora over for a short stay, and the very first time she leaves the girl alone, her daughter wanders off to whisper to an unseen entity in the basement. Nothing weird about that at all, clearly.
When Lee asks Flora who she was talking to, she tells her mother about Priscilla, a girl who says she’ll give her a bonnet like hers if they help her “make it stop.” When Lee questions what “it” is, Flora says the girl is tired of all the blood. Again, that would be enough of a red flag for me to get my daughter out of there, but Lee passes it off as the overactive imagination of a child of divorce.
But when a nearby vase breaks and Lee goes to investigate, there’s a bonnet lying on top of the flowers on the floor. A bonnet that is likely a lot like the one Flora was promised.
Later, Matt is awoken in the night by that strange, inhuman howling noise that’s been plaguing them all, and Shelby is already up, grabbing a bat and heading outside where she swears someone is. They both wander off into the woods (which, again, doesn’t seem like the greatest of plans to me) and they get split up.
They eventually both find their way to another fire, but this time, it has a giant version of the stick figures found in their house, complete with a pigs head and innards hanging off. Matt knocks the whole thing down, and when they call the police to come investigate, their police’s main concern is that Matt could’ve started a fire thanks to his actions. But an officer does agree to station someone in a squad car outside their house, and to bring in the Polks for questioning, so Matt and Shelby finally feel they can rest a little easier. Yea. Sure.
“M is For Margaret”
One night, after a police officer is stationed outside of their home, Matt wakes up to the phone ringing. When he goes to answer it, there’s a woman on the other end of the line, saying that someone is hurting her. When he hangs up, he then hears her in the next room, and goes in there. (Maybe not something I would choose to do without a weapon or that police officer present, but I should probably accept that the characters on the sixth season of American Horror Story are going to make a whole lot of choices I wouldn’t in this fictional situation.)
There, Matt finds an old woman lying in a bed, with two nurses circling her. The woman begs them not to give her medication, and one of them claims she’s “back talking” them, and promptly shoots her in the head. They then spray paint an “M” on the wall, for the old woman’s name, Margaret.
Petrified, Matt goes running and screaming out to the police car, and Lee and Shelby come downstairs to see what’s going on while he and the officer investigate the dining room. But, of course, there’s nothing there to suggest what Matt claims to have seen. The officer thinks he was dreaming, and Lee is worried her brother and sister-in-law will now have a reputation with law enforcement in town of being “kooks” who cry wolf.
Off the Wagon
When Flora’s father comes to pick her up, Lee is clearly reluctant for the visit to end. And at first, it seems like their daughter is too, because when they go looking for Flora, it seems like she’s playing her own version of Hide and Seek — which involves not letting the seeker know you’re hiding and seeing how long it takes for them to find out that you’re playing.
When they find her, she’s whispering in a small cupboard, and when Lee pulls open the door, Flora asks where “she” went. And by she, she explains, Flora means Priscilla, whom she was trying to give her doll to before her parents found her. When they ask her why, she says it’s a trade — to ensure that “they” don’t kill them all. And save her for last.
Completely shaken, Mason brings his daughter to the car, questioning how an eight-year-old even knows how to say something like Flora did, and swearing that their daughter will never come back there. Then he drives away. Lee, heartbroken, goes into the house and drinks — falling off the wagon in a big way.
When Matt and Shelby find her, she’s completely drunk, and seems to have thrown a bunch of knives on the ceiling, though Lee claims she wasn’t the one to do that. Matt puts her to bed while she pleads with him not to tell her ex what happened, and he leaves.
But she’s then visited by the nurses from Matt’s strange vision, shocking her awake. When she stumbles out into the hallway, she has a flash of seeing bloody appendages on the wall, and when she looks into a nearby mirror, the strange pig creature appears behind her to her horror. But how much of what she’s seeing is real and how much of it is because she’s under the influence?
After putting Lee to bed, Shelby calls Matt downstairs, and they both witness a figure outside in their yard. When they go to investigate, they find a cellar door in the spot she was standing, open it, and make their way down the ladder. (Again, probably not a choice I’d make, but I digress.)
In the cellar, it appears that someone has been living there, as there’s a TV, preserves, and a videocamera with a tape in it. When they take the tape into the house and play it, it appears to be a video diary from a professor, Dr. Elias Cunningham, who got so afraid of what he felt were evil forces in the house when he was staying there, that he retreated to the cellar they found the videotape in.
Cunningham claims that it’s October 1997 on the tape, and that he came to the house to do research on two homicidal nurses, Miranda and Bridget. There’s evidence that they had worked together as nurses in Rochester, before leaving after two patients mysteriously died under their care. They then made their way to the very house Matt and Shelby are watching his testimony in, and opened an elderly assisted living facility there. And that’s when they really got started with their murderous legacy.
On the tape, Elias explains that the nurses opened a facility there and accepted patients whose families wanted to basically be rid of them until they died. But they also seemed to choose patients based on the first initial of their first names — which becomes important later on in his story.
One by one, the women murdered their patients, and, using the first initials of their names, spelled out “Murde” in spray paint on a wall of the house. But they never finished the word, which was presumably “murder,” and eventually the police were called when relatives said they had called the facility with no answer for weeks. When the authorities arrived, it was to find the nurses gone, and dead bodies littering the house.
So the house was cleaned up, repainted, re-carpeted, the works, so it could be sold. Only, when they tried to paint over “Murde” on the dining room wall, it kept fading back into sight, and eventually it was wallpapered over. Horrified, Matt runs into the room and peels away the wallpaper on a wall, and, sure enough, finds the word still painted there.
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“They Were Stopped”
Dr. Cunningham continues on the tape, and says that, unlike what was believed at the time, he doesn’t think Bridget and Miranda ran away at all — he thinks they were stopped before they could finish their killing spree. And he thinks they were stopped by much more evil forces, connected to the house and the surrounding woods. On the video, he says he’s decided to go back in and face whatever is there, and he does just that, with the camera rolling.
Elias makes his way into the house, at night, which I would say is probably the absolute worst time he could go, and, sure enough, something happens to him once he gets there. All that is caught on tape is a woman in the mirror behind him before it abruptly ends, and Matt and Shelby are shocked back into reality with a noise at their front door — which turns out to be a bloody knife, embedded in the wood.
Trapped and Lost
Matt and Shelby argue with a banker in their house after watching the video, claiming they could sue for fraud because he knowingly changed the address of the property so it couldn’t be connected to the horrific history there. But he won’t back down, and leaves without offering them more than a comment that they could offer “competitive rates” to whoever they sell the property to. So, it seems they’re trapped, with no way out that would let them recoup the life savings they put into the property.
Before they can even really process the news, Lee drives up to the house, and she has Flora in her car. Matt realizes right away that she basically kidnapped her daughter, and Lee admits that she just wanted to see her and got carried away and took her with when she left. Flora and Shelby leave the room while Matt and Lee talk about what to do next, and Shelby receives a phone call from Mason while they’re talking.
Shelby walks into the room and gets Mason to agree not to involve the police, telling him that Flora is there and safe, then relaying the news to her husband and sister-in-law that Flora’s father is coming for her. So Lee goes to get her in the other room — only, when he gets there, Flora is nowhere to be found, and the front door is open.
As it turns out, Flora saw a little girl, probably Priscilla, outside when she was doing her homework alone in the other room, and she went out without telling anyone. But all Lee, Matt, and Shelby know is that she’s gone.
And when they go looking for her in the woods, all they find in her yellow sweatshirt, high up in a tree, and Flora nowhere to be found.
Do you think Flora is alive and well? Will Mason show up and get caught up in all of this too? And just who are these people who are terrorizing them all?
American Horror Story: Roanoke airs Wednesday nights at 10/9c on FX. Want more news? Like BuddyTV’s American Horror Story Facebook page.
(Images courtesy of FX)