The long-awaited twist we’ve been promised on this season of American Horror Story is revealed tonight, and it’s certainly a game changer. Be prepared for a larger cast, but just as many scares, on “Chapter 6” of American Horror Story: Roanoke.
Return to Roanoke?
Very early on in this episode, it’s revealed that My Roanoke Nightmare was a smash hit television show in 2015, and it’s producer, Sidney, is very interested in continuing his winning streak. In a meeting with a bunch of network executives, he pitches a sequel to the series: Three Days in Hell: Return to Roanoke. The sequel would feature both the real-life individuals featured in the first show, plus their actor counterparts, all staying together in the Roanoke house during the blood moon with everything caught on film.
Sidney explains that the cast will face what they think are real spirits and other scares, but, during a pre-production run-through with a woman he works with, Diana, we see some of the special effects that will be used to fake things like pipes rattling or drawers flying out without being touched. Basically, it’ll be a reality TV show where the cast isn’t aware that the scares aren’t real.
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However, the original people who lived the Roanoke nightmare very much believe they experienced real horrors in that house. And there are real, lasting effects of the airing on the series: Matt and Shelby separated after they grew distant, Shelby participated in a “fling” with her counterpart, Lee is believed by many of the fans to have killed her husband and they demand justice, and the woman who played the butcher had a mental breakdown. So is it really a good plan to stick a bunch of people there again, during the blood moon, no less?
Well, the network picks up the show, and Sidney works to get everyone to return for the sequel. He interviews Shelby, who wants to set the record straight but initially says she won’t participate in the show. She’s received death threats after separating from her husband and being seen with his actor, Dominic, and will only agree to return if Matt is there too, in the hopes that if she can get him in the same room with her, she can get him to listen and maybe win him back. Sidney, clearly looking for as much drama on the show as he can get, of course agrees.
But she also says that Dominic can’t be involved, and though Sidney agrees to her terms, he immediately goes back on his word and makes sure he will appear. That’s reality TV for you, folks.
Lee is also interviewed, on E! News, and she says she wants to participate in the sequel so they don’t have the chance to further drag her name through the mud without her there. Her mother-in-law is suing for custody of her daughter, and there’s apparently a petition on the Internet to have her indicted for murder. Yikes. Sidney believes she killed Mason and wants to get her to admit it, and the show runners aren’t liable if she appears on the sequel and kills again, so of course, she’s brought on board as well.
A few of the people who acted on the series are facing some very real backlash of their own, as well. When Sidney interviews the woman who played the Butcher, Agnes, she talks about how it was the role of a lifetime and how much she enjoyed the character. But apparently she got a little too attached. It’s revealed that she was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder after she showed up in Hollywood in character, threatening the crowd around her. She was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, and went to a mental health facility for a period of time.
Agnes claims she’s “better,” but Sidney isn’t so sure. He points out that she moved to North Carolina, not far from the house, and stole items from the set. He then shows her a photo of a gruesome discovery made on the grounds of the house while they were setting up for filming: a ring of bloody fetal pigs left behind a tree. He accuses her of leaving them there, though she denies it, and then has an officer appear to slap her with a restraining order demanding that she stay 500 feet away from filming.
Agnes completely loses it after Sidney tells her she won’t be on the show, and as he and Diana leave, she appears to slip back into her Butcher persona as she screams after them. Diana is worried that she’ll appear on set anyway, but it seems like Sidney wouldn’t be totally opposed to that happening. This should end well.
Additionally, the woman who played Lee has been in and out of treatment for alcoholism since filming on the series wrapped, something she later blames on getting too wrapped up in playing Lee, who she believes killed her husband. The producers have to agree not to knowingly let her have alcohol, but count on the fact that, as an alcoholic, she will find it if she wants it.
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Stranger Than Fiction
During pre-production for the new season, strange and horrific things begin to happen. At one point, Sidney and Diana are called to the set because of a horrible accident: a crew member operating a chainsaw somehow turned the tool on himself and cut his own head off, with a camera capturing the whole thing. A union rep recommends they take at least a day off to let the crew recover, but Sidney wants to get a move on and decides they’ll continue that same day.
Diana gets fed up with Sidney and, after an argument, drives off in her car. She turns on a camera in the vehicle and begins to make what she says is her own account of what happened, as she believes Sidney will make her come off badly. As she talks, she suddenly brakes for what appears to be a woman in old-fashioned clothing in the road ahead. Terrified, she goes to drive off, but is attacked from behind and killed by what appears to be the infamous Pig Man.
The footage is found three months later by the police. Her body, however, was never recovered.
During the course of filming My Roanoke Nightmare, the actress who played Shelby, Audrey, agreed to go on a date with the actor who played Edward, Rory. That led to a whirlwind romance, and the two eventually got married. There’s a significant age difference between them, and I’m not sure they have much in common aside from them both being on the show and being beautiful people, but I guess as long as they’re happy…
After the two of them settle into the house for filming, they go downstairs at one point, and Rory captures a figure walking past a window outside on camera. Then the window breaks, and Audrey fully believes it was Agnes, who she had to call 911 on at least once before when the other woman tried to break into her house and steal an award they were both up for. Other cast members arrive and there’s no sign of Agnes, so filming continues.
All of the cast eventually arrives, save Dominic, and they’re all given phones that are disabled aside from the cameras. There’s a confrontation between Matt, Shelby and Lee, and for the most part, the group sticks to their “real” vs. “actors” groups. The actors don’t believe anything really happened in the house, since they were there for eight weeks of filming with no incidents, but Matt points out to them that they weren’t there during the blood moon. (I’m not entirely sure why he even agreed to appear, unless he too wanted to reconcile with Shelby and they couldn’t, I dunno, meet in a coffee shop or something less murder-y.)
Anyway, not long after Matt’s comment about the moon, a message appears on screen explaining that over the course of three days, all of the participants, except one, died of mysterious causes, and the show never actually aired. What we are seeing are the pieces of footage eventually recovered. Now things are getting interesting.
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Rory and Audrey have a romp in the hot tub, before Audrey makes her way inside to take a shower. While she’s doing that, Lee and her actress counterpart are in the kitchen, and Shelby and Matt talk in the basement, where he’s opted to stay so he doesn’t have to sleep in the same room with her. Matt is unsure whether they’ll all survive this time, and Shelby tries to convince him that they should just leave.
Just after Lee and the actress who played her discuss the actress’ drinking problem, and she accuses Lee of having really killed Mason, our final cast member arrives. Dominic makes his entrance in dramatic fashion, with Matt immediately attacking him upon entry. Everyone besides Audrey breaks up the fight, and Shelby makes sure to scream a little at Sidney into a nearby camera for good measure.
Finally, Audrey gets out of the shower upstairs, only to see someone in the mirror behind her, causing her to understandably flip out and run screaming down the stairs. While Dominic comforts her, Rory makes his way up to investigate. And while he’s searching, two spirits appear behind him and seem to stab him to death on camera. (So much for Evan Peters being back on the show, huh?)
When Matt wanders into the dining room, he sees that the word on the wall, “Murde,” has finally been completed in dripping blood with an “R” tacked onto the end. “R is for Rory” he dazedly tells the others in the kitchen, and that’s where the episode ends.
Who do you think will die next in the Roanoke house? And is Agnes really lurking around somewhere? Let us know in the comments below!
American Horror Story: Roanoke airs Wednesday nights on FX at 10/9c.Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of FX)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV