A lot of questions about the farm house are answered this week on American Horror Story: Roanoke, but many still remain as Matt, Shelby, and Cricket get closer to uncovering the real story of the lost colony of Roanoke.
And You Think Your Relationship Has Issues
This week’s episode, “Chapter 4,” starts with Matt in the interview portion, claiming that Shelby has lost it. We then see Paulson and Cuba’s versions of Shelby and Matt fighting in their home, arguing till both are left teary-eyed and confused. Things seem to have picked up immediately after last week’s episode and the couple had yet to discuss what Shelby witnessed in the woods. It’s clear that the farm house, or maybe the lost colony’s cursed land, is either messing with Shelby or Matt’s head. Either Matt really was having brainwashed sex with the forest witch while the creepy local yokels watched or Shelby was being shown something horrid that wasn’t really happening. It isn’t quite clear at this point, but it seems more likely to be the former. The two eventually come to some sort of sad understanding and agree, without saying it, to put the incident in the woods behind them for now.
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Here Piggy, Piggy
Things seem to calm down a bit once Shelby assures Matt that she believes him, but this is American Horror Story after all, and the tension hardly ever lets up. So, seconds later, Shelby calmly walks upstairs to take a shower only to pull aside the curtain and find a half-naked, bloody man wearing a pig’s head. The man lunges towards her with a knife, she screams, a chase ensues, and then Matt tackles the pig man. The two get up and begin running for the lives, and just as it seems that their fate is sealed, the professor from the basement video appears out of nowhere to “kill” the pig man.
Clunky Exposition and Gruesome Flashbacks
The professor, Elias (who conveniently manifested out of thin air) decides to explain the house’s history to the young home owners. He tells the couple that everybody who has ever lived in the house, including the deranged “murder sisters,” was killed by the spirits of “the butcher” and her bearded fanboys. One memorable moment comes as the “murder sisters” are gruesomely tortured. “The butcher” has her lackeys tie ropes around one of the sisters arms and she then instructs them to keep pulling until both of her arms rip clean off her body. It’s not a pretty sight.
A Walk in the Woods
Elias tells the couple that he knows where Priscilla, the little dead girl who originally led Flora into the woods, likes to play. So the three of them go for a nice stroll in the woods. On their way, they encounter the forest witch who flees deeper into the woods while Shelby, consumed by jealous rage, gives chase. The witch disappears and in her place we see all of the people who have been killed by the lost Roanoke colony. The gang’s all there; cute little Priscilla, good ‘ol pig face, the happy-go-lucky murder girls, and Flora. Just as Elias approaches Priscilla, pleading with her to let Flora come home to her family, five arrows strike him in the chest and he falls dead. “The butcher” and her men then come charging towards them, and Matt and Shelby run back to the house, leaving poor Flora behind.
“The Bitch with the Real Power”
Shelby and Matt are met by Cricket, the psychic, upon arriving back at the house. He ushers them inside and explains that they have more than “the butcher” to worry about. In some more flashbacks (less clunky this time) we get to see what Cricket has come to learn about the land where they live. First, he tells them that “the bitch with the real power” is the forest witch, not “the butcher.” The witch is the master pulling all of the strings. She is the one who saved “the butcher,” giving her powers in exchange for doing her evil bidding.
Cricket then tells the couple that the Roanoke colony wasn’t really lost but instead relocated inland. The colony was blessed with lush farming land and plenty of crops, but it came at a price. “The butcher” and company were sacrificing children (like Priscilla) in exchange for the bounty of food that the witch delivered. But then needing more power, the witch gave them one final order: commit a blood sacrifice in order to tether their souls to the land. So “the butcher,” knowing better than to disobey the powerful witch, kills her entire group and then herself, ensuring that their souls will protect her land for eternity.
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Hold on, I Need My Pocketbook of Chance
Before finishing the story of how he came to learn all of this information, Cricket explains that he made a deal and promised the witch what “all women need:” the company of a good man. So, shifty little Cricket offers the witch sexy-time with Matt and she accepts. Neither Shelby nor Matt seem to pay much attention to this part of Cricket’s story for some reason. After he finishes spinning his tale, Cricket tells them that he has to return to his hotel for his “pocketbook of chance” (love this line) and a few other things.
An Uber driver (who is also interviewed in the fake documentary for some odd reason) is then driving Cricket back to the hotel when Flora runs out in front of the car. This moment comes just as the sassy Cricket is asking his handsome driver if he’s ever heard of “gay for pay” — a strange tonal shift, but a funny one for sure. Cricket quickly rushes out of the car and chases after Flora, but the scene cuts away before we are able see what happens to them.
Matt Fulfills a Promise
Moments later, Matt and Shelby are back at the house waiting for Cricket. Hours pass with no word from him. They begin to grow worried but are so exhausted from everything that’s been happening that they fall asleep. Matt wakes shortly after feeling compelled by something. He mindlessly walks out of the house and is drawn towards the cellar door that Priscilla previously led them to. There he finds the forest witch waiting for him, with a nice bed prepared. Time to pay those debts, Matt!
The two begin making love, and it truly is making love this time and not the animalistic version of sex they had outside against the tree. As Matt exclaims, the witch “opens herself up to him completely.” Future Matt, the one giving the interview (not the Cuba Gooding Jr. one), explains that he was able to wordlessly understand the witch’s whole life experience through their lovemaking.
Somehow, through the magic of melding private parts and, well, magic, she relays the story of how she was meant to be sacrificed for being a witch but escaped and murdered everyone in her colony. Then it gets a little bit hazy (for me, at least), but somehow she becomes an all-powerful, seemingly immortal being who wanders the land forcing others to do her bidding while the October moon is red and full. This part moves quite fast and is a little bit messy and hard to comprehend — I’m not so sure it really matters, though.
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“It’s Time for the Land to be Reclaimed”
While his wife is sleeping in the farmhouse, Matt continues making love to the witch, unable to stop himself. He does later reveal, though, that he enjoyed it and only stopped for one reason.
“The butcher” and her zombie boy toys surround the house and Shelby, now standing by the front door, pleads with them to let Flora go. Matt hears this and leaves the witch (who actually seems quite sad) in the middle of the act. He joins Shelby and the two watch as “the butcher” tells them “it is time for the land to be reclaimed,” which we now understand to mean she will sacrifice an innocent child; in this case, Flora. As the cleaver is about to slit the young girl’s throat, her spectral friend, Priscilla, comes to her rescue, knocking “the butcher” off balance and giving her the opportunity to run to safety beside her uncle.
The family retreats inside, presumably safe from the Roanoke walking dead. They then watch from the window as poor Cricket is walked to the front of the crowd and summarily executed then disemboweled, a very gruesome way to go indeed. The last image of the episode shows “the butcher” raising her cleaver toward the window, signaling that Matt and Shelby will be next.
And thus, several questions are answered but many important ones remain. What will happen to Lee? Could the witch possibly have a change of heart? And we know Shelby and Matt will survive (because how else could they give interviews?), but will Flora survive this whole ordeal?
American Horror Story airs on Wednesdays at 10/9c. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of FX)