American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare Season 6 Episode 4 “Chapter 4”
Directed by Marita Grabiak
Written by John J. Gray
Created by Brad Falchuk & Ryan Murphy
Starring Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Wes Bentley, Chaz Bono, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Cuba Gooding Jr. FX Network
Air date: Wednesday, October 5, 2016, 10pm
Spoilers for American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare…
Last week American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare, the Miller family’s descent into madness continued as the search for missing Flora (Saniyya Sidney) escalated. First there was the lost farm housing feral kids. Then Flora’s father Mason (Charles Malik Whitfield) was found as a burned and dead totem in the woods, and Lee (Angela Bassett) was arrested. Matt (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and Shelby (Sarah Paulson) are at their wits end, stuck between belief and skepticism. On one hand, there are truly unbelievable things happening involving glass shattering during a seance, bloody letters on their walls, and creepy video tapes. But then when shifty medium Cricket Marlowe (Leslie Jordan) arrives claiming to communicate with the evil spirits of 400-year-old Roanoke ghosts, he casually needs $25,000 to continue “working.”
The format of the season, which is an Unsolved Mysteries-style re-enactments while the “real” people (Andre Holland, Lily Rabe, Adina Porter) narrate over it, hurts the tension a bit as they all obviously survive to tell the tale, but it doesn’t stop the show from keeping on with the crazy mind-melting scares. Last week we had feral kids suckling a pig and possessed witch sex… what can this week possibly do to us hopeless viewers…
In Episode 6.4, Matt doesn’t remember the witch sex and CGJ shows off his acting chops. Before I can take a breath, Shelby and Matt are attacked by a pig-headed man and rescued by Dr. Elias Cunningham (Denis O’Hare), who was in the video tape and he vanquishes the pig man by yelling “Croatoan!” The same word the pig-boys were yelling… the only word found in the Roanoke Colony hundreds of years earlier… a word of dark, blood magic.
Cunningham tells them of the Chen family, a group of immigrants who moved in and faced the evils of the house. He recounts various stories of how The Butcher (Kathy Bates) and her family of Roanoke ghosts brutally and bloodily murdered everyone by any and all means, including the worst game of tug of war I’ve ever watched. It always happened during the same 6-day period in the October lunar cycle, the “Dying Grass Moon.” Decades of history may have finally convinced the Millers to just GTFO of there.
Elias takes them deep in the woods and there is Flora and Prescilla and the ghosts. Before they can even determine whether she is alive or a ghost, arrows rain down on Cunningham and the Millers run back to the house where Cricket is there ready to help. Leslie Jordan has this part down perfectly. He totally captures the Zelda Rubinstein vibe from Poltergeist. He marches back into the woods and meets the one of real power… someone even scarier and worse than The Butcher… Lady Gaga! Okay, no, but Gaga does play the Witch whose blood sacrifice consecrated the land.
We once again see the horrific lengths the creators of AHS will go to in order to gross us out. Poor Cricket, let’s just say you won’t have to google “disemboweling” after tonight’s episode. This episode continued an already gory and sadistic season. We learned more about the witch and Lady Gaga once again is throwing herself (and thrusting…) into the role with reckless abandon. Again, my only issue right now is how they will maintain the tension with Matt and Shelby as we know that they obviously survive the ordeal. On the AHS “wacky” barometer we can add centuries’ old torture and murder, pig-men, and more witch sex. Always a fun evening with this bunch.
American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare returns next Wednesday night at 10:00 only on FX.