American Horror Story Roanoke: 06×10, Chapter 10 (Review/Recap)

Chapter 10

American Horror Story: Roanoke has reached its climactic conclusion and pulled a surprise ending we probably didn’t see coming. After witnessing what we believed would be the last of the Roanoke home, one thing brought it all back into the fold — but, first, let’s go back a little.

Recap: “Chapter 10”

After seeing the scene conclude, we find out we were watching the progression of Lee’s story through yet another reality series entitled <emCrack’d, detailing behind the scenes details of Lee’s court case. The next introduction brought back possibly my favorite AHS character (or at least top three), journalist and Asylum survivor Lana Winters. Cue the next show transition, the Lana Winters special with a cheesy title card, bringing the ultimate survivor out of retirement for an interview with Lee (who declined every other journalist and network) for the simple reason that they both have been through significant trauma and devastating horror. Lee acknowledges that Lana had killed her own child, Bloody Face, but Lana becomes tense and says he was a psychotic murderer more than anything else and she did what she had to for survival.

After getting past a few uncomfortable instances, Lana gets into the harder questions and informs Lee her daughter went missing an hour before their current live interview. Lana wants to know if Lee is responsible, but the news makes Lee grow fearful for her daughter, and, as panic sets in, gunfire is heard down the hallway. At that moment, the last member of the Polk family barges into the interview — with the cameras capturing every moment. Lana stands in between Lee and the Polk, trying her best to talk him off the ledge and relate to his pain. It’s a nice note to remind us how Lana had evolved from the beginning of Asylum to this appearance for My Roanoke Nightmare. Despite her coming close to possibly changing his mind, he strikes Lana with his gun and knocks her unconscious before being shot by police, just before he could finish his attempted murder of Lee.

Next up, we are cutting to a different series entitled Spirit Chasers (similar to Ghost Hunters) who undergo a hokey exploration for the supernatural (also noting the parallels to Asylum). The ghost hunters find a few truths out of the Roanoke story, but, most shockingly, it’s on a blood moon and Lee enters, scaring the team. At this point, you realize it’s two weeks after the Lana Winters special, and Lee had a gut instinct to return to the home where her daughter could be held captive. She tries to warn them to flee, but they are more hyped on the idea of getting footage as the attacks commence once more. The Chans, pig-headed killer, nurses, Butcher and more come out to play — killing nearly all of the “spirit chasers”, except for one who yells to arriving police to run for their lives. To their poor luck, a barrage of arrows is sent flying, killing them as well.

Lee (who has stayed inside the house) waits for Flora to come out, and she finally decides to show herself to her mother. Before we can see what plays out next, we are shown several news segments discussing a standoff with Lee and the police overnight, eventually letting us see “national treasure” Lana Winters is alive and recovering — giving herself and Lee credit for fighting relentlessly for their cause, which, in her case, was surviving the asylum and taking down Briarcliff. Lee’s goal? Save her daughter at any cost. Later into the day, Flora tells her mother she has been staying in the woods with Priscilla and felt safer with the ghost girl due to watching her mother kill her own father. Lee admits she hasn’t lived up to her idealistic traits as a good mother, but, more than anything, her love for Flora has been the most evident thing this season, and, unfortunately, Flora doesn’t seem to accept that. Flora tells Lee that she won’t leave and will become a spirit herself to save Priscilla from the butcher, and that’s when Lee decides her best gift to her daughter is to take that job on so Flora will survive and have a shot at living. As we get to the final moments of the episode, we see Flora leaving the home and an explosion in the background, annihilating the property. We also catch a glimpse at Lee’s final moments, deciding to let Priscilla end her life with the hopes her daughter can eventually understand or forgive her. In the end, the series offered its “sole survivor” — who wasn’t who we were expecting but the product of a strong woman who had overcome hell for the sake of her daughter, for whom she had unconditional love.

Overall Grade: 8/10

This most definitely wasn’t the happy-ish finale I was hoping for from AHS Roanoke, but it can’t be said that it wasn’t full of surprises. It was a hard pill to swallow that the one survivor was a character who felt extremely naïve to what was going on around her. Flora wasn’t someone I felt I could truly sympathize with or root for, as opposed to her mother’s poignant story of survival — my only true frustration with the season’s conclusion. At least it could be stated that she felt she accomplished her mission of giving her daughter what she wanted, even if it was another slight reason for me to dislike the daughter. Lana Winters was certainly a star in AHS Asylum, and, of all the potential crossovers, it was the most enjoyable to catch up with and stay aware of what made her such an evolved character to begin with — thank you Lana Winters for being the standout inclusion of the AHS finale.

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed the initial reality tv transition that presented an unfiltered horror appearance, concurrently pushing a powerful impact that deviates from traditional techniques.

If I had to rank the season finales, I would say (beginning with the strongest): Asylum, Coven, Hotel, Murder House, Roanoke, Freak Show

I was saddened to see Lee end her life in a situation that felt it could be avoided, but I understand the message behind the act itself.

Sarah Paulson really had her work cut out for her this season as Shelby, Audrey and Lana in the span of 10 episodes.

Catch up with American Horror Story Season 5 (Hotelon DVD or Blu-Ray.

American Horror Story Roanoke: 06×09, Chapter 9 (Review/Recap)

american horror story

This season of American Horror Story has been shrouded in mystery (with the exception of ‘Roanoke’ leaking), and it only continues to take different directions even up until the preview for next week’s finale. Before we get into the potentially major change of pace for the finale, let’s begin where “Chapter 9” kicks off.

Recap: “Chapter 9”

The episode starts out with three new characters (Todd, Milo and Sophie) who run a My Roanoke Nightmare fanpage and hope to document the real haunted house and gain a massive new following on social media. Sophie (played by AHS fan favorite Taissa Farmiga) and her two friends discover the presumed-dead producer from episodes ago wandering the woods with visible trauma. They follow the girl into the woods and eventually find her vehicle with her body (clearly toying with them via apparition form), sending them to the police for any kind of help they can get.

The police (also known to have connections and an arrangement with the Polk family) tell each of the fans that their “prank” will not be tolerated, followed by a trespassing warning if they return to the property. Not willing to sit this one out, they agree to head back to the location for clarity on what is actually going on with the spirits and blood moon. Unsurprisingly, the younger adventurers are more focused on the fact that they’ve gained more than 20,000 followers and made #BloodMoon a trend on Twitter — priorities. Lee and Audrey make their way to the Polk farm for the tape (with Lee’s confession), now aided by the actor Dylan, who played the butcher’s son. The actor is a showboat-y person entirely, constantly referring back to his military training.

When on the Polk property, Audrey discovers Monet, Dylan begins to work on hot-wiring a car, and Lee locates the tape she sought out in her defense. Audrey frees Monet, but one of two remaining Polk men finds them, and Audrey baits him to repeat his threat of “killing them real slow” so she can shoot him on-camera with no repercussions. They get outside and see Dylan is injured by the last Polk family member before they all spot the mob making their way towards them — so the Polk survivor steals the car, and the others are left to deal with the spirits. Monet and Audrey flee while they can, leaving the slowed-down Lee in less than promising circumstances. Lee is shown crawling through the woods, presumably getting closer to dying, until the witch (and original supreme) comes out of the shadows to feed her a pig heart and possibly embody the spirit of the Butcher once more.

Todd and the other two fans of the show see her in the woods and approach the changed version of Lee, asking to talk to her — but Todd is met with a blade, leaving only two fans of the series running around the wilderness. They arrive to the producers’ trailer and notice each camera with fixed images focused on the bodies of actors/former survivors. On one end, they see Monet and Audrey posted up in a room with a bottle and, on the other, the possessed Lee makes her way to the house to finish killing off anyone still alive. While the two could leave, as dedicated fans, they make the executive decision to save them if possible.

Audrey and Monet, next, watch the video Lee had tried to protect, learning the truth about what she had done to her husband. When Monet begins to state she would have been okay with the Polks killing Lee, she pops up behind them under the Butcher’s thrawl and wielding a blade. Monet begins to taunt the two-time Roanoke victim and is shoved by Lee from a balcony, falling to her death atop a broken chandelier. Audrey fights back and escapes to the outside of the house, but Lee catches up, stabs her, and locks her in a cellar, leaving the actress for dead. Sophie and Milo unknowingly arrive too late, where they are skewered and burned alive by the real Butcher and her ghostly cult following.

The next day, the police arrive after reports of a lynch mob from the live-stream, and a disturbing scene surrounds them with the bodies of multiple people scattered around the evil property with relentless death and brutality. It is then that Lee is found sobbing and in shock, possibly unaware of what she had just done hours before. Audrey is the next one shown to be alive, crawling her way out of the cellar and spotting Lee — who she holds responsible for her near death experience. Audrey strips the gun from an officer and tries to kill Lee but is shot down by the other officers, and we see a final shot of Audrey’s lifeless body in the field — making Lee the sole survivor of the Roanoke nightmare.

Overall Grade: 8.8/10

This was an episode that felt full of thrills from beginning to end, correctly wrapping up the mayhem of Roanoke. Lee was my second guess on the survivor of Roanoke, given the fact that she was present for the original murders and round two, making her upcoming sit-down interview with Lana Winters something to look forward to. The episode was a very strong chapter looking back on the season, and I truly hope Lana Winters is given plenty of time to showcase how incredible she is — one of AHS’s best final girls, if not the very best.

Aedan’s Final Thoughts on “Chapter 9”:

– The fan POV was a humorous addition, like the moment Sophie was sad of Shelby’s death because “she liked her.”
– I was actually rooting for Audrey to make it out of the Roanoke scenario, but that’s also in great part due to Sarah Paulson’s consistent performances as a layered actress.
– I can’t even explain how hyped I am for the return of the Lana Winters special. Lee should feel uber-flattered.

American Horror Story Roanoke: 06×08, Chapter 8 (Recap/Review)

American Horror Story

After some slight confusion about the reality-style second half of American Horror Story, it is beginning to provide some intense new thrills that amplify the horror aspects of the series. With Shelby and faux-Matt watching Agnes getting murdered outside, things look grim for the remaining survivors – sending the unlikely duo into the underground tunnel. They don’t get too far before the spirits of the Chan family crawl from the ceiling at full speed (not a sight I’d want to encounter firsthand.) Sure, they were just attacked there not too long ago, but they apparently wanted to see if things lightened up down below.

Cut to Lee, who thankfully is still alive despite missing a few chunks of flesh from the hillbilly Polk family of cannibals. They begin to cut into more flesh and after blacking out, she wakes up to her ear missing – a Polk family tradition called a “pickled ear.” I try not to judge family traditions, but I’ll make an exception on this one… Lee tries to rationalize (imagine that) with one of the Polk sons about her daughter, unsuccessfully trying to see if there was any shot at keeping her alive. In the midst of the backwoods family function we do discover that the pigheaded killer is actually a Polk family member who took note of the Butcher’s tendencies. Once she realizes her chances are slim, Lee says farewell to her sobriety and does lines of cocaine now aware that she will eventually be turned into a piping bowl of bone broth.

Back at the house (even though there are no home-like attributes other than walls and family dysfunction) Shelby and Dominic make it back from the basement, narrowly escaping the Chan Grudge-like ghosts. Shelby looks as if she’s going to lose hope until the pity-party is thwarted by the pigman attacking once more. They run towards the staircase dodging the nurses, Chans and pigman murderer during an intense sequence that gives credibility towards the descriptions provided earlier in the season. The two make it into a bathroom and Shelby begins to express remorse for killing the man she loved, deciding to slit her own throat in front of Dominic and adding another former survivor to the death toll.

With Lee feeling closer to her end, she convinces the Polk son to film a goodbye video for her daughter, admitting to the camera that she was responsible for the death of her husband (Sidney’s entire purpose of making the sequel series.) Lee’s last ditch effort involves suggesting the two get frisky (romance is clearly dead along with the Roanoke cast) and she uses an untied hand to stab him repeatedly and free herself. The actresses Monet and Audrey are held captive by the other Polks who want to show off their collection of teeth necklaces – deciding to add one of the ladies as well. When they try to take Monet’s tooth, the chair breaks and she runs away, leaving Audrey in the hands of the Polk’s still. The grimey mother arrives, sending her sons after her and she stays behind, managing to pull Audrey’s tooth out. At that same moment, the Polks find Monet fairly quick, and Lee has snuck into where Audrey was captive, temporarily injuring the mother before setting Audrey free. Before they can leave, Audrey takes the moment to smash the vile woman’s head in and continuously thank Lee for setting her free. This is a pair I wish could both survive, but i’ll be ok with one of them making it out alive.

Concluding that they have better overnight survival chances in the house as opposed to the woods, they go back to the property and Lee discovers the body of her brother. Lee becomes an emotional wreck, but Audrey helps her move through the gruesome scene to the upstairs bedroom to get a little high and decompress of course. Audrey and Lee enter the bathroom, where they notice shelby’s corpse and a shocked Dominic. He tells them what occurred but Lee refuses to believe Shelby could have ever killed the man she loved – yet Audrey is more convinced that she knows Shelby is too self centered to kill herself. They lock him out of the room, not believing his claims, but he is met by the pig-faced spirit who butchers him as Audrey tells the audience she had many more strong performances to give (I seriously am starting to love Audrey.) By the time morning comes, Lee convinces Audrey to return to the Polk farm with her and destroy evidence of what they did (more concerned about her confession I’d assume.) When they get to the door, they are met by the actor who portrayed the Butcher’s son, now dressed with a pig mask. I’m not quite certain where this will end, but it’s getting exciting to see what will come within the last two episodes of AHS.

Overall Grade: 8/10

The intensity and horrors of the episode have improved quite a bit from the beginning, making it feel more like a horror/survival scenario that asserts itself strongly. Audrey and Lee have both begun to show entertaining final-girl qualities, so I would like to at least see one make it out to be interviewed by the ultimate final girl Lana Winters of AHS: Asylum (recently confirmed to appear.)

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

  • Audrey saying “I feel like a part of me has died” when she locates Shelby’s body was a great laugh in the middle of a bloodbath.
  • There are definitely moments that indicate things will play out exactly like they did the first time around.
  • With Lee being the only original left, my money is on her surviving unless the original supreme does something to somehow resurrect Matt.