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Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet watched Episode 2 of American Horror Story: Roanoke.
In its second week, American Horror Story: Roanoke already feels exactly like every other season of the anthology series in terms of how many different scares and questions are thrown at viewers. Last week introduced the central location of a large dwelling that seemed to be troubled by the savage spirits of Roanoke's lost settlers as well as irate mountain people locals, and this week expanded upon the house's history by introducing several different spooky entities that also make their home there. Every time I started to think, "Well, this is ridiculous," I remembered that's exactly what I like about this show.
The episode opened with a particularly grisly bit of human sacrifice, as a ranting Kathy Bates and her minions had a dude set up on a big spit, and they roasted him like a pig, complete with a pig head shoved onto the victim's own skull. (Connected to the Piggy business from last week and Season 1? Almost defin-oink-ly.) But aside from the hammy motif, those old-timey settlers were largely absent from "Chapter 2," which diverted its focus to more threats that have haunted and will continue to haunt Shelby, Matt and Lee.
Matt had himself a vicious hallucination - or a vision from the past or whatever you want to call it - in which two nurses bemusedly shot an old woman point blank in the head. (Say, Season 1 also had some nurses involved with a harrowing situation, via the Richard Speck homage, though this isn't quite the same.) Via a video camera found in the basement, Matt and Shelby watched Denis O'Hare rave on about weird shit as Dr. Elias Cunningham, who (in 1997) recorded himself telling the story of two serial killer nurses whose biggest claim to infamy was opening up a medical care facility and then killing some of the patients.
It doesn't take long for Matt to realize that the facility in question was the very house he and Shelby bought, and he finds the evidence behind the wallpaper. Because of course, the nurses didn't finish their loony mission of spelling out the word "M-U-R-D-E-R" with the blood of people whose names start with the corresponding letters, and now they're probably going to come back and try again, with M for Matt being a possible first victim.
Then we have Lee, whose daughter is apparently being disturbed by a malicious spirit who wears a bonnet, despite being otherwise mostly invisible. Priscilla, as the entity is called, hangs out in closets and outside where parents aren't lurking, but she's not very friendly at all. In fact, Lee's daughter was going to "sacrifice" her doll so that Priscilla wouldn't kill her family, even though that's apparently going to happen anyway, with the youngest family member being left for last. That could have been a more chilling reveal, but it worked well enough. In the end, Priscilla actually kidnapped the daughter instead of killing anyone, after Lee moronically sorta-kidnapped her to bring her to the house in the first place.
So for those keeping track of the threats already introduced, that's crazy locals, pig-obsessed colonials, a deadly invisible frenemy and a pair of gun-toting nurses, and it doesn't appear that the love of entrails is a trait exclusive to only one of them. (This episode had some of the most effective shots of guts and innards that I'd care to remember.) I'm assuming we've seen at least one other instance where it's a completely different ghost or goblin trying to scare them, with an introduction coming just over the flame-filled horizon.
Whether we know what's actually happening or not, American Horror Story: Roanoke will continue to dole out mysteries and answers to huge audiences on a weekly basis every Wednesday night on FX at 10:00 p.m. ET. To see when everything else is coming to the small screen, check out our fall premiere schedule.