For every door that American Horror Story closes on its mysteries, it opens up a basement window, and a hidden crawlspace, and a locked box with a portal to another dimension. American Horror Story: Roanoke is currently shaping up to be the most interesting yet from a structure standpoint, and in last night's "Chapter 3," there was one moment involving said alt-structure that probably served as our first overt clue for the mega-twist that will hit at the season's midpoint, and it all involved Adina Porter's Lee. But that's possibly not even her real name.
In the middle of the episode, as the "hunt" was on for Lee's daughter Flora, it was revealed that Lee also had another daughter that went missing named Emily. But when Emily gets brought up during the talking-head interview, Lee got extremely uncomfortable and demanded that the cameras be shut off. This whole moment was something new for audiences, as it's the first time the story-within-a-story's fourth wall-within-a-wall was broken, and we got to hear the "director" asking her the questions about Emily. As well, we saw a wide shot of the set where the interviews are held, with two unfamiliar people appearing.
There are never any guarantees where American Horror Story is concerned, but this emotionally fraught moment absolutely felt like a bit in an H.P. Lovecraft story where one layer of reality is being peeled back to reveal the horrors beneath. There's nothing inherently horrific about someone handing out tissues or fixing up a backdrop, but it still weirded me out immensely once the interruption occurred, and it brought to mind several moments during these talking head segments where Shelby, Matt and Lee seemed to be slightly off base when it came to how they were reacting to situations.
For instance, if My Roanoke Nightmare's source material is an event that has already happened, and everyone is fully aware that the Butcher exists and that Cricket's connection to the ghouls is legit, then why was André Holland's Matt still so condescending about him being a shyster? Was that just acting? Did I completely misread that? If so, forget that I used it as my example here.
I'm obviously not sure how hearing the director and seeing the set are building up to the huge twist that Ryan Murphy and Cuba Gooding Jr. have been touting. Perhaps the actors doing the talking heads aren't really telling true stories here, or maybe they're talking about a completely different situation from what's happening in the dramatization. Sarah Paulson called this her weirdest season yet, and I can't help but agree with her here.
It's worth mentioning here that some fans have voiced their thoughts (on social media) that Evan Peters was the voice behind the director asking Lee to talk about Emily, but that definitely wasn't him handing her tissues, if that guy was supposed to be the director. Other rumors have Peters joining the show as one of the Mott ancestors. That would be great if both of those rumors came together. At least I think it would.
American Horror Story: Roanoke airs Wednesday nights on FX, and there are only two or three more episodes until Ryan Murphy's team turns our heads from jello back into water and powder. To see when everything else is coming to TV soon, check out our fall premiere schedule.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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