On the last episode of American Horror Story Shelby, Matt, Lee and Flora just barely escaped their Roanoke Nightmare, but the show ain’t over until the fat lady sings… or so we’re told. This week’s episode features Cheyenne Jackson as a producer with plans for a sequel. Will he get more than he expected on film? The camera never stops rolling.
Return to Roanoke
Sidney (Cheyenne Jackson) is riding high on the success of “My Roanoke Nightmare.” The ratings were high and there’s a chance he can create a sequel, but he’ll need to convince the money people. We live in a world of reality television where people tune in to watch other people living their lives while they let their own lives pass on by.
Sidney is able to convinced Shelby and Matt along with the actors who portrayed them to return to Roanoke. Why would anyone who escaped that nightmare want to return? Do they really believe that Sidney can make a frightumentary into a weekly reality show? Why would they return during the blood moon? Sidney really doesn’t believe in the supernatural, so what’s his gimmick? We learn that his real motive is to catch Lee Harris confessing to the murder of her husband. Sidney wants to catch Lee’s admission on camera.
We watch behind the scenes as Sidney pulls the show and the original cast together. The cameras are always running; always. They capture every moment and spare nothing. When Sidney interviews the actress who played The Butcher, he wastes no time shaming her in public. Agnes Mary Winstead’s (Kathy Bates) life has taken a frightening and unexplainable nosedive ever since the completion of the documentary.
While Agnes tells Sidney and the camera how she prepared for her role of Thomasin, Sidney rewards her by revealing her dirty laundry on national TV. He doesn’t waste time reminding her that she became a psychotic danger right after the show and had to be locked away. Cheyenne Jackson plays his Sidney as an obnoxious and cruel man who puts ratings before people. He actually blames Agnes for those bloody fetal pigs left on the set before kicking her off the show.
As scary as Kathy Bates was as The Butcher, she’s even creepier as the unhinged Agnes. I love Kathy Bates. She is a beautiful and talented actress who absolutely shines when she plays wicked characters.
Sidney is so set on having complete control over the sequel that he goes and buys the Miller’s haunted home. He even goes as far as rigging the old house to produce some good old fashion scares. Even after one of the crew member dies in a freak accident, Sidney wants the show to go on. The only person who sees that this reality show is a bad idea is Diana, Sidney’s trusted assistant. But even though Diana is a smart cookie, she doesn’t escape the nightmare. Mr. Piggy is back with a vengeance.
Three Days in Hell
It was sad to learn that the real Shelby and Matt’s marriage is on the rocks because of the documentary, but it is. Shelby was caught cheating with the actor, Dominic Banks (Cuba Gooding Jr), who played Matt on the show. Lee hates Shelby because it was Shelby’s fault that everyone thinks she murdered her husband and, Lee’s been spending lots of time on talk shows saying otherwise. Monet (Angela Bassett) blames Lee for her drinking problem that began while she was acting on the documentary.
No one is happy except the actors who played Shelby and Matt in the documentary. Audrey (Sarah Paulson) and Rory (Evan Peters) who met during the filming of My Roanoke Nightmare are madly in love. We get to watch their love bloom during flashbacks of the show. We even get to watch a video of their Hollywood style marriage, but as adorable as they are together, we already see evidence that this marriage will be short term. Let’s get real! Nothing lasts in Hollywood especially relationships… think Brad and Angelina.
We know things are going to go bad right off because someone is outside the house with an axe. Is it Agnes or Thomasin? There is also a disclaimer that flashes on the screen warning us that over the three days of the blood moon, everyone dies, except for one. What we’re watching is found footage.
When I do ghost investigations of historic haunted buildings, I take precautions to protect myself because the building might be cursed and, you don’t want to take that shit home with you. The Roanoke home and land is not only cursed, but responsible for Agnes’s breakdown, Monet’s alcohol problem and Matt and Shelby’s breakup. Too bad this pertinent fact is lightly touched upon in “Chapter Six.” This is where we could have spent time savoring the slow effects of a curse on its unfortunate victims.
Also, why was the disclaimer revealed early in the episode that Diane’s body was never found or that everyone, except for one, dies in the making of this reality show? I did a double take on seeing this disclaimer flash on the screen and I’m sure my friends did too. What I did like was Matt’s horror followed by his slow understanding that Rory most likely met a horrid death via homicidal nurses after the word “Murder” gets its final letter on that wall.
My friends are not happy with this season. They were quick to contact me right after the show to tell me how unhappy they were. I don’t blame them. Even though there was a lot to like about chapter 6, we were left with the feeling that we’d been cheated. My conclusion of “Chapter Six” is this: the show was rushed. We don’t really get a chance to connect with the characters and when we do, they’re killed off too quickly. It’s not the fault of the cast. I love all of them and they always give us their best. The problem is with the format, or lack of one.
There are only a few episodes left, and if my friend’s comments serve as an indicator, the creators of American Horror Story must return to what it does best: make their stories scarier than the 2016 Presidential Debates.