We’re at the penultimate episode, which means it’s time for shit to get real. Ryan Murphy promised this season would have a big twist in episode 6 (which it did), then have a different back half (which it did) and one final episode that was its own thing entirely. That’ll be coming up next week, and looks to be absolutely crazy. This week we got the return of fan favourite actress Taissa Farmiga and a slew of new characters to not make it through the night. It is the blood moon, after all!
This season of American Horror Story has been about, in a way, reality TV. The first half of the show was a “true story,” and the second half is a Big Brother-esque show where every moment is captured. There’s the producer who wanted to stage everything to guarantee ratings, the actors who only want to be famous, the people who can’t separate reality from TV and now, the fans. Sophie, Milo and Todd are a group of young kids who run a Roanoke fansite and want to trek to the actual house during the blood moon. They’re equipped with cameras and camping gear, Blair Witch style, and are hiking through the woods towards the house. Sophie (Taissa Farmiga) is a super-fan, and delivers a speech straight out of a Tumblr analysis of your favourite shows:
“On the surface, it’s an interracial story set in a post-racial world, which of course is a lie, but they’re really talking about the colonization of America, The Butcher and the Roanoke Colony, which became a matriarchy in a patriarchal system. That’s why it’s so timely. It’s a power we’re fighting today… Racism is scary. Patriarchy is scary.”
The group makes their way through the woods to the tree where Flora’s sweater was found in season one and stop to take pictures. It’s then when they see a bloody woman wandering through the woods and try to help her. The woman leads them back to a crashed car, where they find her dead body inside.
The trio go to the police and try to explain that they clearly saw the ghost of the woman in the woods and she led them to the car, and they have video evidence of it all. The police don’t believe them (or make any attempt to watch the video evidence…) and Milo rightly points out this is horror movie 101: the cops never believe anyone until it’s too late.
Back at the house, Audrey and Lee are getting up to speed with Dylan. As you recall, he showed up in a pig mask at the end of last week’s episode. Dylan is an actor and a damn professional one: even though he hadn’t heard from anyone in the production for weeks, he still showed up on time in his costume. Sidney had assumed things on the show would be getting stale and wanted a Pig Man surprise to shock the cast. Audrey explains to him that they’re all dead and the ghosts are real and they need to escape. Dylan doesn’t have a car – he took Uber there, in another delightful Uber scene of the Pig Man sitting behind a nonchalant driver – so the best bet is to go back to the Polk farm and steal a truck. Lee’s still insistent on getting her video confessional back, too. Dylan’s a vet who served two tours in Afghanistan so he thinks he’s got the skills to get everyone out alive. He doesn’t.
The plan is for Dylan to hotwire a truck while Audrey and Lee go into the house to snag the video tape and look for the possibly-alive Monet. Lee finds the video camera while Audrey discovers Monet and tries to free her. One of the Polk’s finds Dylan outside and stabs him, while another Polk (how many are there?) threatens Audrey and Monet. Audrey takes him out, becoming a stone cold killer! They get outside and see Dylan bleeding out on the grass and the mob of Roanoke ghosts appearing in the distance. The living Polk brother (is he the last one? I think so) also sees the ghosts and hops into the truck and takes off. Lee gets separated from Audrey and Monet, who run back to the house with the video camera. Why the house? Where else were they going to go?
Lee is injured on her own in the forest, trying to drag herself away from the Roanoke ghosts, when the Tree Witch emerges. She offers Lee the same deal as the Butcher and hands her a heart. Lee, always the survivor, takes it and bites in with little hesitation.
Sophie, Milo and Todd are back in the woods trying to find more evidence of the ghost girl. They’re live streaming their footage now and bump into Lee. They’re a little star-struck but still approach, asking if she needs help. Lee turns and stabs Todd with her cleaver. Sophie and Milo scream and run away and eventually find the production trailer surrounded by corpses. Dylan’s there too, looking for help, but they think he’s evil too and lock him out of the production trailer. Sophie and Milo watch the camera footage from the house and figure out this was the sequel show they’d been hearing about and something had gone horribly wrong. Audrey and Monet are on camera discussing whether or not Monet should have a drink (“No! You need to have a clear head!” Sophie shouts at the screen) and from another camera, they see Lee is approaching the house. Sophie insists they have to go save Shelby and Lee — err, she means Audrey and Monet. Sophie and Milo set out to the house.
Monet and Shelby think Lee is dead and decide to watch the video camera she was so desperate to get back. Her confession is there in full and Monet could not be more satisfied. She knew it all along! I guess you really get inside someone’s head when you play them, even if it’s for a ghost reenactment show. Lee arrives and the girls confront her, not knowing that she’s now a crazy, witch-infused killing machine. I mean really, there was no way of them knowing that, but considering Monet taunts her with “standing there with your lil cleaver and saying weird shit,” she should have known something was amiss. Lee pushes Monet over the railing of the staircase and she is impaled on a wooden spike below. Audrey takes off and has the genuinely good idea to hide out in the bunker where Elias once lived, but Lee meets her there. She gets one good hit in with the clever and pushes Audrey down into the bunker and locks the door.
Sophie and Milo have terrible timing and make it to the house at the same time as the Roanoke ghosts. A message pops up onscreen telling us this is footage recovered from the teen’s iCloud account and it’s graphic. The ghosts also have Dylan who has now been disembowelled, and they grab Sophie and Milo, impale them and burn them at the stake. The Butcher’s seemingly got a number two in Lee, who stands alongside and chants as the teens go up in flames.
The next day, the cops arrive. Sophie and Milo were still live streaming and thousands of online watchers called 911 about the incident. The cops find Lee distressed and injured and ask if she was attacked. Lee seems scared and confused like she doesn’t remember what happened. They place her in a police car when another cop finds Audrey crawling out of the cellar. She asks the cop if he’s real, and then spots the very real murderer Lee being helped into a car. Audrey goes for the cops gun to shoot Lee and is instead shot down by about a dozen cops.
So Lee is our lone survivor!
Lee was smart and resourceful all season, and downright determined, so it’s not surprising that she lived. I was personally rooting for a more fun character like Dominic or Audrey, but I’ll take Lee — especially with the outstanding questions on if she’s still possessed by the witch or remembers what she did.
Next week we’ll find out with Lee’s court case and sit down interview with journalist Lana Winters. Seriously.