The third installment ofÂ American Horror Story: Roanoke, “Chapter 3,” could have used another title… “Exposition.” After spending two episodes just as confused as Shelby, Matt, and Lee, audiences finally got some backstory on Kathy Bates‘ meat-cleaver colonist.
While one question was answered, more seemed to follow. Most importantly, who the hell is Lady Gaga supposed to be?Â Before we get to the mysterious witch?/enchantress?/demon? in the woods, let’s back up to Flora’s disappearance.
WithÂ littleÂ help of a search party and the police, Lee was left wondering if she would ever find her daughter. Lee, Matt, and Shelby stumbled across Flora’s doll torn apart and placed together with parts of a dead pig. What does this show have against pigs? Seriously, piglets are adorable!
After searching further into the woods, they came across an abandoned farm house. Next to the house was a farm, and inside they found… ugh! Okay, I don’t get grossed out too much, but the sight inside that barn weirdedÂ me out. Lee, Shelby, and Matt came upon two feral kids suckling a dead pig.
It’s unclear if the boys belonged to the Polks (the hillbillies), but the residence did. The police believed the Polks took Flora and left the boys behind. These boys could only mutter one word, “Croatoan.” If you are as big of a fan as AHS: Murder House as I am, you will remember that Billie Dean Howard told Violet the story of Roanoke and the supposed power of that word.
Lee’s ex-husband, Mason, showed up and was rightly pissed off. First Lee kidnapped their daughter, and now she was missing. It didn’t take long for Mason to accuse Lee of hiding their daughter so she could eventually flee the country with her. After a confrontation, Mason left the house. This was a big mistake because his body turned up later that night after been burned and strung up on what looked like a pentagram.
Mason’s sudden demise didn’t bode well for LeeÂ after Matt and Shelby watched herÂ on the video camera from that night. Apparently she slipped out of the house for four hours shortly after Mason had gone. Lee didn’t take the murderous accusation lightly. Before Lee could rip Shelby a new one, a strange man waltzed right into the house. It took less than one minute for me to loveÂ Cricket, played by the always marvelous Leslie Jordan.
Leslie claimed to be a medium and was volunteering his services in locating Flora. It didn’t take long before Cricket was able to deduce that Flora was taken by her ghostly friend, Priscilla. Feeling like they had nothing to lose, they all held a sÃ©ance. Unfortunately, instead of making contact with Priscilla, Cricket came face to face with Kathy Bates’ ghostly character. Through Cricket, we learned that this woman’s name had been Thomasin White, but eventually received theÂ unsettling name of… The Butcher.
The Butcher laid claim to the land and would do everything needed to protect it. It was also clear that The Butcher had not taken Flora and was certainly not fond of Priscilla. The Butcher is not a spirit to be messed with as evidenced by her ability to shatter all the windows. Once again, the word “Croatoan” was said and it was used as a warning.
Despite Matt’s insistence that Cricket was a fraud, Lee went to him and gave him the $25,000 he required to find her daughter. Lee was a believer after Cricket had mentioned the name of her other daughter, Emily, and how sheÂ wanted to know why her mother stoppedÂ looking for her. Hold the phone! Lee once had another child who went missing? This woman either has some horrible luck or the universe wanted to serve her some severeÂ karma.
Cricket revealed how after he left the house, he took a stroll through the woods and got the 411 on the ghosts haunting the land. Before we talk about the backstory, I just have to say that I tend to hate it when backstory is just presented to the audience in one fell swoop. It’s lazy writing and also turns Cricket into a plot device. However, Cricket is such a memorable character already that I can’t get too mad.
So CricketÂ explainedÂ how The Butcher was the wife of the governor of the Roanoke colony. She was put in charge when her husband returned to England to retrieve supplies. Some men of the colony didn’t take to her leadership style. I don’t buy that excuse. They just didn’t like being governed by a woman. Not only did they banish her, but they put a spiked cage over head and locked it shut. Oh yeah, and this was all while The Butcher’s own son, Ambrose, played by Wes Bentley, watched and did nothing.
The Butcher found herself alone and dying in the woods when she was saved by Lady Gaga. I have no idea what to call her because like I said at the beginning of this review, she came across as a witch/enchantress/demon. In exchange for saving her, The Butcher had toÂ surrender her soul and eat a beating heart. Tasty…
With heart in her stomach and revenge on her mind, The Butcher went back to her colony and promptly slaughtered those who banished her. However, Ambrose was spared.Â So what was The Butcher’s plan? She was ready to move the colony inland. This explains why the colony would claim the land surrounding Matt and Shelby’s home, even though the public thinks the Roanoke colony had settled near the coast.
With Cricket leading the way, Lee, Shelby and Matt went into the woods to ask The Butcher to convince Priscilla to give back Flora. As payment, Lee and Matt agreed to burn the house to the ground. With this news shocking Shelby, she looked around for Matt, who seemed to vanish. Shelby eventually found him, engaging in some wilderness sex with Lady Gaga’s character as the Polk hillbillies looked on and masturbated.Â As Matt returned to the house, he found Shelby pissed and Lee bring arrested.
This was another terrific installment that moved the narrative forward without being too overwhelming. With some backstory given about The Butcher, I’m curious to learn more about Lady Gaga’s character. What is she, and what are her motivations? While Angela Bassett is marvelous, it was Adina Porter that stole the show for me. Her portrayal as “IRL” Lee was restrained, but we saw the cracks of a woman deeply haunted and broken.
I have several questions going forward including:
- What is the connection between The Butcher and Priscilla? I haveÂ the suspicion that The Butcher’s husband may have had an affair, and Priscilla is the result of said affair.
- Is Lady Gaga able to possess or put people into a trance? Matt seemed to be in a blank state when he was having sex with her. Also, it’s possible Lee did kill Mason, but she did so while under a trance.
- Why would Shelby give a damn about burning the house down? It’s just a house! You can live somewhere else that isn’t haunted by murderous spirits.
- Where are you, Evan Peters?
American Horror Story airs on Wednesdays at 10/9 c on FX.
Check out a sneak peek of the next installment titled, “Chapter 4.”
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Catching Up with Ted Lasso and Previewing Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] The not so dirty little secret about how I approach a new series is that I sometimes make a call based on the headspace I’m in at the time. It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up a show after the first season and then binge…
Interview: Henri Esteve on Grown-ish Season 3
An interview with Henri Esteve, who plays Javi on Freeform’s Grown-ish. He talks about his season three experience.
For All Mankind Season 2: Talking with Wrenn Schmidt, Krys Marshall, Jodi Balfour, and Sonya Walger [Exclusive]
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the hooks of For All Mankind is that it’s very much a story about the women of NASA. In Season 2, we explore the journeys of the women in the program, either through their own service or through their family affiliations. Four of those…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Season Finale [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale episodes.] How’s everyone after that finale? I will freely admit I got a little misty in episode eight as John told Sara why he loved her, and later that he wanted her despite what he might forfeit, and then at the end when he…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness [Exclusive]
Hands down, one of the best surprises of The Alienist: Angel of Darkness is that the serial killer this season has been front and center alongside the cast as a fully-formed character. We’ve watched Libby Hatch devolve from a prim, mild-mannered nurse to a woman in a rage hell-bent on…
The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Relationship Recap: John and Sara
[Warning: Spoilers for “Belly of the Beast” and “Memento Mori”] If you’ve read me for a while (thank you!), you know two things — I lean way, way in on the characters I adore and I loathe love geometry arcs. So, I’m torn about where we are and where we…
Louriza Tronco Talks The Order Season 2 [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 2.] The Order’s second season is dark yet delightful entertainment on many levels, and one of its biggest sources of joy and snark is the sassy Gabrielle Dupres. Last season, she was assertive and deadly and fairly annoyed with the world. This season, she’s been…
Previewing Netflix’s Virgin River
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] Full disclosure: I have a Netflix account for my Mom, but I’m not a regular viewer. If I get a heads up on something, I’ll go look for it, but I don’t have a wander across its offerings, which, as I understand it, is how most…
Final Thoughts From the Killjoys Team [Exclusive]
This is the day of the week I’d normally hit you up with a Killjoys preview, but now that we’ve put the series to bed and released Team Awesome Force into the wild, I have one more treat for you–some final thoughts excerpted from my conversations with the Killjoys folks….
Michelle Lovretta Talks Wrapping Up Killjoys [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the series finale.] To quote Miss Jackson, “That’s the end?” Yes, friends, it is. And like I promised you, everything would be, was, and is alright. I went to the Killjoys source, series creator Michelle Lovretta, who wrote the last episode, to break down that delicious finale….
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…