American Horror Story Season 6, Episode 9 Recap: The Lone Survivor

Photo: Frank Ockenfels/FX.
Of course, that's what this show was missing: Another layer of plot. If, like me, you've been having trouble remembering character names, this penultimate episode did absolutely nothing to help us out. The episode opens with a handful of new characters — including Taissa Farmiga, finally! — a group of fans prowling the woods with backpacks and Go-Pros in search for the real-life setting of "My Roanoke Nightmare." Their big plan? Snap a quick pic of the haunted house in time for the Blood Moon to post to social media. As they're busy discussing the finer points of "My Roanoke Nightmare" — it only seems like an interracial love story set in a post-racial world, but really it's all about colonialism and the patriarchy. (A little on the nose, yes, but in a post-Trump election world, I have to say that “Yeah Milo, racism is scary, patriarchy is scary," actually resonated quite strongly.) — our new friends come across a wounded woman in the woods. They follow her, cameras bouncing, and find an overturned car. And shocker, there's someone inside. And double shocker, it's the same woman — Sidney's assistant, who disappeared two episodes ago — that they were following moments earlier. It's the Blood Moon, y'all. Did you not watch the show? They explained all of this ghosts-wandering-around stuff.
Back at the house, we officially Dylan, Wes Bentley's character who showed up wearing a pig head at the end of last week's episode. As it turns out, Dylan has been holed up in a motel for 3 days now, waiting for instructions. “Sidney figured things would be getting a little stale at this point, so I showed up to shake things up a bit," explained. For someone who served three tours in Afghanistan, Dylan is woefully ill-equipped. He has no car — "I ubered" — and no cell phone. Audrey and Lee fill him in on what's happened so far: Basically, everyone is dead. Since Lee is still hell-bent on going back to the Polk's grow house to recover the camcorder which holds her murder confession, Dylan agrees to come with. There's one set back: It’s the last night of the blood moon — the most dangerous night. Meanwhile, our group of intrepid fans are being interrogated by a very frustrated cop who's getting a little sick of people pranking him for social media cred. Despite what Sophie (Taissa Farmiga) and her friends claim, there was no body found at the site of the car wreck. The cop warns Sophie: If she and her fan site friends return to the house, he will have them arrested for trespassing. At the same time, Dylan, Audrey and Lee arrive at the Polk compound, military op style. They split up: Dylan will hotwire the truck, while Audrey and Lee go get their tape. Lee is injured, so she sends Audrey into the house instead. There, she finds both a very distraught Monet and the camcorder. Unfortunately, she also finds one of the Polk brothers who is somewhat upset that she murdered his mother. “I’m gonna murder you real slow for what you’ve done," he says. Audrey shoots him. It's all good, she has his threat on tape. Monet and Audrey exit the building to find that Mama's other son stabbed Dylan. He moves towards them to finish the job but suddenly stops cold. The Roanoke mob is coming — with Mama gone, there's no one to protect him now. Audrey and Monet hightail it back to the house to regroup. They assume Lee is dead, since, as Audrey points out, she never would have left the camcorder behind on purpose. Intrigued, Monet decides to see what's on this all-important tape, and finds Lee's confession. Someone's been lying all along. Speaking of Lee, she's not actually dead. She's crawling through the woods, where she comes across Scáthach, the wood witch played by Lady Gaga in "My Roanoke Nightmare." This version is more gooey than Gaga. Undeterred by the cop's threats, Sophie and her friends are making their way towards the haunted house once more. Motivated by the 20,000 followers they've gained since they posted the video with the dead body, they plan to "prove to the cops and our fans that we’re not liars.” They've just come across the ash heap where Mason's body was burned, when one of them, Todd, spots Lee. He goes up to her, extending his arm to shake her hand as a fan. She guts him. Sophie and her remaining friend Milo stumble into the woods in terror. Their friend getting killed was definitely not part of the plan. Eventually, they find Sidney's trailer, with Sidney's dead body lying outside. Dylan, who was very recently dead, approaches them, leading Sophie and Milo to duck into the trailer. They're still not quite sure what's happening, but it's starting to freak them out. Why are these characters from a show trying to kill them? "I think that was Ambrose," Todd says. "He played the Butcher’s son in season 1.” Once they see the monitors in the trailer though, it all becomes clear — this is all a sequel, gone horribly awry. Sophie spots Audrey and Monet in the house and her face falls — Lee is approaching from the outside. They have to warn them! Oblivious to the fact that their former co-star is walking up the path, Audrey and Monet are drinking their sorrows away. Suddenly, they hear a noise. It's Lee, who's standing on the landing, murmuring to herself. "You don’t belong here. Your vile presence defiles this sacred ground.” Wait. Where have I heard that before? She's holding a cleaver. OH. Monet threatens to expose her for killing Mason. Lee pushes her over the banister, to her death. Has her interaction with Scáthach turned her into The Butcher 2.0.? It seems likely. Audrey, having escaped the house, is lowering herself into the root cellar outside when Lee finds her and hits her with the cleaver. Audrey falls to the bottom of the basement, hitting her head on the ladder. Lee walks away and shuts the door. Sophie and Milo watch from the bushes as the colonial mob approaches the front of the house. They're about to run away when Lee finds them. As the new Butcher, she demands that their "souls serve as sacrifice.”
Suddenly, we're removed from the action and a warning appears: "What you are about to see was recovered from an iCloud account belonging to Todd Allen Connors." The following scenes are shaky, a la Blair Witch Project. We're getting to experience Sophie and Milo's death from their perspective. Sophie sees Milo impaled and then burned alive, knowing the same is about to happen to her. In a season full of gimmicks, this is perhaps the only truly scary one. The next morning, the cops finally make it out to the house. Through an RCPD bodycam, we see that they find the two impaled and burned bodies on the front lawn, with a lone, bloody cleaver lying next to them. Once they enter the house, they find the bodies of Monet and Dominic. Finally, they find Lee on the ground outside. She's alive, and screams hysterically. The cops are helping her to the car when they hear a bang — Audrey has managed to climb out of the cellar. The cops scoop her up and are taking her to the car when she spots Lee, who seems to have lost her memory. "Audrey, thank God!" Lee exclaims, just as Audrey yells "You murderer!" As she lunges for Lee, Audrey gets gunned down by the cops. We have our lone survivor.

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