American Horror Story Season 6 Premiere Recap: Another Haunted House

Photo: FX/Youtube.
Well, after months of rumors, theories and misleading teasers, we finally know what the new American Horror Story season is all about. And the theories have pretty much been spot on. Let's break it all down, shall we? The Theme: "My Roanoke Nightmare." The Characters (So Far):
Shelby Miller (Sarah Paulson/Lily Rabe): A yoga instructor with a gluten allergy. Matt Miller (Cuba Gooding Jr./Andre Holland): Shelby's traveling salesman husband. Lee Miller (Angela Bassett/Adina Porter): Matt's sister, and former cop who was fired after her prescription painkiller addiction was discovered by a co-worker.
The Story: The episode starts off with a documentary-style setup — basically, aside from the talking heads, everything we see is a reenactment "based on true events." Here we meet Matt (Andre Holland, portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the doc) and Shelby Miller (Lily Rabe, portrayed by Sarah Paulson in the doc), a traveling salesman and his yoga instructor wife, who move to what we find out is Roanoke, N.C. — where a colony of 117 people disappeared in 1590 —after being the victims of a knockout game in Los Angeles. Matt was badly hurt, and Shelby suffered a miscarriage — both see this as a fresh start. While wandering if the woods one day, they come across a beautiful old home. ("Built in 1792, we were told.") Matt falls in love and they decide to buy it.
Here's the catch: The bid for this antique home starts at $21,000 and their only competition is a group of very anxious hillbillies (hello, Chaz Bono!). If that's not a clue that something's about to go very wrong, I don't know what is. But this is American Horror Story, and if Murder House didn't clue viewers in as to how gullible homeowners can be, nothing will. So the Millers buy the creaky old farmhouse and decide to live in it.
Immediately, things go wrong. The couple is awoken in the middle of the night by horrifying screeching, a knock on the door, and garbage cans being thrown around. Matt wants to believe it's just the angry hillbillies acting out, but Shelby isn't so sure. Eventually, Matt has to go on a business trip — because traveling is kind of a key part of being a traveling salesman — leaving Shelby alone in a home she kind of fears. Shelby deals with this by doing some yoga (natch) and settling down for a quiet evening of cooking and wine. After hearing a noise, she wanders through the house catching a glimpse of some unknown people. (Who kind of look like the nurses from Murder House — coincidence?) Nervous, she heads to her outdoor hot tub for a soak. While I was busy looking at how precariously her glass of rosé was resting on the edge, Shelby is grabbed and almost drowned in the tub by an unknown pair of hands. The police do nothing. They haven't found any sign of activity or struggle around the hot tub, so Shelby must have been drunk. (Because everyone knows women can't tell the difference between a friendly prank and an assault...duh.) It doesn't help that Shelby describes her attackers as wearing old-timey clothing and carrying torches and pitchforks. After all, this isn't Shrek. That night, Matt wakes up to the same horrible screeching. He goes to the front door to investigate, and finds a dead pig. Instead of, you know, bringing this evidence to the authorities, he buries it. However, he does install security cameras. Can't be too careful. As Matt has to go back to his business trip, he invites Lee (Adina Porter, portrayed by Angela Bassett in the doc), his sister and a former law enforcement officer, to stay with Shelby. Lee does not like Shelby (“Lee judged my yoga, and my gluten allergy and my two years of college.”) I LOVE Lee — Angela Bassett should just play every role in this show. (“I may not have my badge, but Mama’s still packing.”)
Once again, Shelby decides to unwind by cooking (honestly, if creepy things kept happening to you every time you picked up a skillet, wouldn't you take a hint and Seamless it, already?) She and Lee bicker over a knife that Lee moved from the counter, smack into the roast and fail to notice the mob of torch-wielding humans heading for the front door. But Matt, who receives a notification from his super tech-y camera system, does notice. Unfortunately, he's miles away. What must happen happens. The two women venture into the basement in search of the source of all this creepiness, and find a scary home video a la The Blair Witch Project. In it, we hear what seems to be Denis O'Hare's voice gleefully whispering that he "found" it — what it is, we still don't know. Perhaps the half-pig creature we get a glimpse of shortly thereafter? The two women emerge from the basement only to find that the whole entrance is an intricate voodoo web. Somehow, they still don't call the police to show them this concrete, physical evidence.
Matt arrives, and he and Shelby fight over whether or not to leave the house. She wants to, he doesn't. She gets in the car and leaves, only to hit a pedestrian with her vehicle because she was trying to answer her cell phone. (Don't text and drive, kids.) The pedestrian is none other than Kathy Bates, dressed in some sort of Puritan attire. She should be dead. And yet, she isn't. She gets up and walks into the woods. Like a dummy, Shelby follows her. She gets lost — until she wanders smack into a ring of torches, held by some very unusual people. Dead people? No Gaga yet, although the credits do tease upcoming appearances by Evan Peters, Denis O'Hare, and Cheyenne Jackson. Until next time!
Some Life Lessons:
Lesson #1: Do not buy an 18th century house in the middle of nowhere.
Lesson #2: Especially do not buy it if it's worth $21,000 and your bid is challenged by very distraught-looking hillbillies.
Lesson #3 :Do not get up in the middle of the night when you hear a bold knock on the door.
Lesson #4: Do not leave your wife alone in the creepy house after strange things have been happening there.
Lesson #5: If you think you see strange people in your home, do not wander around looking for them and asking if anyone is there. Someone is there. That is the problem.
Lesson #6: After suspecting someone has been in your home, do not take your glass of wine to the outdoor hot tub for a soak. This is not the Hamptons.
Lesson #7: If you find a dead pig on your welcome mat, do not bury it. Bring it to the police so they can investigate.
Lesson #8: If your sister and your wife do not get along, do not leave them in a house together.
Lesson #9: Do not go in the basement. The basement is always haunted.
Lesson #10: Do not drive off angry in the middle of the night after almost dying.
Lesson #11: Do not hit strangely attired women with your car.
Lesson #12: Do not follow said strangely attired women after they rise from the dead.
Lesson #13: Stay out of the woods.
Lesson #14: Run.

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