American Horror Story Season 6, Episode 3 Recap: Bad Romance

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Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for Episode 3 of American Horror Story: Roanoke.

Lady Gaga's big reveal was as Gaga-esque as it could possibly be. We've caught quick glimpses of her in the previous two episodes, hanging out at Kathy Bates' — now known as The Butcher — big Puritan bonfire parties. Then, we saw a shadow of her when she saved The Butcher's life earlier in this episode. But nothing prepared me for the sight of woodland creature Gaga up against a tree as Cuba Gooding Jr. screws her brains out. Talk about bad romance. But let's back up. We begin episode 3 where episode 2 left off: looking for Flora. The police know that something is off, but they're none too pleased with the Millers. After all, crazy shit has been happening ever since they moved in. Lee, on the other hand, is convinced that the hillbillies took her daughter. And she knows her kid's chances aren't so good. As any avid viewer of Law & Order: SVU already knows, the chances of finding of finding missing child are cut in half after they've been missing for 36 hours. "After 72, it’s less than 30%," Lee says. "In this country, over 30,000 kids are missing at any given time. My Flora was not going to be one of those damn numbers.”
Lee, Shelby and Matt decide to search the woods around the house. It doesn't take long for creepy things to happen. First, they find Flora's doll dismembered and laid out in some form of pig-related ritual. Then, they come across an abandoned farmhouse — most likely home sweet home for the hillbillies. They enter, because these people have never found dark scary place they didn't want to explore. It's putrid, but empty. The trio continues to call Flora's name when they pass a rickety barn. Until something calls back out. Inside, they find two feral children feeding on a sow, like Romulus and Remus with the wolf. I always knew that story was creepy. The cops arrive, and finally acknowledge that the hillbillies might be a little more nutso than they previously believed. The boys are questions, but it's pretty fruitless as they can only say one word: "Croatoan." (Yes, another link to Murder House!) In the meantime, Mason has arrived. He is less than pleased at finding out that his daughter is missing. At this point, she's been gone for over 72 hours. Lee and Mason must brace themselves for the possibility that all they might find is a body. Matt chooses this moment to declare that he needs his beauty sleep. It's time for a break. And about time too. Mason, riddled with grief, starts to accuse Lee of making this whole disappearance up to cover up the fact that she's hidden Flora away in an effort to kidnap her. Everyone goes to bed, and all seems quiet — until Matt gets a phone call. The police has found a body. He wakes Lee and Shelby up and off they go. The arrive at the crime scene to find a charred body tied to what looks like a wheel. The police hands Lee something they found on the body for identification. Turns out it's not Flora. It's Mason! (Funny how no one noticed he wasn't in the car.) If they weren't suspicious of Lee before, Matt and Shelby definitely have second thoughts when they find security footage that shows Mason leaving the house in a rage with Lee hot on his trail. Four hours later, we see Lee sneaking back in. Shelby wants to tell the cops. Matt says no. Lee overhears and realizes she's not wanted. "None of us are, " Matt replies. "Something is trying to tell us to leave.” Thank you Captain Obvious! Matt's brainwave is interrupted by someone calling out from the entrance way. His name is Cricket Marlow (played by Leslie Jordan), and he's a medium from New Orleans. Now, given how many hints Ryan Murphy has thrown our way about this season connecting all the seasons, I will venture a guess that it's no coincidence that the same actor played Witchcraft Council member Quentin Fleming in AHS: Coven, also set in New Orleans. Cricket, it seems, has a history of working with the FBI to solve abductions. Matt and Lee think he's a fraud (obviously, Shelby is a believer) until he points to the cubby where Flora was hiding in the previous episode. ("Can you hear that? She was here, hiding.") Inside, he finds Priscilla's cap and declares that, while Flora is not dead, she wasn't taken by the living. She's just hanging out with Priscilla. Lee is confused. Priscilla isn't real. Joke's on her. "Priscilla is real," Cricket says. "She’s a child, with a fondness for corn husk dolls. She died in the late 1500s." This prompts Shelby to give Cricket permission to hold a seance in the house. He calls for Priscilla but spirits don't work like that. Someone else comes instead — a very angry Kathy Bates.
(“She has a cleaver. She’s called the butcher. She passed away a long time ago. Centuries.") Shit gets a little real, and Cricket gets rid of her by yelling "Croatan" over and over again, just like Violet did in Murder House when she tried to rid the house of evil spirits. Now that the Millers are convinced, Cricket shows his true colors. He wants money. $25,000 to be exact. Matt kicks him out, but Cricket is unfazed. “I will be back. You will invite me.” Then, he turns to leave, but not before whispering something in Lee's ear. At this point, the fake documentary and reality merges as the filmmakers interject. What did he whisper? Real-life Shelby says she assumes it was something Flora-related. But when they ask real-life Lee, she gets frazzled. Because, as it turns out, this is not the first time Lee has lost a child. And Cricket knows it. (What he said was: "Emily says hello. She wonders why you quit looking for her all those years ago.") Real-life Lee calls for the crew to turn off the cameras, and we get a glimpse behind the scenes. We also learn about this other daughter, who disappeared from the car after Lee left her there to go run an errand. Back in the fake documentary, Lee seeks out Quentin's help and promises to pay him whatever he wants. He replies that they need to find out everything they can about The Butcher. Lee protests — she knows the story of the Lost Colony. Everyone does. But Cricket disagrees. She only thinks she knows. The Butcher's real name was Thomasine White, and she was married to the governor of the colony of Roanoke. One day, the governor had to leave on a supply run, leaving Thomasine in charge. Famine struck, and the men of the colony grew discontent with living under a woman's thumb. (What else is new?) So, to remedy this problem, the male leaders stage a coup and clap Thomasine in an iron mask (much like Leonardo DiCaprio) and send her into the woods. Dying of thirst, Thomasine is attacked by a squealing creature (that damn pig-man again?), but is saved at the last minute by Lady Gaga feeding her a bleeding heart. She eats it, a la Khaleesi, thereby pledging her eternal soul to Lady Gaga. (Imagine.) Thomasine's return to the colony is bloody. She kills all her former captors, except one — her son. As a result of this forest tryst, she decides to move the colony inland, thus creating the Millers current real-estate nightmare. "She claimed dominion to this land," Cricket warns. "She will kill you all.” So Cricket, Matt, Shelby and Lee set off into the woods to bargain with The Butcher. If she returns the mortal girl, they will leave the house. Lee even promises to burn the place to the ground. Shelby is not on board with that idea but Lee says Matt has already agreed. Speaking of Matt, where is he? Oh, he disappeared. Shelby goes looking for him — Alone. Will this woman never learn? — and quickly finds him. Only he's not alone. He's having sex with Lady Gaga next to a disemboweled pig as the hillbillies watch. When Matt comes home, he's relieved to find Shelby safe and sound. She...does not feel that way. Confused, he asks her what's wrong ("I was in a trance!" will now be the excuse du jour for cheating husbands.) “What’s wrong? You went behind my back and agreed to burn our house down. You were out in the woods having sex with that woman.” For once, Shelby has a point. Their marital dispute is interrupted by Lee's arrest. Amidst all this, Shelby called the cops on her sister-in-law. Some Life Lessons:
Lesson #1: Do not leave your child unattended in a vehicle. Lesson #2: For heaven's sake, do not explore abandoned barns formerly inhabited by creepy hillbillies. Lesson #3: Always trust Cricket. He's delightful. Lesson #4: Not to defend a cheater, but if your husband's having a quickie in the woods next to disemboweled swine, chances are there are some nefarious forces at work. Lesson #5: Keep track of your relatives. In this world, missing = dead.

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