American Horror Story Season 6, Episode 5 Recap: So, Is It Over?

Photo: FX/Youtube.
Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for Episode 5 of American Horror Story: Roanoke.
Welcome back, Evan Peters! Ryan Murphy confirmed that our favorite leading man would be returning this week, and turns out, he wasn't trying to trick us (for once). Peters plays Edward Philippe Mott, the man who first built the haunted house in the late 18th century and a direct ancestor to Freak Show's Dandy Mott. (The phony historian cast in the documentary confirms it: "The line ended in scandal when the last Mott died in South Florida in 1952.") Like Dandy, this Mott has some peculiar interests: art. But, like, not a casually-dropping-by-MOMA-on-a-rainy-day art interest. Mott's interest in art prompts him to leave his wife and child in Philadelphia, buy a plot of land in the middle of nowhere North Carolina, and build a great house in which to store his collection. That's commitment. Once the house is built (which takes a while, because the workers keep dying in strange and unexplained ways, go figure) Mott fills his days gazing at his art and enjoying sexy trysts with his lover/servant, Guinness. Yes, it's this kind of story. As good as that sounds, it doesn't end well. He hadn't been living there two days before shit got weird. You know, the usual: pig noises in the middle of the night, angry mobs outside the window, blood-thirsty ghosts claiming revenge. What else is new? Mott pulls a Matt and goes downstairs to investigate. There, he finds that all his paintings have been slashed. His very natural reaction is to lock all the servants in the root cellar and throw away the key. Obviously, he doesn't survive the night. The Butcher has him dragged out of the house, pierced through with a very large stick, and literally roasted like a marshmallow. As legend has it, Guinness escaped but was later caught and charged with killing his master. Irony — nice touch.
Back in present day, Matt and Shelby are being threatened by the very same Butcher, in much the same way as Mott. Matt's big plan is to distract the mob so Shelby and Flora can get away. This is obviously a terrible idea, but it's Matt, so that's kind of to be expected. Shelby and Flora make a run for it — but then someone, either the daughter of the Taiwanese family Elias mentioned in the previous episode or the girl from The Ring, grabs Flora. The house is coming alive — all the people who have died in it are waking up. Mr. Piggy is here, as are the dead hunters Elias told us about. When Shelby looks at Flora's arm, it seems the ghost has left a mark. (It isn't mentioned again in this episode, but come on, it can't be nothing.) Things look pretty bleak for our beleaguered protagonists.
But surprise! Matt and Shelby are in luck because Mott suddenly appears to help them escape through the underground tunnels he just happened to have built under the house. The helpful streak doesn't last, however, as Mott leaves them to fend for themselves somewhere in the middle of the forest.
Unsurprisingly, it takes Matt and Shelby roughly three seconds to get attacked. When they come to, they realize they're in a familiar place: Back at the house where they found the feral boys. And look, Elias is there too! This is strange, since the last time we saw him he had been pierced by about half a dozen arrows, but the Polks explain: “Mama” saved him. But this, too, is not good news. “You have to get out of here," Elias tells Matt. "Get out before she comes. Mama took my leg.” And indeed, his leg seems to have been rather roughly sawed off. Mama (Hi, Frances Conroy!) walks in. She's nice at first, offering everyone food — until we realize that jerky is actually made from Elias' leg. Apparently, he makes for less than tasty jerky, so Mama orders her sons to kill him. Here we find out that the hillbillies once made a deal with The Butcher. She leaves them alone if she gets fresh blood every year. Unfortunately for Matt and Shelby, the Polks are holding a grudge about that time the couple led the police to their farmhouse and took their "babies" (a.k.a. the feral children). (As this is all happening, Lee is released from police custody after 48 hours of questioning. She checks her phone and sees that Matt and Shelby found Flora. What a relief! Not. ) The Polks plan to drive Matt, Shelby and Flora back to the haunted mansion to hand them over to The Butcher. Matt tried to play hero, which results in one dead Polk, one angry Polk and one murderous Mama. To make sure that they don't try to run off again, Mama takes a shovel to Shelby's ankle. (Shelby's despair speech is hilarious, by the way: "There were still so many things I wanted to do with my life. Be a mother. Grow old with Matt. Open up my own yoga studio." IMAGINE wanting all those things.) The Polks drop off the Millers just in time for bonfire night. The Butcher grabs Flora. She's going first. This doesn't sit well with Priscilla, who was promised her friend would die last. Too bad, so sad. Lee gets to the house just as this is all happening. She grabbed a ride with one of the cops after Matt ignored her calls. (Sensitive, much?) The Butcher prepares to give her "This land is ours" spiel, but it seems that her son (Wes Bentley, whose accent has sadly not improved) is as tired of hearing it as I am, because he suddenly attacks her. "I shall not stand by and watch thou shed another drop of innocent blood," he yells. Mott randomly reappears in time to untie Shelby and Matt. Mr. Piggy tries to lunge for Flora but Lee crushes him with her car, and the Millers escape to a motel, as they should have done the second this batshit crazy stuff started happening to them. "Those months were like a terrifying nightmare," real-life Shelby tells us. "When I close my eyes, I can still see the fire, Elias screaming, that insane family. I am just grateful that I’ll never have to see that horrible place again." Wrong. She's going to have nightmares about it for the rest of her life. And thus ends "My Roanoke Nightmare." Ryan Murphy kept his promise about Evan Peters. Hopefully he'll do the same with the big twist supposedly coming our way next week. Some Life Lessons: Only one this week: When you feel the urge to buy a haunted house built by an art-crazed 18th century dandy on land inhabited by blood-thirsty demon colonists, don't.

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