American Horror Story Season 6, Episode 8 Recap: A Lot Of Jerky, Not Much Scary

Photo: Frank Ockenfels/FX.
We start this week's episode much as we ended the last one: With the Butcher killing Agnes. Dominic and Shelby are still stuck in the upstairs bedroom, looking out at the mob gathering outside their front door. Dominic is freaking out. Shelby, who, after all, has been through this before, is surprisingly calm. The two try to exit the house through the basement — hey, it worked once! But it's a no go — Grudge girl is waiting. (Can I just say that"What's that?" "It's the Chens!" are the two least scary lines of dialogue in all of history.)
Back at the grow house, Mama sharpens her knife. She tells her youngest (I assume, I don't actually know any of their names, or how old they are — let's just call him Hillbilly Boy) to "cut your mama some nice filet" from Lee's leg. Lee objects: People don't eat people! It seems that's only true if your name isn't Polk. Mama and Hillbilly Boy politely take the time to explain some family lore. It seems that in 1929, at the height of the Depression (but actually not because of the Wall Street crash in October of that year), a few out of work folks stole some food from the Polks' land. The family took one look at those fat cat thieves who had feasted on their meager bounty and made up their minds, Scarlett O'Hara style: they would never go hungry again!
"And that’s when we had our feast," Mama says. "We find our power in a place. We knew then, the Polks weren’t like any other. We Were the first family, and we always will be. So long as we keep up traditions." (Cue Tevye.) Later, after Mama has gone, Hillbilly Boy and Lee share a sweet exchange. He cut off her ear, but for a very good reason. “It’s a present, for Christmas," he explains. "It’s the best day of the year. We all get a pickled ear.” How festive. Lee tries to soften up Hillbilly Boy by telling him about how much she loves Flora. Turns out, Hillbilly Boy has mommy issues. He wanted to be on "My Roanoke Nightmare," just like his siblings, but Mama wouldn't let him! Rude. (Also: "We’re part of the United States, we get TV!” is my new favorite quote.) More interestingly however, we learn that Kincaid Polk, the only Polk to ever get famous, did so by becoming the infamous Piggy Man mentioned in Murder House. You know, the one who disappeared at the Chicago World's Fair and went on to spend his days murdering people while wearing the head of a pig? Hillbilly Man is a gentleman, so he offers Lee some cocaine to take the edge off — he needs part of her shoulder. At first, she refuses — she's worked really hard on her sobriety. But really, she's going to die anyway, so YOLO. Can't he just kill her quickly? Actually no. Once again, it's about tradition. (Tradition!) "They didn’t have no ice boxes back then." Oh, and "fear and exhaustion gives the jerky a delicious tang." All legit reasons. At the house, the Chen girl is still after Shelby and Dominic. Shelby is finally losing her cool. Dominic tries to tell her it'll all be okay: “I’m gonna get my spin off, you’re gonna get your yoga studio.” Ah, to be such a dreamer. They seem to be taking a breather, but then Mr. Piggy (not to be confused with Piggy Man) shows up. And the Chen girl is back! And the Butcher is coming! Things aren't looking so good.
To add insult to injury, the centuries-old chandelier chooses this exact moment to come loose and fall right on top of Shelby. Dominic props her up as they make their way up the stairs to the bedroom. "We're back where we started," Shelby points out. The same could be said about this show.
It looks like they're safe for now, which gives Shelby a minute to contemplate the fact that she's killed the man she loves. It's too much for her to deal with, and she slits her own throat as Dominic watches.
In Polkland, Lee asks Hillbilly Boy if she can see Flora. He's confused — Flora is far away. No stupid, there’s a picture of her in Lee's pants. Suddenly overcome with an urge to confess, Lee asks Hillbilly Boy to film as she addresses Flora: She did kill Mason. “I want to tell you the truth. I killed Daddy. That’s on me, and me alone. No one else helped me, it was nobody’s fault except mine. He was going to take you away from me.” She then imparts some valuable motherly advice: “You go on Flora and rise up, because nothing’s holding you down.” Yes, especially not your parents — one is dead and the other is being held hostage for her leg jerky.
Hillbilly Boy is really impressed that she killed someone. He's a murder virgin — but Mama said he could kill the next victim. “You’re gonna kill me?" Lee taunts him. "Bust your cherry? Looking forward to it?”" Actually, he's not. He likes Lee. He comes closer, inserting himself between her very wounded legs. From my notes: "Is this going where I think it’s going? Ew. Ew. Ew." Sadly, it is. He starts fondling her breasts, in what may be the most terrifying scene in this entire season of American Horror Story. Lee plays along, and takes advantage of his lust-fogged brain to put him in a strangle hold. Turns out, it's really hard to run when one of your legs is cut to ribbons. When Hillbilly Boy tries to get back up, she stabs him, and limps off. Meanwhile, the two other Polk brothers are torturing Audrey and Monae. Audrey is a delight as she tries to explain the difference between actors and real people. (“We’re just actors. Nothing we do is real!”) Hillbilly Man #1 gets upset when one of the teeth he was using to make a necklace breaks. But hey — he has two mouths full of teeth at his disposal, so it's all good! He tries to take out one of Monae's teeth, but the pliers break. She attacks him and runs away, leaving Audrey behind, because every woman for herself, amirite? Mama is not pleased. She sends the two manboys out to look for their captive, and turns to Audrey. Someone's going to lose a tooth. It isn't pretty. But Audrey gets off easy — after only one violent extraction, Lee shows up and knocks Mama out. Not satisfied with this mild-mannered approach, Audrey takes a hammer and bashes her head in. The two end up back in the basement of the house, and find Matt dead on the floor. Lee is distraught, but Audrey’s like "Girl I’m sorry but let’s move on because it’s still dangerous in here." They stumble around in the dark, and end up upstairs. Audrey goes to get water to down the oxycodone she obviously had stashed in her luggage, and finds Shelby's body in the bathroom. Her reaction (“I feel like part of me is dying with her, oh my God.") makes me even more certain that we might be dealing with another fake documentary here. Who acts this way in the face of a dead body? Dominic emerges from the shadows and tries to explain what happened. Lee doesn’t believe it. “You expect us to believe that shit when you’re the one holding the knife.” (HAHAHAHA O.J. JOKE.) The woman banishes Dominic from the safety of the bedroom. Just as they shut the door, Mr. Piggy shows up. We hear Dominic die (violently, I imagine) as Audrey says her goodbyes to her faithful audience via her phone camera. In the morning, both Lee and Audrey are still alive. I assume Monae is too, although she's still running around in the woods. But the fun's not over: Lee wants to go back to the Polk farm. Audrey is like HELL NO, but Lee explains that they have to recover the footage of them killing Mama Polk. It might look bad. I'm sorry but I don't buy this at all. As Audrey says, there is no jury in America that would fault two women for killing an old hillbilly lady who was trying to turn them into jerky. But this is AHS, so logic does not apply. The two creep out of the bedroom, passing a very dead Dominic in the hallway, and go down the stairs. There's no way Lee is going back to the basement — she can't look at Matt again. The front door it is! They've barely opened the door when Mr. Piggy shows up. Except he's actually just Wes Bentley. And Audrey knows him — he played the Butcher's son in "My Roanoke Nightmare." Fancy meeting you here! Hopefully, next week will unravel the mystery behind his truly frightening colonial accent. Until then!

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