Chapter 5 of American Horror Story: Roanoke felt like a finale. It felt like the end, to what I’m now realizing, has been a long and drawn-out story. Throughout this season I have shown my excitement for this season and their rendition of the Roanoke story. I have praised its mix of classic AHS and historical storytelling, but now I am frustrated. Its time for something new and I think we’re finally getting that.
Chapter 5 seems to wrap up the Roanoke storyline. It starts out with some more backstory. We learn about Edward Phillipe Mott (Evan Peters) the original owner of the house. He was a socially awkward Quaker who escaped Philadelphia in the 18th century with his priceless collection of art. He settled on a plot of land in North Carolina to build his mansion and live out his life with his lover in peace. Unfortunately, though, he fell victim to “The Butcher”, and well, you know the rest.
That was it for the backstory, however. The rest of the episode consisted of Matt, Shelby, and Flora running through the woods trying to escape “The Butcher” and her mob. We saw everything this episode, from the “pig man” and crazy hillbillies, to some creepy little spider girl who looked like she was straight out of The Grudge. Mott did make another appearance to help lead them through an underground tunnel and escape their certain death, but of course, that didn’t work. Lee, however, was eventually set free by the police and showed up at the house just in time to help everyone escape all the danger of woods. They decided to check into a motel and are one their way back to L.A.
Chapter 5 was a culmination of everything we have seen so far this season and acted as a midseason finale. The real question, though, is what’s next? There are still five episodes left so there will definitely be some kind of twist or dramatic change in the plot. Whether they are able to get back to L.A. or are stuck in North Carolina has yet to be seen, but I’m sure the Roanoke theme will still play a role wherever they end up. I imagine we will also start to learn more about our documentary versions of Matt and Shelby, something I’ve been very interested in since the start.
Whatever the rest of the season entails, it should be refreshing. The current story had become stale and overdone because it was basically the same thing every week. In the past, American Horror Story has been great at keeping the audience on their toes. There were always twists and turns that made the adventure feel like a rollercoaster ride. This year, however, has felt more like a ride down a lazy river. It was repetitive and predictable which caused the audience to become immune to whatever was thrown at them. Whatever happens, I’m sure it will be what we least expected.