One of the biggest issues with AHS in any given season is that it doesn’t take consequences seriously. When deaths don’t stick, because the characters come back in some form, they don’t matter.
Well, they’ve certainly righted the course with this season. Except for a few characters that we didn’t really know anyway–the nurses, the Chen family, etc.–no one comes back. Death is real and it’s permanent and that’s made this season scarier than any previous one.
As we left last week, the only survivors from the murder house were Monet, Audrey, and Lee. The first two had just been surprised at the house by the appearance of Dylan, another actor. There were still a couple of Polks wandering around, trying to track down Monet.
However, put a pin in them as we start the episode, because we begin with a trio of youths (including AHS veteran Taissa Farmiga as Sophie) who have become fans of the Roanoke franchise and have used the episodes to track down the murder house. They’ve descended on the woods with their GoPros and phones during the Blood Moon to try to capture some footage that will have them drowning in likes and reposts.
Their first strange encounter is with Diana, the production assistant who tried to leave a few weeks ago, but was fatally interrupted by the Piggy Man. They see her wandering the woods looking dazed and follow her until they find her car upside down. Oh and she’s dead inside it.
They have the wherewithal to contact the police, but run into the same brick wall that the Millers did when they first encountered trouble. , which Lee is The police will finally listen later, when the preponderance of evidence becomes too much to ignore, and their response will end in a sad song that’s become all too familiar in the United States. But before we get to that, let’s get back to our actors.
Dylan took his set instructions seriously, so he doesn’t have a phone and he Ubered to the site. So, no help for immediate escape there. He does spearhead the effort to retrieve Monet, though, which Lee is eager to assist, because she wants that confession tape. Audrey goes along because what else is she going to do? Stay alone in the murder house?
It…does not go well. They do get Monet back, but Dylan gets disemboweled and Lee? Well…
The kids, determined that they’ll solve the case if the cops won’t, have returned to the woods. Audrey and Monet are in the house, where they’re watching Lee’s murder confession. And Lee is in the woods, receiving a shot of madness from Scathach. So she’s crazy evil now.
The kids are the first to find that out. You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned their names beyond Sophie’s and that’s intentional. We learn almost nothing about them and they seem to be there almost solely to up the body count.
Todd is the first to go, murdered by Lee. The other two, Sophie and Milo, have enough sense to run at that point, but unfortunately they run to the production trailer, where as we know, there are no means of communication. There are dead bodies waiting outside, though.
From the trailer, whose monitors are still running, they see Lee returning to the house. Knowing that she’s all eat up with evil (the clinical term), Sophie makes the executive decision that they’ve got to help the women. They try to get the police to intervene again, but the boys in blue, having been burned by many a cry wolf, are still not budging. So they go themselves.
By then, Lee has breached the house, where Monet makes the fatal mistake of mocking her being a murderer. Lee when-in-Romes her straight over the banister. Bye, Monet. Audrey gets shoved into the cellar with all the rotting corpses to keep her company.
That’s still a better fate for the time being than Sophie and Milo, though, whom Lee presents as sacrifices for the real Butcher and company. The two young people are impaled and burned alive–yikes–and every single second is captured on live streaming video. Having seen that, the police finally decide maybe they’d better head on over to the Sappony Road property and take a look-see.
When they get there, Audrey’s made it out of the cellar and Lee is resting in the grass. Lee, of course, looks pitiful–missing an ear and part of her thigh. She’s quickly ushered into a police car for her own safety, which infuriates Audrey, who’s the only other (living) person who actually knows what’s going on. She lunges for a policeman’s gun and is neutralized in turn. And then there was one.
Lee has long been my pick for the sole survivor, if only because she has the strongest motivation (Flora). I can’t say that I ever dreamed that it would happen as a result of succumbing (acquiescing?) to the evil within the woods, though. But, of course, this isn’t the end. That will come next week, with a return of season 2’s Lana Winters in a third role this season for the incredible Sarah Paulson.
7/10 – This was a fuzzy muddle of an episode that while not bad, was not up to the previous heights of the season. Sophie was smart and resourceful and decent and she died a brutal, empty death with us barely even knowing her.