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Warning: This recap for the “Chapter 4” episode of American Horror Story: Roanoke contains spoilers.
The basic human survival instinct works differently for everybody. When most people encounter life-threatening scenarios, they may experience what is known as the “fight or flight” response, meaning they run away while doing windmill-arms. But other people will look danger directly in the eye and then shrug and sit down for a lil nap. Just a nice, restful nap followed by a glass of water and perhaps a conversation about poetry (are they songs or what?). So which reaction is the best reaction to imminent death? That is not for any of us to judge, especially if we are watching the current season of American Horror Story. Because these dummies must crave the grave, if you know what I mean. They are neither fighting nor flighting, they are just straight-up frighting. Which is a word, trust me.
Hey, let’s talk about this week’s episode of American Horror Story: Roanoke! (Which I liked.)
We began with Shelby and her wig angrily questioning Matt about the time a few minutes earlier when she saw him doing sex to Baglady Gaga in the woods. She wanted to know what the heck was going on!
Matt, for his part, did not recall having done sex to Baglady Gaga in the woods and therefore he denied everything.
Eventually Shelby had no choice but to believe him. She might have been upset and jealous, but on the other hand they had been surrounded by paranormal LIES for a few weeks now, and their marriage was just too strong to be undone by sensual phantasmagoria.
Then Shelby tried to take a shower and a PIG MAN jumped out and chased her around the house with a knife!
If we’re being honest, Shelby HATED this. Matt tried to tackle the Pig Man, but it just kept coming after them. Finally the Pig Man was AXED in the back and seemed to be down for the count. Guess who’d arrived just in time?
Basement video beardo! He was still alive and had gotten a haircut, and he’d acquired an axe with which he could chop at intrusive pig men. But then the Pig Man stood up, and it became clear this dude was a damn ghost! So beardo shouted “Croatoan!” and Pig Man zipped into another dimension. What a night.
At this point Professor Beardo led Shelby and Matt to his secret files stashed in the wall where he got out a manila folder full of newspaper clippings of all the murders and disappearances that had plagued this home since the 1700s. Like the Chen family, who’d immigrated here in order to be a classic American family, complete with Partridge Family reruns, TV dinners, and ghost pigs.
As you can imagine, it wasn’t long before they were all completely MURDERED.
Kathy Bates was not about to let anybody live in that house, let alone foreigners! “Build a wall,” she kept shouting, weirdly. Anyway, we also got a glimpse at what had become of those murderous nurses.
Kathy Bates and her crew ripped them limb from limb! Few things are as poignant as murderer-on-murderer murder. Poor gals.
Now that they were confronted with their hundredth piece of solid evidence, Shelby and Matt finally, FINALLY believed that something paranormal was going on here. This meant Shelby suddenly felt bad about having turned Lee over to the police for supposedly murdering her own ex. To maybe make it up to Lee, Shelby and Matt went out to the woods where they found all the ghosts (plus Flora!) frolicking in the sunlight. As Professor Beardo explained, they were approaching the anniversary of all the previous murders, which coincided with the Blood Moon and now the ghosts could walk freely between realms. (I think? I don’t actually know! This is all so complicated and my education is not great!)
Unfortunately Professor Beardo took a bunch of arrows to the chest, so this was definitely a trip he had probably regretted taking. All those years of gathering research and putting together that manila folder, all so a couple of dum-dums could survive.
Shelby and Matt ran back to the house just in time for Cricket, who is the best, to return. And Cricket had STORIES to tell. Apparently the night before, he’d gone to the woods to have a private chat with Kathy Bates about setting Flora free. But Kathy Bates was over it, so he decided to track down someone even more powerful… Baglady Gaga!
After throwing magic dust in Cricket’s eyes, Baglady Gaga whisked Cricket back to olden times and showed him how exactly the newly relocated Roanoke colony had turned into a gang of ghosts. Well, see, Kathy Bates had been ritualistically sacrificing young girls in order to maintain Baglady Gaga’s loyalty, but the townsfolk were beginning to find this practice problematic. And when they began to voice their dissent, guess how Kathy Bates handled it?
She poisoned everybody with tiny apples! And then ran around chopping them up with her butcher knife!
So now the entire colony was dead from eating poison apples that Kathy Bates had given them and now everyone was serving Baglady Gaga. This was definitely a theory about the disappearance of Roanoke that maybe historians should look into.
Back in real life, Matt and Shelby knew for a fact that Kathy Bates and her crew were going to be attempting to murder them this night, so they decided to just sit on the couch. It was a great plan. But then they fell asleep and Matt got up to go investigate the storm cellar, and there he found Baglady Gaga looking very sensual and he had no choice but to do sex to her. But because she is a witch, the entire time they did sex she mentally narrated her life story to him. If you can believe it, she comes from ancient times and once killed a bunch of soldiers and turned into a witch. I don’t know. But their sensual escapades were interrupted when Shelby started screaming outside!
Kathy Bates had arrived, and Flora was able to escape her clutches when her ghost bestie hit Kathy Bates in the head with whatever. So Flora was, for now, safe from the ghosts! But she warned Shelby and Matt that Kathy Bates had ANOTHER prisoner.
It was Cricket! They thought Cricket had left the property in an Uber earlier that day, but the Uber had been uber-cepted! And now here was Cricket, being disemboweled right there on the front stoop! It was not a great way to die, and Cricket definitely deserved better. If we didn’t already consider Kathy Bates a bad person before, we truly did now!
And just as a postscript, did you enjoy the “real” Uber driver that had picked up Cricket? Good thing such a crucial and essential figure was given an interview for this documentary series! Excited to see what else he has to say about the disappearance of Roanoke, etc.
“Chapter 4” worked really well as an hour of horror and terror, but come on. What is the TWIST, guys? I am almost ticked off that the showrunners have gone on the record as promising a twist in Episode 6, because this episode, and probably the next episode will feel like a waste of time. Get to it already! Look, I love horror and thrills and spills and chills and all those things, but right now I’m too concerned that the twist will deflate the tension by telling me that these things are all fake or manufactured. You know what I mean? Or maybe it’s a perfect and brilliant twist, who knows? I KNOW that it’s two episodes away and therefore I’m feeling very impatient. Oh well. This week was fine. Kathy Bates needs to relax and Pig Man needs to shower. Let’s talk more next week!
What did YOU think of “Chapter 4”?
Read more American Horror Story: Roanoke recaps here.
American Horror Story: Roanoke airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.