‘American Horror Story’ Recap: ‘Chapter 9’ Finds Newcomers to Scare

Alex Stedman
Variety

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read on unless you’ve seen Season 6, episode 9 of “American Horror Story,” titled “Chapter 9.”

Okay, everyone: get your “American Horror Story: Trump Presidency” jokes out of the way now. Yes, you too, Cheyenne Jackson.

This week’s installment of “Roanoke,” in fact, introduces three young people who probably didn’t vote for Donald Trump: Todd, Milo, and a familiar face to “American Horror Story” fans, Taissa Farmiga as Sophie. But, alas: Like so many others, Sophie will go on to die on the cursed lands.

The three friends, fanatics of the “My Roanoke Nightmare” documentary (analyzing the show, Sophie theorizes that the real villain is racism), embark on a mission to get more Instagram followers by visiting the haunted house. But their light-hearted trek takes a turn once they happen upon a bloodied woman, who they follow through the woods to a crashed car — the scene of the accident that killed “My Roanoke Nightmare” producer Diana — and Diana dead in the vehicle (possible plot hole alert: what is the timeline here? If Diana’s tape wasn’t found for three months, when did our new trio find her?).

They report this to the police, who, as we’ve come to expect here, are unhelpful. After all, they are in the pockets of the Polks. The cops threaten them with arrest if they try to return to the haunted house, but they’re already trending on Twitter! There’s no turning back now. #BloodMoon

Meanwhile, Lee and Audrey, who were about to return to the Polk residence to grab the incriminating tapes, are explaining their predicament to Dylan, who just showed up in a pig’s head to scare them. Dylan, who served in the military, agrees to help them, especially since Monet is still out there. Never leave a man behind, after all.

Back at the Polks, Lee finds the tape, Dylan finds a car, and Audrey finds Monet, tied up and surely about to be tortured. Confronted by an angry Polk, Audrey catches him on tape saying, “I’m going to murder you real slow,” (not bad, Audrey) and shots him dead. Just as things are looking up, however, Dylan is brutally attacked by a Polk, who takes the car, and the murderous spirits are approaching on the Blood Moon. Audrey and Monet make a break for it, leaving a barely-able-to-walk Lee to fend for herself.

As Lee crawls desperate through the woods, the Wood Witch finds her. Just as she preyed on Thomasin White while she was alone and scared, the Witch offers a pig’s heart to Lee, who eats it and becomes, from what we can tell, possessed by the Butcher. And that’s when Todd, Milo, and Sophie come back into play.

Recognizing Lee from our show within a show within a show, they approach her, and just as Todd tries to tell her what a fan he is, Lee kills him. A terrified Sophie and Milo manage to get away, making it to the producer’s trailer, where they find the dead producers and even Dylan, who’s shockingly still alive, but they push him away in fear. They take cover in the trailer, where they’re able to see everything on the cameras — including the dead cast members, and the still-alive Audrey and Monet, who they decide to try and save.

Back at the house, Monet and Audrey watch the tape that Lee was so desperate to retrieve, and discover the real reason why she wanted it so badly: it documents her confessing to killing her ex-husband. At this point, Monet needs a drink, and indulges despite Audrey’s attempts to stop the alcoholic. Audrey assumes Lee is dead, and Monet hopes the Polks have gotten their hands on her. And just as Monet rants, a noise clatters in the hallway: Lee herself.

It’s not really Lee, however. She’s clearly still possessed by the Butcher, and as Monet taunts her, she pushes her over the stair’s railway, killing her. Audrey fights back against Lee, and has the advantage of Lee’s injuries. After tripping down the stairs, Audrey manages to stab her, and runs to take cover in the cellar. Lee catches up with her, and as Audrey is at the top of the ladder, stabs her and kicks her down the hole.

And then, more bad news: Milo and Sophie appear, unaware of the horror they’ve just stumbled onto. They’re captured by the villagers, and in footage pulled from Todd’s iCloud account, we see Lee intone, “Present yourselves for slaughter.” The villagers have already disemboweled Dylan (just like Cricket), and the bloggers are next. They beg for their lives, but are nevertheless staked and burned alive.

The next day, the cops finally appear, rushing onto the scene after receiving reports of a lynch mob. They find the charred bodies of Milo and Sophie, the impaled one of Monet, and the disemboweled remains of Dylan. They also find Lee, who’s utterly shaken, and seemingly no longer possessed. Is she even aware that she’s just killed five people?

As they’re getting Lee out of the scene, they find someone else: Audrey, who miraculously survived her stabbing and the long fall she took. The police try and save her, too, but as Audrey spots Lee, her anger gets the best of her. Yelling, “murderer!,” she grabs an officer’s gun to shoot Lee. In response, the cops act quickly and open fire, shooting Audrey to death. It turns out Lee is the one who makes it out of “Roanoke,” after all.

Even though she made it out alive, the future doesn’t look easy for Lee. Already a polarizing figure, the events of the past few days will only cast more negative light on her, as we’ll be sure to see in next week’s season finale. How will Lee adjust in the real world once more? What big twist could we see in the season finale? And — no, really — how the heck have their phones not died? Weigh in with your thoughts below.

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