Let’s start off by saying this episode completely made up for “Chapter 8.” While the last one made torture porn tedious and time consuming, here AMERICAN HORROR STORY captured why people love found footage so much with both jump scares and gruesome deaths. The influences were apparent with some special appearances and iconography, but this is exactly what I wanted from the latest BLAIR WITCH movie and am glad it was finally delivered.
Fan favorite, Taissa Farmiga, returns to the series after missing two seasons as Sophie, creator of a “My Roanoke Nightmare” fan site, willing to venture into the infamous woods to gain new followers and discover whatever secrets lie within. She is accompanied by two male friends who witness during the first few minutes of the episode the presumably dead producer that left production early on of “Return to Roanoke: 3 Days in Hell.” They chase around the woods, ultimately leading to her crash site and body. They get the cops to show up, but, of course, there’s no body and the three are brushed off and encouraged to leave town. However, these three are no fools (depending on how you look at it) and venture back there to see if what they saw was real. They discover Lee, unaware that she was just paid a visit by the witch, ate an animal heart, and seemingly possessed by an evil spirit. Lee kills one of Sophie’s friends and sets off back to the house to kill off Monet and Audrey.
Sophie discovers the production team’s equipment and realizes all that has been going on via the hidden cameras that are still recording. She sets out to save the remaining survivors, but gets impaled CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST style with her body as a sacrifice. Farminga’s return to the franchise was short lived, but memorable as she finally gave an upbeat performance unlike the gloomy characters she’s been given in the past.
During all this, Audrey saves Monet and the footage Lee has just been crazy to get ahold of and then quickly learn why: Lee’s confession of murdering her ex-husband is on there and Monet’s colorful reaction shows us that she is not surprised. Unfortunately, Sophie was never able to stop Lee and Lee pushes Monet down to her death and chases Audrey out, trapping her in the cellar after stabbing her.
The police finally show up after Sophie’s and her friends’ footage is uploaded into the iCloud, exposing some of the horrors the town is trying to ignore (or hide). However, their arrival finds our two survivors in startled states and Audrey reacts to seeing Lee by grabbing a gun and aiming it at her. The police react instinctively and shoot her down, leaving Lee as our sole survival and I totally guessed it was going to be her. Next week promises America’s reaction to these events and Lee’s life after Roanoke. I’m completely ecstatic to see how this pans out as we even get a revisit with one of my favorite AMERICAN HORROR STORY characters, Lana Winters! This was a super crazy episode and made sure to keep viewers on their toes by introducing new characters and transitioning into the final nightmare of what is undeniably one of the most unique seasons of AHS.