One of my favorite TV relationships was on “True Blood” and no, it wasn’t between Bill and Sookie. It was the complicated bond between Tara (Rutina Wesley) and her mother, Lettie Mae (Adina Porter). While Lettie Mae may not have been the best mother, their onscreen dynamics was undeniable and always fascinating to watch, as it was one of the most real relationships capture on screen – one full of love and rage. Porter’s performance was undeniable, but completely underused, so her presence is more than welcomed as she plays the “real life” version of Lee in this season of “American Horror Story.”
“Chapter 3” gave us a more personal glimpse into some of our characters as it turned out that Lee’s daughter, Flora, isn’t her first kid to go missing. This adds a mystery to Lee as this is news to us, but, as a behind the scenes crew member reminds her, anyone who signs up for this docu-series is subject to background checks. Her addiction and shady activities do her no favors as the police and her ex-husband suspect she has something to do with Flora’s disappearance. Unfortunately, her ex ends up being found burned alive in the woods and security footage might be some kind of evidence that makes her a suspect.
Leslie Jordan joins the show as the flamboyant psychic, Cricket, who, for the low asking price of $25,000 (“I accept VISA”), will help find Flora. He claims she is indeed alive and actually taken by the spirit of a young girl named Priscilla. Now, it seems that Priscilla just wants a friend to play with as communication is reached with The Butcher (Kathy Bates) who wants nothing to do with the two kids. All The Butcher wants is for no one to step on what she claims as her property or else she’ll cook you alive. Her story is also told – being kicked out into the woods by the Roanoke colony and left to die. It’s out there she is saved by who I assume to be some sort of witch (a barely recognizable Lady Gaga) who feeds on her beating heart. The Butcher is reborn, heads back to the colony, slashes away at those who did her wrong, and migrates everyone to where Shelby and Matt’s house now stands.
As the season continues, the outrageousness of the series comes more into play with sick gimmicks like children sucking on a dying pig and hillbillies jerking off while watching Matt screw the witch doggy style. I can’t help but feel like Gaga’s character is the one who started most of this and gets off on all the human suffering. She is barely seen and kept a mystery for now and I like that.
One thing I keep waiting for, but am sure by now I’m not going to get, is an opening title sequence. Each season has been accompanied by some great title sequences, significant to that year’s theme. The lack of one for ROANOKE is probably due to the format of the season so it’s fitting. The meta factor is being toyed with as Lee at one point asks to stop filming due to her emotional state, but that’s been teased often throughout seasons by connecting storylines to seemingly unrelated events. I’m still in and feel that ROANOKE will draw in a new audience that might have been turned off by previous seasons.