Following an episode heavy with exposition, “Chapter 5” opens some heavy classic haunted house touches and I loved it. While we already know why the land is cursed, we get the actual home origin story which, of course, was built by an absolutely insane character played by Evan Peters. The twist sure to give AHS fans a super hard-on is that Peters is playing Edward Mott, Dandy’s super old ancestor who proves that crazy runs in the family. It’s even informed that the family tree died in Florida during the FREAK SHOW days so it’s a sweet touch to get a glimpse into the past as this Mott had a thing for paintings. His love was so obsessive that when the Butcher tears them apart in the middle of the night, Mott throws his naked servants into the cellar and locks them up until one confesses to the crime.
It took four and a half seasons, but we finally get to see Peters engage in some man-to-man action and it was well worth the wait. One of his servants played as his lover in what can be perceived as a form of power play, but this relationship came second to Mott’s love of art. The Butcher, however, doesn’t care who you are and brutally has her colony kill Mott, leaving the servants behind to rot.
Meanwhile, in our reenactment, Shelby and Matt continue to run from the colony with Flora in their arms as a spider like demon taunts them. Not going to lie: I screamed out loud when that thing grabbed Flora up the stairs. Edward becomes their unlikely savior and leads our heroes into his secret underground tunnels, ending up in the very woods they wanted to avoid. They find themselves kidnapped by hillbillies who served as staples in 70s horror, led by their mother, played by the always classy Frances Conroy. As it turns out, this family has been delivering fresh blood to the Butcher for annual sacrifices, but the tables get turned and Matt, Shelby, and Flora get away thanks to a recently released Lee.
There were some really great scares this time around as ROANOKE proves to be a season meant to give you nightmares. One interesting moment that I hope doesn’t go ignored is when Lee shows up back to the property with the aide of a police officer. Upon reviewing the colony preparing to kill Flora, Lee demands he calls for back up. As soon as she steps out, he drives off without a second glance. Is this entering Stephen King territory, where everyone knows what is going on but prefer to live on ignoring it? I love a good dirty secret that everyone knows so this can definitely get expanded in future episodes.
Speaking of future episodes, I’m sure I’m not the only viewer wondering where this story is going. The episode made it clear that they are far away from Roanoke now, ending up in a motel where Shelby has the first of many nightmares of being killed by the Butcher. Their nightmare appears to be over, but is ours? An unconventional sneak peek at “Chapter 6” shows a TV producer, played by Cheyenne Jackson, informing us as the cameraman to keep filming no matter what happens. Sounds like we are about to break the fourth wall and get so meta it’s going to be hard to explain to our friends who don’t have cable.
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