Review: American Horror Story: Roanoke – Denis O’Hare to the Rescue

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Tonight’s episode is the one we [I] have been waiting for. For me, American Horror Story has never quite had the edge without Denis O’Hare and tonight his character finally emerged from behind a video camera and into the house to help out Shelby (Sarah Paulson) and Matt (Cuba Gooding Jr). Dr. Elias Cunningham (Denis O’Hare) is the previous owner of the house-a self proclaimed guardian of the property. He tells Matt and Shelby about all of the people who lived their before them and their tragic endings. During a certain time of the year, the ghosts are able to actually kill people, a time of year that would start on this very night.

As we learned in Murder House, when a person dies on the property, their ghost is bound to that land. They cannot leave, so they are forced to haunt. Considering the house was built in the late 1700’s, you can imagine the amount of people who died on that land. During these six days where the ghosts can kill, their magic word of sorts, “Croatoan” cannot even scare the ghosts away. Speaking of Murder House, do you remember the guy that was scared of the Pig Man in his bathroom? “Here Piggy Pig Pig.” You may recognize a moment from the episode at the start of tonight’s.

Photo Credit: FX
Photo Credit: FX

Cricket (Leslie Jordan) reappears to assist the Millers by talking to The Butcher (Kathy Bates) to negotiate their survival on this specific time of the year. Instead of meeting The Butcher, however, Cricket runs into someone more powerful, still unnamed and played by Lady Gaga. She shows Cricket the truth behind what began the evil that has cursed the land they live upon, a story he is able to relay to the Millers and offers to help them rid themselves of the ghosts once and for all.

I have to say, this is the best episode thus far. Don’t get me wrong, it still isn’t a great season and I can’t quite figure out where they are going with all of this, but this revealed just enough of the story to help the hour fly by. There was mass murder scene that was decent and a gutting that I appreciated so that helped move the episode along. Again, Denis O’Hare finally arrived, so that also gives the episode a slight edge.

My major complaint is that there isn’t a single character that I find likeable, so I wouldn’t be disappointed if anyone died. The Butcher is easily the worst character they have made Bates play, which is disappointing as Bates is easily the most talented actress on the show and that is wasted. Gaga looks like Krampus and we still don’t have enough information about her to develop an opinion  and everyone else is either boring or whiney. Every other season has had at least one character I have been attached to but Roanoke just doesn’t have that yet. If they are going to be so obvious in copying Murder House, they need a Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange). I can only hope that they make a direct connection between the two seasons and that she is it. Even the help of Evan Peters would do miracles for this season.

Four episodes in and it is still boring, so they need to do something soon or just throw in the towel already. I am finding it harder and harder to sit through the whole hour each week.

Rating: 7/10

American Horror Story: Roanoke airs on Wednesday nights at 10PM on FX

I am a huge movie buff, mainly horror, but I do have a soft spot for 80's action, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Currently residing in NC with my wife Jenny and black cat, Edward Kittyhands.