This has been a very slow and, I hate to say, boring season so far. We are only four episodes down and it already feels like I have been forcing myself to watch for an entire season. Tonight’s episode marks the halfway point to the season, so here is hoping that things really start to pick up from here.
Evan Peters joins the cast as the home’s builder and first owner, Mr. Edward Mott. [Editor’s Note: Could this be a connection to Freak Show’s Dandy Mott?] He is a wealthy man who has left his wife and moved to the land to be with his male lover, one of his servants. Mott began to experience hauntings from The Lost Colony on the very first night and, inevitably, he lost his life to them. This, obviously, makes Mott one of the ghosts haunting Matt (Cuba Gooding Jr) and Shelby’s (Sarah Paulson) home.
Still under attack by The Lost colony mob outside, Matt and Shelby have locked themselves inside the house for safety. Unbeknownst to them, the house is just as dangerous as the outside, haunted by those who died inside. If you have been watching all along, you may remember an Asian family who once lived in the house. The ghost of the Asian daughter appears and is made to act like the ghosts in The Grudge or The Ring with the white painted face, hair brushed down to cover her face and that shaky backwards crawling. Apparently this is how all Asian people act when they die.
Mott appears to help the Millers escape certain death by showing them a secret of the house only he, as the builder, would know. One thing I liked about this was that his face was human until he would move the torch away from his face, at which point his eyes would become black and hollow like a corpse. It is very subtle but happens more than once.
During their grand escape, Matt and Shelby end up meeting those rednecks they won the house from in the auction. This is where Frances Conroy makes her way into the season. She is the matriarch of the redneck family, who happen to have a disgusting and dirty little secret that the Millers were unfortunate enough to learn.
While all of this was happening, Lee (Angela Bassett) is at the police station being questioned for two straight days about the murder of her husband. Upon her release, she finds a text from Matt alerting her to her daughters safety. Knowing her own brother, Lee suspects something is wrong when Matt ignores her phone call and is smart enough to use the police at her fingertips due to her current location.
The episode finishes as if Matt and Shelby’s story is over and perhaps we will be introduced to new people having the same trouble with the house. I find it hard to believe that they would sell the house and allow another family to go through what they have gone through. According to the next week’s preview, it appears that the film crew that has been interviewing Matt and Shelby will enter the house to investigate. Apparently they learned nothing from the stories they were told.
Five episodes are officially down and we have finally reached a point where the show could be saved. Evan Peters and Frances Conroy showing up were a big plus but even they play pretty unlikable characters. In fact, Conroy, like Bates, plays someone you really just want to die and Peters is already dead, so he can’t really go any further downhill from there. All in all, though, this really has been the best and most eventful episode of the entire season. Had the first four episodes been like this one, this season could have been on par with Murder House and Asylum, which are arguably the best seasons of the series thus far. That being said, there are five more episodes for the season to prove me wrong. This episode has put them on their way.
American Horror Story: Roanoke airs Wednesday nights at 10PM on FX