American Horror Story: Roanoke S6E4 Recap: “Chapter 4”


What new spooks did American Horror Story: Roanoke scare up in “Chapter 4”?

Warning: this post contains spoilers for American Horror Story: Roanoke’s fourth episode, airing on October 5.

We pick up right where we left off. Shelby remains livid at Matt for doing the do with Lady Gaga in the woods. Interview Matt says he doesn’t remember a single thing about what happened. In the re-enactment, Matt actually gets emotional and says it’s like a part of his brain was carved out. Interview Shelby says she can tell he “wasn’t culpable,” which strikes us as a very interesting choice of words.

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Re-enactment Shelby goes to take a shower, only to find the man with a pig head on top of his own in there. He has a knife and seems pretty intent on murdering her in some strange reverse-Psycho moment, but Shelby manages to run out into the hallway and get Matt. Dr. Elias Cunningham (he of the strange videos, though he’s more clean-shaven now) shows up and gets the man to disappear by shouting “Croatoan!”

“He’ll be back,” Elias says.

Murder House 2: Electric Boogaloo

Elias wisely pours himself a drink and explains the meaning behind the word “Croatoan.” He calls it a word of dark power. Although he has guarded the house, he couldn’t meet the property tax requirements. Also, Mr. Piggy, as he dubs the pig-headed killer, will return.

Elias has also put together a file of the strange happenings in the house. A Taiwanese family in the 70’s, the Chens, heard strange thuds in the house. Then, Mr. Piggy showed up to shove one of the girls down the spiral stairs. Although they tried to summon their ancestors for help, they summoned the Butcher instead, who promptly hurled her cleaver into Mr. Chen’s chest.

It also turns out that the two murderous nurses? Ended up terrified in the house as well. As ghosts, they told Elias about their deaths, which involve dismemberment. (Bonus points: the house was built by an Edward Philippe Mott. Hey, there, Freak Show reference!)

It all comes down to a six-day lunar cycle in October, the “Dying Grass Moon.” During that time, the ghosts can kill.

Elias says they need to get out, because the killing cycle will soon begin again. However, when Shelby and Matt mention Priscilla, Flora’s ghost buddy, he says he does know where she likes to play…

Still from American Horror Story: Roanoke chapter 4. Image via FX.

Wanting to clear Lee’s name, Matt and Shelby determine they need to find Flora alive. According to Elias, Priscilla has to stay on the property as a victim of The Butcher.

Unfortunately, Shelby sees demonic Lady Gaga in the woods and runs after her. Gaga lures them to a bunch of spirits, the Chens, the nurses, and Mr. Piggy included, who’re playing blindman’s bluff with Flora. Elias calls to Priscilla, trying to reason with her to give Flora up. Unfortunately, a hunting horn sounds. Out comes The Butcher’s minions, and they shoot Elias full of arrows.

When they get back to the house, who is there but Cricket, who ominously asks if they’re ready to do things his way now.

Cricket’s Way

Cricket insists Flora isn’t dead. He does tell them off about not leaving. Though he tried to reason with the Butcher, she doesn’t need him to have a good time, thanks to the moon cycle that’s about to begin.

He trots out into the woods, then returns the next morning very shaken. Why? Because he met Lady Gaga, also known as the Witch of the Woods, who turns out to be the big boss of everything that’s going on here. He offers her Matt, because she has womanly needs. (His words, not mine.) She appears to accept.

In return, she brings him back to the past in some sort of vision. The site of the house was the true site of Roanoke. Unfortunately, the plenty comes at a cost: human sacrifices. Although Shelby calls it “devil worship,” Cricket corrects her, saying the religion in question is much older and much more cruel.

Still from American Horror Story: Roanoke. Image via FX.

Ambrose, the Butcher’s son, tries to rebel against all these sacrifices. Naturally, she does not take this well. The witch, meanwhile, says that if Thomasyn spills their blood, their souls will become hers.

Faking a repentance, Thomasyn has a special feast. Those rebellious colonists eat the poisoned apples, and the coughing starts soon after. Unsurprisingly, she deploys her cleaver. Finally, the witch comes to her, and then opens Thomasyn’s throat, binding them all to the land.

It’s all tied to the anniversary of the slaughter. Cricket says he knows a spell to get rid of them, but he has to go fetch some things from his hotel. This is episode 4, so we don’t expect this to work.

Just as he starts to proposition his Uber driver, Flora runs right in front of the car. Cricket then gets out of the car and runs after her into the woods. At this point, we really expect people to know better about wandering off alone into the forest.

Backstory for Everyone!

Back at the house, Matt and Shelby wait patiently until night falls, mostly by sleeping. Matt wakes first, and he also has the brilliant idea to go out of the house because he hears whispers. Someone calls him down into the storm cellar.

Inside, he finds the Witch of the Woods, sans headgear. She pushes his gun aside. Shelby wakes up and goes out the open door.

In the cellar, the Witch reveals her history to Matt while they do the do via a totally-not-Vulcan-mind-meld: she was English, a descendant of the Druids, who stowed away to the New World. She used the power of the old gods to escape.

A producer asks the real Matt why he thinks that happened, and he says it’s because she wanted him to join her.

Meanwhile, Ambrose and the rest of the ghostly crew, Flora in tow, go after Shelby with torches. Priscilla distracts the Butcher enough to let Flora run back to Shelby and Matt, who has abandoned the Witch. Flora can’t stop talking about the man once she’s safe in the house. Turns out the Uber driver (who shows up as an interviewee) just drove off when Cricket got out of the car.

Outside, the ghosts have Cricket. The Butcher opens him up, and then Ambrose pulls his guts out with a hook, proving that fire isn’t the only way the ghosts are happy to kill. While Matt and Shelby watch, The Butcher points her cleaver up at them. They’re next.

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On the next episode, it looks like we’ll see the house itself being invaded by the ghostly crew, led by the Butcher. Matt says “It was all over,” which seems like another strange choice of words.

American Horror Story: Roanoke airs Wednesdays on FX.