If you’ve been watching American Horror Story this season, then the most recent episode no doubt took you a little by surprise. The show’s fifth episode ended in an incredibly conclusive manner, basically wrapping up the entire conceit that had been set up in the episodes prior as American Horror Story: Roanoke revolved around the ghosts from the Lost Colony of Roanoke trying to force a family off of their land with violence. The season was set up like a “My True Ghost Story”-type series, with Lily Rabe, Andre Holland, and Adina Porter delivering talking head interviews while Sarah Paulson, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Angela Basset portrayed them in “dramatic re-enactments.” This talking head concept telegraphed to viewers that these three characters absolutely survive whatever horror befalls them, so some of the stakes were taken out of this first handful of episodes, but last night everything seemed to come to an end with Kathy Bates’s evil Butcher seemingly vanquished.
Which was weird because we’ve still got 6 episodes left. That makes this promo for Episode 6 incredibly interesting, as we see Cheyenne Jackson as a new character talking to a camera crew, telling them to keep rolling “whatever happens.” Creator/showrunner Ryan Murphy previously teased that the season has a big twist in the sixth episode, and he wasn’t kidding.
So what is this twist? Are the dramatic re-enactments over? If I had to guess, I’d say this second half of the season involves a camera crew going to the real Roanoke house to investigate the accounts in the first half, which would mean the “dramatic re-enactment” actors would be done and Rabe, Holland, and Porter would take over as the primary stars of the series—if they’re even involved in this back half.
Whatever the case, I’m intrigued. For better or worse, Ryan Murphy knows how to burn through story faster than anyone.