Thursday, September 22, 2016

My Review of American Horror Story: Roanoke: "Chapter 2"

Written by Tim Minear
Directed by Michael Goi

Flora (to Lee/Mason, re Priscilla): "They're going to kill us all and save me for last."

Week two of the creepy house in North Carolina and things are not moving as fast I kind of hoped they would do. While there are still some nice jump moments and the talking heads/re-enactment stuff still holds up well, this really should've advanced things better than it had.

On the plus side, we did get a glimpse of Kathy Bates leading a tribe of colony folk with both Wes Bentley and Lady Gaga at her side. Shelby observed them placing a pig's head on some unfortunate bloke before burning him alive before legging it out of there when she startled Bates's savage character.

Of course, despite reporting this to the police, they proved once again to be ineffectual but at least Shelby wasn't the only one having strange encounters in this episode. Lee was getting to see entrails all over the house with blood when her daughter Flora wasn't talking about her not so imaginary friend Priscilla wanting to kill them all.

Needless to say, that certainly soured things between Lee and her ex-husband. Lee then taking Flora and the child going missing as part of the cliffhanger. Not bad stuff but the sort of thing you could see coming a mile off though.

On the plus side, at least we also got some more screen time for Denis O'Hare this week. We learned that his character is called Dr Elias Cunningham, who moved into the house to research a book on a group of murdering sisters/nurses named Bridget/Miranda (Matt encountered one of their crimes in a dream) and quickly moved into a smelly cellar when shit got too creepy for him.

If you were hoping that the show would at least try to come up with a reason for Shelby and Matt to be stuck in that house, then this episode offered one. It seemed that thanks to that dodgy realtor/banker, they can't leave the house without selling the thing. It's not the greatest reason but it does at least make some sense though.

- Still no opening credits. FX's secrecy with the marketing this season is starting to grate now. It's not maintaining the mystery in a good way.
- Evan Peters, Matt Bomer and Cheyenne Jackson still have to show up, not to mention we don't have names for Kathy Bates, Lady Gaga or Wes Bentley's characters.
- Why don't Shelby and Matt try taking photographs of their strange encounters?
- The nods to Murder House seem apparent every episode now, don't they?

Chapter 2 really could've benefited from pushing things a little forward. I do like the new format but unlike last week, I found my attention drifting at times. The characters need to be a bit smarter. Lee in particular this week was monumentally reckless with bringing Flora back to the house.

Rating: 6 out of 10

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