Thursday, September 29, 2016

My Review of American Horror Story: Roanoke: Chapter 3

Written by James Wong
Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Matt: "What did you do?"
Shelby: "I don't know what you're talking about."

After last week's non event of an episode, this one finally cranked things up a notch with a nice backstory and a gory death to boot, along with our protagonists being terribly divided with each other towards the end.

First of all - the death. Nope, it wasn't Flora who is very much alive and with Priscilla but it was of course, her father Mason. Mason is one of those character who was obviously going to die but even I'm surprised with how quickly he was dispatched of here and in the manner too. His death while not shown onscreen was certainly gory and the episode ended up with Lee predictably arrested for the deed she probably did not commit.

The less predictable aspect was the fact that Shelby called the police on her sister in law but after seeing her husband have sex with feral witch Gaga in the woods probably influenced her decision to rat out Lee. Seeing Shelby with a bit of a nasty side was certainly a shock but after the underwhelming previous episode, things certainly jolted here.

We finally got a backstory for Kathy Bates menacing Colony leader - Thomasin White, also known as the Butcher and wife of John White. It seems her people and son (Wes Bently's Ambrose White) grew tired of her poor leadership and decided to send her to the woods to starve to death, only for Enchantress 2.0, I mean Gaga to feed her a heart and claim her soul, resulting in Thomasin coming back stronger and more malicious than ever.

Bates simply works in the villain role and strange accent aside, delivered here with more substantial dialogue and stuff. Her confrontations in this episode with Shelby, Matt, Lee and Leslie Jordan's medium, Cricket (that hair though) were certainly a highlight as was Cricket himself. While I do find that medium types like him can be objectionable people in some regards, the character certainly brightened up some scenes when he wasn't filling in Thomasin's backstory and confirming that Flora is alive too.

The narration scenes in this episode seemed to exposing some more cracks between our three heroes. With Lee, she certainly tensed up a lot when recalling the events and thanks to the interviewer of the piece, we also learned that she had another daughter named Emily that she lost as well.

- Although we didn't see him onscreen, Cheyenne Jackson was the one interviewing Shelby/Matt/Lee this week. Still have yet to see Evan Peters and Finn Wittrock and get a title sequence.
- The word 'Croatoan' got bandied about this week but it didn't have that much effect though.
- Some Coven vibes were felt from this one as well with Gaga's character and Thomasin having to wear that head piece as punishment.
- Apparently the sixth episode will turn this season on it's head, but I'm guessing the shock will be that our narrators aren't so reliable.

Chapter 3 certainly improved on things a little. After last week's non event, this episode managed to up the creepy content, give us some actual answers and show us other sides to our heroes as well. Not to mention that Kathy Bates makes for an excellent villain of the piece.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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