Over the past several weeks, “American Horror Story: Roanoke” changed the game from a story of a nightmare to one of a terrifying reality … or at least the one that is presented to us in “Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell.” It’s a tale about the terrors of the unknown, the dangerous allure of fame, and how selfishness can at times completely wash away such valuable things as logic.
With that being said, we also saw tonight that some of these characters know how to use fame almost as a commodity. While Lee was in the middle of her torture, she offered up fame as a prize for helping her escape. Meanwhile, for Dominic he saw fame as a motivating factor for wanting to escape the house with Shelby. He knew that something more awaited him if he could just survive, but little did her realize that his travel companion was not so interested in that anymore. She may have craved fame at a certain point in her life, but now she just wanted Matt and his love — only to realize that she could never have that with him gone. Her death by suicide may be one of the most horrifying moments of the entire series — we were compelled by her story from the first episode, and seeing her go out by self-infliction is not how we imagined this concluding.
Do we think that Dominic could actually survive without her? Not really, given that even after her death he was still pleading to Sidney (also dead) to come in rescue him, saying that all he STILL wanted out of this was his own show.
Let’s now go back to Lee for another killer confession: She killed Flora’s father, and did so in order to ensure that she would continue to have her in her life. From here, Lee went killer on her own captor in a bid to be that one person who actually makes it through this terrible experiment alive. Audrey and Monet also found themselves subject to their own round of hillbilly interrogation, where they really had to work overtime to try and profess that they were in fact actors in “My Roanoke Nightmare,” and were nothing more than people performing the story told in the show-within-a-show.
The good news is that Monet does have something in common with the woman she played in Lee, despite some attempts by Frances Conroy’s hillbilly crew to yank out her teeth. She was able to escape the fate by literally escaping, but unfortunately Audrey wasn’t so lucky at first. With a little help by Lee, who eventually made it in to help, Audrey was able to take on Conroy’s character herself with a few choice words that probably would be uttered were this not FX.
Eventually, Lee and Audrey made it back to the house and found Dominic, where he gave a good play-by-play on everything that happened; the problem is that they didn’t want to believe him. Lee trapped him outside the room and allowed him to die.
Was this a lot to digest? Absolutely, but there were some odd moments of humor in here, such as Audrey recording a video message in peril proclaiming that she had so many more wonderful performances to give. This is what you choose to talk about now? Hey, it’s fame … and only fitting. Now, the cliffhanger: Lee wanting to go back to the farm in the woods to take the tape of the killings so that there’s no paper trail. As they left, the two ran into … Gillian? Yep, he was out there!
Overall – While there may not be a whole lot in terms of compelling story or mythology to talk about at this point, this show is getting its money’s worth when it comes to genuine horror. By far, this was the scariest episode of the season and possibly in the top five for the series. Whether or not you enjoy it just comes down to personal preference. Grade: B.
Next week – If you’re so inclined, head over here for some additional news on what’s coming up next. Let’s just make it clear that these characters (or at least the living ones) have so much more that they are going to have to endure in the final two episodes of the season.