We continue the story of Matt and Shelby and the house from hell. This week things get even weirder than they have been and I ask myself, once again, why they have not left yet.
We start off with everyone looking for Flora. The police have been called (but we've established they are pretty useless) and they get her sweater out of the tree. Lee is over the sass from the police (who, fairly, insinuate that Lee and them have been involved in a lot of weird things).
They arrange a search party and each split up to cover more area (because this in no way shape or form will end badly! Horror Movie 101, people). They only find Flora's doll which has been torn into parts and mixed with pig parts. This one is a pig's head with the doll's body (really gross, be thankful I did not include photos). They also find an abandoned cabin type building with another doll/pig hybrid outside (the reverse this time - a doll's head with a pig's body). The cabin is gross, filthy and filled with bugs and they assume nobody lives there. They hear pig squeals from outside and go to the barn. Two boys are in the barn drinking milk from the pig (so gross). They seem to be abandoned as well, and appear to have some form of mental illness.
The cabin/barn/farm thing was apparently occupied illegally by a family with the last name Polk. The cops assume that the family heard they were coming and took off running with Flora leaving the two boys behind. Mason is not buying it and he really wants to question the boys himself. Matt tells him to let the cops do their job. A social worker does go in to talk to the boys but they only scream 'Croatoan' over and over. For those who are not familiar with Roanoke and the history - Croatoan was found carved into a tree at the remnants of the lost colony. It's also been mentioned in American Horror Story a few times (Violet uses it as a spell to repel spirits in season one). Matt says none of them knew what it meant but it turned out to be a warning.
It's turned to night and they are still looking for Flora. It's been more than 72 hours at this point and Lee is rapidly coming to the conclusion that she might be looking for her daughter's body now with how much time had passed. Matt suggests taking a break so that they can be fresh to search again in the morning. They go back to the house and Mason looses it. He (rather violently) insists that this is all orchestrated by Lee to avoid the fallout of her kidnapping Flora. Mason leaves (after pushing Lee to the floor) and everyone else decides to go to sleep to hopefully find Flora in the morning.
Matt is woken up by his cell phone a little bit later. It is the police. They have found a body and it turns out to be Mason's burnt corpse instead of Flora. He was tied up and burnt. Matt and Shelby discover by watching the video surveillance that Lee left 15 mins after Mason, and arrived back home four hours later. Shelby immediately thinks Lee is guilty which Lee overhears and calls her out on. Lee says that it is obvious that she is not welcome in the house. Matt agrees, and says none of them are welcome. They need to leave. Go to a hotel. Honestly the smartest decision they have made yet. WHY HAVE YOU NOT LEFT BEFORE NOW?!
As they are talking about this, a gentleman enters the room announcing he had been called to help them find Flora. His name is Cricket (played by Leslie Jordan) and he is a psychic of sorts. One who has worked with the FBI previously to happy results. He has helped the FBI find children before in many places all over the country (Shelby does a Google search this time to verify). Cricket is just as strange and wonderful as you would expect. Cricket deduces that Flora is with Priscilla and that she is still very much alive. He wants to host a seance to make contact with Priscilla. He ends up contacting Kathy Bates instead. Kathy Bates' name is, apparently, The Butcher (not her actual name, but it is what she introduces herself as). Cricket invokes a saint to offer up protection so that The Butcher can do them no harm. Does not work - at all. Kathy Bates uses her cleaver to split the candle in half. Cricket continues to attempt to invoke protection, and asks why Kathy Bates is there. He is told that she is there to protect her land from those who are trespassing. So, The Butcher thinks this land belongs to her. When asked about Flora she admits that she would have roasted the child by now but Priscilla hid her outside the edge of the property and she has no desire to leave 'her land' again. Cricket tells her that SHE is the trespasser and that makes The Butcher VERY upset. She breaks all the windows in the house and Cricket screams 'Croatoan' at her like a protection spell (very much like Violet used in season one). The word makes The Butcher disappear. They ask Cricket what the word means. He promises them answers and Flora for $25,000. Matt is unimpressed and accuses Cricket of being a con artist who is praying on Flora. After Lee pulls on gun demanding answers, Matt kicks Cricket out of the house (even though 'even the FBI pays' according to Cricket). He promises that he would be back and that he would be invited (and he whispers something to Lee as he passes her).
The show then breaks the fourth wall. During the interview segments we hear an interviewer (who sounds like Evan Peters, but it could be Cheyenne Jackson) ask what Cricket whispered. The fact that this wall has been broken has me convinced that something else is going on. I anticipate we'll see this 'interviewer/producer/whatever' very soon. It seems obvious that the show we're watching is not ALL this season is and I am very curious. For the record, the people of the internet seem convinced it is Evan Peters (I think it sounds more like Cheyenne Jackson).
We find out that Cricket whispered "Emily says hello. She wonders why you quit looking for her all those years ago". Turns out Lee had a previous daughter. When pressed by the interviewer to tell them about Emily she breaks down and asks them to turn off the cameras. She finally relents and tells them that at 17 years old she had a previous baby. When Emily was four she took her to the grocery store. She had to just run in real quick to purchase some sauce so she left Emily outside (not sure if it was in a car or not) and when she came back Emily was gone. They never found her. Lee admits this looks bad but stresses that she did not do anything to either of her children and admits she went to see Cricket to pay him the money to get Flora back.
She demands for Cricket to tell her where Flora is. He chuckles and says it is more complicated than that. He says they need to find out all they can about The Butcher. This provides us our first flashback into life at the colony. Her real name is Thomasyn White. She was married to the leader of the Roanoke colony. He left to get more supplies in Europe, and put Thomasyn in charge. Wes Bentley is her son. The other colonists want to move inland because they are starving and are not fans of the weak soup Thomasyn is serving. She puts her foot down and says they are not going. They, in turn, betray her and put some contraption around her head and basically force Wes Bentley at cleaver point to put the lock on it. They leave her in the woods to starve.
Lee tells Cricket that this does not have anything to do with them. Roanoke is not near the house they live in. The historical monument that was built is an hour away proving it. Cricket tells her that she is wrong.
Thomasyn nearly dies in the woods, but is saved by Lady Gaga who is some kind of witch or something (and entirely unsettling). She feeds Thomasyn a pig's heart and tells her to 'surrender her soul' to her. Of course Thomasyn eats the heart (ewwww) and goes back to the colony and kills everyone involved in betraying her, offering mercy only to her son after he begs.
This is all very typical Kathy Bates. Her characters are always bad ass underneath it all. After what happened to her, I can see why she wanted pay back. Her side eye in this second gif is amazing.
It turns out that Thomasyn did move them inland after this, and they settled right where Matt and Shelby now live (no surprise there).
Flora, Cricket, Shelby and Matt go back into the woods armed with this info. Cricket contacts Thomasyn again and offers a deal. Once Priscilla safely returns Flora everyone will move out and they will burn down the house to ensure nobody else moves in. Lee says that Matt agreed to this when Shelby voices her objections. Matt has disappeared during all this and Shelby leaves to go find him. He does find him, but probably wishes she hadn't because he's in the woods having sexytimes with Lady Gaga (while the locals from the auction watch). Shelby is PISSED. She takes off running. Matt finally stumbles back very confused and they find that Shelby has returned home by herself. Shelby attacks Matt when he goes to touch her. She yells at him for agreeing to burn down the house, she yells at him for having sex with some woman in the woods. Matt is confused and says he wasn't having sex with anyone. He doesn't know what she is talking about. While this argument is going on, Lee yells for Matt because she is being arrested. Turns out that Shelby has got a little Amy Dunne in her because she, obviously, showed the police the tape that shows Lee leaving the night Mason was murdered. When Matt questions what she did, Shelby throws his words back at him (with a smug smile on her face even) ....
Three episodes in and this has been the weirdest season ever. I am compelled because I know there is more going on than we've been shown or lead to believe. That forth wall was broken for a reason and I cannot wait to discover what that reason is. After a second listen I am still pretty unsure who the interviewer is (still leaning towards Cheyenne Jackson) but it says something that I want to find out.
At this point I am just going to buckle up for the ride that Ryan Murphy and gang want to take us on and enjoy the rest of this insane season.
Until next time .... don't cheat on Shelby!