The big “twist” in American Horror Story: Roanoke finally happened. But it wasn’t a conventional twist — a conventional twist would have been like, “They were dead the whole time!” — since pretty much everyone figured out that Shelby and Matt would somehow get lured back to the Roanoke house. Having said that, it certainly was fun to see how they arrived at that point, and finally peek behind the curtain of the whole “reality show” conceit. As the episode opens, a title card informs viewers that the show within the show, “My Roanoke Nightmare,” became the runaway hit of 2015 despite minimal promotion, with the finale attracting more viewers than Sunday night football, The Walking Dead, and Empire. That’s a lot of viewers!
Of course, when you take a bunch of relatively unknown people — both the survivors of the house as well as the reenactment actors — and suddenly thrust them into the spotlight (hi, Stranger Things kids!), their lives are going to change dramatically. And in this case, it’s not necessarily been for the better. First of all, Matt and Shelby, the most perfectest couple ever, have separated! The stress of the ordeal proved to be too much on their marriage, and then in the most fun turn ever, Shelby ends up having an affair with “Dominic Banks,” the actor who played Matt on the show. The scene in which they get caught by the “paparazzi” was a hilarious and hopefully intentional nod to Cuba Gooding Jr.’s many, many run-ins with TMZ. (You don’t have to talk to them, Cuba!!)
Meanwhile, the real Lee (Adina Porter) was never charged with the murder of her husband, but now the entire country thinks she’s a murderer because ghosts aren’t real, obviously. Things aren’t going much better for Monet, the actress who played Lee (Angela Bassett). The stress of portraying a probable murderer on a high-profile reality show sent her spiraling into alcoholism. Likewise, Agnes, the actress who played The Butcher is actually crazy in real life, and has spent the time since the show aired threatening her castmates. But the most fun development by far is that the actress who played Shelby (Sarah Paulson) is actually a British actress named “Audrey” who ends up falling in love with the bone-headed, much younger actor Rory (Evan Peters) who played the ghost of Phillipe Mott, and the two quickly marry.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, here. The so-called “twist,” as it would be, is that in an attempt to capitalize off of the success of the show, the producer Sidney (played to perfect sleaziness by Cheyenne Jackson) somehow managed to get all of these big beautiful people to agree to come back and stay in the house together during the blood moon for a Big Brother-style sequel called “Roanoke: 3 Days in Hell.” Oh, except for Agnes, who is instead served with a restraining order forbidding her to come near the set, which Sidney expressly hopes will provoke her into coming near the set. What could go wrong here? (Everything!)