Wow. Last week’s episode of American Horror Story: Roanoke was not freaking kidding when it said everyone in the cast was going to eat it (with the exception of one person). Oh, did you think these next three episodes would be a slow burn? Did you think Ryan Murphy was going to drag out these kills? Did you now? If so, you must really underestimate the sheer killing power of Ryan Murphy, because in last week’s episode we started out with Shelby, Matt, Lee, Dominic Banks, Audrey, Monet, and Rory, (as well as Sidney and Agnes, off premises), and already, we’re now left to just Shelby, Dominic Banks, Audrey, Monet, and Lee, for now, anyway. And then there were five.
There were six survivors left in the house when the episode began (R.I.P. Evan Peters), and the writers made sure to split everyone up since of course every good horror trope knows that characters are most vulnerable when they’ve been separated. They accomplished this by having Agnes break into the home with her butcher knife, hacking Shelby in the neck just enough to injure but not kill her, prompting half of the group to scatter off for help while leaving real Matt and fake Matt watch over Shelby — which they did not do a great job of!
And as every self-aware horror trope also knows, the humans are often the real monsters, and as such, only one of this week’s gristly deaths was actually ghost related. It’s also worth noting that this is by far the goriest season of American Horror Story. Whereas past seasons have featured almost cartoonish Ryan Murphy gore, Roanoke is veering into actual torture porn territory — particularly those scenes in the Polk cabin — a genre I am not a fan of.