Tallying Up The Casualties From Last Night’s Brutal ‘American Horror Story: Roanoke’

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.

Here are the casualties so far:

Sidney (and his cameraman and assistant)

Oh, Sidney. He was perfectly slimy right until the end. Upon finding his assistant bleeding out from a fatal neck wound, his first thought was not to aid or comfort her, but to quick get the cameraman to get it on tape. Pretty much every decision Sidney has made so far, from initially refusing to stop production of the show due to an on-site death to egging on Agnes with a restraining order, has directly contributed to his demise. (Well mostly the egging on Agnes thing.) We just didn’t expect it to be so soon.


So we knew Shelby’s motivation for coming back to the house was to attempt to reconcile with Matt, and now we know what Matt’s motivation to coming back to the house was. When Shelby falls asleep, Matt is drawn into the basement by Scathach (previously played by Lady Gaga), whom he had apparently fallen in love with. Bad decisions abound when Dominic Banks catches Matt copulating with an otherworldly demon, and instead of — oh, I don’t know — freaking out, he goes to wake Matt’s sleeping wife so she can catch him in the act. This results in Shelby bashing Matt’s head in with a crowbar. And not like, once or twice. Matt is also now the second person this season to have his head/face smashed into a jelly, if we’re counting.

Lee (Maybe?)

After finding the production trailer empty, Audrey, Lee, and Monet run afoul of the Polk family, who have returned to the property. The three women are taken back to the Polk’s uh, weed grow house, where Mama Polk orders that her sons cut Lee’s leg off, which they then force feed to Audrey and Monet. So… Lee may or may not still be alive for long. Or maybe that’s what they want us to think. Lee is, after all, the only one of the original three without clear motivation to return to Roanoke. Maybe this whole chopping off her leg thing is a red herring and she ends up being the sole survivor? And everyone assumed she went crazy and killed everyone? If this theory ends up being true feel free to quote me on this.


Poor Agnes thought the real life Butcher would be so proud of her work that she would let her live, and perhaps even congratulate her. She did not! At least she went out not without a bit of irony, by getting cleaved in the head with a butcher knife.

Random thoughts:

  • Has anyone else noticed that these episodes are running like 5-6 minutes short every week? What is up with that? Every week I’m expecting something big to happen in the final few minutes and then, cut to credits. Like Lucy with the football every dang time.
  • As Mark Shrayber pointed out to me, so far all of the ghosts have been portrayed by unknowns, which is kind of a nice touch by Ryan Murphy. Once you see that the villain is played by say, Kathy Bates, it takes some of the fear out of it. Having the ghosts silent and unrecognizable makes them that much more foreboding.
  • The ghost of Edward Philippe Mott seemed much less friendly this time around. Is there something the Roanoke OGs aren’t telling us?
  • A little shout out to Kathy Bates, who killed a two-and-a-half minute monologue illustrating Anges’ descent into madness. And that’s why our girl is an Oscar winner.
  • Oh hello, Finn Wittrock. Anyone else catch his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it turn as one of the Polk sons? He was the one who initially grabbed Monet’s phone, hence, he was on the other side of the camera for those scenes. Except when he quickly turned it on himself…

On a final note, many have been speculating that Taissa Farmiga’s character is going to be the Scathach. This is the best screen shot I was able to get of her, and it’s hard to say. Her name also wasn’t listed as a special guest in the credits, so take from that what you will.