Review: American Horror Story: Season 6; Episode 5 – End of Episode 1?

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

While this is the fifth episode in season 6 of AHS, Ryan Murphy would have you thinking that it’s only the end of the first episode! With the wild back-and-forths in this week’s episode gave me whiplash, we did get some important developments, first of which is that we have finally spotted Evan Peters!

Yes, episode 5 begins with Evan Peters, revealed as the original owner of the ghost-murder-Croatoan house, Edward Philippe Mott. Peters has taken a bad accent and a lot of elaborate costuming to create the foppiest fop that ever did fop in the 1760s. With a powdered wig, white foundation, and lacy vests, he is an introverted art collector who has moved out to North Carolina to avoid his wife and child in favor of his male lover. Before being impaled on Kathy Bates’s phallic symbol, he gets in the most iconic one-liner in all of history: “Let’s rouge each others’ nipples.”

I don’t know about you, but that’s the line I’m going to use next time I’m trying to seduce someone in a bathtub.

After we see Peters’s death, we zip back to the present, where Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sarah Paulson are holed up in the house with their niece. A mob of colonial ghosts waits outside, and the whiplash begins here. Instead of trying to form a cohesive narrative out of it all, I’m just going to bullet point the highlights.

  • Japanese hair demon in the house now too?
  • Evan Peters is a good ghost, who wants to save the poor humans because he hates them all so much (makes sense to me)
  • Did they just use some SPECIAL FX? (get it? Get it? Eeeeeeh?)
  • Return of the Hill-Billies, this time, they’re cannibals
  • Angela Bassett can’t be charged with murder
  • Escape from Cannibal Car Chase, the movie
  • Paulson gets broken leg syndrome
  • Wes Bentley Ghost goes rogue!
  • Kathy Bates burns
  • Bassett drives a getaway car, and the intrepid group of humans finally make their way to a motel.

The ending of this episode feels like a conclusion. We end with Paulson, Gooding, Bassett, and child in the motel, settling in and far away from the haunted Roanoke remains. It seems that the first episode of My Roanoke Nightmare has come to an end, but AHS is only halfway through its usual season length. So what awaits us next week? I can’t be sure, but I’m hoping that we get a look at a completely different storyline. AHS is notorious for reaching either epic highs or epic lows around the halfway point of each season. The first half is either the best or the worst, and the same goes for the second half. So, if Murphy and co. decided to split the season down the middle with their frame narrative structure and give us two mini-seasons, it might be the smartest choice they’ve made in a while.

For those of you playing along at home, you have made bingo. We got Croatoan, Evan Peters, Gaga sex, murder ghosts, and cannibal hillbillies. All the tropes have been hit.

But one mystery still remains for the second half of the mysterious season 6. Who the heck is in the pig-head costume?!

Maybe next week we’ll finally find out.

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