Warning: Spoilers ahead!
AHS’s strange combination of phone home-video and high-resolution security cameras starts this episode off with a new Cloverfield effect of dizziness. The constant frame switching doesn’t do Ryan Murphy and his writing team any favors as we get into the final three episodes of the season, but we all have to make due. It would seem that the Paranormal Activity style of storytelling is here to stay. Complete with lack of explanation about how certain cameras got where they are.
Specifically, how in the heck did the TV show crew get cameras out in the hillbilly cannibal house? Furthermore, how did they retrieve said cameras and footage to put together this “Return to Roanoke” montage? Maybe this will get explained in the coming episodes, but I doubt it. These kinds of continuity tend to go overlooked in AHS.
We begin episode eight with Lee tied up in a chair with the hill-billy-cannibal-incest family describing their long and proud history of incest and cannibalism. They had a fine pedigree, it would seem. Not surprising to anyone, they slowly carve away at Lee’s leg, and claim they have to keep her alive to ‘keep the meat fresh.’ The same reasoning from The Walking Dead video game, so I can believe it.
Quickly we switch back to Cuba Gooding Jr. and new-murderer-Shelby, trapped in the house as the colonial fire squad circles in on them. In their desperate search to find a way out of the house, they run into the pig-man, the murder-nurses, and a flying, wall-crawling, head-upside-down-ing family of Chinese American ghosts who are violent for no foreseeable reason.
It ends with Shelby giving a short whimper of defeat before she slits her own throat in the bathroom. Probably a better death than her alternative.
We then flip back to Lee and The Cannibal– this fall’s more heartwarming rom-com. Turns out the hillbilly boy has found Lee to be not only tasty, but sexy, and after convincing him to loosen one of her hand restraints so she can ‘shuck his corn,’ Lee murders the guy with a knife. This, of course, comes after she admits to having killed her husband Mason (remember that Blair Witch style crucifix burning from episode 2?). Does this count as a twist?
But Lee isn’t the only one held captive by the North Carolina breed of forest crazies. Angela Bassett and Sarah Paulson are still in distress, with the looming threat of having their teeth ripped out. (“I paid good money for these teeth!” says the British Sarah Paulson, as she gets a tooth raw snapped out of her jaw). Angela Bassett makes an escape and is chased through the woods as Lee comes in with a vengeance and downs the Mother Hill-Billy to free Paulson.
Lee and Paulson find their way back to the haunted house, basement first, and find a very dead Matt before making their way upstairs (another golden line by British Paulson: “A little Burberry for under your head.” is it product placement? Or actual humor?), where they then find the dead Shelby and dejected Cuba Gooding Jr. They both exchange expositions and body counts before the girls kick Gooding out of their room and he gets slashed by the pig-man.
The morning comes, after an ungodly long night, and Lee makes a plan to re-visit the hillbilly farm in search of her husband-murder confession tape. Paulson is convinced to go along, against her best chances of survival, and they find one of their actor friends at the front door.
The episode ends there, and we’ve got two episodes left to wrap this whole blood bath up. At this point, AHS season 6 has shown absolutely no restraint in their storytelling, which is making some fans roll their eyes and miss the olden days of slower pacing and gentler death scenes.
We’ll see when episode 9 has in store, but it looks like it will just be more death and much less logical progression.