That’s my hopeful chant heading into Episode 3.
I know there is a good chance you’ve heard the rumors that there will be a “major twist” mid-season, and as unhinged but linear as the storyline has gone so far, that is a worrying thought. Approximately, oh, eighty plot threads have been established in just two episodes, and hey, that’s just fine. After five seasons it’s no surprise, but there is a functioning through-line. I’m apprehensive about flipping the table right as things should be hitting a mid-season stride.
A few peeks into the imaginary AHS Writer’s Room might be a good way to explore that potentially shitty idea, as well as any other grumbles or theories.
Now, onward! Let’s begin the Play by Play:
- Picking up right where we left off, Flora (Adina Porter/Angela Bassett’s daughter) is missing and the search begins. Ooooh, a bunch of pig-and-doll mashups. Clues!
- What’s that? A filthy redneck den? Yep. Full of rotting pig parts….
- … and we find some kids in the barn. I’m not going to lie, I laughed out loud. Didn’t mean to. Yeah, we need to explore some of the choices being made. We’ll never know for sure if there was a coin toss to decide whether that scene was filmed and used, but It can’t be ruled out. I mean, we’ve just reached the opening credits.
- Uh-oh, Lee’s ex is sure she did it. I’m pretty sure Shelby (Lily Rabe/Sarah Paulson) was involved, but not Lee. Actually, harkening back to Ep2, maybe Shelby isn’t involved, and she just really, really likes teddy bears. Maybe they do magically erase the mental trauma of seeing human sacrifices.
- Oh, it seems there won’t be much complaining from the ex from here on out.
- Now we’re talking! Leslie Jordan pops in the front door like like the little old lady in Poltergeist! I’m going to admit my focus was drifting, but now we’ve got Leslie Jordan clicking his cane all over the farmhouse. My hope is restored. And this seance is definitely the most fun we’ve had this season! “I take Visa, MasterCard …”
- Thank you, Cricket, for FINALLY making sense of the geography of this whole Roanoke thing, telling us the badass story about The Butcher, Kathy Bates, and becoming my favorite character just by walking onscreen with preposterous hair and laying down some enlightenment.
- Lady Gaga!! Pulling the strings!! And fogging up Matt’s glasses. Oh Jesus, I don’t think I’m supposed to be laughing this hard at all of this.
- Thank god, the end. I need to pick my jaw up off the floor and wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes so I can write this up!
Episode 3, or Chapter 3 as the fancy-pants credits call it, is hereby dedicated to Leslie Jordan and his fantastic portrayal of Cricket. His Southern drawl and ego-driven tongue-in-cheek performance save this episode from itself. He builds a bridge between serious material like a missing child, a flayed and burned father (aww, I miss Ramsey), exploitation of a worried family—and the unintentionally funny scenes involving pig-nursing feral children screaming “Croatoan” and Lady Gaga/Devil sex.
As things stand, Flora is hiding with the ghost girl Priscilla, who was from Kathy Bates’ Roanoke colony. The colony had pulled some shit on Bates, she made a deal with Gaga Devil, put the smack down on the colony and hiked them up to the current setting, where she claimed the land as her own. Leslie Jordan (I love you, Cricket) waltzes in to explain all this and potentially save the day—for 25 grand. Cuba Gooding Jr. gets down with Gaga Devil and claims not to remember it. Shelby is appropriately pissed. As we close, reenactor Lee is off to jail, “real” Lee is upset they found out she had another daughter go missing long before, and Evan Peters is still nowhere to be seen. I’m too shocked and overwhelmed to sift through all the references to other seasons, but they were plentiful.
A Peek into the Writer’s Room:
“You are one sick fuck, Randy. Call it, heads or tails. But let me make this clear: if you win, all bets are off. Shut up, I know I said that last year.“
See you next week!