This summer American Horror Story fans have been teased mercilessly across all social media with vague teasers, and trailers that piqued their interests for the shows sixth season. Promos never revealed this seasons theme however, and as any true AHS fan can tell you the theme is always somehow revealed before the shows premiere, to marinate with all the possible plot twists, character reveals, and writing that aims to shock you senseless. The secret theme was teased once more at the beginning of the episode as fans were asked, "Have you figured it out?"
If you have not figured it out by now, your in luck as the tentative titled "American Horror Story S6," has now been changed to the true title of "American Horror Story : Roanoke," which brings the show into a true-crime documentary style piece lined with dramatic reenactments starring Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr.
American Horror Story: Roanoke, brings viewers into the lives of a couple who move to Roanoke Island, North Carolina, for a fresh start following a gang violence incident, and the loss of their unborn child. However, the fresh start that the couple sets out to find seems to involve a new home in the form of a creepy farm house and weather that calls for light scattered showers of teeth. (Yes, you read that right, teeth.) The real couple Shelby and Matt, played by AHS favorite Lilly Rabe and Andre Holland are presented to viewers in emotional confessionals while Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. the pair who have previously worked on The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, join together again to play, in a twist that only co-creator Ryan Murphy could dream up, their dramatic reenactment counterparts.
The fresh take on this sixth season brings viewers deep into these characters lives, which makes the tension between Shelly and Matt with the local hicks after their farm house auction win, all the more real. After winning the auction for their new home in a grand gesture by Matt, who used almost all of their savings, the couple begin to settle in with some DIY renovations, and christen their new home with the seasons first sex scene.(Because after AHS: Hotel there has to be more right?) As the couple make love however squealing pig noises and angry bangs on the door that night kill the mood, and Matt goes outside to see whats causing all of the noise, only to find the yard in a mess with garbage strewn all around. The couple chalk the vandalism up to animals at first but upon deeper thought Matt chalks it up to racism from the "hillbillies," that lost the auction, and because Shelly and him are an international couple living in the south. "We ran away once and we weren't going to be victims again," Lily Rabe (Shelby) states after the incident as the couple chooses to stand their ground.
When Matt has to head out of town for a business trip, which is normal in his role as a traveling salesman, Shelby decides to stay home and focus on her yoga to relax and get in some quality time with herself. (After all great sex when Matt came back from the trip was guaranteed.) This is when the magic that is AHS starts to roll out in the form of a hailstorm of teeth, that scare Shelly and start to chip away at her sanity. When Matt returns home and they discuss the teeth storm, Matt states that he drove home in the same storm and he only saw hail, so Shelby dismisses her crazy observations and laughs them off, not knowing that this was only the beginning. When Matt leaves home again Shelby seeks to calm her stressed mind with dinner, wine, and a hot tub soak, what she didn't schedule was a deep tissue drowning to cap it all off. A mysterious woman figure that we see through the blurred waters of the hot tub forces Shelby's head underwater and holds her there as she struggles, only to release her and disappear. This time when Matt returns to the house he is welcomed by the local authorities who don't seem to buy Shelby's story, and when told by Matt that the, "hillbillies," may have caused this and that he and Shelly need protection, the officers clipped advice to get a gun, only serves to confirm the racism that Matt and Shelby feel they are facing.
Now that Matt is truly seeing that Shelby is not safe at home alone, before his next trip he installs security cameras around the perimeter of the house that are connected to his phone so that he can watch over her from afar. Matt also calls in the support of his sister Lee played by True Blood, star Adina Porter in the confessionals and reenacted by Angela Basset. Ex-cop, divorcee, recovering alcoholic, and mother, Lee is thrown at us in a fireball of information that instantly brings viewers up to speed with her backstory and ties her into the crazy ride the couple is on. Due to an injury on the job Lee started to take antibiotics, became addicted, was ousted by her fellow officer and fired. In the aftermath of her losing her job her husband decided he wanted a divorce because she was neglecting him, and their daughter, in the end she lost her daughter in the custody battle and was grated three days out of every fourteen days of visitation. Lee seems to be an extremely strong woman who is down on her luck trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and push forward, having her brother home is helping with that, but it seems her relationship with Shelby is anything but pleasant.
"My brother married one jumpy bitch," Lee states as Shelby confronts her after she finds a knife moved from where she left it when Lee walks in the room behind her. The two have an animosity that centers on their love for Matt, who supports him the most, and who needs him most in their lives. As the two deal with this rivalry Matt discovers an alert on his phone that shows that the house is being trespassed by people wielding torches and pitchforks, he stands in his hotel room a hundred miles away in horror knowing there is nothing he can do but watch. Vowing to do everything he can to help the two of them and get there before the police that obviously care very little for him and his family he rushes home. Lee and Shelby are broken out of their argument to noises coming from the basement and when they go down to investigate they are greeted by an old television playing a home movie. "Why would someone break into my house just to play a home movie," Lily Rabe questions as Sarah Paulson and Angela Basset cringe in terror when a creature with the body of a man but the head of a pig comes into focus briefly on the distorted video.
Lee and Shelby are locked in the basement now as the small noises that they heard before turn into what sounds like many people running around the house. Scared and confused the two decide to take shelter downstairs until the noises stop and Lee takes the lead upstairs to find out whats going on. When the two break free of the basement they find themselves surrounded by strung up stick figures that resemble hung corpses or voodoo dolls and thats when Matt returns home. An understandably shaken Shelby recalls everything that happened for Matt and reluctantly shows him the terrifying video left for them, which to her surprise only leads Matt to further believe that this is the work of the Hillbillies truly trying to scare them out of their new home. Convinced of this fact Matt and Lee urge Shelby to stand and fight for her home, but she wants nothing to do with it if these dangerous people want the home so badly, and decides she needs to leave right then. Shelby drives off ignoring the calls of Matt and Lee in the middle of the night and hits a woman in the road who appears before her.
Viewers will recognize this woman if they look closely enough as the same figure who was drowning Shelby in the hot tub, but unaware of this Shelby seeks to make sure the woman is alright. The strange woman ignores Shelby's calls and slowly gets up and makes her way into the forest, and Shelby deeply concerned stumbles after her. (This is where the tension builds and you will start wearing out the edge of your seat, and finishing off your favorite movie snack in a flash.) Sure that the road is directly behind her and that the mysterious woman could not have gone to far Shelby makes her way deeper into the forest and ultimately gets lost. As she tries to calm herself down and makes her way back to the road and her car, torches light up around her and figures appear out of the forrest to surround her. As viewers hearts should now be pounding in their chest anticipating whats the come next a man who has been stripped clean of his scalp to reveal his brain and blood dripping down his face appears and the episode comes to an end with Shelly's screams ringing through your ears.
The cliffhanger ending left viewers watching that night truly grasping at their televisions for more because not only did the premiere end five minutes early but the usual preview of next weeks episode was conveniently not present to at least give you some hope for Shelly's survival, but if you follow @AHSFX on twitter you were greeted with everything you wanted by 1am.
American Horror Story: Roanoke has jumped out the gate with a fresh concept, amazing writing, deep mysterious connections to past seasons, emotional acting, and a theme that promises to evolve with each coming episode. Will you be strapped in along for the ride? Stay tuned to FX and TheCelebrityCafe.com for more details of the show this season!