Since the show that would become American Horror Story: Roanoke first put viewers on the offensive by toying with our hopes and dreams concerning the theme of this season every episode, it has been half-good at times, half-waiting for the other damn shoe to drop. It's like, it's cool the seasons are connected, but we really want to figure out what the big game-changer is in Episode 6. It's stressful, man. What's more maddening is that all we got was a measly tiny crumb-sized trailer that pretty much hinted that the twist is that the Millers' hauntings follow them back. Which doesn't feel that twisty, to be honest. Still, that seems to be the twist.
It would've been nice if we could just sit back and watch our erotic thrills in peace but no. We're caught between worlds now. Moving behind the scenes to Cheyenne Jackson's production of the fake show we've been watching. It's safe to say the rest of the season's going to be the repercussions of the heretofore contained Roanoke nightmare. Right? Cat's out of the bag pretty much. Are you satisfied with this "theme"? Are you stressed?
If so, don't worry, here's a guide to get you through all the stages of finally finally knowing where this dang show is headed.
Then again, maybe this whole going behind-the-scenes premise is another fake-out. We've been duped before. Why should we accept that the final layer of this onion is a haunted television production? Maybe we'll flash-forward 90 years to a haunted crater full of space teenagers discovering an .mp4 of all the show's B-roll, and then The Butcher (Kathy Bates) and her followers will try to consecrate The Red Planet aka Mars or something. Look, you might think there's a deeper, even more Russian nesting doll of a premise tucked away further down this 10-episode season. But buddy, that's denial. We're headed behind the scenes, like it or not. Deal with it. Maybe Finn Wittrock will pop up as a gaffer!
Whoa, easy, put down your computer/tablet/phone/smart watch. No need to break things out of anger. You might be a pissed that so many episodes were used to set up the transition into the behind-the-scenes world of a cheesy paranormal investigation show. Think of how great it would be if all the best parts of the last five episodes were crammed into two? We're smart viewers — burn through the My Roanoke Nightmare stuff and then send Matt (Andrew Hollande) and Shelby (Lily Rabe) home for the "real "terror to begin. The one saving grace is that at least the conceit of untethered hauntings is pretty cool. No, we get it, we're mad too. Grrr — so mad and stuff. But just look if the production is being haunted, and if The Butcher is the one in charge, then there's a lot of body fodder between her blade and Shelby and Matt or whoever the Forest Witch wants most. There's the actors, the crew, and the actual offenders, plus any loved ones who might stand in the ghost's way. Less pissed?
Alright alright. So you've calmed down a bit. Cool. Coooooool. What's that? You want to go back to when audiences didn't know what the theme was at all? Back when our imaginations were free to fill in the gaps of knowledge that the show withheld? "Maybe it's about children! No — dolls!" Well going back to a more ignorant time just is not possible. Now, story-wise it might be possible to maintain the fake television show aspect if that's any consolation. Like, we can definitely picture the crew also making a show about how their own production is under haunt while also making more dramatic re-enactments of Matt and Shelby's experiences. Which would fit within the meta-ness going on so far. But we're not promising anything.
Ah, come on, cheer up. You're bummed that the trailer for next week had a character telling his crew to keep filming no matter what, which is like Rule No. 1 of the found footage genre? Rule No. 2 of the found footage genre is that it's been done to death. Also, when television holds a mirror up to itself, it can feel like too much inside baseball. Yeah, that kind of sucks. Sad that all the other seasons had distinct settings and this setting is just looking to be basically a television production and the lives of everyday people? Think of what could've been if we just stuck with Edward Mott's storyline and had a whole season of decadent foppery? Think of a giant slaughter that could've happened during a waltz orgy.
At the end of the day, there's no changing the reality of the situation. So just accept this is where we're headed and enjoy the ride! Besides, if there's one franchise on television that knows what it wants to do, it's American Horror Story. Even though we waited and waited for this big reveal and still don't have any creepy credits, surely some cool, inventive drama is on the horizon.
Are you satisfied with what the big game-changing reveal appears to be? Was the secrecy warranted? Are we jumping the gun?
American Horror Story Roanoke airs Wednesdays 10/9c on FX.