Spoilers for the most recent episode of American Horror Story: Roanoke beyond this point.
After months of hype surrounding the super-secret theme of American Horror Story's sixth season, the documentary format felt a bit... underwhelming. But as it turns out, this is because we'd only been given half the story up until now, and tonight, the real story finally began!
As most everyone expected, "Chapter 6" saw the fourth wall be broken, introducing the man behind My Roanoke Nightmare, Sidney (Cheyenne Jackson). After the docu-series was the breakout success of 2015 — topping The Walking Dead and Empire! - Sid pitches a unique follow-up series to the network: Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell, a reality show that will follow the real-life Millers and the actors from My Roanoke Nightmare returning to the farmhouse, where hidden cameras will capture their every move.
And because Sid clearly has no common sense, this reality show will naturally film during the Blood Moon, when the Roanoke ghosts have the ability to kill. Of course, Sid doesn't actually believe in ghosts, so he has the house rigged up with cheesy special effects to mimic hauntings.
Want to know what pure idiocy looks like? Look below.
Unsurprisingly, Shelby (Lily Rabe) is extremely reluctant to return to the house. But ultimately, her fear of getting murdered is overwhelmed by her desire to patch things up with Matt (Andre Holland). You see, fame hasn't been too kind to Shelby. Not only did the experience of filming My Roanoke Nightmare further splinter her marriage, but she was publically exposed to have had a brief affair with the actor who played Matt, Dominic Banks (Cuba Gooding Jr.). As a result, Matt hasn't spoken to her since, so Shelby sees Return to Roanoke as the only way to force him to face her.
And Shelby isn't the only one who has ulterior motives for going on the reality show. The general consensus of My Roanoke Nightmare fans is that Lee Harris (Adina Porter) was the one who killed her ex-husband, so Lee explains (to E! News, natch) that there is no way in hell she's going to let people drag her name through the mud on television without her being on-hand to defend herself.
And Lee has good reason to be on the defense. Sidney's real plan for Return to Roanoke is not only to scare the pants off the cast, but also to prove Lee is a murderer to the entire world. But before Sid can get to work constructing his TV drama, he has to deal with the real drama on set.
Not long after production sets up, things begin to go terribly wrong. Sid and his assistant Diana discover a circle of dead piglets left on the property, which Sid stupidly assumes has nothing to do with IRL ghosts. Instead, Sid points the finger at Agnes Mary Winstead (Kathy Bates), the actress who played the Butcher.
While Agnes appears quite gracious and soft-spoken at first, it's revealed that she's become so obsessed with the Butcher, she was charged with assault for waving a hatchet around Hollywood while dressed in full Butcher garb. As a result, Sid serves Agnes with a restraining order and forbids her to come anywhere near the production of Return to Roanoke (not that she listens).
Then, only hours before the cast is set to arrive, a crew member is decapitated on the set. Smartly realizing that this isn't even close to normal, Diana gets the hell out of there. But as she's driving away, Diana is attacked by Piggy Man (who is probably being played by Finn Wittrock, imho) from inside her car. As a title card reveals, Diana is never heard from again.
But as they say, the show must go on.
Just as the Blood Moon rises, the cast returns to the farmhouse, including Dominic, Monet (Angela Bassett), the alcoholic actress who played Lee; Audrey Tindall (Sarah Paulson), the British actress who played Shelby; and Rory Monahan (Evan Peters), the rambunctious young actor who played Edward.
After meeting on the set, it turns out that Audrey and Rory fell madly in love and got married. But sadly their romance is cut short when he's brutally stabbed to death by the Jane sisters. (You really should have seen that coming as soon as they revealed someone's name started with an "R.")
And the deaths are only beginning. It's revealed that every single cast member of Return to Roanoke died under mysterious circumstances — except one.
Who do you think will be the one to survive?
American Horror Story: Roanoke airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.