As we expected, “American Horror Story: Roanoke” went quickly from an intense genre story to a silly found footage reality horror show. In Wednesday’s (Oct. 26) episode, which we’ll refer to as “Chapter 7” from here on out, the new reality show narrative took on a whole new meaning when the cast of “Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell” started falling victim to violence left and right. And through it all, we couldn’t help but feel empathy towards one person in particular: Agnes Mary Winstead (Kathy Bates).
It seems that, separate from the rest of the cast, Agnes truly found her meaning and purpose in bringing The Butcher to life. And while her psychosis leads to some brutal attacks of her own, it’s hard for us not to see that beneath all the ramblings, her desire to belong — to find where she fits in this world — is what makes her the most human of any of the cast thus far.
Aside from our continued issue with the found footage formula — which at one point finds Audrey (Sarah Paulson), Monet (Angela Bassett) and Lee (Adina Porter) running through the woods with their phones out taking video (because that’s the logical thing to do when running from danger) — it’s hard not to view Agnes’ descent into madness as a mirror of our own experience with “Roanoke.”
After spending a good five episodes becoming invested in the characters and lore as it played out on screen, it’s hard not to feel a little… mad. With the Episode 6 turn, and subsequent “Big Brother”- style twist, it’s hard for us to make sense out of where the season’s old identity ends and the new one begins.
Unfortunately for us, “Roanoke’s” strongest character died in “Chapter 7.” And with Agnes’ poetic demise — the fake Butcher was killed by the real one — we have a feeling that the rest of Season 6 will delve further into some gruesome, and unfettered, madness. How exactly will the remaining episodes of “Roanoke” serve the bigger “American Horror Story” canon? At this point, your guess is as good as ours.
“American Horror Story: Roanoke” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.