American Horror Story: Roanoke: 6×03

Too busy playing D&D to watch American Horror Story: Roanoke last night? Chill out, nerds.  Here’s our recap:

Last time we checked in with Shelby, Matt, and Lee, they were horrified to discover that Lee’s young daughter, Flora, had disappeared, leaving behind her hoodie high up on a tree.  This episode kicks off with a search party for Flora.  In her talking head, Lee expresses gratitude to the volunteers in the search party– and displeasure with the police officers handling the case.  They seem to be annoyed with all of the 9-1-1 calls, and Lee thinks the police may be in cahoots with the Polks.  Since Lee is a former police officer, she knows the statistics about missing children.  And she will be damned if her daughter becomes a statistic.

When they’re searching the woods, Lee finds Flora’s doll.  It has been ripped apart and beheaded, with a severed pig’s head in its place.  Lee calls over Shelby and Matt, and the two soon find an abandoned farm house.  Outside is a beheaded pig with the doll’s head placed by the neck.  Inside, the house is in shambles.  There is evidence that people lived there recently, but it is completely empty.  Outside, the trio finds a barn– and discover two feral-looking boys suckling a pig and making animalistic grunts.

The kids are identified as members of the Polk family and taken into police custody.  There, a social worker tries to talk to them.  The kids are almost completely nonverbal, and seem to only know the word “Croatoan”.  Soon after, Mason arrives.  He’s justifiably irate, and back at the house, he accuses Lee of hiding Flora somewhere and making up the whole kidnapping story.  He thinks that Lee was planning to take their daughter out of the country. The two fight, and it becomes physical when Mason pushes Lee to the ground before storming off.

That night, Matt is awoken by a call from the police saying that they found a body.  Matt, Shelby, and Lee meet up with the police in the woods, where a charred corpse has been bound to a wooden structure.  The police found a ring attached to the body, and Lee is able to identify the deceased as Mason.

In the commotion, Matt almost misses two alerts on his Home Security app. At the house, he and Shelby watch a security video of Lee leaving the house after Mason walked out, and then returning four hours later.  Shelby brings up the possibility that Lee killed Mason.  Of course, that’s the moment when Lee enters the rooms.  She heard Shelby’s theory and is horrified that her sister-in-law would think that she’s capable of something like that.  Suddenly, in walks…Cricket Marlow– a medium from New Orleans (played by AHS: Coven actor Leslie Jordan).  He has a reputation for finding missing children and has worked with the FBI before.

Naturally, everyone is more than a little skeptical of Cricket and his abilities.  But Lee is desperate.  Cricket walks around the house and stops at the cupboard where Flora was hiding before she went missing.  He opens the cupboard to find the bonnet.  He proclaims that Flora isn’t dead– she’s with Priscilla, who died in the 1500s.

Shelby gives Cricket permission to try to contact the spirit world from inside the house, and he orchestrates a séance with the family.  He isn’t able to contact Priscilla, but he does get hold of someone else: The Butcher (played by Kathy Bates).  Originally a Roanoke colonist, The Butcher is a vengeful spirit hellbent on protecting “her” land.  Wielding a cleaver, she cuts one of the séance candles in half.  She proclaims that she’ll kill everyone, and says that Priscilla hid Flora somewhere away from her “hallowed ground”.  Cricket tells her that the land doesn’t belong to the dead.  The Butcher becomes angry and smashes a window, causing Cricket to yell out “Croatoan”.  Evidently, it’s a magic word; The Butcher is banished back to the spirit world.

Cricket tells the family that he’ll locate Flora…for the price of $25,000.  He takes Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.  Matt becomes convinced that Cricket is a con artist, and is not about to let him take advantage of his sister.  Lee cocks her gun and aims it at him, trying to goad him into giving her information.  Matt stops her and takes her gun before telling Cricket to get out.  On his way out the door, Cricket whispers something to Lee: “Emily says hello.”

Lee was seventeen when she had her first daughter Emily.  When Emily was four, Lee left her in the car while she ran into a grocery store for five minutes. When she came back, Emily was gone.  She was never seen again.

Lee ends up paying Cricket for information about Flora.  Cricket tells her that he went into the woods after being kicked out of the house.  In the woods, he was flooded with visions about The Butcher.  her name was Thomasin White, and her husband John was the governor of Roanoke.  He left her in charge of the colony when he left for England to get supplies.  During his absence, the people of Roanoke suffered starvation and inadequate shelter.  Most wanted to move inland, but Thomasin insisted that they stay where they were until John’s return.

Angry and frustrated, the colonists usurped Thomasin and abandoned her in the woods with an iron mask on her face.  While she was dying, an unseen spirit removed the mask and offered a still beating pig’s heart to Thomasin, demanding her to surrender her soul.  Thomasin complied and ate the heart.  She then returned to the colony and murdered the men who mutinied against her, only sparing her son.  She moved the colony of Roanoke inland, settling on the land Shelby and Matt now occupy.

Cricket, Lee, Shelby, and Matt venture back out into the woods.  The Butcher is there (in the spirit realm).  Cricket begs her to compel Priscilla to return Flora, using the land as a bargaining chip.  Apparently Lee promised that Shelby and Matt would move away from the property and burn the house down.  Shelby objects, and then Lee drops a bomb: Matt had already agreed to the plan.  Matt, by the way, has vanished.  Shelby goes looking for him in the woods and finds him having sex with some wild, woods-woman (played by Lady Gaga) while some “hillbillies” watch.

Shelby storms off to the house.  Matt goes to find her.  Turns out, he has absolutely no memory of leaving the group, nor any recollection of cheating on his wife.  Suddenly, Lee arrives and is promptly arrested.  “What have you done?” Matt asks Shelby. Shelby shrugs and says “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”