The “Twist” and the “Real” Theme
[Before we get into the episode, we believe more than ever that the theme of Season 6 is “cheesy horror tropes” (it would be more polite to say “paying homage to classic paranormal media” but who wants to be polite?) and we will be highlighting instances of this throughout the recap, flagging these instances with a *]
Episode 6 even opens with a partially 4th wall breaking, self referential info-graphic that still has rolling from the slight shade at The Walking Dead
And we meet Sidney in episode 6, the “non-murderous” villain of the season and creator of My Roanoke Nightmare that we already love to hate
It is no secret that we have been watching a show-within-a-show (My Roanoke Nightmare), a reenactment style horror mystery of the Miller Family’s haunting story that brings to mind the days of Unsolved Mysteries, and any head interview style paranormal type show popular in the late 2000′s*.
We reached the end of My Roanoke Nightmare at the end of episode 5, and fans have been curious as to how the season would wrap up the second half of he season, but teasers ruined the mystery and we have a solid answer and full episode telling us we are moving to the next paranormal media trope: Live action survival*.
Episode 6 began by throwing us into the new setup for the season, and the twist. A camera crew follows this douche Sidney, through the steps of pitching the second season of “Roanoke” to some big wigs, the only notable interaction besides providing a plot device to move the show into phase 2:
The second season within a season will follow the Miller Family returning to the house, joined by the actors that played them–To avoid confusion, we will continue this by referring to characters a Real and Fake (Real Shelby being Lily Rabe, and Fake Shelby being Sarah Paulson, whereas the sentence “Real Shelby is acting fake” is more a critique on the character than a clarification of actress)–
One woman speaks out on the obvious–WHY would these people agree to go back to that horrible house*? (The answer is obvious, these people have HORRIBLE decision making skills)*
Case in point, Shelby Miller was reluctant to do the show until an interview/confessional with Sidney, where he asks about her seperation with Real Matt and brings up her affair with Cuba Gooding Jr. Fake Matt. This leads her to confess, in a moment she thinks is off camera, that she thinks doing the show is the only way to get Real Matt to talk to her and maybe win him back. (Oh and apparently one weekend of bad behavior isn’t an “affair”, so there is this weeks true horror story this week–the moral decay of America)
The Game of Nerds Ponders: Why is Ryan Murphy making everyone have sex with Cuba Gooding Jr? Is this a surprise extra theme? The real American Horror Story? We are all still mortified by this scene:
We get a short glimpse of the set-up procedures for the house and the Big Brother setup. Of course a crew member dies during preparation and Cheyenne Jackson is great at playing an A Class Jack Wagon and is having every remote controlled jump scare and creepy ambiance created to terrify an already traumatized family (and to hopefully catch them with as raw as possible by hiding the cameras well).
Sidney also decided to throw in potential “Found-Footage” and auto-documentary vibes by taking the cast’s phones and replacing them with video-enabled only ones, much to Fake Lee’s (Monet’s) annoyance.
The last notable pre-production moment is the interview Sidney does with The Butcher where he recounts a “breakdown” she had that lead her on a tirade through the streets of Hollywood, which landed her 6 months in rehab and she lost the bet actress award to Fake Shelby. The interview concludes with him serving her a restraining order from production, one he hopes she will break and will drive her back to her unstable behavior and create drama for the show.
/Shout out to Pikachu/
A few things are revealed revealed about Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters characters in the first confessional: 1) Fake Sheby (Audrey) is a British actor with a horrible accent 2) Rory, aka ghost reenactor Evan Peters, is now engaged to Fake Shelby, having gotten together on the first season of My Roanoke Nightmare 3) They are an odious couple
To further the third point, they are the first guests to arrive at the Roanoke farmhouse and rudely take the master bedroom and begin to get intimate. Thankfully they were interrupted by Rory’s agent offering him a deal that would make him abandon Roanoke early
The couple then goes downstairs to await the other guests but see a shadow move past a window and a jump scare ensues and other guests arrive. Fake Shelby/Aubrey is a stated non-believer* and thinks it is Agnes/The Butcher coming to torment her over winning the award over her again, aggravated by being excluded from the new show*. We then see tension amongst the original family and the reenactors–mainly Shelby vs. Shelby fight resulting from Real Shelby being annoying and insulting Audrey and Rory by inadvertently calling Audrey (Fake Shelby) old.
We get a big dose of reality TV drama right off the bat when Sidney announces the planned sleeping arrangements and Matt freaks when they tel him to room with Shelby, and Lee decides to jump in–and this image accurately captures the group dynamic
We then see an anticlimactic feud between Real Lee and Monet, who is unhappy with Monet’s portrayal but still offers her help with their shared alcoholism. Then a more physical altercation springs up when Real Matt jumps Fake Matt (Dominic) when Dominic unexpectedly arrives at the house.
Note the great camera angle (Thanks to Angela Bassett’s for doing a great job directing this episode) and Shelby is once utterly useless in just watching the fisticuffs.
Audrey then experiences a scare in the bathroom while exiting the shower when she hears a creak, awkwardly does 3 comb stroked through her hair, then sees the Pigman in the mirror behind her, and he is still there when she turns around.
Given Audrey’s status as a non-believer she is convinced it was someone sent by Sidney to scare her. In a shocking display of protection for his wife, but possibly fueled by show boating, Rory takes the second floor of the house [alone*] by storm looking for the culprit, or Sidney. He won our hearts by checking behind the closed shower curtain* [unlike some people in prior episodes*]
And then the unexpected happens:
Rory gets stabbed to death by the evil nurses. Not shocking that he died early on, he was bold and broke away from the group*, but we were expecting Rory’s killer to be the Pigman, not the nurses! But that’s what he gets for having a name that starts with R.
It must be satisfying to finally finish a 50 year long art project, but given the creepier costuming of the Real Nurses we did not reach out to them for comment.
We are left wondering which member of the cast makes it out alive. We have been speculating non-stop and have all our The Game of Nerds money on Matt surviving due to his being promised to the Forest Witch.