‘American Horror Story: Roanoke’ Is Not What It Seems

We’re over halfway through Season 6 of American Horror Story, and the questions and surprises (and confusion) keep coming. Last week was full of death and caught fans off guard many times. If what Cheyenne Jackson recently told Vanity Fair is to be believed, fans still don’t understand what we’re really watching. And the key to figuring it out may come down to one question.

If you haven’t watched the most recent episode of AHS, don’t read any further. Spoilers begin in the next paragraph.

Last week’s episode of American Horror Story had fans literally gasping and saying “No way” to the television screen multiple times. Showrunners managed to fit five deaths into less than an hour, as well as give fans some gruesome and shocking footage that captured and kept them glued to the show for every minute of the wild ride. Only one person will make it out of that house alive. And Ryan Murphy has said that we can’t believe what anyone says. Everyone is suspect. Cheyenne Jackson recently told Vanity Fair,“You have to question each person on the show, why they do what they do.”

Let’s begin with the first death – or maybe I should say the first three deaths, as they occurred nearly at the same time. Cheyenne Jackson is playing the sleazy Sidney in this round of American Horror Story, or I should say he was playing Sidney. He was brutally murdered last week at the hands of Mary Agnes Winstead, who plays The Butcher.


Kathy Bates was brilliant in the latest chapter of American Horror Story: Roanoke. We learned that the actress she plays, Mary Agnes Winstead, is schizophrenic and obsessed with the part of The Butcher. When Sidney tells her, on camera of course, that she will not be part of Return to Roanoke, she falls apart and swears vengeance on the production. And she is true to her word. First, when Sidney’s assistant, Alyssa, leaves the trailer after delivering food to Sidney and a cameraman, Winstead literally gives her the axe while in full Butcher costume. Sidney discovers Alyssa’s body, and, of course, his instinct is to tell the cameraman to bring his camera to film what he found. He does and they both suffer the same death as Alyssa.

So what was Sidney’s goal. Ratings. Would staging his own death get ratings? Absolutely. Jackson wouldn’t confirm whether or not Sidney’s death was real. He did say this about the character that American Horror Story fans don’t much like.

“I didn’t think of my character as a bad guy. I don’t think you can think of him as good or bad… I thought of my character as a person who had goals and would do anything to achieve those goals. He knew what he wanted and nothing was going to stop him.”

“Nothing was going to stop him.” Sounds like faking his death is a possibility. Let’s move on.

American Horror Story Roanoke
Andre Holland as Matt Miller [Photo by FX]

Matt also died in last week’s episode of American Horror Story as he told Shelby that he had come back to Roanoke for Lady Gaga’s character because he was in love with her. In a fury, Shelby beat him to death with a crowbar. Matt’s goal isn’t too clear. He told Shelby that he went back to Roanoke to see Lady Gaga, but he seemed to be in a trance once again when he went to see her, so this may not have been his actual reason for being there. He was on bad terms with Shelby, so his motive wasn’t to reunite with her. Maybe his feelings for Gaga were real though, and he’s trying to impress her or something by sacrificing all these people. But, there was another piece to this scene we need to talk about: Dominic.

Dominic played Shelby’s re-enactment husband in the early episodes of American Horror Story: Roanoke. Apparently the two had an affair, it’s what split Shelby and Matt. Dominic clearly stated last week that he is all about being on-screen. That statement made every move he made suspect. Does he even really love Shelby? Is he somehow manipulating things to keep himself involved in the story and on the screen? Time will tell.

The last person who died last week was Mary Agnes, The Butcher from the beginning of American Horror Story: Roanoke. She was killed by the real Butcher, right after proclaiming that she just wanted to be on TV. Another screen-hungry person. A mentally ill one. A mentally ill one who is capable of killing people to get revenge when they stand in her way of being on TV. Is she behind the scenes manipulating things? Is she really dead?

So many questions remain to be answered in the latest season of American Horror Story. You can bet we’ll tune in again this Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on FX to see how the mystery continues to unravel.

[Featured Image by FX]