The last episode of the season was better than I expected after the previous episode. That said, it had some of the same issues of the previous set of episodes. Of its pros, it does that much hoped for connecting with other series with Asylum‘s Lana Winters. It also puts the scare factor back up a notch and uses the house’s ghosts for a scene or two.
A Roanoke Fan Riot
What started in the last episode as showing the unnatural obsession there can be for ghostly happenings and killings, continues. The episode opens on a ridiculously over the top ‘fan’ convention. I mean, I have only been to Dublin Comic Con, but it seemed to be a little too much of people loosing their absolute heads. Not to mention the people who seemed to be fans of the pig-head and other killers in the house.
Supernatural and other shows have often poked a bit of fun at their fans but this is a mockery of fandom itself. The episode also shows how even those who enjoyed and admired the first season were put off by the second. One fan, who practically cried on meeting Lee, calls it ‘crass’ and money-grabbing.
Infamy for Murder
What follows is what some may call a trial by popular public opinion, rather than justice. Lee is brought to court on charges of the murders she committed while on the show. The jurors that are later interviewed seem to be fans of the show. Lee’s lawyer puts the murders down to ‘diminished capacity’ and Lee is discharged of all charges. The police aren’t happy and bring her to court for the murder of her husband which she freely admitted to. Yet much like in a Hollywood movie, her lawyer discredits the witness who saw it happen, Lee’s daughter Flora.
Coverage of the murder trials make up another ‘real life’ documentary which features even more re-enactment actors. Lee makes a best seller out of her story. It’s an exaggerated look at how murderers are often treated like celebrities, or celebrities that commit crime get off a little bit easier.
Return to Asylum
Part and parcel of this new controversial fame is appearing on an “unedited, unfiltered” chat shows to tell “her story”. One such talk show, with an opening clearly a rip from an old Oprah special, is Lara Winters (Sarah Paulson). She is still alive and kicking, being somebody who survived a similarly controversial event in season 2 of American Horror Story. The interview is typical ‘TV special’ material. It varies between sympathetic and judgemental, reminding one of the journalist in later Luke Cage episodes, but softens when it goes back on the interviewer.
Yet the interview doesn’t last long as one of the Polk’s arrives on the live show for revenge. How realistic it is for a known criminal to arrive onto a set of the TV show is up for debate, but this sneak attack does return us to a more edge-of-your-seat location. The pair (and undoubtedly the camera crew) survive and the episode turns to yet another reality TV show. This time it is a clear piss-take of ghost hunting shows, ‘Spirit Chasers’.
Some of the scares are in this show within the show as they visit the Roanoke farm. But it is only scary in between sighs. The introduction claims that the ‘Spirit Chasers’ episode was only aired after much consideration and the makers of the show record them breaking into a sealed off house, which is probably against the law. This reality show uses the clichéd special guest celebrity, in this case the actor who portrayed Cricket in ‘My Roanoke Nightmare’ and there is also some meta ‘AHS’ graffiti in the house.
Nobody Leaves Roanoke
Once the ghost hunting has met its frightening conclusion, Lee returns to the house in search of Flora who hasn’t spoken to her since her trial. Flora is determined to stay with her ghostly friend Priscilla. As any celebrity media frenzy goes, the police and indeed the media follow Lee, mistaking it for a hostage crisis. If anybody is the hostage in this situation it is Lee, as Flora refuses to leave her friend alone with ‘the Butcher’. The episode ends in a somewhat resolved way once the ghosts of the house have had their moment, but things aren’t exactly peachy for Lee.
Let us know in the comments if you saw the episode, what you thought and if you liked the season!