OK, so we don’t exactly know every single little thing (and face it, you wouldn’t want to know everything any more than we would) but this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly* features Ryan Murphy and some of his favorite talent on the cover, with a big chunk devoted to AHS Roanoke. He drops some VERY interesting teasers on the episodes to come, and though he’s not dumb enough to give outright spoilers, there is quite a bit of information on what to expect this season, even some specifics about tie-ins to other seasons (hint: they’re not the seasons you’d expect). Here’s some specific highlights from the Entertainment Weekly cover story, plus some extra goodies!
NOTE: SPOILERS INCLUDED FOR AMERICAN HORROR STORY SEASON SIX : ROANOKE. IF YOU ARE NOT CAUGHT UP ON EPISODES ONE TO THREE, STOP READING AND CATCH UP. What the hell are you waiting for, anyhow?
Dandy Mott origin story, anyone? Remember that rotten, murderous, rich little prick from Freak Show? Finn Whitrock’s Dandy turned out to be much more dangerous and horrible than Twisty the Clown. He definitely deserved the horrible death he got while the surviving characters watched while happily chomping popcorn. Ryan Murphy says that we can expect the shows to “explain how the Motts began”. We hope that means we’ll get to see Frances Conroy this season, because we really missed her during Hotel.
Roanoke might seem more stripped down–RM’s rule going in was “no script longer than 36 pages, no cut longer than 41 minutes”**–but we still will get plenty of gore. For instance, he says, “If you ever want to see how you do a human disembowling, watch episode four and you’ll learn a lot”.
You would think Kathy Bates as “The Butcher” and her gang of long-dead colonists (Lady Gaga plays one), along with the murderous bloodthirsty nurses, would provide enough scares. We also get “Piggy Man”, as another horrifying apparition (or is he?), and the EW story refers to him as “one of the main baddies”. Piggy Man, who we saw in one of Dr. Cunningham’s found-footage VHS tapes, is the same one as the legend discussed in Murder House.
While EW was visiting the set, someone was getting set up with a “crotch harness”, but it isn’t for what you’d think after watching AHS Hotel. A character is killed after a very nasty staircase fall.
Here’s the big surprise: Halfway through the season, beginning with episode 6, everything you thought you knew about Roanoke gets flipped on its head. BIG TIME. Says Murphy: “The show has a huge turn, and the thing that you think you’re watching is not what you’re watching.” We are willing to bet that is going to include a departure from the mock reality crime show format.
Our speculation on the big twist? The scope of the show is going to widen, because the fact that the “real” family (Shelby, Lee, and Matt Miller) who “My Roanoke Nightmare” is based on all are alive and appear to be in one piece kind of ruins any suspense regarding who will survive and who is not. The story in the reality show might seem to wrap up, but we’ll see the evil continuing on outside the show. Maybe Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Sarah Paulson themselves will be haunted, though that could get a little ‘meta’. Maybe we’ll see a little more a little more of Cheyenne Jackson (it took us a while to pick up on it, but he is the interviewer of the documentary My Roanoke Nightmare).
Your guess is as good as ours… and there are plenty of theories to explore online. Let’s hope the episodes get longer than the bare minimum, and hey, maybe we’ll even see a fish-eye lens shot or two.
We do have a few more miscellaneous nuggets from the Entertainment Weekly cover story. The whole “The Mist” misdirect isn’t mentioned (though it was pretty clever), but as far as all those involved in the filming and prep leading up to the surprise premiere date, they–and this is a direct quote– “took a blood oath not to reveal anything”. Scripts got shredded, actual security was hired, and even Sarah Paulson could only get two scripts in advance. Also, several phony semi-leaked plot descriptions were written under the name American Horror Story: Cul-de-Sac. Everything worked, up until some sleazes who wanted a payday from TMZ snuck onto the set and took a few photos, but fortunately, that was only a few days before the surprise premiere. Oh, and Murphy also knows the concept for next season… and then some.
Oh, and any rabid Even Peters fans who have been really, really upset he hasn’t shown up yet three episodes in? Take a deep breath and try to be patient, he IS signed on for this season. He isn’t even listed as a special guest star, but as a part of the main cast. They may be saving him (along with Finn Whitrock and Matt Bomer) for after the big mid-season switcheroo!
*Source: Entertainment Weekly, “Unlocking American Horror Story” by Tim Stack @ewtimstack, September 30, 2016/Issue #1433
**Not going to lie, this bums us out. The last few season’s extended episodes (“Hotel” was especially generous with these, even though there were only 12 instead of the usual 13 episodes) spoiled us, we guess. We’re going to pretend really hard that we did not only see ten “chapters” listed for this season on the reliable IMDB episode guide, though…