‘American Horror Story': Turn The Cameras Off (Recap)

This week, “American Horror Story” gives us our first major kill of the season and reveals who is haunting the house

Last Updated: September 28, 2016 @ 9:39 PM

On last week’s episode of “American Horror Story,” Kathy Bates indulged in a thick Irish accent and some roast pig-human, Matt and Shelby decided to stay in their house for dumb reasons, and Lee brought her daughter back to the dangerous house for other dumb reasons. Said daughter vanished into thin air, thanks to her imaginary killer friend Priscilla, and we learned about the Roanoke house’s past tenants: two killer nurses whose murder spree came to an end at the hands of a greater evil.

So what’s next for our three hapless protagonists? Will the mockumentary format begin to fall apart tonight? Let’s find out.

10:00 o’clock: We begin where the last episode left off, with a search party looking for Lee’s child, Flora.  They don’t find her, but they do find a hacked-up doll with dismembered pig’s heads and feet. Shelby, Matt and Lee continue their search to a filthy pig farm, where their screaming for Flora brings the first messed-up image of the night: two filthy, wild young men sucking from a pig’s teat and screaming Flora’s name. Wait, one of those dirty dudes is Evan Peters, right?

10:09: No, it wasn’t Evan. They take the two kids to the cops, who believe that the people who had the farm may have fled with Flora. Mason returns to the house and he’s not happy. He blows up at Lee and believes that she’s kidnapped Flora in an attempt to prevent him from taking custody rights. He storms out of the house… and it’s the last we will ever see of him. A few hours later, our trio gets a phone call from the cops. They’ve found a body. When they arrive at the site, they come upon a still-smoking corpse tied to a wooden post as a sacrifice. The cops find a ring on the body, and Lee confirms that Mason has been burned to a crisp.

10:20: And now it gets really interesting. Matt notices in his camera system that between the time they went to bed and the time they got the call from the cops about Mason’s body, Lee left and returned to the house. Shelby begins to suspect that Lee killed her ex-husband, and Lee is furious that she’s being suspected of murder. Before things can escalate, however, the trio get an unexpected visitor. He’s an eccentric medium by the name of Cricket, who heard about Flora’s disappearance while munching on beignets at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans.

They allow Cricket to investigate the house, and he zeroes in on the closet where Flora was hiding in the last episode. It holds an old hat belonging to Priscilla. They hold a seance that night and ask for the spirits to step forward. And who steps forward? Kathy Bates! She introduces herself as The Butcher, and declares that it is her job to protect her colony from “trespassers.” Only Cricket can see her, and he demands to know what she did with Flora. The Butcher says that if she had taken Flora, she would be dead by now. It was Priscilla that took her. The Butcher then cleaves the candle on the seance table in two and smashes some windows, to which Cricket responds by screaming “Croatoan!”

10:38: Shelby notes that the two kids they found also screamed “Croatoan.” She demands answers, but Cricket will only provide additional help for a price: $25,000. Matt immediately declares Cricket a fraud and orders him out… but he whispers something to Lee before leaving.

And this is where the first crack in the show’s format appears. We hear the producer of the show asking about Emily, who is apparently another daughter Lee has not mentioned up to this point. The producers found out about her during the background checks to which all interviewees on the show agree to subject themselves. Lee asks for the crew to turn the cameras off. After a few shots of Lee composing herself, she finally spills the beans. Many years before the Roanoke incident, Lee had another daughter who disappeared after she left her in the car while quickly running to pick something up. Apparently, Cricket whispered to her on the way out that Emily wanted to know where Lee had been after all these years.

The fact that Cricket knew about that daughter was enough to get Lee to pony up the money the medium was asking for. The next day, Cricket explains who they’re up against. The Butcher is Thomasin White, the wife of John White, governor of the lost Roanoke Colony. After explaining the history of the colony — which you can read here — the show gives us flashback sequences that reveal how Thomasin was betrayed by the other heads of the colony after John White’s departure, and kicked out to die in the woods.

While out in the woods, Thomasin prays for God to save her, but someone else intercedes on her behalf. The shackles placed on Thomasin fall off, and out pops a strange forest spirit holding a beating pig’s heart. Oh, by the way, that spirit is played by Lady Gaga!

After eating the steaming heart Daenerys Targaryen-style, Thomasin comes back and kills the colonists who left her to die. She does spare her son, played by Wes Bentley, and announces that the colony will leave Roanoke Island and move inland…right to where Matt and Shelby’s house is located.

10:50: Cricket takes the trio out to the forest late in the night to find Priscilla. Instead, they find the Butcher and the colonists. Cricket makes a deal with the Butcher: If she helps them find Priscilla and bring Flora back, they will all leave. Lee even sweetens the deal and declares they will burn the house down, but Shelby says she never agreed to that. Lee fires back saying that Matt agreed to burning the house down, and that’s when they realize that Matt is gone. Shelby goes to find him, and what does she see? Another dead pig, the two hillbillies, and Matt having sex with Lady Gaga!

Matt says in the interviews that he had no memories of having sex with a pig-slaughtering pop star, but when he and Lee get back to the house, Shelby is furious over what she saw. Suddenly, the cops are handcuffing Lee and throwing her in the squad car. Shelby doesn’t say it, but it’s clear what she did: She turned over the video footage of Lee leaving the house to the authorities, and now Lee has been arrested for murdering Mason. End episode.