‘American Horror Story: Roanoke’ ends with a bang, literally


The logo of the sixth season of “American Horror Story.” (Screenshot/FX)

Six seasons later and the widely popular “American Horror Story” is still pulling out all of the stops, just recently wrapping up its latest season finale. “Roanoke” has been a wild ride for all who have been keeping up with the sixth season of the horror series, throwing a multitude of curve balls at the viewers- it is definitely one of the most intense seasons and boasts a really creative and interesting artistic direction.

The first half of the season started with a mock of a documentary-style television show, which came as a shock to many fans, who weren’t expecting such a divergent choice in form for the show. Regardless, the documentary was engaging and had enough suspense and rigor to keep you on the edge of your seat.

But, that wasn’t the end. Halfway through the season, Ryan Murphy, creator of the show, threw a major curveball: the documentary was really a show within a show, and the rest of the episodes focused on the characters from the first half of the season in the present day. The mock show then tried getting a second season, with the characters returning to the land of Roanoke, the heart of the terror. What could go wrong? According to the screenwriters, a lot.

The second half of the season consisted of the remaining characters getting killed off one by one by the malevolent forces that reside in the infamous house in the heart of Roanoke. Filmed entirely by found footage, this segment of the show was such a detachment from the first half but equally as riveting. Every episode delivered the right amount of tension, adding jump scares and bloody violence throughout, making sure no viewer could turn his or her eyes away.

Out of all the characters, Lee Harris, the overly protective mother haunted by her time in Roanoke, was the only one to come out alive. Living to tell the tale, however, did not put her in a shining light.

The finale of “Roanoke” focused on Lee and how she has become a cultural icon, mainly due to her violent past in Roanoke. After being on trial for both the murder of her husband—which she had admitted to earlier in the season—and three people on the property while possessed by one of the Roanoke demons—revealed to the public through the video tapes found after the incidents—Lee was magically acquitted of all charges to the upset of the public.

The finale was an art form in itself as well; Lee was undoubtedly the focus, but the way her ordeal was dealt with was extremely creative. Murphy chose to use multiple different media platforms to follow Lee in her final battle to be reunited with her daughter, Flora, an overarching plot that Lee had been following throughout the season.

Lee’s story was recounted in a documentary show titled “Crack’d.” A girl on YouTube uploaded a stream of consciousness about what happened in the season two footage; Lee had an interview on the Lana Winters special, Lana Winters being a former character from season two of “American Horror Story,” various news stations, like E! Entertainment, picked up her story and finally, right before the finale’s climax, a paranormal investigation show, “Spirit Chasers” entered the cursed house, only to have Lee barge in looking for Flora.

In the last few moments of the show, Lee finds Flora, only to have the house surrounded by police. Flora wants to stay with one of the ghosts in the house, but Lee convinces her to leave, only if Lee stays and takes care of her friend. And with that, Flora leaves the house alone, just to have the house burst into flames. Just before Flora is taken by the police, she sees Lee and her friend standing off to the side. Torches appear in the distance as the screen fades to black.

And with that, “American Horror Story” delivers another grotesque, action-packed season to add to its anthology. It leaves us wondering: what will season seven bring?

Ryan Amato is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at ryan.amato@uconn.edu.

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