American Horror Story: Roanoke, in the words of Evan Peters, I just want to say that I promise to forever and eternally love the s—t out of you.
How. Much. Fun. Was. That?!!
Don't think I'm overstepping here to say that Roanoke's sixth episode just might have been the most thoroughly enjoyable AHS episode of all time.
Just me? Didn't think so.
As promised, the second half of the season has taken a "radical twist" that presents us with an entirely new show: A follow-up to My Roanoke Nightmare called Return to Roanoke: 3 Days in Hell, in which the real-life players (Matt, Shelby and Lee), will live in a house with the actors who played their fictional selves on the smash hit of 2015.
There's so much brilliance to absorb—Evan Peters as his most hilarious character yet, that wedding video, the surprise hook-up (!!) between Shelby (Lily Rabe) and fake Matt (Cuba Gooding Jr..)..and so much more. But what comes next? And how did this genius idea come about? Read on for the insight from co-creator Ryan Murphy:
What have you done?! It's amazing. But how did this idea even come about?
"We realized in doing a horror show as a reality show, as did everyone watching, that there were no stakes because we know they survive they leave the house. Everybody's seen that episode where Shelby and Matt get into their car and they race off and that's the end."
"But no, no, no, no, no. We are giving you stakes. What I love now is everybody's in the house and they all think it's fun and games, and then we are told that every single one of them dies except one person. So the next four episodes, we are figuring out, OK, who's the one person who's going to make it out alive? And what are they going to do to do payback against a network that put them all in a situation where they all are going to be killed? So it kind of was and is a commentary on social reality television because I do feel like that is the next level where something really bad is, somebody's going to die for the sake of real TV."
"I'm a really big fan of reality television and I always have been. I've always been asked to do a reality show, and I kind of did with The Glee Project which was interesting. It wasn't my favorite thing that I've done to have to be the bad guy. But I love the form and I watch a lot of it. There's that great movie Network by Paddy Chayefsky —where everything that he wrote in 1975 came true. This is sort of our tribute to that and also wanted to take it further in a way."
Can we trust Matt, Shelby and Lee as reliable witnesses? Up until now we've been taking what they've presented to us at face value.
"My comment to that is: You cannot trust them. I think all three of them are…What they said and what they explained in their version of events is not actually the truth."
Is this twist for season six only? Or is it possible all seasons of American Horror Story were documentaries? In season two, Lana Winters goes into Briarwood with a camera crew and says nearly the same thing Sid said about not turning off the camera.
"No, no, no. It's just this season! But there are a lot of links to other seasons this year, as some fans have picked up on. I have read those great fan theories that the first episode of the season was about Murder House, and the second was about Asylum and there is a little bit of truth to that as we were mapping out the first five episodes, there was sort of a tribute to each of the prior seasons in each episode."
"Obviously [Lady] Gaga's character was the Supreme of all Supremes and that is connected to Coven. So there is something fascinating about the show's mythology that we're tapping into here. And we have more little things that…I don't want to say too much more."
Kathy Bates is just so good off the rails! How crazy does she get?
"Kathy Bates' character is an out-of-work actress who lucked into this part of a lifetime playing The Butcher, even though she's an absolute psycho in real life. Kathy got to sort of return to her Misery roots and she has remarked many times that this is her favorite season ever because she has two whopper acting tour de force episodes back to back, six and seven, that are just incredible. Seven is really the Kathy Bates show and I think it's the best work she's ever done in any of our seasons, that one episode. It's astonishing. She has this sort of I believe three minute monologue where she's just looking into the camera and it's just Kathy in the camera being her Oscar-winning badass self."
Audrey (Sarah Paulson) does not seem too impressed with Shelby (Lily Rabe).
"Exactly! Which I love, because she basically thinks Shelby is crazy for not having left the house, like people watching the show were thinking, and now here she is. I love that Sarah is now basically playing Glenda Jackson with the English accent, and she is an English actress whose only job she could get was doing this reality show in the re-enactment portion. And Sarah's character thinks Shelby was insane for staying in the house before, which a lot of people were saying."
What can we expect for the final five episodes?
"It's a very energizing twist and subsequent episodes are even more intense and even more harrowing. It's a very large cast, in our typical AHS fashion, but only one of them makes it out alive, and I think that's a really fun thing for the audience to be watching and guessing who's going to be the survivor. Who's going to be the last one standing. And then what's going to happen to that person. So that's what the rest of the season is. And it's a rocket ship and was very fun to write. And I loved doing 10 episodes because I felt like we compressed the story and did not tread any water – we just blast through it and it's great."
American Horror Story: Roanoke airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.