4 Burning Questions After Watching “American Horror Story” Season 6 Episode 1

Welcome to "My Roanoke Nightmare."



AHS fans, we have a lot to discuss. Let’s run through a few key points:

– We finally know the theme: “My Roanoke Nightmare.” There was a lot of speculation that AHS was going to use the vanishing colony as fodder for the mysterious new season, but a whole heap of misdirection, thanks to the myriad teasers, put that theory on the back burner. For those who may not know, Roanoke, aka The Lost Colony, was a established in present-day North Carolina in the 16th century. Just three years after the colony was founded, it vanished without a trace. Theories about what happened run rampant to this day. In this particular imagining, it seems the colonists have returned, to haunt couple Shelby and Matt, who purchase a (quite clearly) haunted house right where the colony used to be.

– We have a new show format! Rather than the straightforward drama of seasons past, AHS has given us a mockumentary, complete with dramatic reenactments. This allowed Lily Rabe and André Holland to portray doomed couple Shelby and Matt during the “interviews,” while Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. are the Shelby and Matt of the dramatic reenactments. And yikes, do things get dramatic.

– Only when the final credits roll do we get the full list of who will star this season, including Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson, Cuba Gooding Jr., André Holland, Angela Bassett (who we also saw last night), Adina Porter, Kathy Bates, Dennis O’Hare, Evan Peters, Wes Bentley and Cheyenne Jackson. Neither Finn Wittrock nor Lady Gaga, both of whom reportedly have small roles in this season, were listed.

– We have a teaser for episode 2, which we sincerely hope is not more misdirection. Check it out:

OK, now onto all the burning questions we still have:

1. Prepare to have your mind blown yet again, AHS fans: is Roanoke really the theme? There was no opening sequence last night, usually a hotly-anticipated part of any new season. Yes, we have an episode 2 trailer, but if we’ve learned anything, it’s not to trust Ryan Murphy’s trailers. Additionally, we have the new mockumentary/dramatic reenactment format. Twitter users wondered, what if each episode—or couple of episodes—presents us with a different “American Horror Story”? What if the theme is actually American Horror Stories, incorporating elements from all of those season 6 trailers? We’ll have to wait to find out, but this would be the ultimate misdirection, of which we know Ryan Murphy is so fond.

2. WHY WOULD AN INTERRACIAL COUPLE BUY A CLEARLY HAUNTED HOUSE, WHICH THEY BID AWAY FROM A GROUP OF THREATENING HILLBILLIES, IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH?!? This is not a “burning question” as much of a question of Shelby and Matt’s sanity. Come on, guys! Take away the Roanoke element, and this would still be a bad living situation.

3. What’s the deal with that The Ring-style home movie, filmed in a shaky, Blair Witch-esque manner, that Shelby and Lee found in the basement? Will they now die in seven days? Who wanted them to see it? The colonists? Samara?

4. What’s up with the pig man? There’ve been rumors that the entire AHS world is connected, and that these connections will become clear as the series progresses. Remember the “Piggy Man” from the first season? One of Ben’s patients had a paralyzing fear of the urban legend of “Piggy Man,” a pig butcher from Chicago, who wore a pig mask while slaughtering the animals. He met a gruesome end, but, in the AHS world, is anyone ever really dead? Could these two pig men be one and the same?

So: is Roanoke definitely the theme? Is Ryan Murphy trying to pull yet another fast one on us? Let us know what you think in the comments, and be sure to tune in next week.

Feature still from American Horror Story via FX

Published on 15 Sep 2016