Chapter 10 (American Horror Story)
|American Horror Story episode|
|Directed by||Bradley Buecker|
|Original air date||November 16, 2016|
|Running time||41 minutes|
"Chapter 10" is the tenth episode and season finale of the sixth season of the anthology television series American Horror Story. It aired on November 16, 2016, on the cable network FX. The episode was written by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, and directed by Bradley Buecker.
The March after My Roanoke Nightmare aired, it is screened at PaleyFest, where the cast and crew were interviewed by Trixie Mattel and Edward Hansen. During the interview, Sidney teases the possibility of a second season. During the Q&A the rabid fans profess their love to various members of the cast, and the re-enactors compete for the audience's attention. One British fan loves Lee and asks if she can give her a picture she drew, which Lee reluctantly agrees to. Sometime later, the same fan makes a YouTube video, directly addressing Lee, asking her why she felt the need to come back for the follow up to My Roanoke Nightmare. She goes on to criticize the derivative nature of the follow-up, saying that it felt contrived and would only tarnish the legacy of the original. In another video, the real Lot Polk films himself promising vengeance on Lee for taking his two children away from him and killing his family members.
A television series called Crack'd documents Lee's life, her family, her addiction to pills, her custody battle, her kidnapping of her daughter, her murder of her ex-husband, Mason, and her appearance on My Roanoke Nightmare. During an on-camera interview, the district attorney claims he always knew Lee was guilty and that the footage of the murders from Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell prove it. Lee goes on trial for the murders but her attorney successfully uses the horror and psychological trauma that Lee faced at the hands of the Polks as a defense strategy. Not satisfied, the district attorney then prosecutes her for Mason's murder and, in another interview, walks through his evidence of Lee's guilt. During the trial, Lee's daughter Flora testifies against her mother, saying the she witnessed Lee murder her father in the woods. During her cross examination, Lee's attorney questions why Flora went out into the woods alone in the first place. Flora says she went out there because she felt safe with Priscilla, and this is used by the attorney to cast doubt on her story. The series details that the jury found Lee not guilty of Mason's murder. The district attorney expresses frustration with the verdict. After the trial, Lee tries to talk to Flora but is rebuffed. This leads the district attorney to speculate that Lee lost a lot despite going free.
In another TV series, The Lana Winters Special, famed reporter Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) details Lee's life following her acquittal: Lee has written a best selling book about her harrowing ordeal and Lana has come out of retirement to interview her. Lee is skeptical of Lana's intentions but states that Flora gives her hope, and that hope gets her through, but admits when questioned that she doesn't see much of Flora. Lana says Lee can't be very surprised at this and Lee begins to get angry and defensive. Lana asks Lee why, despite offers from many major news outlets, Lee picked her, and Lee responds that she thought Lana would be more sympathetic given her history with atrocities. Lana bristles and says she had to do what she did in order to survive and that Lee only did what she did so that she could be with her daughter. Lana invites Lee to speak to Flora directly and Lee does, saying she hopes one day Flora can understand and forgive her for what she has done. Lana asks point blank about Flora's whereabouts, informing a shocked Lee that Flora went missing earlier that day, accusing Lee of having taken her. As Lee panics, there are sounds of assault rifle shots in the hallway. Lot Polk breaks into the room and threatens them, knocking Lana out with the butt of his rifle as she attempts to talk him into giving up the gun. Just as he is about to shoot Lee, he is shot to death by police who have just arrived on the scene.
In another TV show, called Spirit Chasers, a group of paranormal investigators (James Morosini, Emma Bell, Joe Spellman) trespass into the Roanoke house during the blood moon, hoping to capture the reported ghosts of the house on film. As the house is being set up for filming, the host explains some of its haunted history. The series recruits the re-enactor who played Cricket Marlowe, Ashley Gilbert (Leslie Jordan). Come nightfall, the participants begin to experience various paranormal events that unnerve them. They are interrupted by Lee, searching for her daughter who has now been missing for two weeks. The Spirit Chasers offer to help but she advises them to flee the house while they can. Thermal cameras pick up the ghosts of the Chen family and the voice of Priscilla is recorded. Lee advises them once again to leave, and goes in search of Priscilla. The chasers ignore Lee's advice and try to follow her, but are attacked by the Piggy Man (who kills Ashley), the skittering creature, and various spirits within the house. The rest of the Spirit Chasers attempt to flee, seeing police cars outside, but both they and the police are killed by Thomasin and her mob. Inside the house, Flora and Lee are reunited. The next day a news report details Lee's 14 hour stand-off with police at the Roanoke house. It is believed Lee kidnapped Flora and is holding her hostage. Lana finally sympathizes with Lee, admitting she understands her single mindedness in rescuing her daughter. Late in the afternoon, inside the house, Lee and Flora begin to bond again and Lee explains that her mistakes were always for Flora's benefit. Lee sincerely apologizes and begs forgiveness. Lee wants Flora to come home, but Flora wants to sacrifice herself by burning the house down and staying as a ghost for all eternity so that she can protect Priscilla from Thomasin. Lee offers to take Flora's place, so Flora can leave and live her life. After conferring with Priscilla, Flora agrees. After Flora leaves, Lee allows Priscilla to kill her, in the process burning down the house. As Flora leaves and is discovered and driven away by police, she watches Lee walk off into the woods with Priscilla. Thomasin watches from a hilltop as her mob surrounds the remaining officers and the burning house, with the blood moon looming in the sky and the sound of wooden totems clanging ominously.
"Chapter 10" was watched by 2.45 million people during its original broadcast, and gained a 1.3 ratings share among adults aged 18–49.
The episode received mixed reviews from critics. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, "Chapter 10" holds a 56% approval rating, based on 16 reviews. The critical consensus reads, "Though the final impact is slight and the episode feels unnecessary, "Chapter 10" ends Roanoke on an entertainingly unique note."
- Welch, Alex (November 17, 2016). "Wednesday cable ratings: 'American Horror Story: Roanoke' season finale holds steady". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
- "Chapter 10 Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 19, 2016.