Chapter 2 (American Horror Story)
|American Horror Story episode|
|Episode no.||Season 6|
|Directed by||Michael Goi|
|Written by||Tim Minear|
|Original air date||September 21, 2016|
|Running time||40 minutes|
"Chapter 2" is the second episode of the sixth season of the anthology television series American Horror Story. It aired on September 21, 2016, on the cable network FX. The episode was written by Tim Minear and directed by Michael Goi.
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As the mob begins surrounding Shelby, she flees further into the woods, hiding behind a tree in an effort to spy on them. They begin to enact a ritual where a man is burned alive while dressed as a pig in retribution for crimes he committed against the group. After completing the ritual, one of the mob sees Shelby spying on them and the rest of the mob chases Shelby, who flees onto the road and is almost hit by Lee's car. Shelby passes out in the middle of the road and awakes the next day in hospital to an apologetic Matt, who promises that they will find some other place to stay. Shelby tells Matt that the trio of farmers must have created an elaborate hoax to drive them away from the property, and that she and Matt shouldn't give up their investment that easily.
Lee's ex-husband Mason brings Flora to visit as part of the couple's arranged custody schedule. As Flora explores the house, she begins talking to an unseen girl who she names Priscilla and whom Lee believes Flora made up to get attention. Flora tells Lee that Priscilla offered to make her a bonnet if she and her family help make all the blood stop. Then, Lee hears the sound of shattering glass and goes to investigate, finding a bonnet amid the broken remains of a vase. Later that night, Shelby is awoken by the sounds of squealing in the woods. Shelby and Matt investigate, and in the process, they become separated and lost. When the couple reunite, they discover a massive totem that is being burned in effigy. The Millers extinguish the effigy and call the police, leading them to the charred remains. Shelby accuses the police officer of not caring about their safety, and he agrees to leave police car at the house 24/7. He also puts out an all-points bulletin for the trio of farmers. Satisfied, Matt, and Shelby return home.
Later in the night, Matt is awoken by the telephone ringing downstairs. He finds a meat hook on the floor by the phone and a disembodied voice on the other end of the line. Then, Matt experiences a disturbing vision of two nurses killing an elderly woman with a gunshot to the head for refusing to take her poisoned medicine. The nurses laugh manically and spray paint the letter "M" on the bloodied wall, saying that the "M" is for Margaret. Terrified by this vision, Matt runs out to the policeman and demands his help. The cop enters the house to find that there is nothing there. Lee worries that her brother and sister-in-law are getting a reputation for crying wolf, which will lead to the police being less willing to take the Millers seriously.
The next day, Mason arrives to pick up Flora and finds her playing a game of hide and seek with Priscilla. Flora tells him that she offered her doll to Priscilla in exchange for not murdering her family but since Mason interrupted the trade, Flora will merely be killed last. Hearing this, Mason takes Flora away from the house and promises Lee that she will never see her again, causing Lee to end her sobriety. Shelby and Matt find her in the kitchen slumped on the ground with all the kitchen knives mysteriously stuck in the ceiling, an action that Lee denies committing. Matt puts Lee to bed and hearing Shelby calling for him, heads back down to the kitchen. Shelby sees an apparition of a woman out the kitchen window, and Matt confirms that he sees the same thing. The couple follow the apparition outside to discover a storm cellar in the backyard, which they open and begin to investigate. Meanwhile, in the house, Lee observes the two nurses watching her and sees disturbing visions.
During their investigation, Matt and Shelby discover a video tape recorded by one of the house's previous owners, Dr. Elias Cunningham. Dr. Cunningham describes the same malevolent forces pursuing him that the couple has been experiencing, and that he was studying the story of the nurses, Miranda and Bridget Jane. The sisters killed their retirement home patients based on the first letters of the victims' names, spelling the unfinished word "Murder". Subsequent tenants experienced the word's constant reappearance on the wall, and Matt runs to uncover the same word from the kitchen lying beneath the wallpaper. Dr. Cunningham goes on to describe that the dark forces of the house and woods were what stopped the nurses, and continues to document paranormal activity inside the house. The final image on the tape is him being surprised by a woman behind him in a mirror. A sudden squealing noise causes Matt and Shelby to flee the room, where they find a bloody meat cleaver freshly wedged in the swinging door.
Much to their annoyance, they also find out that the bank will not return the money they bought the house with despite not warning them about the house's gruesome past. As the bank agent leaves, Lee arrives with Flora. Shelby takes Flora to another room away so she, Lee, and Matt can talk. Shelby speaks to Mason on the phone and defuses the tense situation between him and Lee. While Shelby is distracted on the phone, Flora heard a squealing noise in the woods and beckoned outside by a mysterious figure. When the adults are not able to find Flora, they frantically search for her in the house and then in the woods, leading to the shocking discovery of Flora's hoodie at the top of a massive pine tree which towers above them.
"Chapter 2" was watched by 3.27 million people during its original broadcast, and gained a 1.8 ratings share among adults aged 18–49.
The episode received a 64% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 14 reviews with an average score of 6.1/10. The critical consensus reads, "The tried and true premise that emerges in "Chapter 2" is undermined by superficial exposition that damages its credibility – even in the context of American Horror Story."
- Welch, Alex (September 22, 2016). "Wednesday cable ratings: 'American Horror Story' experiences major drop". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- "Chapter 2 – American Horror Story: Roanoke, Episode 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 29, 2016.