Chapter 3 (American Horror Story)
|American Horror Story episode|
|Directed by||Jennifer Lynch|
|Written by||James Wong|
|Original air date||September 28, 2016|
|Running time||42 minutes|
"Chapter 3" is the third episode of the sixth season of the anthology television series American Horror Story. It aired on September 28, 2016, on the cable network FX. The episode was written by James Wong and directed by Jennifer Lynch, marking the first time the series has had a female director.
Lee (Angela Bassett & Adina Porter), Shelby (Sarah Paulson & Lily Rabe), and Matt (Cuba Gooding Jr. & André Holland) search with police and volunteers for Flora (Saniyya Sidney). Shelby fears going into the woods alone after everything that she has experienced and as the day wears on and turns into night, Lee uncovers a dismembered body. It is revealed that the body is actually a combination of the body parts of Flora's doll and the body parts of a pig. As the investigation continues, a similar combination is found in the yard of a nearby farmhouse. The farmhouse is in a state of disrepair and has rotting animal parts throughout it. After hearing a noise in the barn, the three adults find two dirt-encrusted young boys nursing from the teats of a dead sow and mimicking the adults' cries for the missing child.
After bringing the police back to the farmhouse, the two boys are taken to the hospital, where they are revealed to be part of the Polk family. There is no sign of Flora or the rest of the family anywhere on the property and it is surmised that the family fled with Flora before they could be discovered. Just then, Mason (Charles Malik Whitfield) arrives and tries to interrogate the boys for information before being stopped by the police officers. The boys only know one word, Croatoan, and in an interview, Matt and Shelby reveal that the word came to be a warning for the pair of them. 72 hours after Flora's disappearance, Lee begins to acknowledge the very real possibility that Flora is gone for good and the search is put on hold so that everyone can get some rest. Back at the house, Mason angrily accuses Lee of Flora's disappearance, raising the question that Lee may be hiding Flora somewhere in attempt to prevent him from changing the custody agreement. Lee and Mason begin to fight which leads to him shoving her to the ground and storming out of the house. Deciding that the best course of action is to sleep, the three adults go to bed. Several hours later, Matt is awakened by the police calling him to tell them that they have found a dead body. The three adults rush to the scene where they find a charred body hanging from a raised wooden hoop. The forensics unit removed a ring from the body, which Lee is able to identify as belonging to Mason.
Back at the house, Matt and Shelby examine the tapes of the security cameras for clues as to who could have killed Mason. The evidence that they uncover leads back to Lee, leading to an angry confrontation between the three of them. Just then, a man named Cricket Marlow (Leslie Jordan) walks through the door. He claims that he was called to this house by a spirit from New Orleans and that he regularly works with the FBI to find missing children. As he walks through the house, he identifies the nook that Flora and Priscilla played in and reveals that Priscilla is a ghost from the 1500s. He further claims that Flora was abducted by the dead and, although the family is skeptical of his abilities, they agree to allow him to perform a seance to contact Priscilla. During the seance, The Butcher (Kathy Bates) emerges and threatens violence against anyone who trespasses against the colony that she is sworn to protect. Just as she is about to enact her retribution on the family, Cricket calls out the word Croatoan to banish the spirit, and the windows of the house shatter. Downstairs, Cricket confesses that he can find Flora but that he will require $25,000 for his services. This angers Matt who orders Cricket to leave the house. On the way out, Cricket whispers something to Lee about her other daughter Emily. In the interview, Lee is shaken after the interviewer (Cheyenne Jackson) asks about the disappearance of her first daughter, Emily. The next day, Lee pays Cricket his fee and he begins to tell her what he gathered from his walk in the woods.
The Butcher is Thomasin White, wife of John White, the governor of Roanoke Colony. She was left in charge of the colony after White returned to England for supplies. But when John White returned the 116 settlers had disappeared without trace. Lee is skeptical of the Roanoke connection but Cricket continues his story, stating that Lee only knows half of what happened. The colony was starving and winter was approaching: a group that included Thomasin's own son Ambrose (Wes Bentley) betrayed Thomasin and left her for dead in the woods while they moved inland to look for more food. While in the woods, she was saved by a witch Scathach (Lady Gaga) and returned to the colony to seek her vengeance, killing several of those who had risen up against her with a meat cleaver and only sparing Ambrose because he was her son. After re-establishing her control, Thomasin moved the colony inland to the area where Matt and Shelby's house now stands. That night, Cricket leads the Millers back into the woods where they encounter Thomasin and her group. Cricket attempts to barter with Thomasin, that in exchange for returning Flora, the Millers will burn their house down and leave the land for good. Shelby balks at the idea and looks to Matt for confirmation of Lee's statement that Matt had agreed to this plan prior to them entering the woods, but he has disappeared. When Shelby does find Matt, he is having sex with Scathach while being watched by the masturbating Polks. But Matt tells the interviewer that he has no memory of this. When he returns to the house, he and Shelby argue. When Lee returns shortly after she is arrested by the police after Shelby had informed on her.
"Chapter 3" was watched by 3.07 million people during its original broadcast, and gained a 1.7 ratings share among adults aged 18–49.
The episode earned a 92% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 6.6/10. The critical consensus reads, ""Chapter 3" ratchets up the action by finally exploring the hauntings of the Roanoke house and introducing a potential villain in gory AHS style."
- Welch, Alex (September 29, 2016). "Wednesday cable ratings: 'American Horror Story' dips once again". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
- "Chapter 3 – American Horror Story: Roanoke, Episode 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 3, 2016.