TV Club: A messy AHS: Roanoke spills its guts

In a messy, visceral jumble of storytelling from every angle, “Chapter 4” of American Horror Story: Roanoke spills its guts. We know the history of the house and its murders, how Tomasyn became The Butcher, and how her people are tied to this plot of land, and to her, for eternity. This episode even reveals a connection to American Horror Story: Freak Show. But when the storytelling is this disjointed, who cares?

Professor Elias Cunningham is back. He looks calmer, cleaner, and less wild-eyed than in the videotapes Matt and Shelby found in their root cellar, and he saves them from the pig-headed intruder chasing them through the long halls of their home. But Denis O’Hare manages to make this tidy, capable man as unsettling as the unhinged ranter he once was, starting with his entrance. After he banishes their attacker with a single command—“Croatoan”—Elias warns, “He …

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