American Horror Story: Origins
“You only think you know the story” says delicious Cricket Marlowe at some point of this episode, alluding to what happened in Roanoke in that fated year 1590. And indeed nobody does, otherwise the present variation on the first great American mystery wouldn’t allow such a circumnavigating approach. What’s the appropriate word? This is all a bit… slow. One thinks that’s the word.
The three first episodes of this season leave the impression of slowly travelling backwards, incrementaly revealing the context of the Roanoke nightmare. This time we have “dramatic re-enactment” captions and a AHS title card. We also are allowed a glimpse of the mockumentary backstage, with a sudden question from the person interviewing the three contemporary characters and an on-set cut. It kinds of break the fourth wall but not quite.
Three key characters are also formally introduced, so : Cricket, a dwarf psychic Warhol with muddy intents (Leslie Jordan, already in Season 3 as one of the three members of the Council of Witchcraft); Tomasin “The Butcher”, claiming ownership on the house after being expelled from Roanoke (Kathy Bates, named like the witch in The Witch); and a predatory carnal forest nymph speaking in Olde English (Lady Gaga, whose only line is a dreamy “Surrender thy soul to me”.)
Lee is arrested when her ex-husband , who lost it after his daughter was abducted, is found barbecued on a wood wheel, and the Miller couple is on its way to implosion at the end of the episode. He hath surrendered his soul, see, in lewd circumstances allowing a couple of spectral degenerate hillbillies to have a good jerk off. In such a scene, or in another where two wild children are discovered sucking a pig tits, AHS feels in tune with the previous seasons: a unique mix of horror, sex and comedy. The seance with Cricket is quite good also. There is some kind of a reverse reverse bear trap à la Saw, too.
Still, it’s quite… still, but some sparkle has definitely been injected in the lukewarm water of the two first episodes. The Piggyman from Season 1 is definitely back or rather, one guesses, given an origin story. We all know by now that all seasons connect one way or the other, and that convergence is due to start on the next season, which could come up pretty soon, since the writers have the ambition of releasing two seasons in a row. Expectation is the rule here. Till next p’sode, then!