Warning: This article contains spoilers from American Horror Story: Roanoke.
American Horror Story has been received acclaim for its latest season — subtitled Roanoke — specifically for its darker tone and the unique documentary style of the show. The latest episode revealed the big twist that we've all been awaiting and a new chapter of American Horror Story — unlike any of the previous seasons — has begun. The fictional documentary My Roanoke Nightmare may have come to an end in last week's terrifying episode but the story is nowhere near concluded.
The latest episode of Roanoke saw the inception of a new fictional series within AHS, this time titled Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell. Kathy Bates is back but not as the Butcher, she's playing Agnes Mary Winstead — the woman who was portraying the Butcher in Roanoke Nightmare. In attempt to cause a little friction for his series, Cheyenne Jackson's character Sidney refuses to let Agnes take part in the new show because she's apparently had a complete mental breakdown.
However, watching Agnes' reaction to being told no sparked my interest and her obsession with the Butcher character led me to a completely different theory — what if Agnes was actually possessed by the real Butcher during the filming of Roanoke Nightmare.
Agnes' Interview With Sidney Is Full Of Subtext
It was made clear very early on that Agnes had a mental breakdown after her critically claimed portrayal of Tomasyn White in My Roanoke Nightmare. Her breakdown was so severe that she was caught on camera wearing the famous Butcher outfit and attempting to slaughter innocent civilians in Hollywood. Although she does appear to be totally out of her mind, Agnes apparently got treatment for this.
However, during an interview with Sydney, Agnes discusses her performance as the Butcher and how she "felt a connection with her since the very first moment" and that she "felt a deep responsibility" to get the portrayal of the Butcher right. Also, this could be grasping at straws, but in the same interview she tells Sidney the following:
"It was a privilege to breathe life into a real historical figure"
I could be totally wrong, but the phrasing of this statement definitely suggests something else. If the Butcher really did possess Agnes, then technically she would be the vessel to bring the Butcher to the the living — she would essentially be breathing life into the character.
In the same interview she also talks about how she felt a responsibility to fulfill the Butcher's desires — we all know that the Butcher desired to kill Matt and Shelby. If you think about it, possession would be the ideal way for The Butcher to leave the Roanoke land that she is tied to, as she could fulfill her desire and kill the Millers. On her mental breakdown, Agnes says that it was an isolated incident and she appears far more confident in her approach then she did in the Hollywood footage — perhaps she was confused after her possession thus why she acted in such a manner.
The last thing that I found interesting is that when Agnes questions how Sidney can do Roanoke without the Butcher, he responds by telling her that the butcher is not a real person. Agnes replies with a little animosity in her voice:
"I'm a real person."
Sidney assumes that Agnes is referring to herself but what if she was debating his original statement about the Butcher being fictional? Perhaps it wasn't Agnes talking, perhaps the Butcher was solidifying that she is real. Say what you will, but Agnes is definitely not telling the whole truth here. She also refused to part with the Butcher outfit and the meat cleaver.
Agnes Showed Her Inner Butcher When She Was Betrayed
We saw during Agnes' portrayal of the Butcher that the character doesn't take too kindly to being betrayed. Specifically seen during the flashback sequences, White was furious when her colony turned on her so with the help of Scathach, the witch of the wood, she brutally slaughtered all of them and forever tied them to the scared land, under her control.
Similarly, Sidney serves Agnes with a restraining order that orders her to remain of the Roanoke land. Agnes' seemingly sweet personality vanishes and out comes all of the characteristics of The Butcher as Agnes chases after Sidney shouting expletives at him and his assistant in her signature Butcher accent. Maybe she's insane, or maybe the Butcher has come out to play.
Both women hate being betrayed by their so-called family and as a result White slaughtered her colony — could Agnes also retaliate? If so, it would likely prove that she really is possessed by the Butcher. If you think about it, the restraining order is keeping Agnes off the land — if she has been possessed by the Butcher, then it is essentially keeping White off the land that she loves dearly. If this is the case, then this is likely the reason why Agnes dresses up in the Butcher garb and stalks the Return to Roanoke participants.
If she has been possessed, then I fully expect her to be the one to survive the three days in hell. Could we perhaps she Agnes/Tomasyn consecrating the land with the Return To Roanoke participants' blood? it certainly seems that way after Agnes yelled that she would smite Sidney limb from limb "like a falcon tears a rabbit." Yikes, this possession thing is sounding more and more plausible.
Are you a fan of American Horror Story? Check out these awesome theories:
- Why Cheyenne Jackson's Sidney Won't Be The One To Make It Out Of American Horror Story: Roanoke Alive
- How Scathach Could Be Responsible For Creating The Ghosts In Every Season Of American Horror Story
- Will Scathach Resurrect Some American Horror Story Characters From Past Seasons?
What If She Was Tormenting Audrey Because She Thought She Was Shelby?
Sarah Paulson plays Audrey Tindall — the character who portrayed Shelby in My Roanoke Nightmare. Audrey is horrified when she sees Agnes stalking the surrounding land in the Butcher's clothing because she has apparently has history with Agnes pulling stunts like this before. There was an actual 911 call made several months prior to the events of the show that conveys a terrified Audrey claiming that Agnes is trying to break in. I find it interesting that the actress who played White in Roanoke Nightmare is trying to attack the actress that played Shelby in Roanoke Nightmare. The real life Shelby was almost killed at the hands of the real Butcher but managed to escape before The Butcher could succeed.
If Agnes really did get possessed by the Butcher then perhaps her mental heath was affected by the possession. This would explain the bizarre attacks in Hollywood. Perhaps when in a state of confusion, to fulfill the Butcher's wishes, Agnes attempted to attack the only Shelby that she knew — the re-enacted version by Audrey instead of the real Shelby. Again it could just be grasping at straws, but it makes some sense.
Agnes Is The Only Dramatic Re-Enactor To Believe In The Supernatural
Despite spending a lot of time on the Roanoke land, the actors who took part in Roanoke Nightmare conveyed that they never believed Matt and Shelby's "ridiculous" story. They laughed and joked about the Millers' and showed no hesitation about revisiting the house. Yet Agnes fully believed that the Butcher was real — why?
The fact that Agnes has faith in the existence of her character insinuates that she experienced something that all of the others did not. Perhaps she was visited during the filming of Roanoke Nightmare by a supernatural entity?
Nobody Knows What Happened To The Butcher After The Miller Incident
As we saw in Roanoke Nightmare, The Butcher was apprehended by her son Ambrose before she could kill Matt, Shelby and Flora. Ambrose dragged her into the flames during the Blood Moon. She has not been seen since. Also, the Butcher would never let anyone on her land, yet so far there has been no sign of the character. Perhaps that is because she is not in the woodland, but rather she is in Agnes instead. Now that Agnes is stalking the land, perhaps the Butcher is back home to wreak havoc on the occupants?
There is much ambiguity surrounding which AHS actress would portray the real life version of the Butcher and, although I'm still holding out hope for Jessica Lange to do so, perhaps this is the wrong question. Perhaps the real question is: Will Kathy Bates still be playing the character because Agnes has been possessed by the real life Butcher?
We also discovered in the latest episode that the cast and crew filmed Roanoke Nightmare during the summer — this is why they never experienced any supernatural activity as it was not during October when the Blood Moon occurs. Since the Butcher would not be physically able to interact with anyone during the other eleven months of the year, then perhaps this is when she possessed Agnes? It's possible, it was after Agnes retired the role of the Butcher that she started to act unusual.
Check out a preview for next week's episode "Chapter 7":
There are many theories going around about Roanoke, but as we know that only one person makes it out alive I think we can pretty much guarantee another appearance from The Butcher. Perhaps White never vanished at all, perhaps she's been closer than everyone knows this whole time and if I were Sidney I would definitely be worried about back stabbing Agnes right now. There are plenty more twists left to come on Roanoke, who knows what will happen next?
American Horror Story continues airing Roanoke Wednesdays on FX. Do you think Agnes is keeping a dark secret? Let me know in the comment section below.