Well what a week of American Horror Story that was – the big twist may as well have torn our heads right off, but the tone was certainly set for the "real" season of the show to begin. We had Sarah Paulson and her dodgy British accent, Kathy Bates sporting her American Realtor Realness haircut, and a whole lot of trouble heading back to the Roanoke house. In the words of Geoffrey Rush in House on Haunted Hill – "sure is a funky old house, ain't it?"
Warning: Bloody spoilers ahead for American Horror Story: Roanoke Episode 6
- It's Bitchcraft: Will The Secret Season Of 'American Horror Story' Follow 'Coven'?
- Will Scathach Resurrect Some 'American Horror Story' Characters From Past Seasons?
- American Horror Story Season 6: Does Evan Peter's Character Match The True Story Of Slave Owners?
A 'Lange' Time Coming
Among the return of Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, and Denis O'Hare, people are still asking "will Jessica Lange ever come back" to American Horror Story? It has been a mixed bag affair since Lange departed Ryan Murphy's horror anthology in 2014. Luckily, the cast have been propped up by the likes of Angela Bassett, Lady Ga Ga and Kathy Bates, but there has undeniably been something missing from the formula. Now there is a whole new theory on how/why Lange will fit into the narrative of Season 6 - Roanoke.
The episode introduced us to Kathy Bates's "new" character Agnes Mary Winstead – a washed up actress who has a slight obsession with the original Roanoke documentary and her mockumentary role as The Butcher. Back on the set of the Roanoke house, our faux Shelby and Mott (Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters) were subjected to an apparent attack by Bates's Butcher/Agnes Mary Winstead.
Note that while we saw Bates/The Butcher, it was never actually confirmed as Winstead – we left her at home with a restraining order slapped on her. A blurry home movie screenshot definitely confirms that it was the Bates Butcher, but that doesn't account for the shadowy figure we saw just moments before. Could that actually be the Horror Story Queen Supreme, Jessica Lange, back for more and pulling the strings?
We may be stretching with a serious case of wishful thinking, but aside from their similar ages and a little boy's dream that Jessica Lange will come back, there is also proof that she could be playing the real Tomasyn White aka. The Butcher. Eagle-eyed viewers may have spotted the rather clever throwaway that foreshadows Jessica Lange's return.
Re-watching the scene, you may realize that Mary Tyrone was a direct link to Lange. The 67-year-old took to the role of Tyrone in A Long Day's Journey Into the Night at New York's Roundabout Theatre earlier this year. Skeptics will say that they could just be honoring Lange herself, and the line is a coincidence, but remember that on Horror Story, nothing is a coincidence!
Misery And Woe
However, for now Bates seems to be doing just fine playing the only version of Tomasyn White. It was charming to see Bates back, this time without the blood of innocents smeared all over her face, or referring to the word blood as "bludd." However, the crazy soon came oozing back, and the retired actress routine didn't quite wash.
Theorists are already saying that Winstead's obsession with getting a Saturn Award points to Season 7 being set in space, but I call BS on that one! However, Audrey Tindall's 911 call points to a juicy role coming Bates's way – we are talking pure unadulterated Annie Wilkes from Misery right here.
It looks like Bates will be at the forefront of the action next week, and could possibly even bag herself that elusive Saturn Award. We have already seen a Misery throwback thanks to a swinging at Sarah Paulson's ankles in Episode 5, but if Bates starts saying "Dirty Birdy," I'm outta here!
In an interview with E!, Murphy promises that things are only going to get bigger for the buxom Butcher:
"Seven is really the Kathy Bates show and I think it's the best work she's ever done in any of our seasons, that one episode. It's astonishing. She has this sort of I believe three minute monologue where she's just looking into the camera and it's just Kathy in the camera being her Oscar-winning badass self."
One Oscar winner is more than enough, but having Lange's golden statue-winning skills back on the set could make Roanoke the best season yet. So far the sixth instalment of the franchise has been a marmite affair, but Episode 6 seemed to be steering it back on track.
There is still a fear that the "twist" could render the second half of Roanoke a Scream 3 copycat – each week we tune in to see whether it is Courtney Cox Arquette or Parker Posey that will be killed off. We currently have two Matts, two Lees, and two Shelbys. We may be down an Edward Philippe Mott, but there is still no sign of the "real life" Ga Ga or Butcher entering "Roanoke Big Brother 2016" – yet.
Unless the ghost of The Butcher has possessed Agnes Winstead – also possible – we will have to see the alternate version at some point.
Even if Lange's return is all hearsay, can you just imagine the powerhouse performance of having her and Bates back on our screens? Now just let that sink in for a minute before you return to wetting your pants after this week's episode. We may only be half way through the current season, but it looks like the horror is only just beginning on American Horror Story.
Fictional butchers may be one things, but check out our video on the real life serial killers who inspired American Horror Story, and don't forget to take part in our poll below:
Is Jessica Lange the "real" Butcher?