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"Chapter 2" is the second episode of Roanoke. It premiered September 21, 2016.

Synopsis

Matt and Shelby discover a cellar that may contain answers to the house's mysteries. Lee brings her young daughter Flora to visit the house.

Plot

The dramatic re-enactment follows Shelby's chase through the woods. She comes upon The Butcher and her village roasting the scalped man over an open fire after having hammered a pig tail into his rear end and placed a pig's head over his own. He is accused by The Butcher of desertion and hoarding stolen provisions. His screams are muffled by pig's head. The Butcher and her accomplice, a horned woman, spot Shelby and call for her seizure. Shelby is chased to the road where she is nearly run over by Lee.

At the hospital, Shelby is cleared of having hallucinogens in her system as she tells her story of human sacrifice. The investigating officers found no evidence of her tale. The next morning, she tells Matt that she thinks the mountain men created an elaborate hoax to drive them away from the property, and that she and Matt will not be driven from their new home and investment so easily.

Lee's testimonial expounds on her custody arrangements as her ex-husband Mason brings Flora for a visit. Flora begins exploring the house and talks to an unseen Priscilla, whom Lee believes is an imaginary friend. Flora relays that Priscilla offered to make for her a bonnet if the family will help make "all the blood" stop. Later, Lee hears glass breaking from the front room of the house.  Investigating, she finds a bonnet amid the remains of a broken vase.

Shelby is wary of Lee's choice to let Flora visit, and Matt wants to fight for their homestead until they have an opportunity to sell. Later, Shelby awakes to hear a pig squealing outside, and she and Matt travel into the woods. They get separated, and both get lost. Shelby happens upon the sacrificial fire, and they unite to find roasting meat and a wooden effigy, which Matt destroys. Matt directs the police to the site, and they post a bulletin for Ishmael Polk and his sons and set up a protective detail for the Millers.

A late night ringin house phone wakes Matt and leads him downstairs. As voice on the other end says "Please, they're hurting me," he finds that the phone cord is unplugged. Matt immediately experiences a vision of two nurses executing a bedridden old woman with a gunshot to the head for refusing to take her medicine. The nurses laugh and decorate the already blood-spattered walls with a spray-painted "M," which they laugh and say is for "Margaret."

Matt is terrified by his vision. He screams at the officer posted outside about an intruder, but all evidence of Matt's nightmare vision is gone. Matt questions whether he had neurological damage from his attack in Los Angeles. Lee is concerned that the police will think they are crying wolf.

Mason arrives to pick up Flora, who is playing "hide and seek" inside an under-stair cupboard with Priscilla, who is startled by the sudden disappearance of her friend. Flora offered the now-vanished Priscilla her doll in exchange for not killing the family. With the deal interruped, they will merely kill her last. Upon hearing this, Mason quickly extracts Flora with the admonishment that she will never return.

Lee ends her sobriety, and Matt finds her on the kitchen floor. Above her, the kitchen knives are impaled in the kitchen's high ceiling. Shelby calls after Matt to confirm that there is indeed a woman standing out in the yard.  At the spot, the spouses find a cellar under a trapdoor in the ground.  Inside the house, the ghostly nurses watch over Lee. She experiences being watched, and leaves her bed to see twitching bloody pig tails nailed to the wall. She stumbles backward and catches sight of the Piggy Man in a mirror.  Just as quickly, all of her visions disappear.

Meanwhile, Shelby and Matt investigate the cellar and find a VHS camera with an intact tape. The man on the tape, Elias Cunningham, describes the same malevolent forces pursuing him in 1997 that the couple has been experiencing.  He tells that he was studying the story of the nurses, Miranda and Bridget Jane. The sisters used the house to operate a nursing home where they chose their patients based on the first letter of each of the victims' names. They were spelling the word "MURDER," with only the last letter missing. Regardless of attempts to paint over it, subsequent tenants experienced the word's reappearance on the wall.  Matt runs to remove the wallpaper, finding the painted letters. Cunningham goes on to describe that the dark forces of the house and woods were what stopped the nurses, and continues to document paranormal activity inside the house. The final footage on the tape is him being surprised by a woman behind him in a mirror. A sudden noise causes Matt and Shelby to flee the room, where they find a bloody cleaver freshly embedded in the swinging front door.

The bank refuses to refund them their investment for the property, who warns them that the auction of the property absolves the bank of responsibility. The bank's agent leaves as Lee arrives, having absconded with Flora in violation of the custody arrangement. Shelby draws Flora away to the living room so that Matt can discuss Lee's actions with his sister. Shelby speaks to Mason on the phone, trying to smooth over the situation that Lee knows she botched. Meanwhile, Flora sees her friend beckoning her outside.

Returning to the kitchen, Shelby speaks with Mason on the phone to let him know that Flora is there and safe.  When Lee goes to the living room, Flora is gone and the front door is open.  A frantic search of the woods eventually finds Flora's hoodie at the top of a limbless tree, at least a hundred feet over their heads.

Featured Characters

Margaret

Margaret is a character in Roanoke portrayed by Irene Roseen. She was the first person that Miranda and Bridget murdered to spell MURDER on the walls. Matt gets a phone call from her (on a unplugged phone), saying "Help me. They're hurting me". Matt goes downstairs and sees her in the house being shot in the head by the nurses for not taking her poisoned medicine. 

Notes

  • Margaret is the first character portrayed by Irene Roseen. For a complete list of her characters, see Cast.


Quotes

  • The Butcher: "I am the queen of every hive. I am the fire on every hill. I am the shield over every head. I am the spear of battle. Who but I am both the tree and the lightning that strikes it."
  • Shelby Miller: "If it was a fight they wanted, it was a fight they were gonna get."
  • Matt Miller: "It's amazing how long a person can rationalize the irrational."
  • Mason Harris (about Flora): "How does an eight-year-old even know how to say that? Kill me last?!"

Cast and characters

Major characters

Minor characters

Notes

Raised Questions

References

  1. Grant, Stacey (11/10/16). "Where Is Matt Bomer in American Horror Story: Roanoke?". MTV News.
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