The dark origins of the house are brought to light. Shelby and Matt have a terrifying run in with the Polks. The Butcher and her mob arrive at the house, with intent on killing The Millers. An unlikely ally runs to their help.
Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin talks about the suffering of the Shaker mansion at Sappony, aka the Roanoke House. We see for ourselves the historic story of Edward Philippe Mott, a Philadelphia eccentric, who purchased the house and grounds as a retreat. He filled it with artwork, and insisted the Shakers building the house craft underground tunnels through the woods as well. Tragic accidents befell the builders throughout. He left a wife and son behind to live in the mansion with his male black lover, Guinness.
Obsessed with the art itself, he was quickly intimidated when The Butcher slashed all the paintings. A household servant claims she saw invaders from the woods, but Edward does not believe them. He locks much of the household staff naked in the root cellar until they confess. He dismisses his lover, a slave, in fury. He awakes to the villagers setting up outside, and he is dragged to his impalement and immolation outside. Guinness was able to escape, and was jailed, but did not tell about the trapped servants. They were found years later as the house passes through centuries of Mott descendants until Dandy Mott, the last of them, dies in 1952.
In 2014, Matt calls for the police to address the mob outside. Ambrose calls one last time for the family to surrender. Shelby plans a hasty escape with Flora, but a skittering human-like creature steals the child first. They are able to recover her, but the past victims corral them. Edward materializes and leads them to safety through the tunnels. They emerge outside, and are captured and blindfolded by the Polk family.
Elias is there, kept alive but one leg has been amputated below the knee. He is conscious enough to warn Matt that the "Mama" of the Polks took his leg and that they should run. Mama Polk offers jerky to the Millers, but when she tastes it for herself finds the meat rancid. She blames the spoiled flesh on Elias' rot, and they bash his head in. Mama Polk explains that they've had a deal with The Butcher for 200 years. They have a symbiotic relationship, and the Polks are left in peace with their cannabis crop in exchange for sacrifices and bloody consecrations. The Polks, still upset about the police taking custody of the feral boys, plan to hand the Millers back to The Butcher. Loaded into the back of a pickup truck, one brother guards them with a shotgun. Matt takes an opportunity to wrestle him for the gun, which discharges, shooting the driving brother in the head, allowing them to escape. They are quickly recaptured and Mama Polk hobbles Shelby, all but severing her foot, to prevent their repeated attempt.
Lee testifies about her interrogation, as Shelby implicated her in Mason's death. They eventually released her for lack of evidence. She asks a police officer for a ride.
The surviving Polks deliver the Millers to the mob at the house, where The Butcher offers condolences to Mama Polk. The colonists are to kill Flora, but Priscilla protests, saying that she was supposed to be killed last. Ambrose attacks his mother instead, pulling them both into a pyre. Lee's timely arrival and Edward's hasty intervention allow the family to escape in a car.
They clean up and rest in a cheap motel after Shelby gets medical attention, and Shelby closes her testimonial with a mention that her nightmares continue.
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Doris Kearns Goodwin is a historian and author. She told the story of Edward Philippe Mott.
- Edward Philippe Mott: "Everyone go home! I am buying the whole lot. I won't be outbid so you're all wasting your time."
- Doris Kearns Goodwin: "All I can say at this point is that no one will convince me to stay in that house overnight, certainly not in a full moon."
- Shelby Miller: "We should have known that in that forest, we were nothing more than prey."
- Edward Philippe Mott: "The living cling to life above all, but the trophy misprized is to die in peace."
- Shelby Miller: "Of all the horrors I'd seen, this one affected me to the core."
Cast and characters
- Sarah Paulson as Audrey Tindall
- Lily Rabe as Shelby Miller
- André Holland as Matt Miller
- Adina Porter as Lee Harris
- Denis O'Hare as William van Henderson
- Cheyenne Jackson as Sidney Aaron James (voice only)
- Evan Peters as Rory Monahan
- Wes Bentley as Dylan
- Angela Bassett as Monet Tumusiime
- Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Dominic Banks
- Kathy Bates as Agnes Mary Winstead
- Frances Conroy as 'Mama Polk' Actress
- Saniyya Sidney as 'Flora Harris' Actress
- Chaz Bono as Brian Wells
- Grady Lee Richmond as 'Ishmael Polk ' Actor
- Orson Chaplin as 'Cain Polk' Actor
- Estelle Hermansen as 'Priscilla' Actress
- Doris Kearns Goodwin as Doris Kearns Goodwin
- Actual historian Doris Kearns Goodwin appears in this episode to give a history lesson on Edward Philliphe Mott.
- Can Edward be trusted?
- Will Shelby's nightmare come true?