American Horror Story kicked off its sixth season with its most ambitious theme yet. Framed as a true-crime documentary called My Roanoke Nightmare — complete with dramatic reenactments starring Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. — this season already feels fresh and unexpected.
My Roanoke Nightmare: An American Horror Story tells the story of a couple who move to Roanoke Island, North Carolina, for a fresh start following the loss of their unborn child. However, things start to get all kinds of freaky when they move into an old farmhouse — like, teeth falling from the sky–freaky. The real-life couple of Shelby and Matt are played by Asylum star Lily Rabe and Andre Holland, while Paulson and Gooding Jr. star as their reenactors. (Yes, Paulson plays Rabe, which is truly inspired casting from cocreator Ryan Murphy.)
At the end of the premiere hour, Shelby stumbles through the Roanoke woods, where she comes face-to-face with what appear to be the lost settlers of Roanoke. (Of course one of them is played by Kathy Bates. No one serves historical gravitas better than Bates.) FX dropped the teaser for next week’s episode, “Chapter Two,” and it gives us an even closer look into this season’s batshit crazy shenanigans.
Bates is clearly some kind of settler woman, and is that Lady Gaga we see standing by her during the blood sacrifice? The internet sure seems convinced it’s her, but she looks so unrecognizable it’s a little hard to tell. Not to mention, this season has largely been kept under wraps, so there’s barely any information about Gaga’s involvement. But that does look like her — if she was cosplaying as DC’s Enchantress.
Also, Denis O’Hare looks like he’s having a lot of fun as the crazy guy in the footage Shelby and Matt’s sister, Lee (Angela Bassett), found in the house. Is he some sort of Roanoke truther? And where, oh where, is our beloved Evan Peters?! He’s in the credits, so we know he has to be here somewhere — it’s not like he grew that unkempt, Charles Manson beard for fun.
Yeah, we have no idea where any of this is going.