American Horror Story: Roanoke Just Answered Almost All Your Questions

Spoilers for the most recent American Horror Story: Roanoke beyond this point.

Instead of all the blood and sex American Horror Story is known for, this week's Roanoke was one big info-dump, laying out the entire history of the Millers' haunted farmhouse - including an interesting connection to Freak Show.

When the season's breakout star Piggy Man resurfaced to attack Shelby (Sarah Paulson) and Matt Cuba Gooding Jr.), the beast was quickly felled by the previously presumed-dead Dr. Elias Cunningham (Denis O'Hare).

After the briefest niceties were taken care of, Elias dropped some heavy verbal exposition, revealing that the house had been a hub of paranormal deaths and disappearances since it was built in 1792 by Dandy Mott's (Finn Wittrock) ancestor, Edward Philip Mott, who was the first of many tenants to vanish. Since then, every person who has lived in the house has been subjected to the Butcher's (Kathy Bates) murderous ways.

In October 1952, three hunters were murdered. In October 1973, it was the entire Chen family. In October 1989, the Jane sisters. Notice a pattern?

According to Elias, the time the deaths always occur in is known as the Dying Grass Moon, a six-day-period leading up to the Blood Moon when the ghosts gain the ability to murder the living.

Sadly, Elias was slaughtered by the Butcher's people before he could explain any more. But as coincidence would have it, just as Elias died, Cricket (Leslie Jordan) returned and was able to fill in the rest of the story for the hapless Millers.

You see, Cricket ventured out into the woods to seek the ancient spirit (Lady Gaga) whom the Butcher worships. Upon proving himself to Gaga (and offering up Matt for her sexual enjoyment), Gaga agreed to give Cricket the full origin story of the haunted land, which went something like this:

After the Butcher led the Roanoke colonists inland, they thrived. But the cost of this success was human sacrifice (which is how poor Priscilla bit the dust). Needless to say, not all of the colonists were happy about this new tradition and Ambrose (Wes Bentley) led a revolt. Already a fairly vengeful person, the Butcher was convinced to turn her vileness up to 11 at the urging of Gaga. So rather than accept the fact that she's a bad leader, the Butcher decided the best punishment for her people's insubordination was to slaughter them all and enslave their souls to her for all eternity. Can you say selfish much?

And as if we didn't already have enough information to cram into our brains, the episode then took us even further back in time to reveal the backstory of Gaga's character in another info-dump, this time courtesy of Matt.

After being lured to the cellar for another sex session, Gaga revealed her story to Matt (Andre Holland), who then told it to the cameras. As he explained, Gaga was an English descendant of the druids who stowed away on a boat for America way, way, way back in the day. However, upon making it to the new world, she was sentenced to burn for being a witch. But Gaga managed to save herself by slaughtering all the soldiers who held her captive. For somewhat unexplained reasons, her old magic and the new world then turned Gaga into a wholly original magical creature. But after all these years, it seems Gaga has gotten lonely, because she asked Matt to join her (in immortality? In marriage? The details remain unclear) and he admitted he gladly would have - that is, until Matt was shaken from his sex haze by Shelby's screams.

Back in present day (finally!), the Butcher arrived at the farmhouse's steps intent on killing Flora to send a message to Shelby and Matt. Priscilla saved the child at the last minute, allowing her to run to safety inside the house with Matt and Shelby, but the Butcher came prepared with a backup plan. Her people soon dragged out Cricket, whom they had kidnapped earlier after he abandoned his Uber driven by - new character alert!!! - Rhett Snow to chase after Priscilla in the woods. The Butcher and Ambrose proceeded to disembowel Cricket, which is the stomach-curdling note we were left on.

So after that history lesson of an episode, what else is there to learn about the nightmare world Shelby and Matt have found themselves in? (Besides, of course, where Evan Peters is.)

This article originally appears on TV Guide.com.

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Oct 08, 2016
I gotta tell ya this season is boring the hell out of me. They're trying to be meta with this show in a show in a show, and it's just not great for the story at all.

I mean we'll have an intense scene with Cuba Gooding and then flash to the other guy saying how he felt when Cuba already conveyed it quite well. It's just really slowing things down at this point. I'm fairly sure the whole "twist" will be the show going back to the house "a year later" to try to capture evidence of the haunting. They'll tie it back to the other shows, by showing clips of how the show checked out the house from season 1, the motel from last season, etc.
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Oct 13, 2016
I sure wouldn't use the word boring. I think it's been suspenseful and quite well directed and produced especially using all the same actors and actresses I think this is one of the best shows it is being used and done. Can't wait to see what continues to happen . Kathy Bates is fantastic.
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Oct 07, 2016
Have had enough now of unlikeable people running around the woods and sniping at each other. Whatever big twist is going to happen in episode 6, well, it feels like they could've quite easily gotten all the story so far into the first 3 episodes at most and got on with it by now. I feel like I'm waiting for the show to properly get going, and 4 episodes in is too far to still be feeling that way. If they needed to stretch things out a bit they could've given a lot more time to O'Hare or Gaga's stories, or even given us more flashbacks of previous doomed residents of the house.

Something else quite annoying is the way they referred to Gaga's character as an English girl. There was no such thing as an English druid, the English were descendants of the Angles who didn't arrive in Britain till over a century after the Romans had gone, by which time the druids had been wiped out. She would've been a Celt or a Briton.
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Oct 07, 2016
Those accents though :) HAHAHAHA fuck me

People rag on Dominic West when his British accent slips through on occasion - but at least he can do a convincing American accent

Kathy Bates' Irish accent is a JOKE

Wes Bentley sounds like Jon Snow on Crack - seriously what the fuck was that even supposed to be????
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Oct 08, 2016
I don' know how they are supposed to sound but they sound dreadful. I LOVE them though. I think they're hilarious!
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Oct 07, 2016
She's not doing Irish, she's doing a sort of late medieval English, a bit Northern, a bit West Country. It's far from perfect but it's a decent stab at an accent that few of us really know how it really would've sounded. This is probably what the early Pilgrims might have sounded like: Shakepearean English
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Oct 07, 2016
It's still embarrassing to listen to no matter what she's trying to do - it's god awful
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Oct 07, 2016
It doesn't answer who thought it was a good idea to have in addition to the next week promos, a scene at the beginning of each episode showing what's going to happen that episode in summary :/
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Oct 06, 2016
It's worth noting that "dying grass moon" is just a term for the october full moon, but blood moon is also used similarly so they might be going off the books
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Oct 06, 2016
Question..who killed Mason if the spirits can't kill until the blood moon?
:\

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Oct 07, 2016
Isn't it that they can kill in the six days leading up to the blood moon?
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Oct 07, 2016
I had the same thought... I have a few ideas...
The first being that perhaps the ghosts actually CAN harm people year round, but it's very difficult for them to cross the veil into our realm & physically effect our world.. I mean we know they can cross into our realm or we wouldn't have been seeing them right along, plus they tried to drown Shelby that one time.. Perhaps during the blood moon they become corporeal again and/or have as much ability to effect our realm as the living do? And maybe that croatoan shit doesn't work on them during that time, like they can't be driven away...

The other options being the idea that the witch was mostly responsible for the death, seeing as how she's capable of MANY things the colony is not, and I think she is actually still a technically "living" creature..
She could have influenced Lee... Lee WAS gone for four hours while Mason was being killed... Perhaps like Matt with the memory loss of his sexual encounter, Lee doesn't remember actually being responsible for Mason's demise...
OR...there's another living character at play here associated with all this that we are as yet unaware of...
I could be totally wrong with some or all of it lol, you never know with this show...
More +
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Oct 17, 2016
oh that's very good. I missed the last episode and need to catch up, but yeah-you never know with this show..lol :) I am really enjoying this season, and like most seasons, the payoff at the end is usually worth it. I just need to be patient.
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Oct 18, 2016
Oh jeez Chapter Five moves at a break-neck pace.. I think we're getting set up to find out that some of the story we've seen so far is only M, S, & L's version of the events, not necessarily how they went down for reals..
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Oct 06, 2016
FYI, Gaga's character is called Scathach according to the closed captioning.
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Oct 07, 2016
this lady? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scáthach
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Oct 07, 2016
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Oct 07, 2016
If it's the Scottish/Irish woman, some kind of relation, yep.
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Oct 07, 2016
I saw that too, but wasn't quite sure how you pronounce it. Hopefully it's spoken soon.
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