American Horror Story: 6.04 Chapter Four
Episode four finds our desperate couple still on the trail for Flora. With Lee now in jail, it's just Shelby and Matt looking for her. It is surprising the two are still alive, or the fact they’ve not moved out yet. The opening scenes of the episode finds the couple being attacked by a tall pig headed man ghost with a knife and at the nick of time Dr. Cunningham appears at the house out of nowhere and managing to scare the ghost away.
We met Denis O’Hare’s Dr. Elias Cunningham in episode two, where it was insinuated from a home video recording that perhaps he was dead. His appearance proves otherwise. He warns them of a six-day blood moon period, a small gap of time with red tinged moon where our deadly ghosts inhabiting the forest gain the ability to actually physically harm and kill people. Dr Cunningham’s re-emergence is short lived, as the three venture into the forest on the quest for Flora, he is killed by bullets shot by hunter ghosts. However a lesson we learn quickly on in the series is that a killing of character doesn’t mark the end of them, but their transition to the world of the dead, the forest.
We finally get insight into Lady Gaga’s character, camouflaged as mystic Goddess Scathach; she is the force behind the disenchanted forest. Scathach is known in Irish mythology as a legendary Scottish warrior woman, descendant of the Druids and Roman conquerors. In American Horror Story she is more than that; she posses’ dark magical powers, able to resurrect the dead and possess people’s mind to do her bidding. Her story reveals she was a stow away on a boat en route to the new world where she ends up killing all the sailors on the boat, in retaliation of them trying to burn her alive, thinking she is a witch. It is Scathach who is the mastermind behind The Butcher’s efforts to take over the Raonoke Colony and it is under her orders that she butchered all her men, only to resurrect them as her slaves. This specific plot is such great storytelling, one of many intriguing plots of the season and the interpretation of this tale within this setting is simply genius.
Shelby and Matt eventually get hold of Flora, as kidnapper Priscilla is revealed to be a kind-hearted spirit that brings her to go back to them. This is the one positive thing that has happened in the whole season yet and it was surprising to see Flora made it alive, for now at least. The joy of getting Flora back is fleeting of course, as more disturbing events unfold. We are treated to possibly the most disturbing killing of the whole series. The psychic Cricket, returns and manages to communicate directly with Scathach this time, and get close to an agreement. However, Cricket's luck is up when The Butcher gets hold of him and along with her son, they bring Cricket to the house surrounded by the whole colony. There in front of house, as Shelby, Matt and the newly found Flora look outside the window, The Butcher cuts Cricket in his lower abdomen and rips out his intestine from his body, disembowelling him slowly as he screams in agony.
Sarah Paulson and Cuba Downing Jnr are impeccable as the story's central couple; they have now gone beyond horror, they've almost given up to the fate that awaits them. The constant chase and their panic provide such great visual fodder, keeping viewers completley engrossed. The fast pace and the detailed execution of each scene has viewers gagging for more as the episode abruptly ends.