This episode of My Roanoke Nightmare pulled out all the horror stops for a very satisfying culmination of the entire season. I enjoyed this season, really. It maybe didn’t have enough plot, but that’s to the good, as the writing was kept tight, focused, streamlined. And what it lacked in plot it more than made up for it in themes and meta. There were some deep racial and historical, issues that I’ve yet to parse.
Lee ends up being the “Final Girl”.
I was rooting for Lee. I’m not sure I’m okay with the choices she made, though. Actually I’m one of the few people who genuinely likes her. Shes blunt and prickly, but thats not unlike some actual Black women I know, including myself, and she is probably one of the more authentic depictions of a Working class Black woman, that I’ve ever seen on TV. She does come close to the stereotype of the Black Superwoman, who feels no pain, as she hobbles around on that injured leg for several days, or the Angry Black Woman, because she minces no words, and pulls no punches. Lee is not “Nice”, which is a word certain people lob at women who ain’t trying to please them, or make them the center of their narrative. Lee isnt any more or less selfish than any of the other characters on the show, from what I could see. She will do whatever she has to do to live. She is a survivor, who just skirts being deeply problematic because of Adina Porter’s acting.
The Blair Witch references fly fast and furious, as we meet a trio of fans who have decided to traipse out into the woods to visit the Roanoke House, for their fan website called Army of Roanoke. I’m not certain if they’re aware that there was a new show, but they certainly regretted visiting during the Blood Moon.
I genuinely liked these three kids, even though I’d just met them. They seemed innocent and silly, in a way that none of the other show’s characters, with all their excess baggage, managed to be, and the three of them didn’t deserve any of the horrible things that happened to them, just because they were young and foolish. Couple that with their incredibly bad timing, and their lack of belief in what was happening, and that was a disaster waiting to happen.
Then there’s the political component of the story where, just like in the movies, the three report what they’ve seen to the police, who don’t believe what they witnessed.
Moving from the fan trio, back to the house, we pick up where we left off, with Audrey and Lee trying to explain to the last surviving crew member, named Dylan, that everyone is dead, and yes, this is all real. Played by Wes Bentley, he’d been hired to play The Butcher’s henchman during the original series run, and was hired to play the Pig Headed Man for this season, because Sydney wanted to juice up the drama.
Dylan, conveniently possesses some military skills, and just to get my shallow moment out of the way, Wes Bentley looks hella sexy with that steely glint of determination, and competency, in his eyes. Unfortunately these are not skills that save him from the last surviving members of the Polk family, or the vengeful ghosts of the Blood Moon. After he leads Lee, and Audrey back to the Polk house to steal a vehicle, he gets taken down by the last of the Polks, who in turn is killed, when the Butcher’s mob appears. Without Mama Polk there to appease the Butcher, or the Witch who controls her, their lives are now forfeit. Lee and Audrey discover that Monet is alive and hiding in one of the buildings at the Polk’s place.
As I said last episode, there’s a lot of running and screaming as the fan trio discover the body of Sydneys assistant Diane, who died in a car crash earlier in the season. They discover the absence of the rest of the crew and stumble across Audrey, Lee, and Monet in the woods, too. After, Dylan is attacked by the Polks, Monet and Audrey are separated from Lee, who is approached by The Witch, and given a deal. If she eats the Witches heart, she will be allowed to live. Lee takes the deal and becomes the new Butcher.
Audrey and Monet go back to the house to retrieve the videos Lee said was so important. Important because they contain her confession of killing her husband. Monet is delighted to find out she was right. Can I just add that Angela Basset is one of the best actresses on TV. That little mmm-mmm noise she makes, after seeing Lee’s confession, is a sound I’ve heard from women my whole life. I know exactly what that sound means. 😄 It’s not a sound you will find in the dictionary.
After eating the Witches heart, Lee becomes the new Butcher, it seems, leading the ghosts to kill the Roanoke Army. I think I can forgive them for some of the things these teenagers did, but really I’m not surprised, because they did every fucking thing you’re not supposed to do in a horror movie, like going back into danger, or wandering into the woods without a compass. The trio, just like the actors in Blair Witch have no wildernesscraft to speak of, and just run through the woods willy-nilly, whenever they get scared. It’s all for naught anyway because they get captured by the Butchers mob and we get to listen to them get impaled on stakes. I once read a book about the worse deaths invented by mankind, and yep! that’s one of the worse deaths I can think of. (Actually, they were lucky as they died fairly quickly because the stakes were sharpened. Impalement on blunt stakes is actually a very slow and nasty process. Nobody deserves that kind of death.)
Lee, possessed, goes back to the house and pushes Monet off the second floor in the middle of her gloating speech about Lee being a murderer. Audrey fights really hard for her life but gets pushed into the outdoor cellar. Dylan who is still alive after all, gets disemboweled by the mob, after which what’s left of the Army of Roanoke get impaled, then burned. The police show up in the morning (they’d been alerted by several thousand phone calls when the Army of Roanokes video feed automatically uploaded to the internet) and they find bodies scattered all over the place, in and out of the house. Lee doesn’t seem to remember what she did. It turns out Audrey didn’t die in the cellar and when the police rescue her, she goes ballistic when she sees Lee, grabs a police firearm and is promptly shot down by all the other cops. There’s some kind of political message there at having a White woman get gunned down by the police, since shit that like rarely happens in real life, but I don’t know what that message could possibly be, and my brain hurts too much to try to parse it. Certainly someone will explain it to me later.
All of this leaves Lee as the Final Girl.I’ll definitely have more to say about this next week, during the season. finale, when we see Lee’s interview.