FX’s American Horror Story season six came to an end on November 16, 2016 with a super twisted season finale that buried The Butcher’s hatchet in a few more unsuspecting victims. Episode 10 provided shocks, surprises, blood, death, and the burning of the Roanoke house to help out long-dead Priscilla. The best season since the first began its finale with an audience cheering the cast and producer of My Roanoke Nightmare as they take the stage at Paleyfest 2016. They discuss the characters and hint about a second season, Agnes (Kathy Bates) says she’d love to come back for another season, and Rory (Evan Peters) is an audience favorite. Fans have traveled hundreds of miles to attend the Q&A and every answer is greeted with a roar of applause. Fans wear pig masks, carry fake butcher knives, and are really into being with the My Roanoke Nightmare stars.
Fast forward a year and one of the fans from the Q&A posts a YouTube video trashing the show’s second season. She calls it exploitative and crass, and she doesn’t care it got even higher ratings than My Roanoke Nightmare. Viewers debated whether it was real or fake, and it turned out everyone actually did die with the exception of Lee. Lee (Adina Porter) was put on trial for murder, so she didn’t get away from the experience without her own emotional scars.
A Dateline-type series called crack’d airs an episode focusing on Lee, her husband, and their daughter, Flora. Footage is shown from My Roanoke Nightmare, and the crack’d special confirms police suspected her of Mason’s murder from the very beginning but the evidence was just circumstantial. District Attorney Mark Phillips knew Lee killed Mason in cold blood, but he had to hold off arresting her until there was enough evidence. Meanwhile, she became famous and made money from My Roanoke Nightmare. Fortunately, the evidence came in the form of footage from season two that shows Lee committing multiple murders.
The trial would appear to be a slam dunk, however evidence was introduced that the pot at the Polk farm was highly hallucinogenic and Lee was probably seeing things. Plus, the jury watched all of the footage of Lee being grotesquely tortured by the Polks while tied up. The jury was sympathetic and thought she didn’t know what she was doing, and so she was acquitted. The DA didn’t want to see Lee get off scot free and opted to go after her for the murder of Mason. The videotaped confession, security footage from the house, and phone records indicating Lee and Mason spoke that night made for a strong case. But the cherry on the top was the reveal of an eye witness to Mason’s murder. The DA called to the stand Flora Harris who saw her mom and dad fighting. They were arguing about Flora and Mason wanted to go to the police, but her mom hit him with a rock, repeatedly.
On cross examination, Lee’s attorney gets Flora to admit she wanted to be out in the woods with the ghost girl, Priscilla. She felt safer with Priscilla than with her mom or dad, and the defense attorney argues the girl has a vivid imagination and was affected by her parents’ divorce. Lee’s videotaped confession was just a way to stop the kidnapper from torturing her, and maybe Flora saw the tape and created false memories. The defense attorney believes Lee might not be a good mother, but she’s not a murderer.
The jury returns after 16 days of deliberations and finds Lee not guilty. The DA says this verdict was the hardest to swallow of his career.
Following her second acquittal, Lee became a polarizing figure and also a highly paid speaker. After two trials, questions remain about Lee’s involvement in the murders. Journalist Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) comes out of retirement to interview Lee in a live TV broadcast that Lana promises will be unfiltered. (There isn’t any explanation as to why Lana looks like an older version of Audrey Tindall.)
Lana’s first question is about Lee’s mental state, and Lee says it’s Flora who is keeping her alive. Lee attributes the joy of seeing Flora to what keeps her going. She’ll be heading back to court to fight Mason’s family for Flora, even though she was acquitted. Lana reminds her the public will always associate her with the deaths of three innocent people, as well as her husband’s murder, since the tapes exist showing her involvement. Lana then asks why she agreed to this interview after turning everyone else down, and Lee says she did it because of who Lana is. Lana killed her own son, a psychopathic murderer. Lee’s hoping Flora is watching the special and Lana asks her to talk directly into the camera to Flora.
Lee tells Flora she loves her and won’t give up. She wants them to be back together again, and she feels better after addressing her daughter. Then another shocker arrives: Lana asks where Flora is because she went missing an hour before the interview began. Lee gets upset and claims to have no idea what Lana’s talking about. Lana tells Lee to settle down as she gets up to go find her daughter, and just then the sound of gunfire can be heard outside the building. The remaining Polk brother, Lot, comes in the room and kills at least one person. Lana tries to talk him down, but he wants to kill Lee. Lana explains they’re on live TV right now and he can tell his story to the whole world. Lana asks him to put the gun down and tell the world his side of the story but instead he knocks her out with the gun and tells Lee time’s up. He’s shot multiple times before he can shoot Lee, and the live broadcast is abruptly taken off the air.
The next shot is an onscreen warning: “After much consideration and the approval of surviving members, this network has decided to air the controversial November 18th episode of Spirit Chasers.”
Spirit Chasers is a ghost-hunting show and an episode is being filmed at the Roanoke house. There’s graffiti inside the house when the Chasers visit the place accompanied by Ashley Gilbert (Leslie Jordan) who played Cricket in My Roanoke Nightmare. He knows the house and is there to help the team with their investigation during the blood moon. The Chasers – Bob Kinnaman and Dave Elder – explain the house is either a fraud or the most haunted house in America. Every show wanted in on investigating the house, but the owners denied all requests. The Spirit Chasers decided to cut through the fence and investigate anyway without permission.
Tech manager Tracy Logan explains they’ve set up full spectrum cameras throughout the house.
Bob asks why Ashley wasn’t part of season two, and he says Sidney didn’t ask him which turned out to be a good thing after all. As night falls, the Spirit Chasers team begin to record high readings on their equipment. They check out the places where cast members died and suddenly a sheet floats through the air on its own. Loud noises are heard and the team freaks out a bit, talking about the energy change from day to night. Ashley finds a bonnet but it’s a real one and not a costume from the show. A movement outside catches their attention and then without notice Lee’s in the house with them.
Lee wants to know what they’re doing there and claims she’s there for her daughter. She tells them they’re stupid and deserve to die for being there during the blood moon, then she notices Ashley’s holding Priscilla’s bonnet. She starts frantically searching the rooms and the Spirit Chasers team want to help, but she doesn’t want their assistance. Lee tells them to leave now because the house will rip them apart. After she’s done shouting, they hear a crash and a cabinet has been pushed to the floor. They check the video and see the ghost of one of the Chins on the wall and they hear a creepy voice in the master bedroom.
The Spirit Chasers refuse to leave and instead follow Lee around the house. Doors close, spirits appear in the thermal camera, and then the Pig Man arrives and kills Ashley. Tracy and Dave run and lock themselves in a room, but a Chin hauls Dave up the wall.
Bob and a camera man spot the twin nurses and freak out. Now they believe Lee and know it’s time to leave. Tracy joins Bob and the camera man and they run outside as cop cars pull up. Tracy spots a line of torches in the woods and when Bob turns to look for her, she’s not there. Tracy’s killed by The Butcher, and the cops and Bob die when they are shot with arrows.
Back inside the house, the thermal camera shows Lee still searching for Flora. The camera catches Flora entering the room, saying, “Mama.”
The next day the police surround the Roanoke house and Lee is inside holding her daughter hostage. The news reports it’s a stand-off, and William Van Henderson (Denis O’Hare) who played Dr. Elias Cunningham in season one, tells a reporter what he knows about Lee. He wants to make it clear it was his decision to not return for season two.
Another reporter interviews Lana Winters about Lee. Lana’s home from the hospital and she informs the reporter that she understands Lee, and that they both have the capacity to be of singular thought. She believes Lee will do anything to get Flora back. “It’s always been about Flora,” says Lana.
Inside the house, Lee and Flora are talking while Flora’s drawing on the floor. Lee tries to describe to her young daughter what it’s like to be a parent. Flora knows Lee killed Mason and Lee admits it, saying Mason didn’t understand Flora needed her mother. She apologizes for what she’s done and tries to convince her child that her whole purpose in life is to take care of her. She wants Flora to walk out of the house with her, but Priscilla wants her to stay. Flora wants to burn the house to the ground to save Priscilla from The Butcher, but Lee forbids her from doing it. Then Lee volunteers to stay and look after Priscilla since she’s fought The Butcher off twice. She wants Flora to leave and let Priscilla kill her so she can stay and take care of her like a mom. The catch: Flora can’t visit them during the blood moon. Flora asks Priscilla if that’s okay.
Night falls and smoke rises from the house. The SWAT team and officers advance as Flora walks out on her own. Inside, Lee hands Priscilla her gun, aiming it at her own chest. The house explodes after Lee tells Priscilla it’s going to be okay.
It turns out the sole survivor of My Roanoke Nightmare is Flora. She takes a seat in the back of the police car and sees Lee and Priscilla together outside the house. They hold hands and walk away while in the forest, The Butcher and her people advance on the house as the cops and fire fighters are still outside.