Warning: Stop reading if you haven’t watched Episode 8 of “American Horror Story”! Spoilers below!
And then there were four.
The eighth episode of “American Horror Story: Roanoke” rather grotesquely eliminated a couple more characters Wednesday night, leaving us with Audrey, Lee and Monet. (Well, Monet is missing in action after her escape from the cannibal Polks, but at least she’s not confirmed dead.) Wes Bentley makes a surprise appearance at the end of the episode as Dylan, the actor who played The Butcher’s son in the reenactment scenes, returning dressed as the Pig Man for artificial scares.
From Episode 6, we know that just one person involved in production of “Return to Roanoke” makes it through the deadly Blood Moon cycle alive; the fictional show-within-a-show is comprised of hidden-camera and found footage. Who will survive?
So far, this season seems intent on doling out punishments for its fame-seekers. Executive producer Sidney meets a bloody fate at the hands of Agnes, the actor who played The Butcher, while Agnes expires at the hands of the real Butcher after a sad plea: “I just wanted to be on TV!” Actors Rory and Dominic succumb to house ghosts. Matt and Shelby didn’t seem too pleased with their fame but nonetheless chose to return to the show ― and, stupidly, to the house ― so they are offed, too.
With that in mind, here are some theories on the survivor’s identity.
Why she might survive: Sarah Paulson’s characters have good track records. All of her characters have come out alive except for Sally, who was dead before the “Hotel” season began and appeared as a ghost throughout.
Why she might not: If “Roanoke” is a comment on reality TV culture, as Ryan Murphy has suggested ― and one where fame-seeking gets you killed, as we’ve suggested ― then Audrey is a prime candidate for victimhood. She’s also (unintentionally) funny, and the funny one in horror genres usually dies.
Why she might survive: Lee’s goals are pretty transparent. She wants to clear her name so she can live a happy life with her daughter, Flora, out of the public eye ― no attention-whoring here. Plus, Episode 8 showed us how spunky and resourceful she can be, even while missing an ear and a slice of her thigh.
Why she might not: She admitted to murdering Mason on tape, and then hatched a terrible plan to go back to the Polks’ house to retrieve the tape and cover her tracks. (We’ll set aside the possibility that she may be lying; although that may be the case, considering how hard it is to imagine one person crucifying another by herself.) While survival may not be dependent on morality, it seems like it will take some good judgment, which Lee evidently lacks. Plus, if we saw her confession, it means something prevented her from destroying the tape as planned.
Why she might survive: Talk about resourceful. Monet slipped free of the Polks and out into the woods ― she took her phone to record her ordeal but we haven’t seen what became of her just yet.
Why she might not: A couple of the Polks followed her. They won’t be too happy, either, if they capture her and return home find their relatives dead and two other captives gone. Monet’s survival feels 50-50.
Why he might survive: Where’d he even come from? Was he camping in the woods all this time? How’d he even get past the driveway, with the real Pig Man and other ghosts out there, ready to murder? Maybe he’s lucky!
Why he might not: Audrey, Lee and Monet have at least seen what they’re up against. Dylan has no idea. Plus, his real-life counterpart might not like a copycat; Lee’s would-be killer suggested as much when he told her the story of how his Polk ancestor became the first Piggy Man.
Bonus: Another actor who hasn’t yet returned to the house
If Sydney scheduled Dylan to show up in the middle of “Return to Roanoke” production, he may have instructed other actors from the reenactment “My Roanoke Nightmare” to appear, too. Sydney put a lot of effort into booby-trapping the house for artificial scares, not knowing, of course, that it wouldn’t be necessary. We might also see the actors who played Cricket or Dr. Cunningham ― both of whom died in “My Roanoke Nightmare.” Maybe their fictional counterparts will have more luck.
“American Horror Story” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.