After the wrap of the show My Roanoke Nightmare, the producer creates a follow up show called Return to Roanoke, bringing the actors of the previous show and the real Shelby, Matt, and Lee, back to the house.
My Roanoke Nightmare was the television success story of 2015. With minimal promotion, the show garnered 23 million viewers by its finale, topping that week's airing of Sunday Night Football, Empire, and The Walking Dead. Eager to capitalize on the success, the network asked the producer to create a follow-up series.
Sidney Aaron James, the producer of "My Roanoke Nightmare" ambushes Frank, the network president, with a surprise on-camera pitch. He details the documentation of the reality that the audiences are craving, including marketing and social media. He wants to reunite the Millers and the actors who played them for "Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell", a hidden camera reality show. He gushes over filming during the "blood moon" and catching the real reactions to the fake ghosts he intends to insert. Frank responds with audience polling that they were disappointed with Mason's unsolved murder and that Lee (Mason's presumed killer) was not brought to justice. Sidney also mentions that he purchased the Roanoke House from Matt and Shelby for filming the re-enactments. Sidney emerges from the meeting having gotten a greenlight for 13 episodes. Sidney's assistant Diana Cross tempers this news with the revelation that Shelby refuses to participate.
In Ojai, ten weeks before the "blood moon", Sidney interviews Shelby. She's been recieving death threats, and she and Matt are separated. She had a weekend fling with Dominic Banks, who played the part of Matt. She plans to reconcile with Matt while they're trapped together in Roanoke, but insists that (the already contracted) Dominic not be involved. Unbeknownst to her, Sidney intends to keep Dominic on to increase the drama.
Two weeks prior to the blood moon, additional cameras are being installed into the Roanoke House, along with practical "haunting" effects. After previewing video of the real Elias, Diana is skeptical. She has concerns about the jump scare gimmicks, which Sidney dismisses as tools to find justice for Mason. He wants the participants to feel completely isolated. Alissa, a crew member, brings a hidden circle of fetal pigs to Sidney and Diana's attention, but no one knows how they got there. The Polks are mentioned to have been MIA for weeks.
Agnes Mary Winstead, the actress who played "The Butcher", testifies about her experience and casting in the part. Sidney asks her about the incident that landed her with a mental health commital and assult charge: chasing down Hollywood Boulevard slashing at bystanders with a cleaver. She tries to play off the day, but he insists that she's become obsessed with the role. He presents her with the image of the pigs on set, which she says she did not leave behind. He serves her with a restraining order, barring her from further interaction with the show. As they leave, she taunts them (in-character as The Butcher).
Kristin Dos Santos interviews Lee, who has recently signed onto "Return to Roanoke" so that she can set the record straight. In a meeting with their legal representative, Sidney and Diana are told that the production is not liable if the real Lee does anything (like killing, as they suspect she did to Mason). The attorney is more concerned about Monet Tumusiime, the actress who played Lee. Monet is an alcoholic, and the production is legally culpable if the knowingly allow her to drink.
On set, Alissa shows Sidney and Diana a video of an accident; Greg was cutting wood for the deck / hot tub and his chainsaw was thrust into his neck, killing him. Sidney chooses not to suspend production for the day, as the cast is arriving soon. Diana is furious, and drives off. While driving, Diana films an affidavit about what is happening on the show and why she's leaving. Ahead of her, she sees what appears to be a Roanoke colonist, which she turns the camera to capture. She continues driving, and the Piggy Man emerges from behind her seat to kill her. Her footage was recovered three months later by police, but her body was never found.
Audrey Tindall films a confessional, including a blooper and behind-the-scenes footage from production. She has recently married Rory Monahan, who barges into her confessional to break the news. He was the actor who played Edward Philippe Mott. They arrive on set for "Return to Roanoke" and claim the largest room. He gets a phone call, recalling him to Los Angeles for a screen test. Before he leaves, he is filming on his cell phone and catches a glimpse of Agnes, who smashes a window.
Audrey vents her frustration to the newly arrived cast and Sidney, as Agnes has been violently stalking her (and stole her Saturn Award, for which Agnes was also nominated). Audrey wants to leave, but Shelby convinces her to stay. Tension rises as Matt and Lee arrive. They are all distributed camera-only phones, which promptly capture a blow-up between the Millers and Lee.
Monet, Audrey, and Rory later question the Miller's story (as during 8 weeks of summer they saw nothing suspicious). Matt tells them that things will be different, as the blood moon is now apparent.
Over the next three days during the blood moon, every participant in the series died under mysterious circumstances, except for one. The show planned by producers never aired, and we are told that what we've been seeing is the assembled found footage.
The participants part ways as the night winds on. Shelby tries to reconcile with a wary Matt. Monet blames method-acting as Lee for driving her to alcoholism. Dominic arrives and Matt immediately attacks him until the others break it up. Audrey emerges from a shower to find Piggy Man behind her. A furious Rory tries to locate what he thinks is a Sidney-arranged actor, but is hacked to death by the Jane sisters (who complete their MURDER tableau).
Brian WellsBrian Wells is the actor who portrays the reenactment of Lot Polk in "My Roanoke Nightmare". He is also seen officiating the wedding ceremony of fellow Roanoke actors' Rory Monahan and Audrey Tindall.
- This is the first episode directed by Angela Bassett in American Horror Story. The second is Drink the Kool-Aid .