We all have a little bit of a dark side, and until recently we didn’t have much to watch that could really satiate our delightfully grotesque evil twin, until writer Ryan Murphy introduced us to American Horror Story. If you’re just now coming to the conclusion that this show may be your next cult addiction, then let’s get you caught up.
What you need to know:
What makes AHS so enthralling, isn’t the guts, gore, sex, or debauchery. It’s the completely new story line with new characters every season. Instead of following along with the vanilla norm of keeping to the same plot and characters, AHS steps out of the limelight, and into the red, dripping in freshly spilled blood, and pushing the boundaries of film with every episode. It’s the penultimate of horror theater. While each season is a new plot, there are some connections made throughout, that are subtle, but key to remember.
Season 1 Murder House:
There is A LOT that happens but what you need to know, is that the Harmon family (Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, Taissa Farmiga) moves from Boston to Los Angeles in 2011, in what they don’t know is known as the Murder House. They find out some of the previous grisly deaths by their Real Estate Agent Marcy (Christine Estabrook). Remember her, she will show up again.
After a series of strange events, Vivien, the wife, becomes pregnant by her husband and the ghost of Tate (Evan Peters), resulting in twins from different fathers. She learns that one of her children will grow up to be the Antichrist by medium Billie Dean (Sarah Paulson), whom is another one you will want to remember. Violet, the daughter, falls in love with Tate, and kills herself in order to be with him, having learned he was a ghost. Vivien and one of the babies dies in childbirth, Ben aims to leave the house behind and take the living child with, but is murdered by his dead ex-lover, whom was killed by the previous inhabitant Larry (Denis O’Hare), who had tried to warn the Harmon family of the house, and failed.
The neighbors to the Harmon family are connected in this, as Tate is the son to Constance (Jessica Lange), who also has another child named Addie (Jamie Brewer), who is hit and killed by a car on Halloween night. It is learned that when you die, you haunt that location for eternity, but on Halloween night, the dead can walk amongst the living. Constance learns that one of the twin babies is Tate’s, and when Ben dies trying to leave the house she takes in the child. Three years later, the child Michael Langdon, kills Constance’s housekeeper.
Season 2 Asylum:
Set in 1964 Massachusetts at Briarcliff Mental Institution. This story loosely ties with the real events of a reporter going undercover in an asylum to document the mistreatment of patients. Sarah Paulson makes her second debut but her first full role for AHS as reporter Lana Winters. Evan Peters plays Kit, a young man falsely accused of murdering his biracial wife, thus placing him as the lead suspect for the serial killer Bloody Face. The reality is that his wife was abducted by aliens and he continues to believe this.
It turns out that the real Bloody Face is the psychiatrist Oliver Thredson, who takes a liking to Lana and kidnaps her in the hopes to make her his new Mom, and in turn rapes and impregnates her. One of the nuns, Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) of the institute, becomes possessed by a demon and is killed by the Monsignor (Joseph Fiennes). We are also introduced to the patient Pepper (Naomi Grossman) the pinhead, accused of murdering and cutting off the ears of her sister’s newborn child. The important key to remember is that aliens and demons exist.
Season 3 Coven:
Set in 2013 New Orleans, we follow the descendants of the Salem Witches. They are in danger of extinction once again and attempt to band together, though it is difficult to find the descendants as they are picked off one after another. Jessica Lange plays the Supreme Witch Fiona Goode, desperately trying to hold on to her position threatened by her daughter Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) and the other inhabitants of Miss Robichaux’s academy.
Miss Delphine (Kathy Bates) has been buried alive after drinking an immortal potion since 1834 by competing coven Supreme Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett). Miss Delphine had many a black slave and would often torture them, hence her eternal punishment. After she is unearthed, she is set to be the slave to Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) a black witch, whose power is basically that of a living voodoo doll. After several deaths and resurrections, they decide to make themselves known to the public, and open the academy to all those who may be witches.
Season 4 Freak Show:
Set in 1952 Jupiter, Florida, Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) runs her very own traveling Freak Show, but after mysterious deaths take place around the area by Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch) her show is in jeopardy of falling apart. She comes across conjoined twins Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson), and hopes to build her business by adding them to her Cabinet of Curiosities. Dandy (Finn Wittrock), a psychotic man-child, hopes to be Twisty’s protege after being rejected by the Freaks.
Con artists Stanley (Denis O’Hara) and Maggie (Emma Roberts) go to Florida to obtain specimens for the American Morbidity Museum in order to make money. Maggie falls for Jimmy (Evan Peters), a boy with lobster like hands. Stanley recruits Dell (Michael Chiklis), a strong man and ex-lover to Ethel (Kathy Davis) the bearded woman, to help kill some of the freaks. Pepper is one of the freaks and is released to her sister to help take care of the baby, but is framed for the murder of the child and admitted to the Briarcliff Mental Institute, thus tying into season 2.
Chester (Neil Patrick Harris) buys the Freak Show from Elsa, and after signing on to be a TV star, he ends up murdering Maggie in a failed magic attempt. After realising what he has done he commits suicide. Dandy takes possession of the Freak Show and kills a majority of the exhibits before Bette, Dot, Jimmy, and Desiree (Angela Bassett) the three breasted woman, murder him. Elsa is killed by the ghost Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley), for performing on Halloween night, a law by all freaks that must be heeded.
Season 5 Hotel:
Set in 2015 Los Angeles, in the haunted Hotel Cortez, built in 1925 by James Patrick March (Evan Peters) as a secret torture chamber, which is now haunted by the countless ghosts of his murder victims, as well as himself. It is currently run by the 111 year old Vampire Countess Elizabeth Johnson (Lady Gaga), whom we learn has taken on many a lover and turned them into vampires in order to replace the love of her life, actor Valentino (Finn Wittrock). In the hopes to build a family throughout the years she has abducted pale haired children and turned them. One of which belongs to Detective John Lowe (Wes Bentley), who is blamed for the disappearance of his son by wife and pediatrician Alex (Chloe Sevigny).
John works to uncover the Ten Commandments Killer, but in a twisted turn of events discovers that he is in fact the serial killer, trained under the ghost of James March. It is revealed that the Countess is in fact married to James March and attempted an illegal abortion at the Murder House back when it was a back alley abortion clinic, but it fails and instead she has a deformed vampiric baby named Bartholomew.
The Hotel goes under a change of ownership and Marcy is the Real Estate Agent that sold the Murder House to the Harmons four years ago. Medium Billie Dean Howard from season 1 also makes an appearance once again on Halloween night in order to contact the spirits of past serial killers. Queenie from season three even makes an appearance and is killed and eaten by Vampire and ex-lover of the Countess, Ramona Royale (Angela Bassett) in order to take down the Countess.
Everything comes to a head, and just about everyone dies or is turned vampire, and goes on to haunt the Hotel Cortez for eternity. All except for John, who unfortunately dies on the curb outside the Hotel and can only visit his now turned vampire wife Alex, son Holden (Lennon Henry), and mortal daughter Scarlett (Shree Crooks) on Halloween night.
While it is not yet revealed what Season 6 may hold, it is speculated the title will be The Mist, though FX has yet to release that information. The new season premieres tonight on FX at 10/9c.
American Horror Story airs Wednesday nights 10/9c on FX.