Could we be looking at the final episodes of American Horror Story: Roanoke signaling the end of one era of the show?
American Horror Story has become well known for bringing back its cast of repertory players every season. Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters have had a role in every single season thus far; Denis O'Hare has had a role in all but one season; Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett have had roles the past four seasons. Yet, it's possible that we could be entering a new era of American Horror Story after this season.
Ever since showrunner Ryan Murphy told Entertainment Weekly about the huge twist set to come in episode 6 of Roanoke, fans have been speculating like crazy about what it might be.
The most popular theory about Roanoke thus far is that each episode has made references to a corresponding past seasons. Shelby (Paulson) and Matt (Cuba Gooding Jr.) being haunted by their newly purchased house in episode 1, is much like Murder House. Crazy nurses are involved with episode 2, similar to Asylum. An occult ritual is performed in episode 3, like Coven. The Mott family is directly referred to in episode 4, which is obviously tied to Freak Show.
Episode 5 has yet to air, but many are already predicting that it will make some sort of reference to Hotel. So with all of these callbacks in the first five episodes, fans speculate that we will finally learn what Roanoke is really about in episode 6, which obviously corresponds with this being the sixth season of American Horror Story.
The rest of the season could feature any number of game-changing twists, including the possibility of those in the "documentary" becoming haunted themselves. But what would be the purpose of alluding to past seasons for the first half of Roanoke if it didn't truly add up to something? What if these references to past seasons are a way of concluding this part of the American Horror Story series?
It's possible that we could see the inclusion of past AHS characters in the latter half of the season, especially considering Murphy's previous comments about every past season being interconnected.
"They're all connected. We're just beginning to tell you how they're connected," Murphy revealed to EW back in 2014. "They're all very separate but there's clues every season that we're now telling you how the different worlds are intertwined."
Many assumed that when Jessica Lange left AHS after Freak Show, the show was entering into a new "part" of its overall arc as a series, but what if the end of Part 1 has officially begun this year? The callbacks could be a way of tying up what we've seen before, before entering a brave new world of horror in future seasons. Could next season feature a whole new cast of characters, and not the Paulson, Peters, O'Hare, Bates and Bassett leads we've come to know?
American Horror Story: Roanoke airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.