Ever since Ryan Murphy revealed American Horror Story Season 10 would be a bifurcated “Double Feature” featuring two separate plots, fans have been scrambling to find the connection between the two stories. The first, “Red Tide,” is a modern-set tale of a family torn apart by abusing magical pills to enhance creativity. The second, “Death Valley,” is a 1950s-era period piece involving aliens. So far, there’s no clear connection, but that may be because fans are focusing on the wrong thing. Instead, perhaps they should be asking whether AHS Season 10 connects to other seasons — perhaps the alien-centric “Asylum”?
Warning: Spoilers for American Horror Story Season 10, Episode 5 follow. AHS has covered a lot of different flavors of horror over the years. The first season, “Murder House,” was a ghost story; the most recent full season, “1984” was a riff on the gory teen horror films of the 1980s. But while witches, magic, and ghosts were the subjects of multiple seasons, aliens and alien abduction were only featured once, in Season 2, “Asylum.”
Generally regarded as one of AHS’ strongest seasons, the 1960s-set “Asylum” focused on mental health in a Catholic sanitarium, with the main plot concerning demonic possession. However, one of the ongoing subplots starred Evan Peters as Kit Walker, a man convicted of murdering his wife Alma (Britne Oldford). Walker insisted aliens abducted her, and by season’s end, this turned out to be true.
At the time, fans were divided over this plot twist, claiming the aliens were a distraction from the religious themes. But Murphy said the aliens were supposed to be a stand-in for God and angels and, therefore, connected to the main story.
So, do those aliens connect to Season 10’s aliens? And if so, how? Well, one could start with the connection that comes from “Red Tide,” set in the dying resort area of Provincetown in 2021. In Season 2, Kit Walker revealed he and his wife Alma were married in Provincetown in the 1950s. With “Death Valley” set in the 1950s, could there be a connection there?
It seems possible, especially if the Chemist from “Red Tide” (Angelica Ross) turns out not to be human after all. Ross is also set to appear in “Death Valley,” and many fan theories posit she plays an alien in the second half of the season. If you recall, the end of Kit’s story in “Alysum” referred to his children as “alien babies” and promised the extra-terrestrials will be back for them. Could “Death Valley” and “Red Tide” be the missing links of their initial arrival and eventual return?
Episode 5 also seemed to suggest the people on whom the pills work may not be human. In one of the episode’s final scenes, Karen, who can instinctively recognize anyone on the pills, tells the pill-popping Mickey he’s not human. The scene isn’t explicit as to what Karen means by that. She could mean that he’s lost his ability to empathize and only sees other people merely as content grist for his creative mill. But for those looking for any sign of alien life, it could be a vital clue.
American Horror Story: Double Feature continues with new episodes every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on FX.