Zachary Quinto as Sam in AHS:NYC

It Looks Like An AHS: Asylum Character Appears In The Next Promo

This is not a good sign.

by Ani Bundel
Pari Dukovic/FX

Until this season, American Horror Story stuck faithfully to the linear broadcast schedule of one weekly episode. But as the series enters its second decade of storytelling and FX’s new place on Hulu, it’s playing around with the format, dropping two episodes at a time. Not only has that been good for the series’ overall pacing, but the promo for American Horror Story Season 11, Episodes 5 and 6, suggests that its tiebacks will have more impact in this format.

Warning: Spoilers for AHS: NYC Episodes 3 and 4 follow. As longtime fans of AHS are aware, Murphy tends to take creative risks in his work — sometimes to his detriment. Season 10 was perhaps the worst of this; two short seasons instead of one regular-length one meant the series crammed a bunch into a short period of time. But with Season 11 focusing on just one story, and doing so with two episodes a week, Murphy’s storytelling gets more room to breathe, and the major moments and plot twists in these episodes feel more natural than rushed.

Take, for example, the reveal that Patrick, who initially seemed like the only cop interested in solving the murders within the LGBTQ+ community, is far more involved than Gino suspected initially. Had that come in Week 2 as a single episode, it would have felt like whiplash. Here, it still comes two weeks in (with a side of saving Gino’s life from Whitley). However, it arrives after four hours of storytelling, making the layers of his onion falling away feel more gradual.

The same goes for the government conspiracy of “Operation Paperclip” (which was real; Murphy has referenced it before in Season 2’s AHS: Asylum). It’s still unclear if Murphy will play with history and tie AIDS to these Nazi scientists that America happily brought on board post-WWII. That makes the whole season feel like a mystery playing out slowly, even if answers are right around the corner.

Speaking of AHS Season 2, Operation Paperclip may not be the only callback to the show’s early season.

Longtime fans of AHS are probably most excited about the vision Gino has during Kathy’s tarot reading. Those wings and that silhouette look almost exactly like that of Frances O’Conner’s Angel of Death character, Shachath, in AHS: Asylum. In recent years, Murphy has found ways to tie back his newer seasons of AHS to the early ones, but most have been connected to Season 1’s Murder House or Season 3’s Coven. If NYC and Asylum are connected, it may change the entire direction of the season.

AHS: NYC Episode 5 is titled “Bad Fortune,” while Episode 6 is called “The Body.” Episode 5’s synopsis reads, “Hannah receives concerning news while Patrick suffers a loss. The city’s most dangerous resident reveals his true motives,” while Episode 6 suggests that Patrick’s connections to the murders will be front and center. “A chilling event from Patrick’s past returns to haunt him. Gino and Henry are determined to uncover it at any cost.”

American Horror Story Season 11 continues with two new episodes every Wednesday at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on FX and streaming the following day on Hulu.