Showrunner Ryan Murphy and his whole team on FX's American Horror Story: Hotel have plenty to celebrate going into the season's final episode this Wednesday: its highly-publicized star, Lady Gaga, took home the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Limited Series this past Sunday, a mere three days before Hotel's sure-to-be-bloody finale, upsetting the presumed frontrunner in her category, Fargo's Kirsten Dunst. (FX is probably still happy — if the star of their acclaimed crime series was going to lose to anyone, at least it was to the star of another of the network's own shows.) Gaga's Globe was only the second trophy the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has bestowed on the horror anthology, following Jessica Lange's award for Supporting Actress in Season 1's Murder House... so it's a good thing that Gaga is already confirmed to be returning next season. But what else do we know about the next iteration of the show? What is American Horror Story Season 6 about?
While no setting or plot has been officially announced yet, that doesn't mean we can' take some educated guesses. At this point in AHS history, it's a well-known fact that Ryan Murphy loves to litter the final episodes of each season with hints towards the theme of the next. In Murder House, Sarah Paulson's medium Billie Dean talked about the energy surrounding certain places, including "prisons or asylums." In Asylum, various songs including "I Put A Spell On You" and "Love Potion No. 9" can be heard emanating from Briarcliff's jukebox. In Coven, Zoe and Kyle are given tickets to Florida, where Season 4 would be set. And in Freak Show, several inconspicuously placed top hats hinted at the 1935 Fred Astaire movie Top Hat, which takes place in a hotel.
So what clues are there in Hotel, and what do they mean? Sadly, Murphy's clues are often so obscure that it's impossible to discern their significance until after the new setting has already been revealed. (See: those infernal top hats.) For all we know, the "big hint" will be something small like a pair of dog tags a minor character is wearing in one short scene, revealing that Season will take place at a haunted dog show. (Can it, please?) Regardless of any clues that may or may not have already been dropped, popular fan theories for AHS Season 6 include a summer camp, a cabin in the woods, and even outer space.
Personally, I would put my money on none of those theories being correct. First of all, they've all been discussed to death at this point, so none of them would be particularly surprising. Furthermore, the first two seem more suited to Murphy's younger-skewing horror show, Scream Queens . And both of those traditional horror tropes are normally filled with popular jocks and their beautiful girlfriends as the victims — something that doesn't quite fit with Murphy's penchant for underdogs and outcasts. As for the latter theory... as Murphy himself has said: "It's American Horror Story, not Intergalactic Horror Story."
Whatever Season 6 ends up being about, you can pretty much bet on one thing: it will take place in the past. While the odd-numbered seasons (Murder House, Coven, Hotel) have been contemporary, the even-numbered seasons (Asylum, Freak Show) have both featured period settings (1964 and 1952, respectively.) Will Season 6 take place even farther in the past? Say, the '40s this time? Combine that time period with Murphy's fondness for outcasts, and I'm getting a The Hills Have Eyes-type vibe where scientists working on the atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert are attacked by mutants created by their own nuclear experiments. Heck, John Lowe's daughter Scarlett even mentioned radiation in the Season 5 premiere! I think I might be onto something...
We may still be fumbling in the dark when it comes to prediction Season 6's setting, but at least one group of people already knows the truth: the cast. Ryan Murphy himself admitted to E! News that he had a little "too much to drink" at this Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony and started revealing to the AHS stars in attendance — including Gaga and Angela Bassett — who they would be playing next season. His imitation of Bassett's shocked reaction promises exciting stuff to come... whenever he decides to spill the beans.
Murphy has already revealed the plot of American Crime Story Season 2 — a recounting of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — ahead of that show's Season 1 premiere. Between that premature announcement and his inebriated revelations at the Golden Globes, the showrunner seems in a particularly giving mood these days. Hopefully he'll announce Season 6's plot soon and put us all out of our misery!
Images: Doug Hyun/FX; Giphy.com (3)