We may not know the official subtitle or the plot of American Horror Story Season 6 yet, but we certainly know the theme. After releasing a series of 11 cryptic teasers over the past two weeks that have only fanned the flames of speculation, FX has debuted a twelfth — and seemingly final — promo that ties it all together. Its caption reads: "Murder. Madness. Magic. Misfits. Mayhem… Mystery?" Each word in the sequence clearly corresponds to its respective season, meaning that Season 6 is all about the mystery. But the content of the promo itself may have offered us our first clue of what that mystery might entail: AHS Season 6 might tie all of the seasons together.
Ever since Ryan Murphy confirmed that each individual season of his anthology series were connected, viewers have been trying to formulate a theory for all it all fits together. So far, those connections have remained relatively minor — more Easter Eggs for fans than game-changing revelations — like Coven's Sister Mary Eunice showing up to collect Pepper from Elsa's Cabinet of Curiosities or Queenie checking into the Hotel Cortez. But those connections might move from the background to the forefront of the action if this latest promo is any indication.
The 30-second video begins with a tour through seasons past, featuring the most iconic image from each installment of AHS: Rubber Man from Murder House, the white-faced nun from Asylum, the serpent-tongued mouths from Coven, the circus tent from Freak Show, and the key face from Hotel. After cycling through these disturbing scenes, the promo then transitions into a quick-cutting montage of all 11 promos released thus far, culminating in the logo for the sixth season: a question mark followed by the number six. (All of this is underscored with a new arrangement of the theme music featuring a haunting vocal track.)
A popular theory holds that Season 6 will function as a sequel to Season 1's Murder House, centering around a slightly grown-up version of the child born at the end of that season, Michael — aka the Antichrist. Murphy previously stated that Season 6 would involve children in some way, and one of the first teasers released featured a clawed hand clutching a creepy mobile, which seemed to jive with that theory.
But what if Murder House isn't the only chapter that Season 6 connects to? What if the reason the theme of the upcoming season is being kept so hush-hush is because it will reveal the grand unifying theory of American Horror Story? That certainly seems to be what the twelfth promo is implying, with images from one season feeding directly into the next, drawing a direct connection between each installment… all inexorably leading towards the mysterious sixth chapter.
What would a fully interconnected AHS universe even look like? Would it be revealed that the characters are living in some sort of Lost-esque purgatory? Are they existing in parallel dimensions? Are they traveling through the literal nine circles of hell as envisioned in Dante's Inferno? Or are the different seasons all just taking place in a world where everyone has multiple doppelgängers running around? It's hard to imagine — which could be why we haven't heard any details or seen any footage even though the season is premiering in just four short weeks.
If Season 6 is the season that ties everything together, could that signal the fact that the show is nearing its end? Is that why Murphy and FX are being so secretive about the upcoming batch of episodes? AHS wouldn't be the first show to air a surprise series finale this year; Penny Dreadful surprised its fanbase by announcing "The End" after its Season 3 finale back in June. And it's not like Murphy's plate is empty — in fact, it keeps getting more and more full. Aside from AHS, the mega-producer also has Scream Queens (about to begin its second season on FOX), American Crime Story (between seasons on FX), and Feud (a third upcoming anthology series for FX).
Can Murphy really keep running four shows simultaneously? Maybe — but if the mysterious sixth season turns out to be the last edition of American Horror Story, don't be too surprised to see it come to an end… just as long as he reveals how it's all connected first.
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