What the hell is going on with American Horror Story: Roanoke? It's a valid question that creator Ryan Murphy is not interested in answering just yet. The show is already two episodes in, and, as viewers can attest, it's still as mysterious as ever. Even an extended trailer for Roanoke gives little away besides the fact that there is definitely going to be some devil worshipping, and that Kathy Bates is not to be messed with. But, apart from the question of what the season is about, the bigger question on the mind of many fans is the one that's been on everyone's minds since 2014, when creator Ryan Murphy told EW that each season of the anthology horror series is connected: what's the larger connection that this season has to all the rest? Well, luckily, it looks like we might be close to solving that: A new theory about how Roanoke links to all five seasons before it is floating around, and it's so convincing, it might be on the right path to solving the mystery behind the current season.
On Reddit, a user named Ah_Salmon_Skin_Roll wondered if the first five episodes of Roanoke are themed around the five previous seasons of the horror anthology. Per this theory, Episode 1 would have been a callback to AHS Season 1, Murder House, while Episode 2 would have been a callback to AHS Season 2, Asylum. "My theory is that each episode will have slight connections/themes relating to the corresponding season," the Redditor wrote. "I'm not saying they'll necessarily connect just similar themes."
After the first episode, it was easy to see the connection between Roanoke and Murder House, thanks to the Roanoke, North Carolina farmhouse that is the setting of this documentary-style retelling of real life couple Shelby and Matt Miller's nightmare. No one has been murdered there yet, but the home was involved in a storm of falling teeth, a near-drowning in a hot tub, and torch-carrying mob. Then, Episode 2 aired, and there were shades of Asylum in the story — especially the plot line with the nurses who cared for and then killed their elderly patients.
At the time, it seemed almost confusing — but, according to this Redditor's theory, that may be the point. If this theory is true, Episode 3 might have something to do with Season 3, Coven, which Episode 4 would with Freak Show. It's certainly not hard to believe that Roanoke could include some witchcraft — Ah_Salmon_Skin_Roll even wondered if Shelby is actually a witch.
Another Reddit theory by SweetBaconTater explores this possibility further, pointing to how Shelby says she lost her unborn baby, likely over the stress of being scared for her husband's after he was attacked. But this theory questions whether she actually lost the baby, or used a spell called Vitalum Vitalis to swap her baby's life for her husband. This is, of course, spell that was spoken about in Coven.
Now, the following two episodes would have to connect to Freak Show and Hotel. While the latter could be easy, since all they have to do is leave the house and stay at a hotel to technically show a connection between those seasons — and honestly, with this house, they should — the former could be a little harder. But, it's already been established by Murphy during a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly that the Dandy Mott from Freak Show is definitely connected to Season 6. For those who don't remember, Dandy was a puppet-loving mama's boy with homicidal tendencies, and Murphy told the magazine, “We explain how the Motts began, which is funny.” Funny, or another sign that this theory could actually be true? You decide.
That would lead us to the sixth episode, which, according to the theory, would give away this season's true theme. It certainly seems plausible, thanks to an Entertainment Weekly interview where Murphy said Episode 6 of Roanoke is going to include a huge twist. "You’ll see starting in Episode 6," Murphy explained, "the show has a huge turn and the thing that you think you’re watching is not what you’re watching." Being that most people already don't know what they're watching with this season, the twist may not be surprising, but eye-opening. It also may reveal that this theory already kind of spoiled the surprise.
Image: FX Networks