This 'AHS: Roanoke' Theory May Predict The Rest Of The Season

What's going on in the mysterious sixth season of FX's horror anthology? American Horror Story: Roanoke has befuddled its viewers since its premiere last month with its top-secret theme, its confounding faux-documentary format, and its promise of a huge twist coming somewhere down the line. Fans have been competing to come up with the best (or at least craziest) theories to explain everything that's happening in this off-beat season… and one of the most interesting AHS: Roanoke theories explains Season 6 by connecting it to every single installment of the anthology that has preceded it.

As The Wrap points out, "An element of each American Horror Story: Roanoke episode so far has tied to a previous season." Not only that, but these elements have occurred in a very deliberate and logical order. They're also subtle enough that you may not notice them on first glance; but once you're aware of them, they seem glaringly obvious.

The connection was first made when "Chapter 1" of Roanoke seemed to share a lot in common with the first episode of Murder House. A couple moves across the country after the wife suffers a miscarriage and moves into an ornate old house already populated by ghosts. That description could easily apply to either the first or sixth seasons of AHS.

Things got interesting in "Chapter 2," which showed Shelby and Matt — and the audience — the backstory of Miranda and Bridget Jane, two nurses who operated a convalescent home for the elderly out of the house in Roanoke, and murdered their patients before they themselves vanished. Of course, a convalescent home isn't exactly the same thing as a mental institution, but the connection to Asylum — a hospital setting where the caregivers enact horrors upon the patients — is unmistakable.

If two is a coincidence, then three is a pattern… and "Chapter 3" threw yet another familiar element into the mix: witches. Not only did we meet Lady Gaga's creepy woods witch in the flashback about Thomasin's exile, but we were also introduced to Cricket, the diminutive medium (who hails from New Orleans, no less!) that helped Shelby, Matt, and Lee contact the spirits haunting their home.

So, to recap: "Chapter 1" connects to Murder House, "Chapter 2" connects to Asylum, and "Chapter 3" connects to Coven. If this pattern continues, viewers should expect this Wednesday's "Chapter 4" to connect to Freak Show (and we already know that Roanoke is going to explore the origins of the Mott family), and then next week's "Chapter 5" should feature a hotel in some manner. Then the obvious question becomes… What happens in "Chapter 6"?

Funny you should ask — since that happens to be the exact episode in which Ryan Murphy told Entertainment Weekly Season 6 takes a "huge turn" and viewers will realize that "the thing that you think you're watching is not what you're watching." Murphy's AHS co-creator Brad Falchuk echoed that sentiment, saying that, "Nobody gets what we're doing. No matter what you think it is, it's not that. Then, Episode 6 comes and you're like, 'Wait! What happened?'"

If each of Roanoke's first five episodes serves as a throwback to a season of AHS past, then perhaps "Chapter 6" — with its huge, game-changing twist, whatever it may be — is when Season 6 of American Horror Story will truly come into its own. Just what exactly that will look like is still a huge mystery. But while the first half of the season has been crafted to feel overly familiar to viewers, it certainly sounds like the second half of Roanoke will be unlike anything we've seen on the show to date.

Images: FX (3); Giphy