TV & Movies

3 Theories About How AHS: Red Tide Connects To Death Valley

Plus, how Season 10 could fit into the broader AHS universe.

by Kadin Burnett
A still of an alien from 'AHS: Death Valley'

American Horror Story: Double Feature packs two seasons worth of scares into one. The first half of the season, titled Red Tide, takes place “by sea” in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where the Gardner family has moved so Harry (Finn Wittrock) can work on his screenplay. Once there, they discover the town is ridden with pale vampiric creatures. As Harry learns, this is because black pills known as muse have been circulating around the community. If the taker has true talent, the pills unlock their full potential, but if they’re a hack, they turn into one of the creatures. Either way, the user becomes bloodthirsty and must kill to survive.

Less is known about Death Valley, aside from that it’s set by “the sand” and appears to take place in the past, as is hinted by the black-and-white imagery used in the trailer. But that hasn’t stopped fans from theorizing about how the two halves will connect to each other — and the AHS universe as a whole.

The Chemist Is An Alien

There are several actors from Red Tide featured in Death Valley, but they’re credited as different characters on IMDb. The only exception is the Chemist, aka the creator of muse, who’s played by Angelica Ross. This hints she’ll be the link between the two seasons. Because Death Valley appears to take place in the ‘50s and includes characters like Marilyn Monroe and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Chemist would have to be at least 70 years old in the present day, but she definitely doesn’t appear to be. This has led some fans to believe she’s actually an alien in disguise, aligning with the alien imagery featured in the trailer and promotional images.

The Pills Were Created With Alien DNA

In the Season 10 trailer, a woman’s voice says, “We need to create something new — part human, part us,” followed by a shot of the pale creatures from Red Tide. One fan theorized that this means the black pills were created with alien DNA — perhaps as part of government experiment to advance human capabilities. But something went wrong and caused the vampiric symptoms now playing out in present-day Provincetown.

Frank Ockenfels/FX

Death Valley Is A Movie Written By Harry

While many fans think Death Valley is a prequel to Red Tide explaining how the pills came to exist, others have floated the idea that it’s actually the script that Harry writes while high on muse in Red Tide. That could be another explanation as to why the Chemist is in both timelines; Harry simply uses her as a character.

Death Valley & Red Tide Connect To Asylum

It’s well established that AHS operates within an interconnected universe, and Double Feature seems to tie most directly to Season 2’s Asylum. In it, both Kit Walker (Evan Peters) and Pepper (Naomi Grossman) were abducted by aliens, and afterward, Pepper’s intelligence became enhanced — similar to the affects of muse.

One Redditor theorizes Red Tide could also connect to Season 5’s Hotel. Though the vampires in that season were explained as being the result of an ancient blood virus, the virus could be of alien origin.

Of course, there remains a possibility that Death Valley and Red Tide won’t be connected at all and instead function as two separate stories. But knowing creator Ryan Murphy, that won’t be the case.