- American Horror Story -Imagining How 'American Horror Story: Double Feature' Will Have Fun In The Sea & Sand
It feels like we haven't had a new American Horror Story season since 1984 (oh wait...), but Ryan Murphy is making up for the delay with double the trouble and double the fun. On March 19, Murphy announced that American Horror Story Season 10 is Double Feature, and according to the video Murphy shared on social media, AHS 10 will have one story set "by the sea" and another "by the sand."
Although a cast full of the usual suspects had already been announced (including the triumphant returns of Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters!), double stories may also mean double the cast. As the Twitter account The AHS Zone documented, Murphy wrote in an Instagram reply that the cast for the second feature will be revealed later. And he's already got started on delivering on that promise by announcing that model Kaia Gerber is joining the AHS "family."
Between now and when AHS: Double Feature premieres later in 2021, there's bound to be more teases and the constant wondering of if Jessica Lange will pop up to sing "The Name Game" again. But by combining the plot details and announced cast so far with fan theories, updates courtesy of The AHS Zone, and a little bit of imaginative courtesy of moi, here's a fever-dream version of how Double Feature will go down.
By The Sea
In Provincetown, Mass., the beaches may seem peaceful, but nowhere is safe. Monsters roam the streets and razor-teethed sirens swim in the seas. The street monsters' favorite song to lurk to is none other than Bob Seger's "Night Moves." The sirens prefer a rendition of Sondheim's "By the Sea" for their song. From the set of The Politician Season 3, Ben Platt hears the sirens' musical theater call and is lured to make a brief cameo as their merman vocal coach. The year is 1980.
One hybrid creature is both street monster and siren (AHS newcomer Spencer Novich) named Smeagol. No relation to Gollum, his biological father is the 13-inch-dicked Stanley (Denis O'Hare), who was raped after he was mutilated and put in a cage at the end of Freak Show. Smeagol was raised by his adoptive dad (Finn Wittrock) on the land. But Smeagol's "normal" dad is not what he appears since he's actually Dandy Mott, whom the sirens brought back to life after he drowned at the end of Freak Show. Not knowing the truth about his origins or his adoptive father and torn between two worlds, Smeagol returns to the sea every so often where Platt's merman vocal coach teaches him the vocal parts of Riff Raff from Rocky Horror Picture Show. The Glee cast is not invited for the performance... not even Matthew Morrison or Lea Michele.
One day, Smeagol sees a couple dressed in fur (Leslie Grossman, Macaulay Culkin) walking on the beach. Sensing they mean to do something "wicked" to the creature ecosystem of Provincetown, he delivers Grossman to the teal-haired, greatly-named leader of the sirens (Sarah Paulson). She has (ahem) a coven of sirens played by Billie Lourd, Adina Porter, Lily Rabe, and Angelica Ross. (In the words of Rabe, she's playing a character that's "nothing like anyone I've played on the show before," so a siren tracks.) Paulson's siren leader is revealed to have given child Billie Dean Howard of Murder House her clairvoyant ability.
Provincetown isn't that far of a drive from Asylum's Briarcliff Manor, where tales of alien abductions are told. Culkin goes to visit a terminally ill Kit Walker (Evan Peters) in search of Grossman. But it turns out, Culkin's character already has some experience with aliens...
By The Sand
It's the early '70s and Culkin is at a drive-in movie theater in Carson City, Nev., catching a double feature with Frances Conroy. But they're too busy engaged in "crazy, erotic sex" (after all, it is rumored that Conroy has replaced Kathy Bates) to pay much attention to the movies. They've come up for air by the second film, The Only Game in Town, and inspired by the setting of the Elizabeth Taylor and Warren Beatty flick, they decide to drive to Las Vegas. As they near the Strip, they see a green light shooting down from the sky. They go to investigate and arrive at Area 51.
There, pre-1984 fledging psychologist Donna Chambers (Ross again) is posing as an extraterrestrial researcher to gain information about the psyches of a group of aliens (again, Lourd, Porter, and Rabe) being held at Area 51. Rather than Paulson, they are led by Jamie Brewer and AHS newbie (and Cyndi Crawford's daughter) Kaia Gerber. Crawford, holding a Pepsi, appears briefly in an alien backstory.
Conroy's character is revealed to be Coven's Myrtle Snow in her younger days. Her witchy powers combined with the aliens' allow them to communicate with the dead from the past, present, or future. They connect with Roanoke's The Butcher, played in a reenactment by Agnes Mary Winstead (rumors be damned, Kathy Bates is still in this season!). And Lady Gaga's Countess and Angela Bassett's Ramona of Hotel (since Murphy has posted about teeth twice, they must be the recurring theme in both features). And Billy Eichner's Harrison Wilton of Cult. And even with the Antichrist Michael Langdon of Apocalypse. In hell, Jessica Lange's Fiona Goode's call to the aliens go unanswered since Danny Huston's Axeman is playing the sax too loud. (For what it's worth, unlike Gaga, Bassett, Eichner, Lange, and Huston, there's actually a chance for Cody Fern to return since Ross tweeted on March 22 that she was about to hang out with him.)
Yet, it's not until the aliens reach the ghosts of Murder House where they begin to understand the human condition. After encountering Vivien Harmon's ghost baby Jeffrey (the twin brother of Michael), they feel empathy and decide to give the baby a second chance at life. With the help of Myrtle, they put Jeffrey's soul into the body of Culkin's character.
Back To The Beach
Back to 1980 Massachusetts, when the aliens come for Kit, Jeffrey-Culkin connects with Lourd, Porter, and Rabe again (alien versions, not siren versions, obviously) and he asks them to help him find Grossman... but they warn him that she's not what she appears to be. In Paulson's siren lair, Grossman reveals herself to be 1984's murderous Margaret Booth.
After Margaret massacres the sirens, Smeagol brings Margaret to his adoptive father Dandy at the Winthrop Street Cemetery. The monster-siren pleads for his preciousss rehabilitated father to take Margaret's life as penance for all of the others lives he took back in Florida in the 1950s. When Dandy is unable to kill again, Jeffrey Harmon in Culkin's body appears and murders his ex-lover, sending his soul back to Murder House and erasing the events of 1984.
Sure, there may be some tidbits that don't entirely gel with the intel that's out there. (For instance, that Grossman appears to be in modern rather than 1970s clothing on the Provincetown set. And how much money could they possibly devote to a siren budget? This isn't Aquaman.) But even if things don't go down exactly as I've foretold (I don't see why they wouldn't, Murphy should be proud of my narrative leaps), Season 10 is guaranteed to bring horrors by land and by sea. So sirens, merpeople, or even sharks in one story. And for the other, maybe that sand isn't coastal and rather desert, which could finally give fans some anticipated alien closure from the Asylum days. And if those aren't the major themes of Season 10? Well, it's kind of hard to complain when the fandom is getting two AHS seasons for the price of one.
Images: Ryan Murphy/Instagram, FX