There's a breeze in the air, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks, and American Horror Story fans are busy coming up with incredibly detailed predictions about what to expect of the slasher-themed ninth season, 1984. Ah, the joys of fall!
As always during this time of year, one of the biggest things on AHS fans' minds is how the new season will be connected to the previous ones. And while Apocalypse delivered the most connections ever, with the entire season being massive crossover between Murder House and Coven, there's still one connection that fans have been dying to see for years: the return of the aliens.
In American Horror Story's second season, Asylum, there was an ongoing war between the Devil and aliens, who were a metaphor for God and helped the good inmates at Briarcliff defeat the possessed Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe). As part of the aliens' plan, they abducted Kit Walker (Evan Peters), his wife Grace (Britne Oldford), and his girlfriend Alma (Lizzie Brocheré). Both Grace and Alma subsequently became pregnant and gave birth to Julia and Thomas, respectively, two children who had angel-like qualities, as seen in their ability to heal Sister Jude's (Jessica Lange) deteriorated mind.
Fans suspected that Apocalypse would feature the anticipated return of aliens to the AHS universe, as well as introduce adult versions of Julia and Thomas, but they were sorely disappointed when the season never veered in that direction. However, there were references to extraterrestrials in Apocalypse, including the repeated use of The Carpenter's "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" in the season premiere. The song is about aliens who have been observing Earth and the humans who are begging them for help in the face of their world's potential destruction. While it was speculated last season that this was hinting toward aliens intervening in Michael Langdon's (Cody Fern) planned apocalypse, the song takes on a whole new meaning now that we're learning more about 1984.
We know that 1984 is going to be a slasher season, with a group of friends going to a summer camp where they're terrorized by an escaped serial killer Mr. Jingles (and also maybe Richard Ramirez, if the rumors are correct). But many fans are speculating that the title of the season has a dual meaning, believing that 1984 is not only referencing a pivotal year in the slasher genre (one that saw the release of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, among others) but also a reference to George Orwell's celebrated book of the same name.
The novel is famous for its depiction of dystopian surveillance state in which the totalitarian government, led by the all-knowing Big Brother, persecutes anyone who exhibits independent thought. While the themes of government overreach are unlikely to appear in 1984 by our measures, we do think that surveillance will be key in the new season. Ryan Murphy would never just give us a season that is a straightforward slasher; there's going to be some pivotal twist that shifts the story in a new direction (think: the mass poisoning in Apocalypse or the fourth wall breaking in Roanoke). Seeing as Murphy loves to drop hints for future seasons in American Horror Story, there is a high chance that "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" was actually referencing 1984, hinting that perhaps aliens will be the ones surveying the goings on at Camp Redwood this season. And if Murphy wants to go full Cabin in the Woods, maybe everything that happens this season is actually a result of alien experimentation on humans. (Could they have been the ones who let Mr. Jingles out of the sanitarium?)
Of course, the aliens in Asylum were forces for good, so it would go against their established nature to do anything too untoward; then again, alien standards for do-gooding is very different than humans', seeing as their version of helping in Asylum involved kidnapping, embedding robot spiders into people, and impregnating women without their consent. But hey, we guess cultural standards are relative?
Another theory is that the aliens aren't going to be the Big Brother of AHS: 1984 but will be brought in through their connection to Julia and Thomas. If 1984 takes place in the year its titled after, which we're assuming it does, the siblings would be approaching their 20th birthday, making them a prime age to be camp counselors. Perhaps if Julia and Thomas faced enough danger at Camp Redwood, the aliens would intervene to save their angelic sires so that they could continue to fulfill whatever plot the extraterrestrials have planned for them. And by making Kit's children main players this season, it would also create an easy way to work in a human connection to the aliens without Kit, since Peters won't be appearing this season.
Does this all sound like clear fan-service? Yes, obviously. But when has that ever stopped Ryan Murphy before? He just gave Tate (Peters) and Violet (Taissa Farmiga) a happy ending last season, despite Tate being a mass killer and this entire thing being incredibly problematic! The fact that fans have been calling for aliens to return for years only increases the chances that it will one day happen. So maybe this year will finally be the one that sees aliens return to American Horror Story.
American Horror Story: 1984 premieres Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 10/9c on FX.