“American Horror Story” recently accomplished the very impressive task of replacing “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” as my favorite television show. (Sorry, Ari!)
There’s just so much for a horror fan to love. A different setting each season, beloved actors playing new roles (lookin’ at you, Sarah Paulson, you beautiful creature of light), themes and plot lines darker than the other side of the moon. And it’s done something that even the goriest of slasher flicks have failed to do these days: it scares me.
Probably the most intriguing thing about it so far is that director/creator Ryan Murphy has stated that all the seasons are connected and we’re just starting to find out how. What a cool concept, but something you have to remember is that Ryan Murphy likely never had this in mind until Season 4 when he decided to include Season 2’s Pepper in the cast. I’m willing to bet there’s going to be a ton of retconning with Murphy acting like this has always been the master plan, but it’s still fun to pick apart the seasons and try to find how they could possibly be connected.
Oliver Thredson and Dandy Mott Are Half-Brothers
This is my strongest theory and the most well-researched, probably because I’m a Thredson fangirl and would love to figure out a way to bring him back into the fold. (Come back, Zachary Quinto, you’re breaking my heart!) I also feel this might be something that Ryan Murphy actually hinted at in Season 4 in a very deliberate way.
- Gloria very candidly mentions that her family tends to produce “a psychopath once in a while”.
- Dandy says that Gloria’s father was ruined by the crash of ’29 and that she “would’ve done anything to get back into a home like this, even marrying your second cousin”. This indicates that at least for a time, Gloria lived a much less wealthy lifestyle and desperately wanted to have money again. Wouldn’t it make sense if she had a child during this period for her to give it up, like Thredson was? It would make her even more undesirable as a wife having a child out of wedlock, so she has the baby and abandons him.
- Dandy is in his late teens – early 20s (as far as I can tell) during Freak Show (1952). This would put him at being born somewhere around 1932. During Asylum (1964), Thredson is in his mid-30s. This would put him at being born around 1929 – coincidentally, the same time Gloria’s father lost his money.
- Gloria herself is also somewhat older for a mother – if at the time of Freak Show she’s around 60, that would’ve put her in her 30s around the time her father lost his money – and around the time Oliver would’ve been born. In Asylum, Oliver’s MO for maternal victims is always a woman in her 30s – not younger, as most mothers would’ve been in that time period.
- Ryan Murphy loves to drop the phrase “cosmic joke” in AHS. Oliver himself uses it to describe his childhood. Wouldn’t the ultimate “cosmic joke” be that after his mother gave him up, instilling him with the longing for maternal care and his serial killer tendencies, she poured all her motherly love into her second son Dandy – only to end up with yet another murderous psychopath?
- In the exorcism episode of Asylum, the possessed Jed whispers something in Oliver’s ear. We are later told he says “Look at what you’ve become… I’m glad I gave you up.” Of course a demon would use a person’s deepest fears against them, but another thing to consider is that in 1964, Gloria is long dead — and capable of speaking “from beyond the grave”, if you will.
Madison Montgomery Is A Descendant Of Dr. Charles Montgomery
Now, having the same last name as someone doesn’t necessarily mean they’re related. But when you’re writing a television show, chances are you’re not going to use the same name unless there’s a reason for it. It’s likely that Season 3’s sassy starlet is probably from the same bloodline as Season 1’s mad doctor.
And with that theory, that’s usually as far as people go. But let’s consider a few things. First of all, Madison is shipped to Miss Robichaux’s Academy from L.A. where she works as an actress. In Season 1, Murder House (where Nora and Charles Montgomery lived) is located in L.A. Coincidence?
But there’s something else. Hasn’t anyone ever wondered exactly HOW Charles brought his son Thaddeus (AKA The Infantata) back to life? I mean, the science and surgery he uses isn’t exactly sound, and Thaddeus had been dismembered — meaning he was dead for a while, and not just dead but SUPER dead. That sounds less like a miraculous feat of medicine and a lot more like necromancy to me.
In Season 3, Coven showed us that (while rare) there are warlocks as well as witches. Could it be that Charles had magical tendencies and he wasn’t even aware of them? This would make sense to connect them further, as Madison obviously inherited her powers from her family and it’s known to skip generations. Am I right, Ryan Murphy? TELL ME I’M RIGHT!
Detective Work Runs In The Colquitt Family
While we’re on the subject of names and relations, here’s another theory that seems pretty solid — simply because it’s so unique. Remember what I said about it being easy to avoid naming characters the same thing? Well, there’s gotta be a reason there’s a Jack Colquitt in Season 1 AND Season 4.
Season 1’s Detective Jack Colquitt is the cop who investigates Ben Harmon’s missing patient after he took a little nap during her session. Season 4’s Detective Jack Colquitt is the cop who investigates the Freak Show and ends up arresting Meep. (#justiceformeep) They’re played by different actors, as well as being separated by almost 60 years and 2600 miles.
Why? Why do this? Why have two detectives with the exact same name unless it means something? And if they really are connected, what’s the point? They’re two very minor characters. I’m baffled but I’m pretty sure there’s a definite connection here.
Vivien Harmon Is The Granddaughter Of Freak Show’s Suicidal Doctor
Season 1’s leading lady Vivien drops several points about her distant family while living in Murder House. First, they’ve just moved from Boston, where you can assume she probably has more relatives who live there as well. She also mentions a few times her sister Jo who lives in Florida. That set the stage for you? Good.
Let’s jump to Season 4. Obviously, it’s set in Florida (Jupiter, specifically). Ethel Darling is ill and visits a doctor, Dr. Bonham, who ends up killing himself after being threatened by her ex-husband Dell Toledo. Ethel is unaware of this and shows up with Desiree for her appointment only to find his distraught daughter packing up his office.
His daughter (who’s a real bitch, by the way) says she had to come down from Boston to take care of his estate. So we’ve established this particular family lives in both Boston and Florida — like Vivien’s family. On top of that, there are two very specific and deliberate shots of Dr. Bonham with his grandkids: two boys and a girl. My bet is that the girl is Vivien’s mother. This would’ve made her about five or six in 1952, putting her in her mid-60s in 2013 (when Murder House is set). A plausible age for Vivien’s mother, as Connie Britton (who plays Vivien) is 48.
Again, I’m not sure why or how this matters, but it’s still an interesting thing to consider. It’s those lingering shots on the photograph that are sticking with me, as Season 4 was when Ryan Murphy officially announced the seasons are connected — the perfect time to start leaving clues for us hungry little fans.
Massachusetts May Be The Key To All Connections
Massachusetts is mentioned in every season. You hear that? Every. Single. Season.
- As mentioned before, in Season 1 the Harmons are moving to Los Angeles from Boston, Massachusetts.
- Season 2 is set entirely in Massachusetts, where Briarcliff is built.
- When giving us the backstories for the original American witches, it’s mentioned the smart ones were able to escape the famous Salem Witch Trials by fleeing to New Orleans — from Salem, Massachusetts.
- In Season 4, Pepper is taken to her only living relative: a sister who lives in Sudbury, Massachusetts.
And what, exactly, does this mean? I have no clue. But it’s another detail that is being very deliberately inserted into all the seasons, so I’m betting it may hold the answer to all our many questions regarding “American Horror Story” and how the different stories are connected.