Love it or hate it, American Horror Story is back again and capturing the attention of the media in the months leading up to its yearly Fall premiere. For me personally, I’ve found the series as a whole to be hit or miss, with the majority of the seasons taking an unfavorable direction. Not that the theme of each season has necessarily been bad, but it tends to fall on Ryan Murphy’s execution. I actually had an entire piece written out ranking each season, why and how it could have been better executed but after about 10 pages I decided, “holy shit this is way too much”. Maybe that’ll be in a smaller series some day, but for now I’d like to focus on the latest news. Season 8 has been officially announced and according to Murphy, this year will be the long awaited “crossover season” that will revisit Murder House and Coven.
What do we know? Well, really we don’t know anything more than what Murphy announced; which was really only proclaiming that witches will rule this October and that the setting will be in the near future of October 2019. From a personal note, I can say that I much preferred Murder House over Coven (and really every other season for that matter) so I’m hoping that it’s the central focus despite the fact that Murphy’s tweet seemed to focus more on the witch part. I found the story of Coven to be lacking in horror despite it being American Horror Story. It was the beginning of the series declining into much more of a drama than horror and that was a big turn off for me. It also had a very unnecessary musical number thrown in the mix as well that really ruined the tone of what should have been a much more climatic finale.
What can we speculate? Based on what we know about the already existing seasons, we can make a few speculations. Obviously, this is complete conjecture and it’s entirely possible that the “crossover” element may not really have much to do with either location. These theories are operating under the assumption that this season will essentially be a merger of Murder House and Coven. Forewarning if you’ve not watched any previous seasons, there are likely to be spoilers in these theories.
My first theory is that the setting will be in Los Angeles at the Murder House, because obviously… houses are a lot more difficult to move. Which means we’re likely to see a traveling Coven. Why though? Rival covens displacing them from the New Orleans location? Was the revelation of witches to the world at the end of Season 3 too much for the world; and now the coven is forced to find a location more incognito? Or perhaps the coven is drawn to the supernatural properties of the Murder House and find motivation to claim it as their own? It was mentioned by Billy Dean Howard in Season 1 that the house is like a battery, using the spirits there to “charge”. If this upcoming season finds the Coven traveling to Murder House, I think it’s very likely they’ll be looking to tap into its’ energies. I’ll be interested to see how that scenario plays out.
An alternative theory that I have is that we’ll be seeing a grand return of Jessica Lange for “one last season” since it’s been eight years since Constance has been mothering the Antichrist. She’s really the only mobile element of Murder House that could potentially cross over to New Orleans to meet with the Coven. What about motive? Perhaps Michael’s new powers are becoming too much to handle and she’s seeking out the help of the Coven after their revelation to the world? What better place for the Antichrist to harness his powers than among the company of a world-known Coven in a city known for its connection with the supernatural.
Taking this route would also develop the plot in a direction that has to do with both seasons, yet not putting the entire focus on either of them entirely. In addition to that, we have not seen a season with the theme of the Apocalypse/Hell/Demon children. Plus, the most interesting part of the Apocalypse is the beginning so I think it would be a great way to revitalize the show while also tying in elements from previous seasons. In a way, they could really tie in three seasons if they wanted by including some religious undertones as a throwback to Asylum.
What’s the verdict? For me personally, I’m excited in the direction that this season could take. This is the first season that I’ve really been looking forward to in a long time. While at face value it might seem like a rehash of seasons past, I think there is a lot of great potential to do some really interesting things. We also might be seeing some familiar faces, which would be nice to not have to become acquainted with an entire new ensemble of characters as we ordinarily do every new season. What’s your opinion on what this upcoming season looks like? Are you looking forward to the big crossover or would you prefer Murphy stick with the one-off season model? Share any thoughts or theories you have below!