With the recent premiere of American Horror Story: Cult, the seventh season of the anthology series, we are settling in for another wild ride. Cult focuses on what happens to group of people after Trump is elected president – and after just one episode, it’s not looking good for some.
That’s par for the course at this point, though. American Horror Story has been a popular staple for horror fans, with each iteration centering on something or somewhere truly horrific. There have been many superb, bone-chilling moments – and a whole bunch of WTF moments. It has also given way for some stellar acting from the likes of Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, and Evan Peters.
The series also has had its share of misses, with seasons like Freak Show and Hotel proving to be problematic with many fans. One of the series’ main faults is its constant need to pack so much into each season. This leads to wasted character developments, or characters who are completely extraneous. There’s also the myriad of missed opportunities, scenarios we needed further explanation on and never got — and of course, those times it just flat out made no sense whatsoever.
Needless to say, there’s a fair amount of confusion in each season of American Horror Story. We decided to take a look back at the past seasons and highlight some things that still leave us perplexed. Here are 15 Things About American Horror Story That Make No Sense.
15. WTF IS WITH THOSE TEETH?
AHS: Roanoke begins with the premise that we are watching a TLC “re-enactment”-type TV show about a really creepy house in Roanoke Island, North Carolina. We see the new owners, Shelby and Matt, talk about their experiences (which are then reenacted by actors) of being haunted and hunted by ghosts who are somehow connected to the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Let’s just say, lots of weird things start happening right away, including Shelby walking out of the house to see that it’s raining teeth. Molars, to be exact – and she doesn’t seem that freaked out about it.
There is some sort of flimsy explanation from the Polk family, hillbillies living nearby, that the teeth are from past victims and that if you wear them, it’ll protect you against the murderous ghosts. But why did they just suddenly fall from the sky? And only that one time? It’s never really explained, and therefore is totally unnecessary.
14. THE COVEN/VOODOO NON-WAR
AHS: Coven promises a big battle between the Salem Coven and the Voodoo Tribe that just never really pays off. The witches and voodoo priestesses have long been at odds, but they’ve formed a truce of sorts over the years. The coven’s Supreme, Fiona, however, breaks that trust with head priestess Marie Laveau, and suddenly, it’s announced that all bets are off. What happens then? Marie brings the dead to life to attack the Academy, but the witches are able to destroy the zombies. That’s about it.
Fiona and Marie are instead forced to work together to defeat witch hunters (who also hunt voodoo practitioners), so why even mention a war in the first place? It’s only disappointing when the whole idea of it is built up, only to see it unceremoniously dropped. Womp womp.
13. THE VAMPIRE KIDS
AHS: Hotel was definitely one of the more disjointed seasons, and fans didn’t really dig it on the whole. There were lots of plot holes and plenty of things that made you scratch your head. Take the vampire children scenario, for example. First, there are the tow-headed munchkins that the Countess abducts and turns into mini bloodsuckers, including the son of Det. John Lowe and pediatrician wife Alex. Why? Not sure, but there it is.
Then there’s the kid in the hospital that Alex saves by giving him vampire blood (hers, because the Countess turned her, too), and then that kid ends up turning most of his elementary school classmates into vampires as well. They go on a feeding spree, killing teachers and their parents before they end up being lured to the Hotel Cortez, where they are locked up in a secret hallway. Done.
12. HOW COULD TATE LEAVE THE MURDER HOUSE?
The first season of AHS, later titled Murder House, is the most cohesive. For the most part, it keeps things pretty simple. There’s a house, and it has a pretty violent past, starting with a doctor and his wife, who performed abortions there in the 1920s. Since then, whoever dies/is killed in the house – and there have been quite a few – ends up being stuck there forever.
As the season starts, a new family moves in with baggage of their own, and the ghosts emerge to wreak havoc on their lives, including Tate, a young man who begins to woo the family’s teenage daughter, Violet. Here’s the thing that has us confused, though: it’s pretty much stated that none of the house’s “residents” can leave the house, but at one point, Tate takes Violet on a date to the beach. It’s a small detail, we get it, but it still bothers us because it goes against the logic of the story. Other than that, Murder House still stands as our favorite season.
11. PIG BOYS
In episode three of Roanoke, Lee, Shelby and Matt are looking for Lee’s missing daughter, Flora, and they find an abandoned farmhouse. In the barn, are these two mud-covered, feral boys, sucking on the teats of a giant sow. Why? No one knows. As responsible adults, they take the kids to the authorities, who clean them up and try to get some answers. Unfortunately, all the boys can only say is “Croatoan!” which is naturally a clue to the season’s theme based on the legend of the lost colonists at Roanoke.
That’s their only reason for showing up, though. Presumably, the kids are part of the cannibalistic Polk family, who are peeved they were taken away (we guess to Child Protection Services), but we never see them again. Nor do we get a reason why that’s the only word they know. It’s such wasted potential.
10. CORDELIA BECOMING SUPREME
The reason this makes no sense is because it comes so out of nowhere. One of the main through lines in Coven is the fact Fiona is fading as Supreme, and even though she does everything she can to preserve her powers, like eliminating those who may usurp her, she can’t stop the inevitable. A new Supreme is on her way.
The show builds up some of the young witches at the Academy to take over, like Zoe and Madison, even Queenie – but no one thinks about Cordelia, Fiona’s daughter and headmistress of the Academy, because up to this point, she had never shown any powers. She’s blinded at one point and gains Second Sight, but nothing else. Suddenly, in the season’s finale, she passes the “seven wonders” test and boom! she’s Supreme. It just seems too convenient, and it comes off as lazy writing.
9. THE WITCHY WOMAN
Who is this mysterious woman who lurks around the Butcher and her mob in Roanoke? We come to find out that its someone called Scáthach, who is an ancient witch, possibly the original Supreme (tie-in to Coven), who rules the woods around Roanoke and is the one to whom colonist Tomasin White sells her soul to become the bloodthirsty Butcher ghost.
Then she sort of hangs around in the background, looking dirty and bloody, with wild, untamed hair and an animal skull attached to her forehead. She seduces Matt (we really can’t figure this out), putting a strain on his marriage to Shelby, who eventually bludgeons him to death because she can’t handle it. Oh yeah, and the witch also infects Lee out of the blue, to make her go all stabby-stabby on everyone. Maybe the reasoning behind why Scáthach does what she does is little more than a revenge thing, but honestly, she just seems superfluous.
8. WHY TWISTY?
Okay, we admit that Twisty creeps us out almost as much as Pennywise in It. When he is introduced at the beginning of Freak Show, we are already hiding our eyes – a serial killer dressed in a dirty clown outfit, smudged, grimy clown makeup, and a makeshift prosthetic mask nearly as terrifying as the disfigured face beneath. They create this wonderfully and seriously demented villain with lots of possibilities, which are then just squandered away.
Twisty ends up being taken away by the mythical Edward Mordrake, a superstition among carnival folk. The legend says that if they perform on Halloween, Mordrake, who was once part of a freak show, will appear and take someone from the troupe. So, Mordrake picks Twisty, who isn’t even part of the freak show, as his next addition to his ghostly gang. And just like that, Twisty is gone, leaving us with the psychopathic Dandy Mott, who isn’t nearly as engaging. It’s just unfortunate. At least Twisty is getting a resurrection of sorts in Cult.
7. THE NAZI DOCTOR’S CREATIONS
The premise of Season 2 Asylum is a really great one, one of the series’ best. You’ve got a mental institution in the 1960s, run by a sadistic nun. There’s a patient falsely accused of being a serial killer, and an investigative reporter trying to infiltrate the insane asylum and tell the world what is really going on, but is incarcerated instead. Then there’s the Nazi doctor Dr. Arthur Arden on staff, who tortures patients in the name of science.
While Arden himself seems a tad excessive with everything else going on, his plot line ends up becoming an Island of Dr. Moreau scenario. His “experiments” — severely mutilated zombie-like creatures — live off in the woods around the asylum and are fed slabs of meat and, sometimes, human body parts. Once again, they are introduced, with hints of possible developments, only to see the subplot become obsolete and just written off.
6. THE MINOTAUR
Like the PIggy Man of Roanoke, Coven‘s Minotaur has no main purpose except as just something weird and graphic that’s thrown in. The backstory revolves around a slave named Bastien, who, in 1834, was tortured and killed by his owner, Madame Delphine LaLaurie, who chains him and makes him wear a bull’s head. His lover, Marie Laveau, seeks revenge by killing Delphine’s family, cursing her with immortality and burying her alive.
The immortal voodoo queen also bestows immortality on Bastien, who morphs into a real Minotaur through the years (magic, y’all). Marie mostly keeps him chained up, but releases him to kill Delphine after Fiona digs her up, while Queenie masturbates in front of him in hopes to hook up; yeah, that happened. He ends up getting his head chopped off by Fiona, breaking her truce with Marie and thus starting the non-war. Then, Minotaur man just disappears. All that for some anti-climactic ending? It was truly one of AHS’ most irritating patterns.
5. THE COUNTESS’ BABY
If you haven’t noticed, AHS on the whole has a thing for babies, dead or alive. Almost every season has some plotline involving having a baby, losing a baby, giving a baby to the devil, ghost babies – and in Hotel‘s case, a deformed bloodsucking baby (there’s an Infantata monster baby in Murder House, too).
In a tie-in to Murder House, before she was the Countess, vampire Elizabeth went to the doctor to get an abortion, but the baby survives and ends up attacking the nurse. The doc hands Elizabeth the baby, who she calls Bartholomew, and she takes it home. It’s all just too weird for words, and really, there is no point to Barty’s existence — except to maybe show how the Countess is obsessed with being a mother.
4. KYLE’S PURPOSE
We also have trouble understanding the Kyle character in Coven. Up to this point in the AHS canon, actor Evan Peters had played substantial and important roles. He goes on to play more, but in Coven, Peters as Kyle is entirely irrelevant, the one and only time in the whole anthology series he doesn’t fit in.
We get that Kyle is a frat boy who is accidentally killed by Madison and pieced together and brought back to life by Madison and Zoe. We also see how he’s a wedge between Zoe and Madison, who both have the hots for him. If you take Kyle away, however, would it change the dynamics of the story at all? Not really. Even his side story about having an incestuous mother doesn’t make any sense. Thankfully, they haven’t wasted Peters’ talent since. Apparently, his role in the latest season Cult is his best to date.
3. THAT SECOND REALITY SHOW
While the original conceit is initially intriguing, Roanoke jumps the shark a little when it delves into the second reality TV show, in which smarmy producer Sidney James brings both the real people and the actors together again for the actual blood moon event. There’s a disclaimer that the show never aired because basically everyone dies (except one), so first of all, how is it that we’re seeing it?
That’s just one thing that’s bothersome, as the second half of Roanoke spirals into overkill territory, literally and figuratively. The cannibalistic Polks, a weird Grudge-like Asian family, murderous nurses, a guy with a pig’s head, and of course, the real Butcher – everyone shows up to start chopping away at our characters. By the time we get to the three lookie-loos who are obsessed with the first TV special, My Roanoke Nightmare, and want to see the “horror” firsthand, we’ve had enough. It’s too gratuitous.
2. THE FREAK SHOW ITSELF
Here’s the thing: the freaks in Freak Show aren’t really scary. Up to this point, the theme of each season revolves around a place that promotes horrific characters and situations, but the freak show itself is filled with warmhearted folk, who are more family than anything else. Sure, some have their nefarious flaws, especially showrunner Elsa Mars, but they all still have each others’ backs.
There are hints that the carnies engage in orgies, but we never see that. It’s only the outside influences – like Dandy and Twisty – who present the real conflict, the real “freaks,” as it were, but they still take a backseat to the central location. Not that there’s anything exactly wrong with that, but most AHS fans write off Season 4 as being fairly pointless and uneventful. We have to agree.
1. WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE ALIENS?
Like we’ve mentioned, Asylum is considered one of the better seasons, with some of the best writing out of them all – but there remains one element to the season that just makes absolute no sense and is, quite frankly, annoying as hell: the aliens. Head, meet scratch.
Introductions to their existence occur right off the bat, as the aliens (or basically a very bright light) abduct Kit Walker’s black wife. He’s accused of killing her, and others, as the serial killer Bloody Face, and taken to Briarcliff Manor for the criminally insane, where he protests his innocence and says aliens did it. They show up again later – even Dr. Arden has an encounter – but seriously, it’s just one of the most ridiculous and useless subplots in all of AHS. The aliens and why they are there is never fully explained, and it takes away from some of the otherwise great work being done in the season.
We know there are plenty of other things about AHS anthology through the seasons that have made no sense, so please, let us know about some others in the comments below!
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