Has Dylan McDermott confirmed Salem witch trials as part of the upcoming third season of FX anthology series "American Horror Story"? McDermott starred in season one, Murder House, as the new owner of said haunted house and appeared in the latter episodes of season two, Asylum, as the son of the institution's most infamous serial killer Bloody Face (Zachary Quinto), who desired to carry on his father's legacy.
According to a story last week, at the PaleyFest event honoring show creator Ryan Murphy, McDermott agreed with E! Online's assessment that the show's addition of Kathy Bates to the cast is perfect, saying, "She really is. All the witches of Salem ... there's plenty of them!" Bates is best known for her Oscar-winning portrayal of psychopathic fan Annie in Rob Reiner's 1990 movie "Misery" (based on Stephen King's book), which has audiences cringing and hiding their eyes when she "hobbles" her favorite author Paul Sheldon (James Caan) in order to keep him from running away.
According to Murphy in a TVLine story last week, Annie's got nothing on Bates' character in the upcoming season of "AHS." Murphy said, "Oh, Kathy's never [played] someone this bad." He added, "When I pitched this to Kathy, her mouth was drop-jawed because what I was pitching actually happened ... It’s a true event … You’ll see. It’s some good stuff.”
Murphy included clues in Asylum's closing episodes in January as to season three's theme, and even prior to McDermott's reveal, witches were the most popular theory. These guesses started when Sister Jude/Judy Martin (Jessica Lange) played "I Put a Spell on You" on Briarcliff's jukebox in episode 10, The Name Game. Then, "Love Potion No. 9" played in episode 11, Spilt Milk. Others speculated that Lana's (Sarah Paulson) red shoes in "The Name Game" musical number echo back to the Wicked Witch's ruby slippers in "The Wizard of Oz" and that the immolation of Dr. Arden (James Cromwell) and Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) suggest the well-known practice of burning witches at the stake.
Although evidence seems to point to the Salem witch trials inclusion in the season, Murphy has said the the season will be set primarily during current times. The first two seasons' preponderance of flashbacks and flash-forwards definitely leave plenty of room for both eras. The current era story may well take place in New Orleans, a city known for voodoo and witchcraft, in order to switch things up a bit since Salem is in Massachusetts, the same state where Asylum took place. Others have said that a scan of the track "Congress" in the jukebox may indicate a political conspiracy plot set in Washington, with the big players involved in black magic, combining politics and witchcraft.
TV News announced in a story yesterday that Lange will join the line-up for the "AHS" panel on March 15, along with Murphy, Co-Creator Brad Falchuk, Executive Producers Dante Di Loreto and Tim Minear, and show stars Cromwell, Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy and Evan Peters. Fans hope the panel will officially announce the theme for the upcoming season. Click here to visit the Paley site.
The show has confirmed the return of Lange, Peters, Rabe, Conroy and Paulson, who appeared in the first two seasons, and Taissa Farmiga from season one. Thus far, other than Bates, no new actors have been picked up, but word is that Murphy has been in contact with other actors hand-picked by Lange, an unofficial producer for season three.
For great quotes from and artwork inspired by season two, Asylum, click here.