Anyone who's been paying attention to "American Horror Story" knows that this FX show employs a unique anthology approach. Each new season retains some cast members but brings new characters, setting and plot. Season one, which aired from October to December of 2011, subsequently titled Murder House, centered on the Harmon family moving into a haunted house in present day California. According to an article on Perez Hilton on Wednesday, Sarah Paulson's character in the first season, the psychic Billie Dean, gave a hint to the second season's theme when she spoke about "how certain places, such as ASYLUMS and prisons, can harbor evil energy!" Fitting, isn't it, that the psychic made the "prediction"?
The second season, entitled Asylum, which began airing in October of 2012 and will wrap at month's end, is set primarily in a Catholic-run hospital for the criminally insane in Boston in 1964. According to a Screen Crush article published yesterday, show creator Ryan Murphy inserted a clue to the season three theme (set to begin airing in October of 2013) in Wednesday's episode 2.10, entitled The Name Game.
Since then, Facebook fan pages and various articles have speculated about this clue. When Sister Mary Eunice brought in the jukebox, the first song played was "I Put a Spell on You." Might season three be filled with witches, either old-style Salem, witch burning era, like "The Crucible," new-style teenaged coven with good and bad witches, like "The Craft," or evil, murderous witches, like "Suspiria" or "The Blair Witch Project"? New Orleans, known for voodoo and witchcraft, would be another possible setting. A witch theme could be insidiously delectable, and wouldn't Jessica Lange look great mixing a potion with eye of newt and wolfsbane?
The problem with the witch theory. In an Entertainment Weekly article published Tuesday, Murphy said one would "have to be quick and watch," and one does not need to be quick or watch to glean a clue from a song. May even be that the song was tossed in to create just such a false conclusion.
So, if not witches, what? Pepper said, "It's hard for us freaks. We get blamed for everything." Could Pepper's little speech indicate a circus freak show theme, delving back in American history to the early part of the 20th Century, a time when Tod Browning made his cult classic "Freaks"? Quite certain the AHS makeup people would just LOVE that theme!
Since Murphy said the clue would be quick, might the scanning of the jukebox title "The Congress" yield a season of governmental intrigue and debauchery? Hopefully not. Sounds bland compared with the first two seasons.
Sister Mary Eunice also speechified about bringing things into the "21st Century," so maybe a futuristic theme? But they've already got aliens in season two, so where else could they go with that?
Murphy talked about the ending of this season and the direction of the next in an Entertainment Weekly article published yesterday. First, he said that viewers were left with unanswered questions when season one ended - what happened to the ghosts and the demon baby? He said that by the end of season two, open ends will tie up neatly and no questions will be left unanswered.
As outlandish as "American Horror Story" gets, season two did focus on social issues, with strong women like Sister Jude unable to achieve top positions because of their sex, or, in Lana's case, discrimination based on sexual orientation. The show's social critique doesn't stop there, however, as Murphy says he "really wanted to explore the idea of the gravity and social implications of the mental health system" and that Lange liked the idea, "so we really explore the decline of that system through her. But also the triumphs of people." He said that there will be a "couple happy endings."
For next season, Murphy wants to incorporate a Romeo and Juliet romance, similar to Tate and Violet in season one. Sounds like the new season will lighten up a bit as well. After all, getting darker than season two just doesn't seem possible.
Murphy also said they are "contemplating shooting the show in a different place ... in a place in the country where true horror has been." Could that be a nod to the Salem witch trials? There may be more clues and guesses, but fans are going to have to wait until Murphy decides to dish in order to know for sure.