Television

AHS 1984: 7 Hunches From Ep. 1, Plus Theories

AHS 1984 gang surrounds hitchhiker
Image Source: fandom.com

**Warning: This article contains notable spoilers for American Horror Story Roanoke**

American Horror Story is back with the long-awaited AHS 1984. Given that each installment being so vastly different and unpredictable, it’s become a habit of mine (which I’m sure my friends and family are tired of) to try and guesstimate just where the plot could lead. I carefully dissect the premiere, watch it a second time, take notes, and watch it again. Through the lengthy process I end up finding a few gems and a trail of breadcrumbs as to what might come next. The rest of this piece will be sectored into two parts, my “Top 7 Hunches” and “Season 9 Theories”.

Top 7 Hunches

Welcome to Camp Redwood, the setting for AHS 1984.
Image Source: fandom.com

This list is comprised of observations. Some are meaningful, others are just kind of interesting and speculative. If the callout isn’t revolutionary, I just felt like it was worth talking about. Sue me.

Hunch 1. Featured Font

The pink-purple name supers that flash across the screen as the audience gets introduced to each character immediately raise questions. American Horror Story has never used this device before. Paired with the soft lighting, it feels almost self-realizing (we’ll circle back to that later). I suspect it must be more than just an homage to the 80’s…

Hunch 2. The Ring Thing

The only item the Night Stalker (Zach Villa) removes from Brooke’s (Emma Roberts) jewelry box was the engagement ring. The gold necklaces and other assorted valuables were left behind. This is something to pay attention to. The ring holds significance, maybe as to why Brooke moved to begin with?

Hunch 3. Xavier Bad

During Xavier (Cody Fern) and friends’, drive to Camp Redwood, Montana (Billie Lourd) is quick to point out that he made a wrong turn. He insists that it’s a shortcut. When she asks how he knows he’s going the right away, he claims intuition. He fails to mentioned the disturbing voicemail on his answering machine, and also is the catalyst to get these young adults secluded in the woods. If that’s all not enough to seem strange, Xavier also claims he’s a serious actor, which I think should be a red flag in regard to his ability to lie.

Hunch 4. Haunted Hitchhiker

The hitchhiker is suffering a loss of memory, and underwent what looks like a lot of trauma. He seems to appear and reappear at a moment’s notice. His ear isn’t healed. The timeline for his injury makes very little sense. If the massacre happened in 1970 and it’s now 1984, has he been wandering around for 14 years? Unlikely. Is he a ghost? More than likely. This is also a popular folktale that I guess just slipped my mind while I was watching the episode? Hitchhiking ghosts are such a “thing” they’re even the figureheads for Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride. Yes, everything ties back to Disney with me…

Hunch 5. The Truth About Booth

When Margaret Booth (Leslie Grossman) tells the councilors about how she escaped her brush with Mr. Jingles (John Carroll Lynch), she recalls that God helped her stay perfect still and quiet, while the crazed killer cut off her ear. This tale doesn’t quite add up. In the opening sequence we see Mr. Jingles interrupt a threesome by means of sinister death and exit while stepping over a mass of bodies, including what looks like Margret. And if you were wondering, no, he didn’t cut off her ear.

Hunch 6. Olympic Opening Ceremonies

At the auto shop, the 1984 Los Angeles opening ceremonies were on television. You only see it briefly. But when Brooke is running away from “Mr. Jingles” the voiceover we hear is from the opening ceremony— the other councilors are watching it. By this logic, Mr. Jingles would be miles away at the time of Brooke’s chase sequence, almost confirming a second or entirely different killer.

Hunch 7. The Mysterious Car

Chronologically, I would have mentioned the car sooner in this listicle but this point really builds off the whereabouts of Mr. Jingles in the scope of the night. I assume the writers want us to suspect that’s his vehicle? We know he wasn’t at Camp Redwood yet. Although the Night Stalker showing up in the final moments of the episode feels a little surreal, that could have been his mode of transport. His arrival may be more grounded than it appears.

Season 9 Theories

Xavier checks his voicemail in a scene from AHS 1984.
Image Source: fandom.com

Disclaimer: Most of these (if not all) are wrong. They’re for fun, and based off of mere speculation. Please don’t come find me in a few months and tell me how off the rails I was. Unless I’m right, then by all means, congratulate me.

Theory 1. It’s A Slasher Movie

We know that AHS 1984 is Ryan Murphy’s love letter to the most iconic era of slasher horror, but is he pulling a Roanoke over on us? Will the first part of the season cease to expand after episode six and break into a secondary story which follows the real life actors of these characters? With the title supers, obvious horror tropes, and sheer stupidity of Brooke “serial killers like windows so I guess I’ll leave mine open” Thompson, it feels kind of purposefully hokey? This theory would explain a lot. And I know American Horror Story Roanoke was a few years ago, but it still feels too tonally similar for a stunt like this?

Also, I know the witches aren’t in this season but if Brooke is in fact not really ‘Brooke’ but an actress, and she’s not Madison Montgomery… what a missed opportunity.

Theory 2. Margaret Booth is Connected to the Night Stalker

Image Source: Married Wiki

Upon looking at some articles about the Night Stalker I came across his real wife, Doreen Ramirez. Is it just me, or does she have a striking resemblance to Margaret Booth? Ryan Murphy does this with the AHS universe. He’ll feature historical figures like The Black Dahlia (American Horror Story Murder House), but he might use a real-life person like Grady Stiles Jr. as a source of inspiration for a new character of his own design, like Jimmy Darling (American Horror Story Freak Show). Fairly sure Booth will be our stand-in for the Night Stalker’s real wife. Maybe they’ll reveal that he was already at the camp? Maybe that damn mysterious car belongs to a police officer or something?

Booth’s religious demeanor also acts as nice alleged character foil to Ramirez’s obsession with everything Satanic. Maybe her faith is a ruse to further misdirect people?

Theory 3. Xavier’s Mom is Margaret Booth

Margaret wanted to re-open Camp Redwood with pretty much little to no motivation aside from wanting to give kids a godly place to go? Was Xavier acting as her eyes, picking a corrupt group of LA kids for his mom to cleanse by recreating the original massacre?

Theory 4. It’s A Government Simulation

The moment I heard about AHS 1984 I hoped it would at least nod to the famous George Orwell novel of the same namesake. I talked about it extensively in a previous article which you can read here. It may be farfetched, but is it possible that Brooke is in a government stress simulator? Once she wakes up, she’ll be surrounded by doctors who look exactly like her friends from the simulation. This would work, because there are only so many actors confirmed for the cast. Maybe then her psyche would break and she’d become the killer? I certainly prefer this to the horror movies with actors theory.

Theory 5. It’s A Gameshow?

This is a theory from Reddit. I didn’t make it up, I want no part of this. Apparently people are saying the show is a scary Orwell-esque, Big Brother wannabe, and all of the contestants are under surveillance 24/7? So God awful, if I thought the slasher movie theory was a rehash of American Horror Story Roanoke, this is almost identically the same plot. I am going to casually dismiss it, just wanted to include it so we could collectively relish at how horrible it is.

Do you have your own AHS 1984 theory? Share it with us in the comments below.

AHS 1984 airs Wednesdays at 10pm, on FX

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