American Horror Story: 1984 debuted tonight sending a whole new group of characters off to the summer camp from Hell on the horror anthology series. However, while the horrors of Camp Redwood are set to be the focus of an apparently standalone season, it turns out that 1984 does have an interesting connection to a previous season of the FX series with a surprising tie to American Horror Story: Hotel.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of American Horror Story: 1984 below.
Most of tonight's season premiere was devoted to establishing this season's slasher-inspired story by introducing us to the main cast of characters -- the group of would-be camp counselors at the reopening of Camp Redwood fourteen years after the worst summer camp massacre of all time took place on its grounds. The episode also worked to establish the setting of the season outside of Camp Redwood as well by referring to major events going on in the Los Angeles area at the time including the Summer Olympics and the much more gruesome killing spree of the Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker.
But the mention of Ramirez isn't just table setting. Ramirez is an actual character this season, played by Zach Villa. Early in the episode, he attacks Brooke Thompson (Emma Roberts) in her apartment and while she manages to escape death, he threatens that he will come after her and kill her yet. It's Ramirez's appearance in the season that creates a connection to American Horror Story: Hotel, albeit a minor one (at least for now).
As fans of American Horror Story may recall, during the fourth episode of Hotel (the series' fifth season) entitled "Devil's Night", Ramirez is one of the ghosts of infamous serial killers that comes to James March's (Evan Peters) party at Hotel Cortez. It's a brief appearance, but it's enough to create a tie between the two seasons and, thus, connects American Horror Story: 1984 to the larger American Horror Story "universe".
The inclusion of Ramirez in 1984 goes a bit further than to create a tie to Hotel, however. It also establishes the possibility of multiple murderers in the season. With Ramirez determined to kill Brooke for managing to survive his attack, the killer makes an appearance at the end of the episode, stepping out from the bushes and brush while Brooke answers a ringing payphone. On the other end of the line? Nothing more than the jingling of keys, the hallmark of Mr. Jingles (John Carroll Lynch), the killer responsible for the first Camp Redwood massacre.
Do you think American Horror Story: 1984 will have further ties to Hotel or other seasons of the series? Let us know in the comments below.
American Horror Story: 1984 airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.