(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the season premiere of “American Horror Story: 1984”)
“American Horror Story: 1984” premiered Wednesday, in all its ’80s-slasher-film-themed glory. And with the return of the FX anthology series came the long-awaited reveal of this season’s plot — beyond that killer trailer and this short synopsis: “In the summer of 1984, five friends escape Los Angeles to work as counselors at Camp Redwood. As they adjust to their new jobs, they quickly learn that the only thing scarier than campfire tales is the past coming to haunt you.”
Of course now that we know more, we actually feel like we know less — but that’s “American Horror Story” for you.
See below for our list of questions and check back next week to find out which ones have — and haven’t — been answered.
What does the Nightstalker want?
The Nightstalker is a serial killer who is terrorizing Los Angeles in the premiere and the main reason Xavier (Cody Fern), Montana (Billie Lourd), Chet (Gus Kenworthy), Ray (DeRon Horton) and Brooke (Emma Roberts) decided to get the hell out of dodge and go be camp counselors at Camp Redwood for the summer. Well, Brooke specifically left because a guy claiming to be the Nightstalker (Zach Villa) broke into her house and threatened to kill her before running off when he heard someone coming.
Villa’s character, who is listed as Richard Ramirez in the credits, was ranting about having the protection of Satan and Brooke was convinced he would find her at Camp Redwood. And though everyone reassured her she was safe, viewers saw the Nightstalker arrive at the camp at the end of the premiere. But why is he there exactly? What’s his obsession with Brooke when there are plenty of people he could still be murdering in LA?
Why did Mr. Jingles snap in the first place?
Escaped mental patient Benjamin Richter a.k.a. Mr. Jingles (John Carroll Lynch) has returned to Camp Redwood — though only Brooke saw him, and no one believes her — and he appears to be out for revenge against Margaret Booth (Leslie Grossman), the woman who survived his slaughter of Camp Redwood and put him in prison.
While we saw flashbacks to the 1970 massacre, it’s unclear what made Mr. Jingles snap the night he murdered all those kids. Or, you know, if he’s just like that. But this is “AHS,” so we’re sure there’s more backstory here that will unfold as Margaret tries to reopen the camp.
Who was left that threatening message for Xavier?
They sounded mad he skipped town and like they might be coming for him and his friends at camp.
Who is going to live and who is going to die?
Standard slasher movie question that has to be asked about an “AHS” season that’s a tribute to slasher movies. Actually, this has to be asked about every season of “American Horror Story,” but we’re particularly worried about the fates of this crop of characters, considering the installments theme.
What’s the twist?
One of the big elements that makes “American Horror Story” interesting is that each season tends to contain some kind of major, game-changing twist. Last year in “Apocalypse,” for example, the show killed off most of the main cast a couple episodes in and transitioned into a crossover between “Coven” and “Murder House.” Back in “Roanoke,” they revealed midway through that we had been watching a reenactment of real events — a show within a show — before those real ghosts started going after the cast and crew of that meta-show.
Since it seems like it would be difficult to make a straight homage to ’80s slasher movies last ten episodes, we can’t help but assume that “AHS 1984” will feature some kind of similar change-up, but of course it’s hard to guess right now what it might be. But there has to be something, right?
“American Horror Story: 1984” airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.