Disclaimer: This post contains (kind of) minor spoilers for Season 6, Episode 6 of American Horror Story.
American Horror Story is a series that has been structured in a largely predictable fashion since Season 1. Rather than having one long, overarching story, each season is standalone in nature, with much of the same cast returning every year to portray a different character. In many ways, it's more of an anthology than a standard series. With Season 6, however, the show has really gone off in a different direction.
It all started with the marketing. Rather than actually have relevant marketing, they had a series of twenty-plus teasers -- most of which had nothing to do with the actual Season 6 story. It was as if the showrunner, Ryan Murphy, was messing with us, making us guess which one of them would actually play out in the season. And then, when the season finally launched, it was something completely different. Instead of being told in a standard narrative fashion, it played off more like an Unsolved Mysteries episode, with confessionals and re-enactments being utilized to tell the season's story. It's a format that started to grow thin before last week's episode aired. In the episode, we saw a complete change in the format.
Speaking with E! Online, Murphy gave some insight an upcoming twist that will change everything.
“The thing I love about episode six as you are watching it is that we drop a huge bomb at the end of the third act, where you kind of are in disbelief at what the chyron on the screen is saying. And then that takes you into another world and the stakes are really, really, really high. This season has been all about redoing the narrative of what we’ve always done. I think it’s always been a sort of straight-forward version of storytelling. And what happened with this season, which is really broken into two halves, one through five, which everybody has hopefully seen, and then six through 10. And it’s a completely different show. It’s a completely different narrative form. Things that you thought to be true about people are revealed to not be true. And it was exciting to work on, because it was like working on two shows at once. The big twist of episode six takes you into a complete other world.”
What that other world is we have yet to see, but the preview in Episode 5 seemed to indicate that the documentarians are now going in full investigative mode to find out the truth behind the mysterious house this season. What's more is that Murphy confirmed that series regulars such as Evan Peters and Kathy Bates will be returning to this season -- in all new roles -- changing things up once again.
As far as what the twist is...we don't quite know yet how it'll pan out, but it's such a secret that Murphy didn't even tell his core cast until they were shooting Episode 4:
"I had to call up Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates. We didn’t tell them [the twist] this year. So we had them thinking this idea that they were playing one thing through the whole year, and right around the time we started shooting episode four, I called them up and I said, ‘OK, I didn’t want to tell you this, but it will be revealed that you’re actually something completely different than what the audience thought you were.’ And they all loved that challenge."
American Horror Story airs on FX at 10/9c.