Spoilers ahead for Episode 1 of American Horror Story: 1984.
Fall TV is kicking off, with Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story marking its annual start to the Halloween season. Season Nine is titled 1984, and follows as group of young camp counselors in a campy take to the slasher genre. Fans have been wondering if the theme was a red herring, with Murphy and company hiding more twists and connections to past seasons. While the other shoe didn't drop with 1984's premiere, the first episode did include a subtle connection to AHS: Hotel.
Early in the first episode "Camp Redwood" Emma Roberts' Brooke is attacked in her apartment. The man claims to be the Night Stalker aka infamous serial killer Richard Ramirez. Played by actor Zach Villa, the character eventually appears again during the final moments of the 1984 premiere. He was shown on the camp grounds watching Brooke on the phone, presumably teasing blood shed for the upcoming second episode.
While the Night Stalker looks like a character we should expect to see plenty of in AHS: 1984, he already made his debut on the anthology series back in Hotel. Richard Ramirez was the first killer to check-in during the episode "Devil's Night". Every year Evan Peters' James Marsh invites famous serial killers to dinner and mayhem, with the Ramirez being one of the honored guests. The character also popped up at a later Devil's Night during the season's finale.
In Hotel, actor Anthony Ruivivar played an older version of Richard Ramirez, a ghost who murders residents of the Hotel Cortez. But 1984 features a young Night Stalker, who is apparently out for blood at Camp Redwood. Still, it's exciting to see a connection to another season of American Horror Story this early into the season. Just how many more easter eggs or crossovers occur remain to be seen.
American Horror Story: 1984 follows perhaps the most crossover-heavy season to date: Apocalypse. Season 8 heavily featured the witches from Coven, while catching up on the characters of Murder House along the way. It should be interesting to see how much 1984 is connected to the larger canon, or if the slasher '80s romp is separate from the events of past seasons. Richard Ramirez's inclusion might tease the possibility for crossovers. Or it could simply mean that the same iconic serial killer is being used across separate stories.
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Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.