"American Horror Story" wrapped its madcap fifth installment with more than a few nods to its predecessors. Co-creator Ryan Murphy has always been candid about his intentions to connect all of the seasons of "AHS," but usually, these enigmatic clues are thoroughly buried under veiled references and crackpot theories. However, “Hotel” didn’t hold back with it came to connecting the dots.
Familiar faces like Dr. Montgomery, Queenie and Sarah Paulson’s Billie Dean Howard all made appearances in “Hotel,” making the anthology's connecting threads more exposed than ever. So, how are all of the seasons of "American Horror Story" connected? Let's take a look back at all of the biggest clues Murphy and co. have dropped since the show's disturbing inception:
Pepper, Pepper, Pepper.
The winter finale of "Freak Show" was the first time two seasons actually collided, when Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe), from Season 2's stellar "Asylum," came to Sudbury, Massachusetts to take fan-favorite Pepper (Naomi Grossman) to Briarcliff Manor after the death of her sister.
Speaking of Massachusetts...
The state of Massachusetts has been one of the common threads throughout every season. In Season 1's "Murder House," the Harmon family moves to Los Angeles from Boston. Briarcliff Manor in "Asylum" was built in Massachusetts in 1908 as a tuberculosis ward, and was then taken over by the Catholic church in 1962. Meanwhile, Season 3 showed up glimpses of the Salem witch trials, and Queenie mentions she's a descendant of Tituba. In Season 4's "Freak Show," we learned that Elsa worked at a Boston circus in 1936, and Pepper also went to live with her sister Rita in Massachusetts in 1952 before being committed to Briarcliffe. While there's no direct reference to the state in "Hotel," Mr. March's (Evan Peters) unique accent has been described as a Boston Brahmin accent, which alludes to the fact that the reprehensible serial killer was most likely born in the Boston area in 1895.
Elsa Mars and Dr. Arden crossed paths in Germany.
In flashbacks we learned that Elsa's (Jessica Lange) legs were sawed off during a snuff film gone wrong, and one of the Nazi soldiers responsible for mutilating her was none other than Dr. Hans Gruper (James Cromwell). If that name sounded vaguely familiar at the time that's because he was also known as Dr. Arden upon entering the states, otherwise known as the psycho, mutilating doc from "Asylum."
The Florida connection.
Not only was Florida the setting of "Freak Show," but "Murder House" matriarch Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton) also mentioned she had family in Florida way back in Season 1. Eagle-eyed fans have speculated that the doctor who Desiree visited in Season 4 -- the one who allegedly killed himself -- may have been a distant relative of Vivien's, especially since the doctor's daughter mentioned that she, like Vivien, was from Boston.
Dr. Montgomery made an unsettling return.
Back in Season 3 ("Coven"), fans speculated that Dr. Charles Montgomery, the famed "surgeon to the stars" from Season 1, had some connection to Emma Roberts' teen witch Madison Montgomery. Charles moved to Los Angeles with his wife Nora (Rabe) in 1922 in "Murder House," and we met movie starlet Madison in present-day 2013 in "Coven." However, the Madison connection was fully cemented in "Hotel," when a flashback to 1926 revealed that Lady Gaga's The Countess visited Montgomery to perform an illegal abortion -- but the blood-thirsty fetus survived and The Countess gave birth to Bartholomew.
"Murder House" Marcy made her last deal.
We knew Marcy (Christine Estabrook), the realtor who sold the haunted Murder House to the Harmon family in Season 1, would return in Season 5 as the realtor for the Hotel Cortez. She ultimately facilitated the transfer of the hotel's ownership from Elizabeth to Will Drake before she met her untimely end at the hands of thirsty vampires Rudy Valentino and Natacha Rambova. For what it's worth, Marcy deserved what she got after selling both the Harmons and the Drakes haunted establishments that lead to their own deaths.
Billie Dean Howard checked into "Hotel."
Paulson first played the psychic in the first season of “AHS." Since “Murder House” took place in the Los Angeles area, it makes sense that we’d see a few of the premiere season’s most memorable kooks. When we meet Howard in "Hotel," we learn that she’s now starring in a psychic reality show and wants to do a special on the haunted Cortez. While checked in, Howard communicated with both Tristan and Donovan on the other side, telling their loved ones that things are pretty OK in the after life.
Queenie met her bloody, and hilarious, end.
Gabourey Sidibe resurrected her “AHS: Coven” character Queenie for a night in the Cortez. Queenie comes to LA looking to strike it big on “The Price Is Right.” But it really makes no sense that The Supreme -- who organized Queenie’s trip -- would make her stay in a sh-thole like the Cortez. But we digress. Unbeknownst to Queenie, Ramona and Liz orchestrated a plan to kill the witch so that Ramona could drink her blood and therefore become more powerful than The Countess. Queenie's appearance, and demise, in "Hotel" could have even bigger repercussions in the future. Given the strong ties between "Murder House" and "Hotel," and those between "Asylum" and "Freak Show," we wouldn't be surprised if Season 6 shares some surprising connections to "Coven."