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American Horror Story Plotlines That Didn't Make Any Sense

American Horror Story is one of the most hotly anticipated shows on TV. Viewers look forward to new characters and a fresh AHS story each fall. Recurring cast members like Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, and Evan Peters are given new roles in most seasons, adding to audience excitement. Fans also eagerly anticipate the utter madness that stands in the cast's way, as AHS routinely puts unique characters in almost impossible situations. Indeed, this spooky series is a well-beloved show. But like any production, it also has its flaws.

In fact, AHS has a bit of a reputation for featuring storylines that don't exactly make sense. Oftentimes, the show introduces characters and events that don't move the story forward in any noticeable way. Certain plot threads are thrust into the spotlight for the sake of chills and thrills, as opposed to making logical sense within an already chaotic story. And of course, AHS's eighth chapter, Apocalypse, swings for the fences by revisiting previous seasons' events. Yet it doesn't quite stick the landing — in fact, this season confusingly undoes many storylines in ways fans are struggling to make sense of. 

American Horror Story fans sing its praises, yet they also point out continuity errors and scenes that are implausible. Although many the show's storylines are brilliantly crafted, some are strange, circuitous, and even dumb. These are the American Horror Story plotlines that leave viewers with more questions than answers.

What's up with the aliens in Asylum?

Although it's considered one of the best seasons of the series, American Horror Story: Asylum is heavily criticized for having aliens. Granted, a lot of weird things happen in every season, but the inclusion of aliens stands out as being truly unexplained. This lack of information leaves the abduction of Kit Walker (Evan Peters) a mystery that AHS fans will forever ponder.

The abduction needs to happen so Kit can be wrongfully accused of killing his wife and labeled the serial killer Bloody Face (Zachary Quinto), which results in him being committed to Briarcliff Manor. The aliens eventually return, proving Kit isn't crazy and didn't kill his wife. But adding aliens for the sake of adding them, then not explaining their existence, trips up audience members in a way they can't forgive. The question of life on other planets is one of the most pressing of our time — if you're bringing it into your show, you better be prepared to explore it. But AHS doesn't, rendering this storyline one of the most divisive to have occurred in AHS. The show's creators later explained the aliens' existence as metaphors for God and angels, but few fans have been satisfied by this exterior exposition.

Where did Kyle go in Apocalypse?

Evan Peters is a fan-favorite AHS actor, which tends to come with the territory of being in eight out of the nine currently-existent AHS seasons. His character, therefore, is expected to play a major role in each season's story. However, his role in Coven isn't substantial — Peters' character doesn't serve any real purpose at all, in fact.

Peters plays Kyle Spencer, a blond-haired frat boy. Young witch Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) is drugged and sexually assaulted by Kyle's frat brothers. Despite Kyle intervening, Madison is rightfully furious and distraught, and she takes her revenge by flipping over a bus they're in, resulting in Kyle's death. Madison resurrects him out of guilt, but there's a snag: Kyle's body, along with the other frat boys, has been smashed to pieces. Undaunted, she takes his head and other boys' body parts and stitches together a whole new Kyle. Because bringing the dead back to life has consequences, the undead Kyle doesn't have the same personality he once did. But the witches help him regain his form, and he becomes the butler for Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, an all-girls boarding school for witchcraft.

Fast forward to Apocalypse, and there's no sign of Kyle when the witches return to the school. Although Peters' role as Kyle doesn't really change the plot of Coven, simply leaving his character out of Apocalypse is a disservice that proves Kyle isn't a plot-defining character.

How has no one noticed the Countess never ages in Hotel?

Lady Gaga's performance as the Countess is one of the best elements of Hotel. Yet there's one tiny issue that's hard not to notice. Anyone who's well-versed in the horror genre (or has seen a single vampire movie) knows that vampires don't age: Immortality is one of the biggest perks of being a bloodsucker. Therefore, as a vampire, the Countess is ageless. Yet she was also a major symbol in the fashion industry for decades. Apparently, no one in the industry ever questioned her age. While everyone ages differently, if a person looks the same through multiple decades of their life, questions tend to arise. At the very least, people are going to beg for her beauty secrets.

While this might seem like nitpicking, aging is one of the few things everyone can relate to, as every single human being ages. Moreover, people have a nasty habit of picking apart others' physical flaws, especially in the brutal limelight of the fashion industry. Surely someone would notice the Countess' apparent immortality at some point, right? She might kill people who bring up this power, but this is an explanation entirely based on assumption, as the season never alludes to anyone questioning her timelessness. And, well, even if creator Ryan Murphy prefers to call her powers an "ancient blood virus," other people know that it boils down to vampirism. Even in the world of AHS, certain horror tropes are widely known.

Why do people still go to Hotel Cortez?

Hotel Cortez is crawling with supernatural elements and mysteriously powerful beings. The hotel is dark and eerie, a nighttime traveler's worst nightmare. Yet despite all the many, many lives the hotel takes, guests continue to stay at the sinister residence. Given that so many people who stay at this particular place go missing, it would seem safe to assume that Hotel Cortez would end up being closely monitored by authorities. But alas, guests continue to book rooms unperturbed, and are forever trapped inside the hotel once they die.

Similar to the titular Murder House of AHS' first season, Hotel Cortez's body count grows, grows, and grows. More than likely, some sort of enchantment or spell surrounds the property, which is why no one looks for the people who check in and never leave. And this, of course, could also be why the Countess' age is never questioned — she has everyone under a spell. But of course, this is all based on fan speculation: The show itself offers no such answers.

What is clear is that the enigmatic hotel has powers beyond human comprehension. Even Supreme Cordelia Goode (Sarah Paulson), the most magically gifted witch around, can't use her powers to free Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) in Apocalypse – though Michael Langdon, the Antichrist (Cody Fern) can.

What's up with the Polk family in Roanoke?

American Horror Story: Roanoke is arguably the scariest season of the series, in large part because it features some very interesting characters. Yep: We're talking about the Polk family.

The Polks were the original owners of the haunted house featured in the in-universe paranormal documentary My Roanoke Nightmare. As the chaos ensues, it's revealed that the Polk family are cannabis farmers, a lucrative and booming business. Yet they can't outbid Matt and Shelby Miller for the house, resulting in the rights being turned over. This is where the mysteries surrounding this family begin. Despite being presumably rich, given their profession, the Polk family has terrible personal hygiene. Moreover, despite claiming "pure" Polk blood continuing their line, the only woman alive in the family is the elderly Mama Polk. Another conundrum springs from the two boys who are found drinking milk from a pig. Everything about the Polk family screams "mystery" – they could have easily served as the main antagonists of an AHS season by themselves.

How do the Roanoke reality shows work?

My Roanoke Nightmare, the in-universe documentary seen in the sixth season of AHS, is one of AHS' most intriguing ideas. The point of view of the victims' cameras leads to big scares and a terrifying sense of immersion within the characters' ordeals. But then the season shifts and sticks the documentary team right at the center of the action. This happens through the second show-within-a-show: Return to Roanoke: Three Days in Hell. To be honest, this is a bit much. One documentary inside a TV show is one thing, but a second undermines everything that's already been done. Admittedly, this device does make a good point about Hollywood trying to make money at all costs. But that observation isn't really worth the confusion it causes.

For one thing, bringing the actors and the real people they portray together is unnecessary. It makes the stories seem fake, not to mention insensitive, as the victims are brought back to the spot where their nightmares first started. Moreover, a disclaimer states the show never aired because virtually everyone died, which inspires questions about how the footage was found and played. Then, the second reality show becomes more spectacle than anything resembling a coherent narrative. This makes it feel even more gratuitous and unclear.

Why does Ivy join the cult?

Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) is a truly scary character. This effect is enhanced by the real-world setting of American Horror Story: Cult, which gives his character viscerally sinister vibes. Yet there are still questions remaining regarding his operation, especially when it comes to Ivy Mayfair-Richards' (Alison Pill) motive for joining the cult.

It's eventually revealed that Ivy, wife of Ally Mayfair-Richards (Sarah Paulson), is a member of Kai's cult. Her motives for joining are questionable at best: Ivy apparently forever holds a grudge because Ally voted for third-party candidate Jill Stein instead of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US presidential election. Ivy can also no longer handle the plethora of phobias Ally lives with. The cherry on top is that Ally is Oz's (Cooper Dodson) biological mother, and Ivy wants full custody.

That's all well and good, but it's eventually revealed that Ivy joined Kai's cult before the election, which means she didn't join in retaliation over who Ally voted for. In Ivy's defense, cults can convince sane yet troubled people into joining a "movement" that preys on wants and needs, and often gaslight people into believing something that isn't true. Still, the timeline makes it all a bit too confusing, and it seems like a divorce would have been an easier solution than joining a cult and tricking Ally into believing she's crazy.

What's the point of Michael Langdon's death?

Mallory (Billie Catherine Lourd) is a powerful witch who becomes the Supreme after Cordelia's death. She goes back in time to kill a less powerful and younger version of Michael Langdon in Apocalypse, which defeats the purpose of Michael's powers.

Apocalypse spends most of its season building up Michael's powers. He is, after all, the Antichrist, boasting powers not even Cordelia possesses. Yet just as fast as he becomes the most powerful being around, a less-powerful version of Michael is killed by Mallory.

Watching Mallory travel back in time to take down the person who brought on the apocalypse is rewarding, admittedly. Yet Michael's death, which arrives when he is run over by a car, undermines everything the season works to create and is just plain anticlimactic. Moreover, going back in time is messy from a storytelling perspective. Especially since the witches kill one Antichrist, just for another one to be born.

How exactly is the next Antichrist born in Apocalypse?

The biggest issue with American Horror Story: Apocalypse is that it spends a lot of time making one major point, then rewrites it without explanation. In the midst of nuclear winter, Emily (Ashley Santos) and Timothy Campbell (Kyle Allen) are taken to Outpost 3, an underground shelter that was once the Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men. They're told they were selected because they have superior genes. Yet the season doesn't revisit this topic until its final moments. After Mallory kills Michael and time resets, Emily and Timothy randomly meet, become lovers, and sire the next baby Satan.

There are countless issues with this. First and foremost, there's only supposed to be one Antichrist, and that was Michael. Plus, by siring a new baby devil, everything that happened is undermined. Secondly, who could have possibly known Emily and Timothy's baby would end up being the Antichrist? According to the AHS universe, the Antichrist can only be conceived by a human and a spirit — yet Emily and Timothy are both humans.

Without further information or explanation, this plot point ruins the entire story. Yet another apocalypse could occur, as the events the witches stopped can restart with a new baby Antichrist. Has the inevitable only been postponed? If so, what the heck was the point of the season?

How can there be multiple Supremes at a time?

In Coven, Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) dies and Cordelia, her daughter, becomes the next Supreme. Fiona never considers she might take up the mantle — until Coven's finale, Cordelia is portrayed as having minimal power. Then, at the season's end, Cordelia suddenly recognizes her massive potential and becomes the next Supreme. Sure, this makes for a unique ending. But how the heck didn't Fiona, the most powerful witch of all, not even have an inkling of her own daughter's prowess?

Moreover, how is Mallory so powerful? Viewers know virtually nothing about Mallory's past — is she even a witch? And how is Cordelia still the Supreme after the time reset in Apocalypse? Remember, Mallory returns to the past as a member of Miss Robichaux's Academy. Yet she still remembers everything that happened, unlike the other characters. Presumably, then, she still has her powers ... yet Cordelia is still the Supreme.

Once again, the logic of the Supreme's solitary existence is questioned in Roanoke. The woods-witch Scáthach (Lady Gaga), who's said to be the original Supreme, sets in motion many of the gruesome events of the season. New Supremes are crowned after the immortal Scáthach ... yet there can only be one Supreme at a time. Perhaps being the first Supreme gives her exceptional powers? Otherwise, how can new Supremes take over the coven when Scáthach is still alive in Roanoke? Without further information, these events are contradictory.

How does Apocalypse's time travel affect previous seasons?

Time travel is fickle and messy — one small change can completely undo history. Plus, it makes any given storyline way more confusing. This begs the question: How does the time travel in Apocalypse affect the previous seasons' events? Surely the time reset would alter past occurrences. Maybe they never happened after all, given the time-related tomfoolery? Answers aren't forthcoming, and fans have been forced to speculate among themselves.

In Apocalypse, Madison and Queenie are brought back from the dead. Madison returns to the Murder House and rewrites history by telling Violet Harmon (Taissa Farmiga) that her boyfriend Tate Langdon (Evan Peters) is no longer evil and that she can forgive him. Yet the time reset is before this event, so did it even really happen at all? After the time reset, Mallory warns Queenie to never visit Hotel Cortez, the place she initially dies and is forever trapped within before Michael releases her. But if she never returns, then the Countess' reign would presumably continue, as Queenie plays a role in stopping her in Hotel.

Again, this is the problem with time travel: It can have a butterfly effect on events many writers aren't willing to fully account for. In the end, frustrated audience members are left with more questions than answers, as is the case with the Apocalypse reset.