The AHS: Double Feature Fan Theory That Could Change Everything In Red Tide

On September 15, the fifth episode of "American Horror Story" Season 10 premiered, titled "Gaslight." The tenth season of "American Horror Story," itself titled "Double Feature," is divided into two halves: "Red Tide" and "Death Valley." Episodes released thus far have all been a part of the "Red Tide" half of the season, so relatively little is known about "Death Valley" beyond what was announced in the lead-up to the season's premiere.

Black pills, sometimes called Muse, provide the basis for many of the horrors in "Red Tide." In short, a character named The Chemist (Angelica Ross) developed the black pills while researching a manner through which the US military could better influence its troops. The result is a pill that, when taken by creatively gifted individuals, provides boundless artistic inspiration at the cost of consuming raw blood. Non-creatives, meanwhile, turn into mindless creatures that act like a sort of zombie/vampire hybrid. In the series' present, these pills are circulating around Provincetown, Massachusetts where the story of "Red Tide" takes place.

In "Gaslight," Provincetown resident Karen takes a black pill shortly before taking her own life. Between those moments, she briefly capitalizes on the artistic boost from the pills and paints something unseen by viewers prior to her death. Some fans on Reddit think that this painting may become key in the upcoming, final episode of "Red Tide."

The painting theory

Reddit user Notcreativenoughto proposed their theory about Karen's painting to the "American Horror Story" subreddit in a discussion thread about "Gaslight" following its premiere. "Calling it — that painting is the story of what's been happening in ptown and the cops find it," they wrote. A total of 55 fellow Reddit users upvoted the comment in addition to two users sharing their support for the theory in the comment's replies, suggesting that this idea is supported by a contingent of "American Horror Story" fans.

In "Gaslight," Karen is forced to take one of the pills to save herself from a pack of non-creatives-turned-vampire-zombies. Karen's first and only victim is Mickey (Macaulay Culkin), for whom Karen acted as both a muse and a friend. That said, Mickey left Karen for dead moments prior, so that she ends up the one to kill him is a sort of just deserts for Mickey. Karen, meanwhile, never wanted to take the pills, so rather than become enslaved to their thrall, she opts instead to harness their creative burst for a single painting before ending her life. According to this fan theory, then, the unseen painting somehow depicts the horrors unleashed upon Provincetown by the black pills, and will serve as a history of the resultant events once things inevitably reach a breaking point.

What that breaking point might be — plenty of death will likely be involved — should be revealed on September 22, when the "Red Tide" finale premieres.