Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Unnerving Similarity Between CSI And American Horror Story

The differences between "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "American Horror Story" are pretty obvious. One's a crime show and a police procedural; the other is, well, a horror story. "AHS" tends to deal with the world of the supernatural, while "CSI," as chilling as it can be, always winds up firmly rooted in a world that can be scientifically measured and explained.

There are, however, similarities. Both "AHS" and "CSI" require a lot of death and trauma. More to the point, they require something or someone willing to create death and trauma. As genres, both horror and mystery rely to varying degrees on the unknown, and a willingness to dive into the darkest facets of existence.

TV Tropes has a whole page dedicated to the nightmare fuel imparted to us by "CSI" episodes across the franchise. Likewise, "AHS" creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk love to create mystery in the build-up to each new season of their anthology series regarding cast and story (via Deadline). So perhaps it was inevitable, given the loose thematic overlap and the longevity of both series, that they've ended up having at least one chilling similarity in each show's rogue's gallery.

Both CSI and AHS have featured villains in rubber suits

One must admit that seeing someone wearing a rubber bondage suit can be unsettling. As Chad Warwick (Zachary Quinto) is told in "American Horror Story" Season 1, Episode 4, one of the aims of such a suit is to anonymize and dehumanize. That episode explains the origins of the Rubber Man, perhaps the most enduring image in all the seasons of "American Horror Story," even if its existence doesn't always make sense or play by the series' rules. Anyone looking to do true evil — be it Tate Langdon (Even Peters), Michael Langdon (Cody Fern), or Scarlett Winslow (Sierra McCormick) — is likely to have the chance to don the rubber suit.

It is ironic, however, that the rubber suit is more easily associated with "AHS," given that the eleventh season of "CSI" gave us a creepy rubber-clad villain before "AHS" had even premiered. He's called Sqweegel, and is a very alive, very real horror. First showing up in the season's fourth episode, Sqweegel is an avenging angel of sorts. He attacks or kills citizens of Las Vegas who, though seemingly responsible for heroic deeds, harbor a dark secret.

That Sqweegel is methodical enough to stalk his victims and uncover their dark pasts is horrifying enough. Everything else known about him — including the rubber suit — just makes him seem not-quite-human. But this doesn't mean fans don't want to see more of him. Sqweegel was never apprehended, and though showrunner Jason Tracey has gone out of his way to tamp down expectations, fans are still hoping that there's room for him to reappear in "CSI: Vegas."