We’ve already talked quite a bit about all of the ways that American Horror Story: Roanoke is referencing past seasons of the horror anthology series. The most obvious parallels are to Season 1’s Murder House (in that the Roanoke house is also super-duper haunted and full of murder-y backstory). But there are equally strong indicators tying the season back to the Coven theme of the third season – like the fact that Shelby might actually be a witch, the idea that the Roanoke house could be a former coven’s house, and that new character psychic Cricket Marlowe hails from New Orleans, where Coven was set.
But now, we might’ve just gotten a SUPER subtle clue that the events of AHS: Roanoke are about to be linked back to last season’s AHS: Hotel in a big way.
In the most recent episode of the season, “Chapter 3,” we discovered a distressing new piece of Lee’s backstory. Not only did she lose – literally lose –Flora to an apparent ghost-napping, she’d also lost another child in an eerily similar manner years earlier. Lee’s first daughter, Emily, disappeared at the age of 4 from outside of a grocery store, when Lee briefly left her outside while she went in. But did anyone else notice that the circumstances of Emily’s disappearance seemed kinda ridiculously similar to ANOTHER child kidnapping we’d seen earlier in the series?
David Opie over at Movie Pilot pointed out this cool, and actually *very* plausible theory: Maybe Emily was kidnapped by Countess Elizabeth – Lady Gaga’s charismatic, child-collecting vampire from Season 5’s Hotel.
The theory points out that Detective John Lowe’s son, Holden, vanished without a trace when briefly out of his sight while the family was at a carnival. The Countess was the one who took Holden, raising him as one of her many vampire children. As she once said, she had a yen for “saving” children who appeared to be mistreated or under-appreciated by their neglectful parents – much like Holden, a little girl named Wren was also saved and taken away by Elizabeth when she was left in her drunk dad’s sweltering car for hours.
Now, Lee isn’t a bad person, but she fully admitted that, at the time as a young parent, she was sort of stupid about parenting. She was undoubtedly neglectful when she left Emily outside of the grocery store. So who’s to say the Countess (or some other ~vampire~) didn’t “rescue” Emily, as she’d “rescued” each of her other vampy adopted kids?
Lee said there was no trace of Emily and she never saw her daughter again – or found a body, though somehow Cricket was able to psychically connect with the vanished child to tell her mother hello and ask why she stopped looking for her all those years ago (Can Cricket communicate with vamps too, or only ghosts? WHO KNOWS).
“Now, wait,” you’re probably saying. “How does that even work? The Countess died at the end of Season 5.”
It’s actually super simple, for a few reasons – the recreated events of “My Roanoke Nightmare” take place in the past. In September 2014, to be exact. The present-day portions of “Hotel” took place from 2015-2016, meaning Elizabeth died sometime during that time period – a full one or two years after the events of “Roanoke” are taking place. On top of that, Emily disappeared years before the events of “My Roanoke Nightmare.” That would put her kidnapping around 20 years (give or take a few) prior to the events of Roanoke.
Not only is it completely plausible that the Countess kidnapped Emily, but because Roanoke takes place in the past, it’s equally possible that we might see her character once again in Season 6. AHS is *all* about that attention to detail. It makes absolutely zero sense to introduce Emily’s story if she’s not going to come up again in some big way down the road. What’ll happen if Lee has an encounter with the uber-fashionable vampire who stole her daughter so many years ago? Drama, that’s what.