'American Horror Story' Season 10 Is Taking Us From the Ocean to the Desert

The second part of 'American Horror Story' Season 10 takes us to Death Valley. What is the theme and plot of the rest of the season?

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Sep. 29 2021, Published 8:01 p.m. ET

Neal McDonough in AHS Double Feature Death Valley
Source: FX

FX's American Horror Story has certainly had its seasonal ups and downs. From Murder House to Coven to its very own Apocalypse, fans have fallen in love with some themes and absolutely hated the others. This year AHS creator Ryan Murphy did something a little different when he decided to split up Season 10 into two parts with two different themes.

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We just wrapped up part one and are heading into the final part. Here's what we know about the theme of part two: Death Valley.

What do we know about the second part of 'American Horror Story: Double Feature,' 'Death Valley'?

As if the words Death Valley aren't creepy enough, that area of America has enough spooky lore to fill 10 more seasons of American Horror Story. It got its name from a group of pioneers who were on their way to find gold. Nicknamed the Lost '49ers because of the year it happened (1849), many died while taking a shortcut from Salt Lake City en route to California. The Barker Ranch, temporary home of the Manson Family, is also located in Death Valley. Plus, it's riddled with ghost towns.

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Charles Manson Court
Source: Getty Images

In a teaser trailer released on Sept. 23, we open up on a cavalcade of cars driving through the desert. The image is in black and white. Neal McDonough, who is playing former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, arrives at an undisclosed location. He is called over to look at something that causes him to say "Oh my God" to himself.

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If you didn't see anything else in the trailer and are a fan of history, you would know that this scene is probably referencing an infamous moment in Eisenhower's presidency. On Feb. 20, 1954, President Eisenhower was on vacation in Palm Springs when he was suddenly called away. According to a spokesperson, he chipped a tooth on a chicken wing and had to make an emergency trip to see a dentist. Many believe he went to Edwards Air Force Base to visit two extraterrestrials.

Source: FX
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The trailer then toggles back and forth between color and black and white, suggesting the show will spend time in the past and present. We are met with images of doctors performing an autopsy on what appears to be an alien. In the modern shots, we see a car trapped in a spotlight on a stretch of road and someone being injected by something. At one point, Neil McDonough is pleading with a woman to "stop what you're doing until we can reach an understanding." It smacks of forced experiments and revenge.

While it seems all but a given that Death Valley will feature heavily on aliens, knowing the history of its namesake means that there might be a lot more in store. Since there will be different decades featured throughout, it's likely that each decade will feature additional themes.

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Source: Instagram

Who is in the cast of 'American Horror Story: Death Valley'?

A couple of old favorites are returning to the show. Naturally, AHS It Girl Sarah Paulson will be making an appearance. We also get to hang out with Cody Fern, who we briefly visited with in American Horror Stories but whom we haven't seen on the main show since AHS: 1984. His 1984 co-star Angelica Ross will be joining him this season as well. And of course Lily Rabe and Leslie Grossman, who really packed a punch in Red Tide, will feature.

Newcomers (to the main show) Kaia Gerber, Nico Greetham, Rebecca Dayan, and Rachel Hilson will round out the cast with the aforementioned Neal McDonough. Death Valley begins airing weekly on FX from Sept. 29 at 10 p.m. EST and will be available the next day on FX on Hulu.

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