To some, American Horror Story seems to be the quintessential reminder that all things are connected, whether those things be the events in our daily lives or stories told through the AHS anthology, now in its fourth season. Many fans of American Horror Story have reacted with an eye-rolling and a harumph when AHS executive producer Ryan Murphy first began hinting that these stories, a different one for each season of American Horror Story, were all somehow interconnected. Many fans, however, reel with the possibility of finding a greater story that transcends the individual seasons of AHS and, as seen in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Murphy is only too eager to encourage the conspiracy theorists, particularly where the return of Lily Rabe is concerned.
“There’s definitely a rhyme or a reason and a connectedness to all of these seasons, but in the same way, they’re standalones, which is the fun of it. But it is a puzzle. And Lily coming back and dealing with Pepper is sort of the first unveiling of that connectedness. She’s so great in that role, Lily. I understood she wanted to go off and do her own show. But I was thrilled she was able to come back and give us a couple days and show how Sister Mary Eunice and Pepper are connected and how it’s all connected. I’m glad she’s back in the habit!”
Long-time followers of the horror anthology may remember that in Season 2, AHS: Asylum, Rabe’s character of Sister Mary Eunice went through drastic changes within the 13 episode season that brought her from an innocent and openly naive young nun to a guilt-ridden deviant, desperate for the attention of Sister Jude’s stern hand. She was brought further into the depths of depravity through demonic possession, until, at a crucial moment, she reasserted herself long enough to beg Monsignor Timothy Howard (Joseph Fiennes) to end her suffering and her life. While the return of Sister Mary Eunice in American Horror Story: Freak Show is key to the story of Pepper, dedicated AHS viewers may already suspect this re-appearance by Lily Rabe could have something to do with a journey that found its tragic conclusion with the nun’s death in Season 2 of American Horror Story.
American Horror Story fans hoping for a more permanent return of Ms. Rabe may be in for a disappointment, however. There is a reason Lily has only been scheduled to appear as a guest in one episode, reports Bustle. It seems the former AHS actress has plenty to keep her busy elsewhere. Primarily, Lily Rabe, one of the few performers to appear in all 4 seasons of American Horror Story, is set to star in an ABC thriller of her own, The Whisperers. Ms. Rabe has been cast as Claire Bennigan, a police detective investigating a series of violent crimes carried out by children. It seems that the children are only pawns, controlled by an extraterrestrial species using human offspring to carry out an invasion for them, and Rabe, as Detective Bennigan, will have her hands full with children and aliens alike. Additionally, Lily was compelled to turn down a role in the film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 due to scheduling conflicts that arose from her participation in Much Ado About Nothing at NYC’s Shakespeare In The Park.
For now, it seems American Horror Story fans will have to be content with the occasional guest appearance from Lily Rabe as she pursues her own projects.
There is more to learn about the remaining episodes in this season’s American Horror Story for those willing to risk spoilers.