Aliens explained as ‘Death Valley’ wanes

Aliens explained as Death Valley wanes

Emily Polsin, Staff

The finale of “American Horror Story” Season 10’s “Double Feature” aired on Oct. 20, concluding the second half’s feature “Death Valley.”

“Death Valley” dives into multiple conspiracy theories, but the main plot centers on the questions of whether aliens are real, and if the United States’ government is performing tests on extraterrestrials at the mysterious Area 51. 

Surprise, surprise, in the horror realm, they are.

This half of the season flashes between the 1950s and 60s, and modern day. Characters from the 1950/60s include many recognizable historical names, such as Dwight Eisenhower (Neal McDonough), Mamie Eisenhower (Sarah Paulson), Richard Nixon (Craig Sheffer), John F. Kennedy (Mike Vogel), Marilyn Monroe (Alisha Soper) and others. 

The modern characters consist of a fictional group of Ivy League college students—- Kendall (Kaia Gerber), Cal (Nico Greetham), Troy (Isaac Cole Powell), and Jamie (Rachel Hilson)—-piecing together mysteries after a camping trip gone awry. 

While “Death Valley” did not connect, whatsoever, with the first feature in Season 10 “Red Tide,”  it does, however, provide answers to what AHS fans have been wondering since Season 2 “Asylum”: Where did the aliens come from?

While the plot does not directly say that the aliens present in Death Valley are the same as the ones from “Asylum,” it is doubtful that they are not connected, considering the number of seasons that overlap in the AHS universe.

The acting in “Death Valley,” as a whole, was solid; however, there was no singular performance that stood out as amazing or terrible. This could also be due to the fact that there wasn’t a solid protagonist. “Red Tide” clearly followed the Gardner family, but “Death Valley” was more plot-driven by the events taking place rather than the people involved.

Similar to “Red Tide,” the show seemed to end abruptly. When the last episode began, it felt as though there were too many plotlines to neatly package in an ending.

I would have preferred that “Death Valley” stick to the 1950s rather than including both vintage and contemporary characters, although the two plotlines eventually connect. There was definitely enough substance to make the entirety about the aliens arriving and the other conspiracy theories.

It is hard to compare “Red Tide” and “Death Valley.” In terms of preference, I would rather watch “Red Tide.” It felt more focused and clean, while “Death Valley” felt too jumbled. 

Speaking on seasons as a whole, I’m conflicted.  While Season 10 was definitely not my favorite season of AHS, it still wasn’t bad. It would’ve been better if they had stuck to one idea rather than pursue the “double feature” format. 

I don’t see myself re-watching Season 10 in the near future because it just didn’t have the same hold on me that seasons such as Season 1 “Murder House” does. But without “Double Feature,” we would not know about the aliens that abducted Kit back in “Asylum,” or why certain celebrities are so successful.

“American Horror Story” was renewed for at least three more seasons in Jan. 2020, so there are plenty more scares coming our way in the future.