American Horror Story Mystery: Who Will Sarah Paulson Play in 1984?

American Horror Story Sarah Paulson

While it’s anyone’s guess what the rest of American Horror Story: 1984 has in store for the merry murderers of Camp Redwood, there’s another (arguably more pressing) mystery on viewers’ minds: When is Sarah Paulson going to show up, and who will she be playing?

Paulson, who has been a key player in all eight previous installments of American Horror Story, is reportedly set to appear in a reduced capacity sometime this season — and with only four episodes left, including the show’s milestone 100th hour, the clock is ticking.

Because 1984 already has one strong connection to a previous season — Richard Ramirez (played by Zach Villa) was an honored guest of James March (Evan Peters) in an episode of Hotel — it stands to reason that Paulson could reprise a role she’s already played.

As part of our annual Fall TV Predictions, we speculated that 1984 could bring Lana Winters back into the fold. After all, who better to interview the survivor(s) of this unholy massacre than the journalist who once fought her way out of Briarcliff Manor? 1984 is set 20 years after we meet Lana in Asylum, and it’ll be another 30-ish years before we see her again in Roanoke, so this would put her right in the middle of her career. For whatever that’s worth.

Of course, that prediction was made before we fully grasped the extent of Richard’s dealings with Satan, so who’s to say we won’t see Paulson back as demon slayer Cordelia Goode? Honestly, there are only a few of her characters — for example, Freak Show‘s Bette and Dot Tattler — that aren’t worth considering.

(UPDATE: Mystery solved… unfortunately. During an appearance at the New Yorker Festival earlier this week, Paulson mentioned that she’s actually not appearing in AHS: 1984 as originally planned.)

Your thoughts on AHS: 1984 thus far? Drop ’em in a comment below.