One fan theory about American Horror Story suggests that Miriam Mead (Kathy Bates) from season 8, Apocalypse, is connected to a patient at Briarcliff Manor in season 2, Asylum.

Arguably one of the show’s most popular—and acclaimed—seasons, Asylum follows the happenings at Briarcliff Manor, a Catholic-run institution in the 1960s. Though a bit of a hodge-podge of different plot elements, including conversion therapy, alien abduction, Nazi experiments, and racism, Asylum won a smattering of major awards, including an impressive 17 Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Ryan Murphy’s TV show, which functions as an anthology—albeit the entire universe has been confirmed to be connected—debuted on FX in 2011. As of 2020, it has aired nine seasons and has been green-lit by FX through season 13. Likewise, a spin-off series, American Horror Stories, has been green-lit to air on Hulu; it takes the anthology format established by Murphy and focuses instead on standalone, hour-long episodes rather than keeping a continual theme for the entirety of the season.


Kathy Bates did not appear in season 2; her first season on American Horror Story was as the historically-based Madame Delphine LaLaurie in season 3, Coven. However, a mysterious and violent young girl who was introduced in Asylum has been theorized to connect to one of Bates’ later characters, Miriam Mead. Does the theory hold up?

American Horror Theory: Was Mrs. Mead In Season 2?

Ultimately, this theory falls apart because of a lack of evidence and real, concrete proof of any major connections. Also, Mrs. Mead is a robot. While the two characters do have some personality overlap in terms of their violent intensity and knack for killing, these characteristics are accentuated in very different ways that go beyond both women being in different stages of their lives. Mrs. Mead might be a robot, but she possessed a maternal warmth, particularly to Michael Langdon, the Antichrist, and an unwavering loyalty to him and the Church of Satan.

Jenny Reynolds (Nikki Hahn) was only featured in one episode of season 2. Episode 6, “The Origins Of Monstrosity”. The girl was turned away from Briarcliff because they didn’t have a children’s ward, but Jenny’s own mother made the choice to commit her daughter rather than turn her into the police because she didn’t seem to fully believe her story surrounding her friend’s murder; Jenny was quick to blame her friend being stabbed to death on a mysterious man. Jenny was emotionless, possessing all the stereotypical traits of a budding psychopath or sociopath, and was particularly alarming due to the fact that she never cried.

During her short time at Briarcliff, she befriended Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe), who was possessed by the Devil at the time. This is where the theory begins. Miriam Mead is a different name, but that can easily be changed. According to the theory, Jenny’s run-in with Sister Mary Eunice might have been her first introduction to the Devil that got her into the Church of Satan or made her decide to become a practitioner; she could have seen potential for herself there, a greater calling. Mead would have also been a child in the 1960s, when Asylum took place. However, the rest of the theory falls apart. Mead also had a backstory; she said in Apocalypse that she was raised in a military family and her father fought in the Vietnam War. Jenny killed her parents—this could also be a lie, but there would be a paper trail to confirm or deny it, if checked.

Also, if Jenny was a complete sociopath, she likely would have not been able to grow to care for Michael the way she did, even if he was the Antichrist—which endeared him to her. This particular American Horror Story theory isn’t completely full of holes if one writes everything in Mead’s history off as a series of elaborate lies; however, since it’s too easy to make a theory that mostly relies on someone’s entire backstory being false, it’s probably not true.

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