The American Horror Story spinoff, American Horror Stories, wrapped up its first season this week with an extremely meta episode that both skewered the American Horror Story franchise and also paid homage to it while still somehow offering some strange twists that could have ramifications across the AHS universe going forward. While the episode’s ending is a bit ambiguous, Dylan McDermott doesn’t think you’ve seen the last of his character Dr. Ben Harmon.
In “Game Over”, the story blurs the lines between what’s real and what’s not but largely centers on a woman named Michelle (Mercedes Mason) who is developing a video game based on American Horror Story, but when her first attempt makes no sense to her superfan son, she goes to the Murder House to research — a move that brings her into contact with Dr. Ben Harmon, one of the main characters from American Horror Story‘s very first season. Michelle asks Ben to tell her everything about the Murder House as she still thinks it’s all just part of the larger television series, but is soon murdered herself by Ruby (Kaia Gerber) and her girlfriend, Scarlett (Sierra McCormick).
A year later on Halloween, Michelle reconnects with her son, accepting that there is no escape from the Murder House, but Rory decides to burn it down, suggesting that fire will purify things and free the souls. Rory ends up burning down Murder House, but it’s later revealed that Ruby remains and is reunited with Scarlett, telling her that the others moved on. That happy ending is itself then revealed to be a new ending to Michelle’s video game, suggesting that none of it was real, though as the episode closes a red rubber ball rolls out from Michelle’s couch, suggesting that perhaps the horror is in the real world now.
So, what does that mean for Ben? McDermott isn’t sure, but he does think we’ll be seeing the character “forever”.
“I think we’re going to see Ben forever,” McDermott told ComicBook.com. “I think Ben will always be caught in this endless loop. And that’s the thing with the ending. Is it a video game? Is it real life? The house burned down. Did the house burn down in the video game? What exactly happened? So there’s a chance that we will see him if indeed it was just a video game.”
Even if Ben’s fate is ambiguous, McDermott said that he never hesitates to work with American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy when he calls, something that almost guarantees fans will see him pop up in some character again in the future.
“I’ve spent over a decade now working with Ryan. So I don’t even have to route it anymore. If he asks me to do something, I just say, yes,” McDermott said. “I just trust him. Certainly, after I mean the success of Hollywood and getting the Emmy nomination and him giving me that role, I know that he’s going to write me something special. So I’m down for it all, whatever it is. I’m so excited each and every time I get a phone call from him.”
American Horror Stories is now streaming on FX on Hulu. The series has already been renewed for a second season which is expected to debut sometime in 2022. The tenth season of American Horror Story, subtitled Double Feature, debuts on August 25th on FX.