AHS: Double Feature Rewrites JFK and Marilyn Monroe’s Deaths

AbraxasOctober 9, 2021

Though the reality was much more mundane, JFK & Marilyn Monroe have been the subject of wild urban legends. AHS makes good on them in Double Feature.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for American Horror Story: Double Feature Episode 8, “Inside,” which aired Wednesday on FX.

Urban legends are part and parcel of American Horror Story, and while its writers are happy to create their own for the purposes of storytelling, there are plenty of actual legends that they liberally mix into their plots. The second half of Double Feature delves heavily into alien abduction theories, but it also includes a more down-to-earth piece of American mythology. John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe have a chance to revisit not only their respective deaths, but their long-rumored, never-confirmed affair as well.

Both figures were notable for dying well before their time, and both for dying within a very short time of each other – Monroe in 1962 of an apparent suicide, Kennedy just a year later by assassination. In both cases, their deaths were the subject of rampant speculation and rumor. Kennedy’s death has been attributed to wide variety of sinister forces, fed by stories that gunman Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone, as the official reports claimed. Monroe, for her part, suffered from depression and other psychological ailments, but her death too has been attributed to everyone from the Mafia to JFK’s own White House, despite no evidence of foul play.

RELATED: American Horror Story: Did President Eisenhower Actually Take on Aliens?

The connection between the two was a long-rumored affair, stemming from Monroe’s famous rendition of “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” at a fundraiser on May 19, 1962. The timing of her death less than three months later fueled the rumor that she was murdered before she could reveal their tryst. In point of fact, however, there was no evidence beyond her sultry song that they ever coupled, and their deaths – now almost 60 years gone – have rendered much of such speculation moot.

American Horror Story is fiction, of course, and as such is free to explore whatever legend and rumors it sees fit. Season 10, Episode 8, “Inside,” embraces every outlandish theory about the two and then some. Its twosome are shown passionately in love, engaged in an extensive affair, and in the episode’s big scene between the two of them, they discuss the implications of the aliens’ deal with the US government as pillow talk. The episode further infers that Kennedy was planning to reveal the existence of the alien treaty to the public, so he was subsequently silenced by assassination.

RELATED: American Horror Story: Each Historical Figure Introduced in Death Valley (So Far)

Monroe’s part in the series may require more exploration, owing to what seems at first glance to be a continuity error. The scene between Kennedy and Monroe takes place in 1963, after her apparent death. The reasons why are not entirely clear, but the episode later repeats the error, presenting Steve Jobs as alive and well in the contemporary world despite the fact that the real Jobs died in 2011. “Inside” shows him as an active member of the alien conspiracy, which in turn suggests that Monroe is a part of it too. Her exact role in it, and her intentions for Kennedy, have yet to be revealed, though the show will almost certainly provide some explanation for her continued life.

An article in Woman’s Day about the alleged affair – which points out how unlikely such a coupling might have been – mentions one specific night where the two were together and might have conceivably spent the night. On March 24, 1962 – a little less than two months before Monroe’s “Happy Birthday” song – the two were apparently at a party together at Bing Crosby’s home in Palm Springs, CA. There is no confirmation beyond that, though again, American Horror Story needs no permission to speculate.

More importantly than the fictionalized affair, however, is the location of that real-life party. The desert city has played a central role in the second half of AHS: Double Feature thus far. Dwight Eisenhower retired there after his presidency, and American Horror Story often depicts him playing golf there. The alien crash that sets the plot in motion takes place in the nearby desert. How or if the show continues its bizarre alternate history of Kennedy and Monroe, the location of that potential meeting may play a much larger part than it seems. As it stands, there are clearly enough odd details circulating about the two that make them welcome additions to the off-the-wall series.

American Horror Story: Double Feature’s second segment, “Death Valley,” continues. New episodes air each Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

KEEP READING: AHS: Double Feature Episode 8, ‘Inside,’ Recap & Spoilers

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