Even though it’s been said for ages that Freak Show was going to be Jessica Lange’s final season of American Horror Story, Ryan Murphy’s now saying that they’re finding a way of bringing her back.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Murphy was pretty definitive:

I’ve been talking to her. It’s always possible. I’m trying to deal with her play schedule. Jessica is always about the character. She’ll be back—she’s not gone forever. But that’s the fun and fresh thing about the show: sometimes somebody has to go away before you realize how much you miss them. She wants to come back we just have to come up with something.

This sounds like two things are going on here: they’re creating a small part for Lange in the upcoming Hotel, working around her schedule to do it, and/or that she’ll be back for any more seasons.

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There’s also always the possibility that Lange will appear as her character from the first episode of American Horror Story, since Hotel is returning to Los Angeles and is set only a few years after the first season. Last season started to tie all the disparate times and locations of the show together, and there’s already a season one character appearance (realtor Marcy) scheduled for Hotel.

I don’t know if that theory jives with Murphy saying that Lange’s “all about the character” and “we just have to come up something.” He could be talking about writing a return that makes sense for the character. But this kind of sounds like something else. Either way, American Horror Story hasn’t lost its grande dame yet.


Contact the author at katharine@io9.com.