'American Horror Story: 1984'
photo: FX

The ninth and penultimate season of American Horror Story premiered on FX on Wednesday, September 18, and there's a lot to break down. 

The anthology series is famous for using the same cast it featured in the previous eight seasons, but this year, for the first time, no one from season one will star. Luckily, some fan-favorites like Emma Roberts, Leslie Grossman, and John Carroll Lynch are back, plus one of creator Ryan Murphy's regulars, Matthew Morrison from Glee, is starring. 

There were so many '80s references in the nostalgic first episode — from slasher-movie Easter eggs to real-life serial killers to moments from the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles — that it was hard to keep track.

This season is set at a California summer camp called Camp Redwood.

The episode begins in Los Angeles, in 1984, during a serial killer crisis. The core group of 20-somethings decide to pack up and head to the woods so that each can escape the bustling, dangerous city. Xavier Plympton (Cody Fern) already experienced a threatening phone call before they started their jobs as camp counselors. 

There were so many references to real-life serial killers, like the one who robbed Brooke (Emma Roberts) of what looked to be a wedding ring. 

One of the first truly frightening moments of the season was Emma Roberts' character being robbed and threatened by a satanic intruder called the Night Stalker. In AHS: Hotel, a slew of serial killers showed up as ghosts, including Richard Ramirez, aka the Night Stalker, who was a real-life murderer that went on a killing spree in Los Angeles during the mid-'80s. 

Another real serial killer referenced in the first episode was the Son of Sam, aka David Berkowitz.

Olympian Gus Kenworthy makes his acting debut as a scorned athlete on the show.

In 1984, the Olympics took place in Los Angeles, the second time since 1932. Much of the first episode revolved around the opening ceremonies. Gus Kenworthy, a real-life Olympic skier, plays Chet Clancy, a would-be Olympian who was disqualified for drug use. It's already clear from the first episode that he harbors resentment for his elimination, and he has major chemistry with Roberts' character. 

A popular fan theory that was seemingly confirmed by the series creator suggests that this season could be themed on lust or violence. But my money's on lust. 

One fan suggested that each of the 10 seasons of American Horror Story has a major theme that coincides with the layers of hell. Showrunner Ryan Murphy seemed to confirm that when he shared this photo on Instagram. With two seasons left in the series, it appears that 1984 revolves around either lust or violence. The series opens with a threesome; every character is already thirsting for one another, and if Matthew Morrison's too-tight shorts are any indication, this season is all about lust. 

But it could be just downright violent, because it's already one of the most gruesome so far. 

One fan was already feeling queasy at all of the blood and gore. They wrote on Twitter, "It just started and I’m already grossed out … awesome." Based on some of the classic slasher movies of years past, there will no doubt be plenty of blood and guts to come. 

Margaret Booth's reopened summer camp in the woods already feels like a terrible idea. 

The AHS Twitter account joked, "Nothing ever goes wrong at secluded camps in the woods." Many fan tweets and memes all referenced the classic horror trope of the main characters going to camp despite countless warnings against it. Considering the violent way in which Margaret Booth (Leslie Grossman) came to own the camp, there's plenty more disasters ahead. 

The usual terrifying title sequence got a nostalgic make-under. 

The AHS title song and sequence are very recognizable and famously scary. This season's is still just as disturbing, but features some classic '80s nostalgia vibes that are reminiscent of old-school movie theaters. "OBSESSED with the title sequence for the new season of American Horror Story!" Kenworthy wrote on his Twitter ahead of the premiere.