American Horror Story Season 7 may be set in present-day America, but the Internet is filled with speculation about the the ways AHS: Cult connects to other seasons, all set everywhere from 1950s Florida to 16th-century Roanoke.
The most obvious connection between AHS: Cult and the preceding seasons is the return of fan favorite Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch). In Season 4, Freak Show, Twisty was a lovable children's entertainer turned chin-less monster who died and was spirited away to the evil freak show afterlife. In Season 7, Twisty appears only as a comic book character - or does he?
Fans have uncovered other, more subtle connections to past seasons on AHS: Cult, including some that may explain who or what are the killer clowns. From murderous toddlers to an eerily familiar butcher's apron, we round up all the references to other seasons of American Horror Story in Season 7.
The most obvious connection between Cult and previous seasons is the reappearance of everyone's favorite evil clown Twisty (John Carroll Lynch) from Season 5, Freak Show. In the first episode of the seventh season, Twisty reappears to murder some canoodling teens - but wait! - it turns out that's just a scene in one of Oz's comic books. But as imagination and reality collide, Twisty appears again and again.
In the first two episodes of Season 7, Ally (Sarah Paulson) mentions three specific phobias: clowns, trypophobia (a fear of patterns of tiny holes), and blood. Wawacoffee86 explains that Ally's fear of clowns clearly connects to AHS: Freak Show's evil clown Twisty, and blood may link to Hotel's blood-guzzling vampires. On Reddit, nikalo posits Ally's trypophobia might reference the puncture wounds created by heroin injection in Hotel. Or a fear of tiny holes connects to some of Coven's promo images - in addition, of course, to trypophobia's connection to honeycombs and a cult-like "hive mentality."
Redditor monalisaaa11 posits that Ally might develop even more phobias as the season wears on: "My theory is that as the season goes on, they might give us six specific fears they want to loosely connect with the past seasons."
At the end of episode 2, Ally's psychiatrist Dr. Rudy Vincent (Cheyenne Jackson) warned her wife that Ally might be developing agoraphobia. Is this a reference to the close quarters of Asylum? Or perhaps the limbo-like confines of Murder House?
Just who is Ally and Ivy's son Oz (Cooper Dodson) and where does he come from? In episode 2, it's suggested that Ivy is Oz's biological mother based on his preference for her, but who is his father? Plenty of fans suspect it's fear-mongering Cheeto-face Kai Anderson (Evan Peters).
Others think Oz might be little Michael Langdon (Asher Gian Starita) from Season One: Murder House. Baby Michael was the son of Tate Langdon (Evan Peters, disguised as the Rubber Man) and Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton). Constance (Jessica Lange) adopts Michael, who is believed to be the anti-Christ - to prove it, he murders his nanny when he is only three years old. You may remember the writers left the fate of little Michael hanging at the end of Season 1. Was he adopted by Ally and Ivy?
Oz's obsession with ultra-violent comic books does make him seem creepy at best, but some on Reddit point out that while Michael had blue eyes, Oz has brown.
On Reddit, MexicanbeeTV noticed a sly nod to Season 2's serial killer Bloody Face (Zachary Quinto). Is it just a coincidence that Ally's wife Ivy (Alison Pill) dresses like a murderer?
She is a professional butcher, which might be enough to explain the apron and the casual denim, but Berenbos adds, "perhaps it could be more of a tongue-in-cheek thing to make Ivy's clothing style similar to Thredson's, because both Lana and Ally are played by Sarah Paulson?"
It certainly looks like a clue to Ivy's identity, but maybe it's also a clue to the identity of the cult leader?