American Horror Story loves to tease fans with clues and connections to previous seasons, and Season 7, Cult, is no expection. There are some intriguing similarities between this season's Ally Mayfair-Richards and Season 2's Lana Winters, both played by AHS veteran Sarah Paulson.
For one, they are Sarah Paulson's lesbian characters, characters that may be close to the actress, who is a lesbian herself. But careful viewers of AHS will spot more evidence about this theory about Ally on AHS: Cult. The link between American Horror Story: Cult and Asylum extends not just to the characters of Lana and Ally, but to everyone around them, from their romantic partners to their therapists to their sons.
Redditors like beastboi27 first noticed some of the connections after the Season 7 premiere and the clues have only continue from there. Read on for a list of hints and theories about Sarah Paulson's Lana and Ally (and her other AHS characters, too). And keep track, as each episode reveals more ways that Lana and Ally on American Horror Story are connected.
They Put Their Faith - Perhaps Blindly - In Something Bigger
Lana Winters is first and foremost a journalist. Even after she's falsely committed to Briarcliff asylum, she spends her time making notes and then, when those are destroyed, commits herself to remembering as many details as possible to tell the outside world. Ultimately, her faith in journalism is rewarded: she triumphs over the evil of Briarcliff and becomes a renowned journalist.
Ally Mayfair-Richards, meanwhile, believes in politics to effect change - or she did, before Trump got elected. When Kai (Evan Peters) first comes to her door asking for her vote, she tells him that she believes in using politics to build bridges, not walls. She hires Winter (Billie Lourd) to be her son's nanny based largely on their shared politics. Later, when she's taunted by protestors for killing her Latino employee, she pleads with them that she's one of them, aligned with the same causes. Even her controversial vote for Jill Stein was motivated by an idealistic belief in casting the "right" vote.
Will her faith in politics be validated like Lana's in journalism? Or will the madness of Trump's election and everything that followed it turn her into a cynic?
They Both Get Tough
Asylum's Lana Winters is a journalist stuck covering boring local news stories, but she dreams of bigger scoops. Instead, she is imprisoned, tortured, and finally raped by the serial killer Bloody Face. Shachath (Frances Conroy), the merciful angel of death, offers Lana the chance to end her suffering, but instead she chooses to fight back. She escapes Briarcliff, kills Bloody Face, and goes on to a successful career.
When Cult begins, Ally is a frail, anxious mess. Trump's 2016 election triggers an array of previously dormant phobias and she starts having constant panic attacks, hallucinating (or is she?), and failing to show up for work. She is so afraid, she barely leaves the house - and this fear causes her to tragically kill her employee Pedro when she believes he's an intruder. Of course, this accident only makes Ally more of a target, this time of protestors who label her a racist and a murderer because she shot an innocent Latino man out of misguided fear.
Eventually, though, Ally reaches her breaking point. When she believes her next-door neighbors are targeting her son, she charges over there and attacks Harrison (Billy Eichner). She also confronts the mysterious figures spraying a toxic green gas in her neighborhood. Ally may still be afraid - by now, she has the right to be - but she's done hiding indoors.
They're Both Played By Sarah Paulson
Okay, this one seems obvious, but stay with us. The anthology series re-uses the same actors season after season, but do we think show creator Ryan Murphy arbitrarily chooses which actors will play which roles? Or does it seem more likely there's a reason he picked Paulson to play both Lana and Ally?
Many fans thinks that there's a meaning behind why certain actors return to certain types of roles again and again. Jacqueline Bircher, originator of the famed Dante theory, argues that each season of AHS represents a different level of Hell as imagined in Dante's Inferno. She goes on to say:
"The decision to cast the same actors as different characters in each season can also be interpreted as allegorical. The casting could reinforce the idea that any single person is not predestined for Hell, but is capable of committing any or all sins of their own free will, or, in some cases, out of necessity or coercion. Or, each actor could represent a single soul that has been condemned to be continuously punished for his or her sins within all circles of Hell, similar to the idea of being reincarnated several times after a few bouts of really bad karma."
Redditor AlfieBoheme posits that each actor might represent the same sin in every season, and suggests Sarah Paulson might be linked to the sin of Pride.
Even if each character isn't linked to a sin per se, there are definitely recurring character types on American Horror Story and so it's not surprising that all of Paulson's roles might connect at least allegorically.
Will Ally Be Betrayed Like Lana Was?
In Asylum, Lana's girlfriend Wendy Peyser is blackmailed by Sister Jude into signing a document stating that Lana is mentally ill and must be committed to Briarcliff Asylum. There, Lana is tortured and nearly murdered by the serial killer Bloody Face.
Should Ally be wary of her partner, too? AHS fans are very suspicious of Ivy (Alison Pill), Ally's wife. She's one of the only people who knows Ally's phobias and weaknesses, and she would stand to gain by seeing her troublesome wife and business partner out of the picture. The internet is buzzing with clues that link Ivy to the cult and the killer clowns. What's more, Redditor MexicanbeeTV notes that Ivy and Season 2's serial killer Bloody Face share a stylist.
This might be the final, fatal connection between seasons 2 and 7.