Opening with real-life footage of the 2016 Presidential Election, the Season 7 premiere of American Horror Story certainly didn't hold back when it comes to the real life terrors that Cult will bring to our screens. However, not even the freaky clowns on display are quite as scary as the character of Kai Anderson, whose TV-humping, cheetos-wearing psychopath is far more disturbing than any of the real-life cult leaders Evan Peters will play in future episodes of the show.
Among the masturbating clowns and piss-filled condoms, it's easy to become distracted by the horrors that unfolded throughout the first episode of Season 7. Unlike Sarah Paulson's character though, we here at Movie Pilot aren't afraid to dive into the rabbit hole and hunt for every Easter Egg and hidden reference in the Season 7 premiere of American Horror Story: Cult. After all, we already uncovered a number of eerie secrets in the opening credits, so join us as we unpack all of the alternative facts that you might have missed in Episode 1, 'Election Night'.
Fans already knew for some time that Twisty the Clown would return in Season 7, but what remained unclear was how. After all, the fan favorite villain met his demise towards the end of Season 4, Freak Show, and it had already been confirmed that he wouldn't be resurrected through supernatural means.
We first reunite with Twisty when a loved-up couple share the legend of this evil clown while making out in the park where he first committed his murders. The story told mirrors exactly what happened when Twisty first debuted in Freak Show, retelling his debut scene from Season 4, and parallels can also be spotted in the subsequent murders.
Shortly after, it's revealed that this scene was just lifted from a Twisty comic and didn't happen in 'real life'. However, the fact remains that his removal of the girl's tongue is symbolic of the wider political concerns threaded throughout this season, literally removing the voice of the people.
After Sarah Paulson spent half of Season 6 screaming the name "Matt", it looks like there'll be no rest for her lungs in this season either, as Ally Mayfair-Richards spends the majority of 'Election Night' freaking out over the clowns determined to destroy her sanity. Paulson's characters often start out as victims though, before finding the strength to overcome whatever American Horror Story throws their way. If we're right, then Ally too will develop eventually into a more formidable figure, much like Cordelia Foxx and Lana Winters did at the end of their respective seasons.
3. Utter Hogwash
Remember when the Piggy Man hogged all of the kills in Roanoke? Well, a lingering shot on pig snouts in the supermarket certainly reminded us of the evil porker, although we'll probably see pigs fly before he returns to wreak havoc in Season 7.
Saying that though, the supermarket scene also contained a number of other references to characters from horror, including twins who looked remarkably like those found in The Shining and a clown mask that's eerily reminiscent of the evil-doers who appear in Killer Klowns From Outer Space.
4. Ballgag The Dancing Clown
Speaking of that supermarket scene, did anyone else spot Chaz Bono playing the cashier? This isn't the first time that Cher and Sonny's transgender son has appeared on the show, last seen in the role of Brian Wells, an actor who played the cannibalistic Lot Polk as part of My Roanoke Nightmare in Season 6.
The credits also reveal the names of the clowns who terrorize Sarah Paulson's character, including;
While each of these clowns will struggle to make money at even the most open-minded of children's parties, the one who disturbs us most is the clown with three faces. This despicable creation reminded us of both Mordrake from Freak Show and the portrayal of Satan himself in Dante's Inferno, who eternally devoured Brutus, Judas and Cassius in his three mouths. Does this confirm the fan theory that suggests each season of American Horror Story represents a different circle of hell? Probably not, but it's still safe to say that each season is connected in ways that we are yet to fully understand.
5. No, Thank You
While #SarahPaulson's character breaks down in her home upstairs, eagle-eyed fans may have spotted a poster by Shepard Fairey in the background that perfectly encapsulates Ally's political views in one image. Given that American politics form the backbone of this season's narrative, it should come as no surprise that the artist best known for creating the famous 'Hope' poster during Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign would feature here in some form.
6. Winter Is Coming
With the role of Winter Anderson, Lourd continues a tradition of winter-themed character names on American Horror Story, including the likes of Lana Winters and Myrtle Snow too.
Anderson also foreshadows a future guest appearance from Lena Dunham after explaining that her proudest moment is when the star retweeted her online. Episode 7 is titled "Valerie Solanas Died for Your Sins: Scumbag," so it's likely that this will be the episode where Dunham plays real life convict Valerie Solanas who tried to murder Andy Warhol back in the '60s.
7. American Mercedes Story
"There's nothing more dangerous in this world than a humiliated man."
True to his word, Kai Anderson engineers an attack on the councilman (Tim Kang) who denied his requests for power, sending in the clowns to murder him and his wife at home. Rocking up in an ice cream van, one of the killer clowns proceeds to draw a smiley face on the walls in blood, imagery which has recently become synonymous with the TV adaptation of Stephen King's #MrMercedes who also happens to ride around in an ice cream van.
It's also worth noting that the actor who played the councilman was also in The Mentalist, a show where the villainous Red John would also leave this same smiley face in blood on the wall.
Keep checking back with us weekly as we break down everything you missed in each episode of #AmericanHorrorStory: Cult and remember to "Enjoy your latte, BITCH!"
Did you spot any Easter Eggs that we missed in the first episode of American Horror Story: Cult? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!