One of the most memorable monsters from American Horror Story: Freak Show will be returning in the brand new season of Ryan Murphy's hair-raising anthology, which premiers tonight on FX. American Horror Story: Cult will bring back the sadistic yet misunderstood Twisty the Clown (John Caroll Lynch), once again weaving together narratives of all seven seasons.
Season 7 will be drawing on real horror inspired by the 2016 US Presidential Election, and revolves around #SarahPaulson's Ally, whose phobias of clowns, blood, coffins and a plethora of other fears are exacerbated when Trump is elected to office, leaving her endlessly tormented — much to the distress of her wife Ivy (Alison Pill) and their son. The show's creator #RyanMurphy has said that Season 7 will not focus on the election itself, but on the divisiveness of the results and the rise of cult personalities (all played by Evan Peters):
“Yes, the jumping-off point of the show is election night, and the characters have very strong points of view about Trump and Clinton, but it really is not about them. It really is about the rise of a cult of personality that can rise in a divided society.”
So Where Does Twisty Come In?
We first caught sight of the deadly clown in the AHS: Cult trailer, which glimpsed a comic book with Twisty gazing menacingly from the cover. Billie Lourd's mysterious Winter Anderson also presents Ally and Ivy's son with a creepy AF Twisty doll.
The official AHS Twitter has also been teasing the return of Twisty, recently sharing this hella gruesome motion comic which features the clown ripping out the tongue of one unlucky victim.
Clowns will play a big role in Season 7, as seen in the various promos and the show's opening credits. They are one of the main horrors terrorizing Ally, and are likely to be as real and deadly as her imagination allows them to be. Even though Entertainment Weekly blasted Twisty's return "for no apparent reason beyond hysterical continuity," I think Twisty has more relevance to the plot than first meets the eye.
If we cast our minds back to Season 4, Twisty the Clown was a terrifying mutant that brutally stalked and murdered his victims, until Edward Mordrake revealed his botched suicide attempt and misguided intentions to "protect" the children of Jupiter. The fact that Ally's son is the one who receives the doll from Winter (who warns him not to tell his moms) and reads the Twisty comics may suggest that some of Ally's fears are warranted, and may be a result of said misguided intentions. Whether he is back from the dead, a copycat killer, or just a character in a comic book is yet to be determined.
Season 7 has been very open about its basis in recent real life events; and back in 2016 there were several clown sightings in the United States, where for some reason people decided to dress up and creep out local residents. This seems to also happen in the show, which deeply upsets Ally as she is unable to tell the difference between those that are trying to kill her and those that aren't.
How Does This Connect To Freak Show?
Like Piggy Man in Roanoke and the return of Lana Winters, the presence of Twisty might simply be there to remind the viewer of American Horror Story's connected universe. Twisty might also be there to simply exacerbate Ally's fears, plus he's also having an effect on her son, who begins to also have nightmares about killer clowns. Murphy also echoed this sentiment, as apparently Twisty's return was always on the cards, telling IGN:
"Twisty was always one of our mythological monsters, along with Bloody Face and Rubber Man, and Piggy Man. All of those characters come and go within the cycle of the show."
The presence of Twisty makes perfect sense when we look at Cult's Coulrophobia storyline — as Twisty is on a par with IT's Pennywise in terms of terrifying circus performers. We know that Season 8 or 9 will be a Coven/Murder House crossover, so perhaps Cult and Freak Show will have more in common with each other than we originally thought, and Twisty is only the beginning.
Who would you rather bump into on a dark night?