Warning: obvious, clown-filled spoilers ahead!
American Horror Story: Cult premiered on FX Tuesday night, and so far things are, well… confusing (read our review here), but we’re intrigued to see how this all plays out. By far the biggest lingering question following the premiere however, is what exactly is the deal with those freaky clowns? At first they seemed like a figment of Ally’s imagination, being that only she saw them and no one else did, both at the grocery store and later the restaurant (the episode ends on a cliffhanger as one of the clowns surprises her in bed).
But after Oz watches the gang of murderous clowns pull up in an ice cream truck and brutally murder their neighbors — even though Winter also claims not to have seen the clowns — it all but cements the fact that they are, indeed, real. So who is behind the masks, and who is pulling the strings? Given the supernatural nature of the series, it seemed possible that perhaps the clowns were some physical manifestation of the fear people experienced after the election, and that the other characters would in turn exploit that fear.
However in an interview with Jimmy Fallon the night of the premiere, series lead Sarah Paulson let it drop that the clowns are supposedly not supernatural beings. “Basically every year we have a monster, a rubber man, a piggy man, a monster, sometimes it’s a supernatural element, sometimes it’s not,” Paulson said, through giggles. “But this year we don’t have any of that.”