We knew this season of American Horror Story: Freak Show was going to be especially, well, freaky. However, Wednesday night’s premiere episode “Monsters Among Us” managed to far exceed even our wildest expectations. Because, as it turns out, Sarah Paulson may not be the only lead star pulling double duty this season with her conjoined twin characters Bette and Dot. It seems Jessica Lange’s Elsa Mars has an identical twin as well. Or at least, that’s what the show's writers want us to believe. Those who watched closely may have noticed that during Elsa singing “Life on Mars,” the camera briefly cut to a depressed looking woman in a clown uniform who intently watched the performance unfold. Oh yeah, and she just so happened to look exactly like Elsa. All together now: WHAT THE WHAT?!?!
Seriously, did we all just collectively have a stroke and envision a world with two Jessica Langes? (I mean, I’m not complaining or anything. I’m simply checking, you know… for health reasons.) Honestly though, in no way did I see this twist coming. And take it from someone who’s watched that big reveal at least 10 times, it doesn’t get any less confusing. I guess Elsa wasn’t lying when she made this rather ominous remark to Meryl Streep’s daughter, er, Penny the Candy Striper.
And something tells me we’re only just getting started. But for now, this vision by itself is more than enough to keep our imaginations running amuck. First, it’s unclear if this unnamed woman — let’s call her Elsa 2.0 — is even watching the performance live since there seems to be a projector rolling right next to her. If that’s the case, then this could possibly still be Elsa, though that wouldn’t explain the clown-like get-up and gloomy expression on her face. So if this really is Elsa’s twin sister, who else knows about her? Is this all just part of the act or is Elsa hiding a deep-rooted secret from her merry band of misfits? Is she, much like Bette is to Dot, the complete opposite of Elsa? That could certainly help to explain Elsa 2.0's sad demeanor. Either way, it’s definitely going to make you reflect on this moment a little differently.
Does that mean there could even be a third one of them? Also, if Elsa's sister ends up having the name Anna, then this worldwide Frozen fetish has officially gone too far.
Then there’s the added shock that Elsa has no legs, which was unveiled mere moments before the closing credits. While getting ready for bed, our leading lady hikes up her garments to reveal a pair of prosthetic limbs, once again leaving us with way more questions than answers. How did this happen? Was it from an accident or was she born this way? It’s anybody’s guess at this point.
Part of me immediately wondered if this is somehow linked to the fact that she has a twin. Perhaps the two of them were once conjoined, but in order to be separated, the bottom part of Elsa's legs had to be cut off. Of course, that’s assuming they were connected from the knees down, which seems highly unlikely. (Anyone else’s head starting to hurt?) At least we now have a better understanding of why she feels so protective of her little monsters. Because, in a way, she too is a monster among them. They just don't know it yet.