Are Elsa Mars & Sister Jude Twins? This ‘AHS: Freak Show’ Theory Has a Lot of Evidence to Support It
When Ryan Murphy first announced that all American Horror Story seasons are connected, I wonder if he knew just how many fan theories this revelation would unleash. Did he predict we'd believe that Dandy Mott is related to Bloody Face or that Lana Winters is actually Bette Tattler? It's hard to say at this point. All I know for sure is that there are more AHS connection theories out there than any of us know what to do with. But one interpretation that has kept popping up into the forefront of my mind is the idea that Freak Show 's Elsa Mars and Sister Jude from Asylum are twins. Not just connected… not just related… but actual identical twins.
Of course, like any good AHS theory, this concept is riddled in craziness and flawed logic. But that's the type of stuff this show thrives off of. If anything, it makes me even more convinced of its potential. Let's start with the fact that both characters could arguably be the same age. Sure, you may think Sister Jude looks a bit older than Elsa (which is ironic given that Jessica Lange was actually two years younger during that role). However, it's important to remember that there's a 12-year time difference between Freak Show and Asylum, so back in 1952, Sister Jude's age would match up nicely with Elsa's. That is, after all, kind of a requirement for being twins.
Speaking of which, this entire Elsa twin theory first made itself present back in the AHS: Freak Show premiere when a woman dressed in a sad clown suit (who looked just like Elsa) watched her counterpart perform David Bowie's "Life on Mars." Could this have been purely symbolic or a figment of Elsa's imagination? Absolutely. But that doesn't mean it couldn't also have been a subtle hint from Murphy that there's another Elsa-like character walking around in his AHS universe. Perhaps in the form of a night-club-performer-turned-dedicated-nun.
Then there's the Sister Mary Eunice crossover to consider. We know the character will make an appearance on Freak Show, which will have something to do with Pepper, though the exact details are not yet known. However, for me, it's not so much what she ends up doing that's important, but rather who sent her there in the first place? It could be that Jude hears about the murders down in Jupiter, grows concerned for her twin sister's well-being, and sends help in the form of her most trusted fellow nun. I mean, how else does someone from Briarcliff find their way to a sideshow in Florida? An outside source had to have a hand in it, and Jude may very well be the prime candidate.
Now that's not to say that the two of them get along. Truthfully, it would be right up Elsa's alley to resent anyone that makes her feel less unique. Not to mention that Jude has both of her legs intact and seemed to have a decent singing career before the whole hit-and-run incident altered her life plan. Elsa could still be holding a grudge against her twin sister — jealous of all the opportunities that she herself missed out on. It kind of puts Elsa's advice to Bette into perspective when she hints at killing her more talented sister. Elsa knows what it's like to have opportunities squandered by another. It's possible she doesn't just understand Bette's predicament. She's lived it.
Oh, and one more thing. Anyone else find it interesting that both Elsa and Jude have a history of whipping people? As we learned from Elsa's kinky backstory, she used to work as a dominatrix before losing her legs in a snuff film. During the flashback, we catch a glimpse of her extensive, um, toy collection, which involves collars, handcuffs, and crop whips. To name a few.
Want to know who else had an impressive array of torture utensils? Sister Jude and her own (literal) Cabinet of Curiosities.
Perhaps both of them used to be in that line of work, but while Jude managed to escape into a singing career, Elsa's fate was much more grim. This could also further backup the whole Elsa-Dr. Arden connection and explain why Sister Jude becomes particularly invested in taking the doctor down when she learns of his Nazi ties to Germany. Whether it was actually him who removed Elsa's legs or not, Arden's perverse take on medical practices could have reminded Jude of what happened to her sister, and thereby prompted her to make sure some sort of justice was finally served.
But whether I'm right or wrong about this whole twin thing, I think we can all agree on one thing — having two forms of Jessica Lange out there in any universe is never a bad thing.