Ally’s Quirky New Neighbors May Be Gaslighting Her On ‘AHS: Cult’

Frank Ockenfels/FX

As the creepy clowns continue their campaign of terror against Ally Mayfair-Richards on it's becoming increasingly clear that there's a very important question viewers should be asking themselves: are Harrison and Meadow clowns on AHS: Cult? What seemed in the first episode like it could maybe be just a combination of Ally's phobias acting up paired with a random act of violence — the murder of the Changs — is now almost certainly so much more. It's clear that Ally and her family are being targeted… and their new neighbors, played by Billy Eichner (Difficult People) and Leslie Grossman (Popular), could be in on it.

(Spoiler alert for Episode 2!)

The new characters introduced in Season 7's second episode, "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark," as viewed through Ally's perspective as she watches her new neighbors move in across the street, definitely seem suspicious at first. But the rest of the episode goes out of its way to dispel this first impression. He's a beekeeper, she's a heliophobe who can't stand to be in the sun for longer than 10 minutes; he's gay, she's OK with it; they're both in a Nicole Kidman fan club. They're not suspicious, they're just quirky!

But perhaps Ally was right to be suspicious of Harrison and Meadow. Maybe their quirkiness is just a mask to cover the fact that they're secretly members of the creepy clown cult, installed in the house across the street to run reconnaissance on their next victim. Could it really be happenstance that the oddball couple moved into the house formerly inhabited by the Changs so quickly? Or did the clowns murder Ally's friends specifically so members of their cult could take over the house and keep an eye on Ally from across the street?

These definitely feel like the kinds of questions viewers should be asking themselves at this point in the season. But the interesting thing is, it's still impossible to tell which way things will go. It's very easy to see a sequence of events where it turns out that everything was masterminded by Kai, and absolutely everyone is in on it — from Ozzy's new babysitter Winter to Ally's therapist Dr. Rudy to the Wiltons across the street. But it's also possible to imagine an ending where it turns out that this really was all in Ally's head all along; there's no conspiracy, the clowns are hallucinations, and the Wiltons are just a couple of garden variety weirdos.

But if that's the case, then there's still a lot that needs to be explained. What are the Wiltons storing in all of those barrels that they unloaded into their garage. (At first I assumed those were the containers the bees were shipped in, but they appear to be unrelated to Harrison's apiary.) And is it really a coincidence that Harrison's hobby involves one of the very specific things Ally is afraid of: small holes? Or was that honeycomb specifically meant to trigger her trypophobia?

If so, that creates all sorts of disturbing implications. Who has been feeding the cult information about Ally's triggers and phobias? Is it Winter, her son's new babysitter? Is it Dr. Rudy, her seemingly benign therapist? Could it even be Ally's own loving, supportive wife Ivy? OK, it seems very unlikely that Ivy is on in the gaslighting (although wouldn't that make a bonkers twist?), but it's clear that Ally is being specifically targeted… and that the Wiltons are almost certainly a part of that master plan.

Of course, it remains to be seen exactly what the cult wants from Ally other than her nonstop screams. But it probably won't be long before this conspiracy is unmasked and the cult reveals its terrifying master plan.