If we're reading the tea leaves of Ryan Murphy's Instagram tease correctly, Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch) might be around American Horror Story's Season 7 for a lot more than balloon animals and joy-buzzers. Though details about the upcoming season are still few and far-between, Murphy has taken to social media over the past several weeks to offer up casting announcements, plot hints and a series of still-unexplained images to tease fans anxious for answers.
The inclusion of Twisty in the new season does seem to follow-through on a promise Murphy made in an interview with Entertainment Weekly last year that the series would delve into the "deeper histories and mythologies" of Freak Show, AHS's fourth season. Lynch's Twisty was a particularly tragic and horrific tale: run-out of his first love, the circus, by false accusations of child molestation as a young man, he would suffer a series of personal and professional failures that would drive him to a failed suicide-by-shotgun attempt. With a disturbing new "mission," Twisty the Clown began abducting children to "save" them from their parents…in his mind, the way he should've been saved as a boy. By the end of the season, Twisty would be killed and dragged to Hell by the ghost of Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley), joining Mordrake's hellish travelling freak show for eternity.
Which leaves us with the biggest takeaway-question from Murphy's announcement: if Twisty died in the 1940's, what role will he play in 2017?
American Horror Story's seventh season is using the 2016 election as an inspiration and backdrop for the story, beginning with the night of the election itself. While the turbulent election might serve as the season's theme, Murphy wants viewers to know that if they're expecting to see Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump running for their lives from a crazed, knife-wielding Twisty, they're probably going to be disappointed:
"I think people literally think Sarah Paulson is playing Hillary Clinton, and I wanted to clarify that that is not true. Horror Story is always about allegory, so the election is allegory. It's our jumping off point. It is about the election we just went through and what happened on that night and the fallout of that night, which to many people, from all sides of the camps is a horror story. And you know, that show is always so fun when it's about the zeitgeist and what we're doing now. You'll see them (Clinton and Trump) on television. The first 10 minutes of the season, this season, takes place in a very eerie macabre way on election night and there's something terrible that happens in the lives of our characters on election night as they're watching it all go down. Which in itself was a horror story, so it's like a horror story upon a horror story."
AHS regulars Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Adina Porter, and Cheyenne Jackson will be returning this season, joining new cast members Billie Lourd (Scream Queens), Billy Eichner (Difficult People), Colton Haynes (Arrow), Leslie Grossman (Nip/Tuck) and Alison Pill (The Newsroom).