Last week's season premiere of American Horror Story: 1984 did a lot of set up for the FX horror anthology series' ninth season. We met our core cast, a group of friendly acquaintances from an aerobics class who decided to get out of Los Angeles and go be camp counselors at Camp Redwood for the summer, each with their own reasons for wanting to escape the city. We also were introduced to two lethal threats, the Night Stalker killer Richard Ramirez and Mr. Jingles, the man responsible for the massacre at Camp Redwood 14 years before 1984 starts as well as the camp's new owner, Margaret Booth who just so happens to be the sole survivor of that slaying. It seems pretty straightforward, but as fans of American Horror Story know all too well, that is never the case and now fans are wondering who the real killer is -- and some have already settled on Margaret as a prime subject.
One of the things that is established in the 1984 season premiere is Margaret's (Leslie Grossman) story. The episode opens with the 1970 slaying at Camp Redwood in which we see a trio of counselors who are having a bit of afterhours fun when Mr. Jingles arrives and brutally kills them. What we don't find out until a bit deeper into the episode is that Margaret was one of the victims in that massacre, though she had survived by pretending to be dead after initially being attacked. As she reveals to the counselors around the campfire, Jesus saved her, allowing her to not scream when the killer sliced off her ear. The Jesus element of her survival story is important because we also find out in the episode that Margaret is devoutly religious. She disapproves of drinking, drugs, and sexual activity and is reopening the camp to provide a "pure" place for America's children.
The general theory -- and to be clear, there are several variations of this one floating around fan communities including this one on Reddit -- is that Margaret is the real killer. Repulsed by the debauchery of her fellow camp counselors, Margaret snaps and kills everyone, mutilates herself and as the "sole survivor" implicates Mr. Jingles as he has a troublesome military record that would make him seem likely. She's then able to use her survival story as a way to spread her faith and reopen the camp.
If Margaret is the original killer, it might also explain why Mr. Jingles escaped from his mental hospital. A news clipping about the camp's reopening is found in his cell and if Margaret is the real killer and she framed Mr. Jingles, he may have seen the camp reopening as an opportunity to take out the woman who put him behind bars, so to speak. It could also explain why Mr. Jingles did kill someone in the episode -- he has a lot of pent up rage.
If Margaret is the real original killer, that doesn't necessarily mean she'll be the killer in 1984, though. While it's possible that she's intending to go on another killing spree to deal with people she sees as being vile influences -- the main group of counselors have all been revealed to have some sort of vice save for Brooke (Emma Roberts) -- her status as the original killer could simply be what draws whoever the new killer ends up being in. It would be an epic and horrific way to get revenge if Mr. Jingles showed up to slaughter Margaret and just so happened to take out everyone else as well. There's also the Richard Ramirez factor to consider meaning that Margaret could be a killer, but likely not the only one.
What do you think? Will Margaret end up being a killer? What is her real role this season? Let us know in the comments below.
American Horror Story: 1984 airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.