Jordan Peele's follow-up to Get Out, Us, is a brilliant, twisted and mind-bending thriller that delivers not only on conventional scares -- such as the fear of bodily harm for yourself or those you love -- but amps it up with cryptic elements and disturbing sci-fi twists that themselves serve as a reflection on modern society. Us also raises quite a few questions, especially about the behavior of the children Jason and Zora that one fan theory may just answer.
Warning: There are spoilers for Us beyond this point.
In Us a family -- Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o), Gabe (Winston Duke), Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph), and Jason (Evan Alex) -- encounter a group of doppelgängers who seek to kill them. The doppelgängers each confront their corresponding member of the family. It's revealed in the film that the doppelgängers -- known as the Tethered -- are essentially clones of people who were created in an attempt to control the population. However, when the Tethered end up not having souls and therefore can't be used for control, the project is cancelled with the Tethered left underground for generations. Part of what makes them dangerous, however, is that they think exactly like their human counterparts, making it possible for them to essentially anticipate the humans' reactions to attack.
However, both Jason and Zora are shown to have a distinctively different interaction with their Tethered doppelgängers. Jason is able to control his doppelgänger, Pluto, while Zora is shown to have her own demeanor -- which is initially very peaceful -- influenced by her doppelgänger Umbrae who is a "monster from birth". If control is the issue with the whole Tethered project to start with, how is it that there appears to be successful control going in both directions with Jason and Zora?
According to a fan theory on Reddit, the answer to that comes from a specific detail revealed at the end of the film. As fans discover in the twist ending of Us, Adelaide -- Jason and Zora's mother who has been presented as human the whole film -- is revealed to herself actually be one of the Tethered. As a child, the real Adelaide (now calling herself Red) got lost in a funhouse where she encountered her doppelgänger. That doppelgänger knocked her out and took her place up in the real world, leaving Red to live in the underground. With Adelaide being a Tethered and Red being human, both sets of their offspring -- Jason and Zora as well as Pluto and Umbrae -- are actually hybrids.
This unique biological makeup is what allows the children to influence their doppelgängers. Jason is able to control his Tethered, Pluto, while Umbrae is able to control her human, Zora. As the only hybrids to ever exist, they're the proof of concept the experiment never managed to get to as they shut it down without ever considering that it would be a combination that would create the level of control sought.
The theory also points out that it's an interesting play on doppelgängers in general, as, "in many variations of mythology, doppelgängers have the urge to kill their counterparts to literally take over their life."
What do you think? Does this fan theory explain Jason and Zora's special abilities in Us? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Us is now playing in theaters.
Have you subscribed to ComicBook Nation, the official Podcast of ComicBook.com yet? Check it out by clicking here or listen below.
In this latest episode, we talk about Avengers: Endgame run time, Zack Snyder divulging a bunch of plans he had for the DCEU and more! Make sure to subscribe now and never miss an episode!