Frank Ockenfels/FX

Winter & Ivy Are More Connected Than Fans Thought On 'AHS: Cult'

by Megan Walsh

The fourth episode of American Horror Story: Cult went back in time to the days leading up to (and immediately following) the 2016 election so it could illuminate some key moments for characters besides Ally. That resulted in some surprising reveals. Who could have guessed that Winter and Ivy had casually kidnapped someone together before Winter came to work for her? Does that mean both Winter and Ivy are in the cult on American Horror Story? The fact that they were working together at all is suspicious, but "11/9" didn't detail how deeply the partnership went — or why Ivy kept it a secret from her wife in the first place.

Winter and Ivy met at a rally the day before the election, both there to show their support for Hillary Clinton and argue it out with some impassioned Donald Trump fans. One such Trump supporter was Gary Longstreet, previously spotted in "Election Night" as the MAGA hat-wearing cashier who had a brief conversation with Ally. He and Ivy got into a disagreement and then he assaulted her by grabbing at her; Winter jumped to the rescue and chased Gary all the way to his car. When she returned to see how Ivy was doing after that traumatic moment, the two decided to get coffee together. And then they hatched a much darker plan.

Even though Ivy had met Winter mere hours earlier, she decided to go along with a wild plot to kidnap Gary and lock him up in a basement somewhere. It allowed Ivy and Winter to vent some of their frustration with Gary and people like him, but also kept him from the polling station he was so desperate to get to. But Ivy and Winter's plan didn't quite roll out how they expected it to once Kai got involved. He extracted the truth from Winter about what she'd done and then went to visit Gary himself, goading Gary until rage took over and he sawed off his own hand to get out of the cuffs. I guess Kai just couldn't find any bolt cutters.

"11/9" didn't explore Ivy and Winter's relationship any further after that, but there is definitely something suspicious going on here. Ivy didn't tell Ally about her connection to Winter when they hired her even though it's clear they have a past. There could be a couple of reasons for that. Ivy might have regretted her impetuous decision to hold a man hostage and decided she never wanted Ally to know. Maybe Winter blackmailed Ivy into letting her have the nanny job. After all, would you trust a woman with your child if her first instinct in the face of conflict was kidnapping? Probably not.

However, there is another explanation for Ivy's secrecy: she could be in the cult. Fans guessed at that possibility long before it seemed like it might actually be true, but now the evidence is stacking up. Ivy was intrigued by Winter's passion and commitment to taking action (even if that action was felonious), both of which could have gone a long way towards convincing her to take part in the cult. Ivy wasn't shown interacting with Kai, whose powers of persuasion were well documented throughout the episode, but if Winter laid the groundwork then Ivy could have been swayed to Kai's side.

It would explain a lot of Ivy's behavior in the first three episodes as well. She was sometimes dismissive of Ally's panicked behavior and even seemed to set her up for greater trauma, like when she let Ally go to the restaurant to discover the body in the butchery or when she sent Pedro over to the house knowing Ally was unhinged. Ivy could have had a hand in creating Ally's terror.

There's no confirmation yet, but it's starting to look like Ivy and Winter are in the cult together. Ally may need to sleep with one eye open from now on.

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