Frank Ockenfels/FX

No Neighborhood Is Safe On 'AHS: Cult'

by Megan Walsh

Just in case you thought American Horror Story: Cult didn't have enough mysteries, "Neighbors From Hell" decided to introduce a new one. Ally noticed a strange truck driving down her street that was spewing out some kind of green liquid. She ran out in a panic shouting the very same question viewers were surely wondering: what green substance gets sprayed on the lawns on AHS: Cult?

The truck had no visible markings on it and the green light used to illuminate the mystery mist made it look like something out of a Batman cartoon. It seemed almost as though it could be one of Ally's delusions, because the entire scenario looked too absurd to be real. The mist also didn't appear to have an effect on anyone, though it may be too soon to tell on that front. Ally encountered it twice and there was no change in her appearance or behavior. Her panic continued to escalate, but that's just how things are with Ally. It can't be attributed to the substance.

The first time Ally came into contact with the mist, she got a bloody nose — but that was likely a result of being knocked to the ground. She passed out the second time, though it seemed more like her anxiety overwhelmed her and she fainted as opposed to the mist causing it. But it's impossible to say definitively.

In its two appearances in "Neighbors From Hell," the truck (and those operating it) remained stubbornly silent. At first it didn't even stop, nearly running Ally over as it blitzed through the neighborhood. It did stop the second time and several people disembarked in hazmat suits with gas masks to spray the substance directly onto Ally's lawn, but they refused to answer her hysterical questions. When she ripped off one of the masks, there was no human face to be found behind it. Another mask stared back at Ally, one with the same clownish smiley face that had been painted on all the murder sites.

The situation with the green substance is one of the most nightmarish and confusing on AHS: Cult, and answers don't seem forthcoming quite yet. If the mist has no apparent effects on anyone, then why did the workers have to wear masks and suits? Is the substance actually affecting Ally even if the viewers can't tell how yet? Were the people in the hazmat suits even real, or did Ally imagine the entire situation?

Ivy was with her in the earlier altercation but not the latter, and the audience doesn't know Ivy's perception of what happened. It's possible that Ally took a normal situation and warped it in her mind into something more dangerous, as the line between fantasy and reality has become tricky for her to distinguish on occasion. Assuming Ally really did see the truck, the mist, and the faceless worker, then it's difficult to find an explanation that falls within the bounds of reality.

It's unlikely the substance is something as run-of-the-mill as a pesticide, though it is possible. Season 7 plays into everyday fears and there is definitely a rising concern with the chemicals that are sprayed onto the things we eat and places we live. It's less clear how this will fit into the season as a whole. Kai might be behind the murders, but he doesn't appear to have enough power to hire a truck to dispense mystery chemicals on Ally's block. Perhaps the conspiracy goes deeper than just Kai.

The green mist could be a whole lot of ominous nothing, but that's not likely on a show like American Horror Story. Instead it's sure to have some sinister property, whether it's there to make the residents sick, control their minds, or induce all kinds of clownish delusions.

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