In American Horror Story: Cult, Billie Lourd plays Winter, the nanny to Ally and Ivy’s son Oz — and Winter is, in my not-so-humble opinion, one of the worst nannies ever.
Why? Well first, there’s her passion, or lack thereof, for the job.
Her interview for the gig is cut with a conversation she has with Kai — a fearmonger, with a gripe against Ally and Ivy. That’s not suspicious at all… (Earlier in the episode, Kai “accidentally” spilled his coffee all over the married couple when he came across them on a sidewalk.)
Kai asks Winter what fills her heart with dread, and then we see Winter telling Ally and Ivy, “Children, I’ve always enjoyed children. I did a lot of babysitting in high school.” Mhmm, I don’t buy that for a second. Nor do I buy this: “School is just so political, you know? I just felt like I needed a break from all that and I thought that becoming a part of someone else’s life, a family, would be something good.”
It’s another nice idea, but it sounds so insincere when coming from Winter — who, by the way, maybe is into the idea of murder. YES, MURDER.
Kai asks her who she wanted to kill last, and at first she denies that she wanted anyone dead. He guesses the “salt of the Earth Americans who elected our president,” and she falls silent. She never explicitly agrees, but she’s clearly rattled by Kai, and a look can say a lot…
Maybe nannying isn’t her dream job, but she could still be okay at it, right? Wrong, dead wrong.
While watching Oz for the first time, she notices that he’s drawing something pretty, um, disturbing. His picture is of a killer clown holding a knife, with a dead body nearby. Winter isn’t bothered at all and asks, “Have you ever seen a real dead body?” Because, you know, that’s how nannies and kids get to know each other.
Upon finding out that he hadn’t, she decides to expose him to the dark web. He’s clearly uncomfortable, but she pushes him to keep looking. “Have you ever been vaccinated for Chicken Pox or Measles? This is like a vaccination,” she says, “but for your brain. It hurts at first, but it makes you better. Don’t you want to be strong?”
Let’s just take a moment to remember that Oz is 10 yearso ld. TEN YEARS OLD. Do you know what I was doing at age 10? Going to school, playing soccer, participating in Girl Scouts, just your average kid stuff. Definitely not looking at dead bodies online.
Anyway, Oz decides to keep looking, and to Winter’s credit, she then did a very normal, nanny thing and fetched some cookies. Because, you know that old saying: Nothing goes better together than cookies and a ‘lil murder watching.
Moving on, not only is nannying not Winter’s thing, but she’s more than bad at it — she’s downright terrible.
While she went to grab the cookies, Oz spots an ice-cream truck on the street and sees a handful of creepy-looking clowns (though let’s be real, they’re almost always creepy looking) get out of it. He runs to Winter to tell her, but they’ve vanished by the time she takes a look.
To prove a point, she takes Oz outside to show him what’s going on — and what’s going on is that the clowns are brutally murdering the Chang family. Now, maybe none of us would believe a little kid if he/she told us that clowns were on the loose in their neighborhood, and that those clowns were up to no good.
Fair enough, but would you really take that kid outside to find out? What if they weren’t just being imaginative? Do you really want to put yourself and the kid at risk, and find out the hard way? I’m not even much of a kid person (just gimme all the puppies), and I wouldn’t do that.
The question now is, is that really how the Changs met their end?
When Ally and Ivy return home, they find cops everywhere and find out that the Changs have died. But, how did they die? Oz claims it was the clowns, but Winter says otherwise. Winter asks Oz to head inside so she can talk to his parents.
“Now you want to look after him,” Ally says. “Are you fucking kidding me?!” And she most definitely has a point, but Ivy asks for an officer to look after Oz so they can hear Winter out. Winter says that Oz is very imaginative, and that she found his killer-clown comic. Ivy adds that Oz has sleep terrors in which he doesn’t even realize he’s asleep. And Detective Samuels says it looks like the incident was a murder-suicide.
So it’s very possible that the Changs’ death by clowns didn’t happen. Ally already looks to be an unreliable narrator where clowns are concerned, and maybe the same goes for Oz. But even if the pair of them might not be reliable, they could still be right. This is American Horror Story after all, so clown murder could completely be within the realm of possibility.
I’m inclined to believe Oz, and think that Winter is the one making things up, because A) it appears she doesn’t really care about his well-being, and B) it looks like she and Kai are up to no good. Here’s to finding out more when the next episode of American Horror Story airs on FX on Tuesday.