‘American Horror Story: Cult’ episode 3: Is Dr. Vincent in cahoots with the killer clowns?

Ally's therapist might not be the best person to tell all your secrets and fears to

We’re three weeks into the mysterious new season of American Horror Story and, finally, it seems like we’re getting some solid clues as to who is and isn’t in the cult. Of course, this is a Ryan Murphy-created TV show so you can never fully believe what’s laid out in front of you, but episode three seems – at first glance at least – to be showing some of the characters’ true colours.

That’s the case with Dr. Rudy Vincent, therapist to Ally Mayfair-Richards and others, including Rosie, who overcomes her fear of coffins only to go home and be sealed into one and left to decompose by the gang of killer clowns on the loose. It’s that particular method of murder that’s got fans’ minds racing – how would the group know of her phobia if Rudy isn’t either one of their number or feeding them information for some as-yet-unknown reason? It’s far too specific to be a mere coincidence.

Eagle-eyed fans on Reddit have also pointed out a very subtle hint that he’s somehow in cahoots with the clowns. When he’s talking to Ally on the phone later in the episode, he lines up five smiley face pin badges on his desk. The clowns’ calling card is a smiley face daubed in blood on walls and doors. The number of badges also correlates to the number of clowns in the cult. Is Dr. Vincent behind one of the masks?

Elsewhere, we’re starting to get the impression the therapist isn’t quite as caring as his professional title would make you think. When Ally begins to recount a story from her childhood over the phone, he gives a dramatic eye-roll before coldly shutting the conversation down by telling her they’re out of time. Then, before hanging up, he tries to further plant the seed that she’s losing the plot by suggesting she check in to an in-patient facility lest she be a danger to those around her. Ally doesn’t want to do that, of course, but if it turns out Dr. Vincent is part of the clown cult, she might just be safer locked away.