American Horror Story's "goriest season yet" has only just begun, but we're already spinning our wheels on some theories about where the season will take us. 1984 is modelled after the slasher flicks that reigned supreme in the '80s and the first episode doesn't hesitate to follow suit, introducing a host of new characters and several potential killers to keep our eyes on — especially one masquerading as a benevolent ally.
There's the obvious terrors: the Night Stalker, a real-life serial killer we've actually seen before on AHS: Hotel, and Mr. Jingles, a Vietnam War vet who allegedly terrorized the campers of Redwood before being put away in an asylum. But then there are the more mysterious factors: an unknown man who leaves a threatening voice message for Xavier (that he foolishly ignores) and the bruised hitchhiker the group picks up on the side of the road after hitting him with their car. And of course, there's Margaret Booth.
Anyone worth their salt in the AHS fandom knows better than to trust a blonde with a mysterious past and a temper, and Margaret (Leslie Grossman) is no different. Despite the obvious dangers of Mr. Jingles and the Night Stalker, there's something about Margaret that doesn't feel right and makes us wonder if she doesn't have more to do with the killings than she's letting on. It all begins with the opening of 1984's first episode, which is ironically the ending of Camp Redwood's initial run. The episode opens with the 1970 slaying at the camp when Mr. Jingles enters the counselors' cabin and brutally massacres them all — except for one.
Later in the episode, Margaret reveals that she is the sole survivor of the slaughter, which she accomplished by pretending to be dead after being attacked. She cites Jesus as her saviour for allowing her to remain silent while Mr. Jingles sliced off her ear, a trademark of his. She went on to testify against Mr. Jingles in court and send him to a mental hospital, where he remains until the reopening of Camp Redwood. He makes his escape, killing two people in the process, and returns to the camp.
Now, this is where things get a bit murky: Margaret is very devoutly religious, she openly disapproves of the "decadence of our era" and activities like drinking, drugs, and brisk workouts in cupid's gymnasium. She says that she's reopening the camp to provide a "pure place" for children. It's a lot. How does this factor into the 1970 massacre? Well, as we saw in the flashback, the counselors were definitely not behaving in a manner Margaret would approve of: specifically, the three counselors we focussed on were having a threesome. It wouldn't be far-fetched to believe that witnessing all the debauchery caused Margaret to snap and bring a reckoning on all her co-counselors. She then pins the slaughter on Mr. Jingles, who already has a troublesome history after the Army dishonourably discharged him for his DIY project where he made a necklace from his victims' ears.
Being the sole survivor of the slaughter allows Margaret to twist the story any way she desires, especially since only Rita (Angelica Ross) knew the story in the present day. And it would make sense why seeing the clip in the newspaper announcing the reopening of the camp would influence Mr. Jingles to escape from the mental hospital. If Margaret is the Camp Redwood killer and she framed Mr. Jingles, he's probably more than ready to come collect on her sins against him.
Of course, this doesn't exactly mean that Margaret is the killer going in 1984. She could just be innocently attempting to reopen the camp and create new, happier memories where there are only terrible ones. But if she has killed in the past, there's no telling what she's up to now. She could be in cahoots with the current murderer and Mr. Jingles's escape could put a major wrench in her plans. Or, she could be using the camp to lure those she deems indecent and reenact her 1970 massacre all over. Thankfully, we have plenty of time and episodes to figure out exactly what's going down with Ms. Margaret Booth. Something tells me she's definitely someone to keep our eyes on.