Exactly what ARE the Doppelgängers?
- Aliens: People that look exactly like you wanting to kill you? Smells like a reimagining of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
- Clones with an extreme case of Cloning Blues: The reason they're attacking the originals is to become their own person, free from the shackles of being identified as a copy.
- Confirmed-ish. The Tethered are, in fact, clones who resent their originals, but their motivation is less about not-being allowed their own identity (although that's part of it) and more about not being afforded the same luxuries as their counterparts (IE sunlight, good food, etc).
- The original family, caught in a Stable Time Loop who are hoping to kill their younger selves to break the cycle.
- Their literal personal demons, who have taken on their forms.
- Jossed, except metaphorically.
- They're nightmares that have seeped into the real world.
- Jossed, except in the metaphorical sense.
- They are the actual Wilsons, who have been forced to watch an idyllic, dream version of themselves as a form of torture by an unknown entity. This has driven them to kill the "good" Wilsons, so they can stop being reminded of what they aren't.
- Confirmed, but only Red (Adelaide's doppelganger) is the original
- Clones created by white people as a more acceptable substitute. This is Peele, after all.
- Unlikely, since Peele has explicitly stated that this film's commentary isn't about race.
- Plus, a foreground shot in one of the trailers of the red jumpsuited Tethered holding hands shows that one of them is white, suggesting that one or both of the Tylers is also affected.
- The Tethered are clones, but they weren't specifically created by white people so much as the whole government in order to control everybody, not just black people. The experiment failed and the Tethered were abandoned.
- Anthropomorphic Personifications of people's darkest traits, maybe due to the collective unconscious "leaking" into our world for one reason or another.
- Jossed in the literal sense, but the themes are there.
Adelaide used to be involved in the cult that created the doppelgängers
- In the trailer, she warns her children about the doppelgängers and how they won't stop until they kill the family or the family kills them. Although this could simply sound like a mother preparing her children to be strong against their new enemies, it could also be foreshadowing that Adelaide knows about the functions of their evil twins and why they work that way. Also in an interview, Lupita mentions that Adelaide has a dark and tragic past which could tie in with the activities of the presumed cult.
- She also seems to be the most frightened of the doppelgängers out of the whole family the soonest, in a way that seems like more than just caution or old wounds being poked by a sudden creepy presence-see her tone of voice and her expression when she tells her kids to put on their shoes.
- In the trailer, there are also several shots of a young girl who has her own doppelgänger but isn't involved with the Wilson family in the present. It's quite possible that the girl was Adelaide from the past.
- Continuing this thread, the girl and her doppelgänger dancing on the stage/in the hallway has been assumed to be Zora and Umbrae, but perhaps it's actually Adelaide and Red, between when Adelaide first encountered her doppelgänger and the present day, showing us how much Red adheres to what Adelaide does outside the facility. Lupita mentions in an interview that she had to train some ballet skills to assist in Adelaide's physicality.
- Confirmed, although it was not a cult but the results of a failed experiment. Adelaide is a Tethered who swapped places with her aboveground counterpart, but to what extent she actually remembered this is left ambiguous, as it's heavily implied she came down with a case of Believing Your Own Lies and only realizes the truth because of the events of the movie. She did at least remember enough to fear her double returning for vengeance, though.
This takes place in a "modern" section of Westworld. The doppelgängers are just unused cyborgs from a Horror Storyline that was abandoned due to how horrifying it was to the clients.
The film will have a Downer Ending.
- Which can be used as a perfect inversion of Get Out (2017)'s ending: in that film, it appeared the protagonist was about to be arrested by police, which turned out to be his best friend in a police car. For this one, a Hope Spot can be used when the last surviving family member gets to safety, and then a surprise twist can lead to that person dying.
- Confirmed and Jossed, it's a case of Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending. The Wilsons escape, but pretty much everyone else gets killed by their counterparts. There's also an element of Bittersweet Ending - Red is actually the original Adelaide and the Adelaide we've been following is the copy - and Red doesn't make it.
The cult who created the Tethered are the Order of the Coagula.
- Assuming that Us takes place in the same universe as Get Out. The Big Bad might even be a member of the Armitage family. In that case, the events of this film would be an experiment using both the Wilson and the Tyler families as test subjects.
- Jossed. It was the government who created the Tethered.
The Tylers are more involved in the plot than they might let on.
- In the trailer, the Tylers seem very buddy-buddy with the Wilsons, just like Armitages were to Chris in Get Out (2017). Even more so, there are clips of Mrs. Tyler with a pair of Tethered shears, implying she either has a clone of her own to worry about or is involved with the Tethered somehow.
- Jossed, sort of? Mrs Tyler does have her own clone (as do all the Tylers), but the only scene they're in that isn't in some way involved in the trailer is their deaths at the hands of their Tethered.
Tethered!Jason might be a Minion with an F in Evil.
- Other than helping the Tethered!Wilsons mess with the real Wilsons, he doesnt seem to be actually violent. He doesnt show any physical hostility towards the real Jason during their Mirror Routine, and in the part where hes walking out of the flames, playing it backward makes it look like hes walking backwards into the flames and burning himself alive instead of doing Adelaide any more harm.
- Confirmed that he is walking backwards into the flames, but because Jason is controlling him. Left ambiguous whether he has an F in evil. He is a pyromaniac, but there isn't much else known about his character.
The Tethered are the Wilsons shadow archetypes.
- Adelaide was mentioned to have a Dark and Troubled Past in an interview with Lupita, and her Tethered version looks... well, dark and troubled. She may be trying to suppress a traumatic event in her childhood and doesnt want to come to terms with it.
- Confirmed. It's that she kidnapped the real Adelaide and switched places with her.
- Jason wearing a Halloween mask all the time is pretty odd, especially when he takes it to the beach and even to bed. This might be indicative of a learning or developmental disorder, which in turn might make him feel alienated. The Tethered!Jason, on the other hand, acts almost animalistic but wears a human mask, like hes trying to fit in with the rest of his family.
- Adding to this, Jordan Peele said that the movie was about how "we are our own worst enemies." When a person says that, they usually mean that a person's own characteristics work against them. Therefore, that could be represented by the Tethered showing characteristics that work against the Wilsons, whether they're just things they don't like or outright flaws.
The Wilsons can feel the Tethered's pain
- Which is why Adelaide is screaming after (presumably) stabbing her doppelgänger at the end of the trailer.
- Taking it a step further, this is why the Tethered!Wilsons don't immediately try to kill their counterparts. They'd die too.
- Which leads into the Downer Ending, in which Adelaide realizes this too late to save her own life.
- That would also explain why they're called the Tethered — they're bound to their originals.
- Taking it a step further, this is why the Tethered!Wilsons don't immediately try to kill their counterparts. They'd die too.
Adelaide was replaced by her Tethered version
- The little girl shown in the trailer is Adelaide as a child. She found a portal to the Tethered world, where her doppelgänger replaced her. This is the dark past refereed to in her actress' interview. Now the original Adelaide has come with the Tethered version of her family to take her place back.
I Got Five On It might be foreshadowing.
- My first thought was that not only do the Wilsons survive the events of the story, but manage to rescue one of the Tethered and adopt them into the family. Due to the injuries he sustained in the film, Gabe is prescribed medical marijuana.
- Alternatively, there are more than four Tethered running after the Wilsons. Mrs. Tyler had scissors and the glove, too.
- Confirmed, actually. Mrs Tyler's gloved alternate is actually her Tethered.
- Alternatively, there are more than four Tethered running after the Wilsons. Mrs. Tyler had scissors and the glove, too.
If this film decides to be a Spiritual Successor to Get Out (2017), it will be also be its Spiritual Antithesis.
- Get Out (2017) uses the concept of Grand Theft Me as a metaphorical representation of the horrors of western colonialism and the way that the supposedly tolerant white liberal ideology is not free of racism. Assuming that Us will also tackle themes of race relations, then it will instead focus on the equally unhealthy extreme of exclusionary practices within African-American culture. At one point, the protagonist realizes that there is something wrong with the Armitage estate because their live-in servant "Logan King" is acting like The Whitest Black Guy - he misreads a fist bump as a handshake, dresses like an old white man, and speaks in an antiquated fashion. When Chris discerns this, it is portrayed as reasonable suspicion, and is justified because Chris knew Andre before he became "Logan King", and he presumably acted more "black". Us, by contrast, will focus on the Unfortunate Implications of taking that concept to its illogical extreme.
- The Wilsons appear to be a family of upper middle class suburbanites who seem to fit perfectly into the predominantly white suburbia they call home. By contrast, the Doppelgängers invoke the Uncanny Valley; they seem to be incapable of truly belonging in that world. The hints that Adelaide has a trouble past, and that the Doppelgängers are Shadow Archetypes, suggest that the Doppelgängers are defined entirely by awful things that should be left in history. The Doppelgängers are, on the surface, the Anthropomorphic Personification of the idea that black people should "act black", and their attacks are metaphorical of black people being treated as "not really black" for living their lives a certain way or holding certain views. Like someone holding an extremist viewpoint, they seem incapable of being reasoned with. As Adelaide puts it in the trailer, "They won't stop until they kill us, or we kill them." However, that might not be entirely true.
- A shot late in the trailer has real!Jason and clone!Jason interacting peacefully, mirroring each others' movements, and with more overt symbolism, looking under the masks they both wear to see their true faces. This shows that maybe the two groups can, in fact, accept the differences between each other by finding meaning in their many similarities. The trailer alone has tons of symbolism of a similar nature:
- One location in the trailer is a massive, seemingly endless hallway full of rabbits. Every single one of them is white, except for a single black rabbit. For obvious reasons, all of the rabbits coexist and do not care about the color difference. Another shot shows cages of rabbits, and again only one of them is black, but now you can see rabbits of other colors, including white ones with black spots. Whatever the rabbits are going through, they are going through it together, and the color differences again mean nothing.
- The Doppelgängers, clone!Adelaide in particular, are associated with a small pair of scissors as their signature weapon. What are scissors used for? Separating things that would otherwise stay together. A shot late in the trailer makes this even more overt, with clone!Adelaide holding up two paper people and splitting them apart. One shot of the trailer features people holding both hands and scissors as they stand over a (white) corpse on the beach.
- At the point in the trailer where Adelaide says the words "They won't stop until they kill us", the shot shown directly after the word "Us" in the trailer is of a white woman, presumably Elisabeth Moss' character, covered in blood and crawling on the ground, presumably after having been attacked by the Doppelgängers. The Tyler family whom the Wilsons share a bond with are implicitly identified as "us" in regards to the Wilson family, and are very clearly shown to be suffering alongside them even though no doppelgängers of the Tylers have been shown up to that point.
- A Match Cut is shown of Zora dancing ballet in both the strange hallway and on a stage. Presumably the former is of clone!Zora dancing in a cloning facility while the real Zora dances in a public place, implying that the doppelgängers inherit the hobbies and interests of the originals, showing that they're actually Not So Different. For bonus symbolism points, ballet was originally developed throughout France and Russia, two countries with a more than 80% white population.
- The films tagline, "We Are Our Own Worst Enemy", may actually be completely literal. Adelaide and her clone seem more obviously hostile to one another than the other three pairings, and it is suggested that Adelaide's Dark and Troubled Past may be relevant to the plot. By contrast, Jason is the youngest family member and can reconcile with his copy. Perhaps the hate that you have for what you see in yourself when looking at one of the Tethered is a bigger danger than the Tethered themselves. Alternatively, this might be why the Tethered are attacking: they are blinded by hate.
- Whether "The Tethered" are actually the originals or really are just clones, the use of that term is telling: The more aggressive, damaged of the two Wilson families are the ones that are tethered, bound, perhaps even enslaved.
- The movie's logo is a Rorschach painting featuring a mirrored face on either side:. The face on the left is entirely black, while the one on the right is slightly white. People (who have English as their first language anyway) are inclined to view the image left to right, subtly implying that the first face is the original and the second is the copy. This might actually be a Bait-and-Switch, and the "pure black" face represents the Tethered while the real Wilsons are actually identified as "mostly black with just a bit of white in them."
- In short, If Get Out (2017) was a Deconstruction of Positive Discrimination towards Black People by White People, and the idea that being "blind to race" or Innocently Insensitive might not be so innocent, Us will be a Deconstruction of No True Scotsman directed at Black People by other Black People, and the idea that acting like Everything Is Racist might be unhealthy in a situation where race genuinely doesn't matter. By that same token, Us is also a Reconstruction of the Token Minority, with the message that identifying with a group that is not predominantly of your race is a perfectly acceptable way of life.
- Jossed; Peele has said in interviews that the film is not about race, neither in actual plot or subtext.
- And now that the film has been released, Peele was right.
The film is unrelated to Get Out, and is actually set in the world of The Twilight Zone (2019).Everyone's expecting this to be a Stealth Sequel to Get Out, so what if it's related to Peele's other big project?
Chris and Rod survived the UntetheringDue to Chris' experiences with the Armitages, he'd be more used to the supernatural and could kill his doppelganger more easily, and Rod is Rod.
Pluto replaced Jason by the end of the film.From Reddit: Coming from how it's implied that Jason knows his mom is the Tethered version of Adelaide, but refuses to say anything, instead flipping his Wolfman mask back down and caring for his new pet rabbit. This is his way of giving a quiet tell that while he's not happy that he had to kill his original and he's mad that Red is dead, he recognizes it was the only way to be free for both of them and so he remains mum - not that he speaks English anyway.
- Unlikely seeing as how Pluto has a very large burn on the bottom half of his face, and Jason does not.
- That is rather a significant flaw.
- To be completely fair, Pluto could have switched out with Jason during a previous summer vacation. It helps that IIRC, it was mentioned that Jason was quiet for a while, and Jason is making sand tunnels at the beach. However, there are logical flaws with this theory: Adelaide knows all about the Tethered, being one herself, so she would immediately know something was up once Jason was suddenly unable to speak. It also seems unlikely that Pluto would be as feral and animalistic as he is if he was the original Jason that was switched out recently, and it's odd that Pluto doesn't once ever verbally communicate with the regular Wilsons, given that Red still retains her ability to speak even after spending almost her entire life down in the Tethered facility.
Many of the stranger elements of the climax can be chalked up to an Unreliable Narrator.
- Many of the film's more confusing elements are introduced in the climax (such as The Tethered wearing clothes similar to their counterparts, the Tethered suddenly gaining access to millions of jumpsuits, etc..) However, most of the flashback elements are coming from Red, who is quite clearly insane. So, we may be seeing the world of the Tethered as she sees it, not how it actually is.
Jason's playing with the trick lighter is what burned Pluto.
- Early in the film, Jason offhandedly mentions that his lighter trick worked the previous year, and he's often shown flicking it quite close to his face. It's possible that, each time it "worked" the year before, Pluto was hurting himself with real lighters or matches.
- This makes a lot of sense and does explain why he is burned in the first place. Red doesn't mention him being burned while she gave birth, only that he was, to paraphrase, "touched by fire". And it adds to the mirroring actions Pluto does.
The "Hands Across America" stunt has doomed the Tethered's invasion.
- The Tethered are tougher and stronger than normal humans, but they're feral and their primary weapon is scissors. Logistically, there is just no way that they could have numbers equal to the population of the United States down in the tunnels, living on rabbits. Yes, they hit hard and fast and by surprise, but by stopping and standing in a big line, they've given the normal humans a chance to rally and get out the machine guns. Sanity Has Advantages.
The real Adelaide wanted to die
- She's not Tethered, and she knows it. She's too broken to be human anymore. All she lived for was revenge, which she achieved by showing Jason his mother is Tethered, and unleashing the Tethered on the surface.
- It's also possible she was counting on Abraham, Umbrae, and Pluto to be killed by the Wilsons. Maybe Red hated them so much, she sent them out on a suicide mission. She knew they would be eliminated by their superior counterparts. She wanted to rid herself of her monstrous abomination of a family before getting herself killed.
Whoever created The Tethered wanted them to take over the world.
- The government thing is just a cover-up. This is all the work of a madman who wanted to be ruler of a world full of mindless clones. He thought lowering their IQ would make them easy to control. Unfortunately, his plan backfired when The Tethered rebelled against him. The creator was brutally murdered by his own creations.
The Tethered have no plans after holding hands
- Their mission is to kill their real copies and hold hands. Once they perform the "hands across america" thing...that's it. They'll stand like that until they starve to death (or die by other means).
Adelaide isn't attracted to her husband Gabe
- She didn't marry Gabe out of love. She wanted to experience a family life like a real human. Notice she didn't kiss Gabe when he asked for a smooch. Later when Gabe hinted sex, she flats out ignore him. She just wanted a family, and nothing more. Since she is a Tethered, she probably isn't capable of falling in love.
- It's also possible that she doesn't have a clear or healthy understanding of what love is and the reason she married Gabe is because in terms of his personality he is astonishingly similar to Adelaide's father. They are both extremely immature, selfish and slightly dumb but good natured and because Adelaide had no understanding of love until her adolescents so she might have have pursued a relationship with Gabe because she assumed that romantic love was similar to the first love she ever felt; the love for her parents.
The film is about the failure of the American Dream.
The Tethered haven't been completely abandoned
- Ever wonder why you don't see urine, feces, and half eaten dead rabbits on the floors? That's because each secret tunnel has a janitor who clean up after them. The remaining scientists refuse to leave the Tethered to die underground, so they send as many rabbits, janitors, and water down there as possible to keep them alive.
- And why would these janitors do that with no incentive?
- Pretty sure the janitors would be paid by the scientists if this were to be the case.
- But wouldn't they have said or done something if one of them found out about Red's plans of organizing the Tethered to conquer the surface world?
- I assumed the Tethered world hadn't deteriorated to that state because the Tethered were able to learn to do most of the "basic" stuff themselves. If they can wield a pair of scissors and plot their escape from underground, they can probably clean and could've copied the scientists' method of giving them rabbit.
Adelaide actually IS the real Adelaide
- However, Red planned on turning her family against her by making her doubt her humanity.
Red, the real Adelaide, was full of shit.Red's claims that Tethered are soulless monsters with no emotions is something she made up so she could feel superior to them. Notice that Adelaide's half human children act almost indistinguishable from humans while Red's half human children act exactly like Tethered even though both are the same type of being. Furthermore, Adelaide is shown to have sympathy for Red's Tethered children even though they aren't even her kids and are trying to murder her family. Tethered probably do have some differences from normal humans (note Jason's Ambiguous Disorder and that most Tethered seem to be Made of Iron), but they do seem to be capable of emotions and love in contrast to what Red claims.
- I wouldve assumed this was canon.
The Tethered aren't supernatural.
- Their Super Strength and the fact that they seem to be Made of Iron is rooted in the fact that they've had much, much harder lives than their counterparts. It's not that a fire poker to the brain (in Tex's case) doesn't hurt or injure them, it's a combination of that and The Power of Hate that leaves them determined to cause as much destruction as possible which gets them through.
The Tethered are not clones.The word clone is never used in the movie, and the only explanation for their existence comes from Red, who is an Unreliable Narrator at best and completely insane at worst. All we are told is that the government wanted to create copies of people in order to control them. Copy, not clone. That is significant as it could mean literally anything: Beings spawned from people's souls being drawn away from them? Alternative versions of people created by messing around with space-time/something to do with quantum entanglement? Who knows? Whatever they are they are definitely Humanoid Abominations above and beyond what a normal clone would be like.
Red waited for her parents to pass away first before initiating the Untethering.It seems to be implied in a deleted scene that the ballet dance was what severed the connection between Red and the Tethered Adelaide, as Red is laying down exhausted while Adelaide strikes a pose at the end of her dance. However, while training the Tethered to break free of their connection and learn how to sneak up and kill their original counterparts may have taken some time, perhaps Red, who was down there and missing her parents this whole entire time, wanted to spare them from being murdered by their own Tethered, or possibly even witnessing or hearing about who they think is their daughter getting killed.
Red was the first/only success of the government projectEvery subject before her could only mimic the whim of their real counterpart. Red was the first to influence her real counterpart instead, which is how Adelaide ended up separating from her parents.