We really try to keep politics out of things here at Hotchka but it’s getting nearly impossible with this season of American Horror Story which is just hitting a little too close to real life with its political storyline and the behavior of Kai and his followers. If you’re able to convince people that you alone are the only one who can help them, they will follow you anywhere. And this week we see exactly what those followers will do to elevate their leader.
This episode had the misfortune to be scheduled — well in advance, mind you — after last week’s tragic shooting spree in Las Vegas. The episode opens with a mass shooting that the producers decided needed to air but the broadcast version was drastically edited to remove much of the violence (an unedited version is available On Demand and on the FX app, and the footage reveals the shooting of someone who looks like and has been identified in other reviews as Dr. Vincent but I don’t believe it is him). The shooting takes place at a rally for Kai Anderson and we see Ivy running and dodging and hiding but not the shooter. Once the police have everything contained, it’s a shock to see … Ally holding the gun and Kai down on the stage. She drops the gun and …
We flash back to the night Meadow revealed all before she was abducted again. Ally called Dr. Vincent and he just tells her to get some sleep. Surprisingly, Ally finally grows a pair and marches herself over to the Wiltons’ house were Harrison and Detective Samuels are … enjoy the pleasure of each other’s company. She frees Meadow and they barely escape — thank you, mace — and Ally drives them to The Butchery because, luckily, it’s Monday and they’re closed. Ally needs to know the truth from Meadow because she’s still not buying that Ivy is part of the cult. Why would she be doing this to Ally? Meadow quite bluntly tells her that maybe Ivy just hates her.
And she hit that nail on the head. After Ivy saw Gary and his bloody stump at the polling place to cast his vote, she feared she and Winter would go to prison and she’s never see her son again. This is when Winter suggests Ivy meets her brother. He plays the same little pinkie-swear mind game with her that he does with everyone to lure them in, and she revealed her complete and utter hatred for Ally. And all because Ivy wasn’t able to carry a child. Ally carried Ozzy and then breast fed him FOR THREE YEARS! She refused to pump milk to Ivy could take a turn feeding him and that just drove a giant wedge between them (and we suspect Ally has no idea that her actions have led to this). But Ivy is just one of Kai’s projects. The mysterious trucks spraying something at night … just water. The birds died because the feeders were poisoned. It’s all a campaign of fear orchestrated by Kai in order to get him elected to the city council. Meadow is very blunt with Ally that they can’t go to the police because they’re all in on it (well, at least one of them is), so she does the next best thing — drops Meadow off at Dr. Vincent’s office to have a chat while Ally goes to get more help.
That help comes in the form of a woman named Sally who is challenging Kai for the city council seat. She’s on to his tricks of using fear to brainwash people and she seems to make headway with a crowd gathered at a debate. Sally addresses Kai with some strong words: “You’re not a conservative. You’re a reactionary. You use fear, and the fantasy of a time that never was,” and then bluntly tells the gathered crowd, “People like Mr. Anderson and Mr. Trump are not the shit. They’re the flies that the shit has drawn.” That seemed to get the crowd, who had been on Kai’s side (so therefore the “shit”?), woke and made her a threat to his aspirations. Ally knows Sally can be a real ally, goes to her house and tells Sally the whole story and is surprised Sally believes her (Sally went to Berkeley so she’s seen it all). Sally is gung ho to take Kai down except his clown posse arrives to take her down first, while Ally runs for cover. Thanks for your support. Kai types a suicide message on Sally’s Facebook page but she tells him no one will believe it. Of course they will, he says, “It’s on Facebook. Already getting some likes.” Zing! Hiding in the bathroom upstairs, the sound of the gunshot makes Ally squeal and one of the clowns with the demonic Republican/Democrat mascot faces goes to find her. The door opens and Ally looks at the figure and says “Ivy?” Frozen for a moment, there is a call to get out of the house so she leaves Ally there. The question is, was Ivy conflicted about this whole murder game Kai is playing, or did she leave Ally there for a bigger purpose? We’re going to go with the latter.
Back at Dr. Vincent’s office, Ally is furious that he let Meadow leave. He says she didn’t say anything about a cult and asked to leave. Which leaves us with the question, does Meadow know Vincent is Kai’s and Winter’s brother? That is unclear. But why was Meadow in that grave and why did she tell Ally about the cult in the first place? Her backstory with Kai shows him to be completely enamored with her. He tells her she’s like a queen bee, he compliments her on her concepts for the masks, he’s completely turned on by her throat slitting skills. She believes he loves her and then Ivy comes into the picture. Meadow overhears him giving her the same queen bee speech and she is ready to fly the coop. And that’s how she ended up left for dead.
Except that’s not entirely true. Kai seduced Meadow into the whole charade. He wanted her to tell Ally about the cult and Ivy’s involvement because who will believe a crazy woman? Which brings us back to the rally and the shooting. Except we see now it’s not Ally with the gun, it’s Meadow. She takes aim at Kai but only hits him in the leg. As he told her, the only way he can advance his movement is to be assassinated. But how can he continue his work if he’s dead? Simple, she’ll just injure him. As he says, “America is a Christian nation. Everyone loves a resurrection.” Ally gets to Meadow just after she shoots Kai and tried to stop her but Ally turns to her and says, “This is the face of true love,” then puts the gun in her mouth and blows her brains out while Ally is also holding on to the gun.
Where does Ally go from here? It’s not likely Dr. Vincent can or will say anything in Ally’s defense, and she already has one strike against her where shooting someone is concerned. Kai set things up perfectly so Ally would take the fall and Ivy could retain sole custody of Ozzy (and perhaps enjoy a new relationship with Winter). And Kai, as he’s being placed in the ambulance, opens his eyes, a hint of a smile on his lips. The plan worked perfectly, but what happens next? Will Ally be exonerated by, perhaps, cell phone camera footage of Meadow doing the shooting? Or will Dr. Vincent, who suggested she check herself into a facility before she did anything drastic, simply confirm that Ally is a danger to herself and others? It’s anyone’s guess what happens next.
American Horror Story: Cult airs Tuesdays at 10 PM on FX.
What did you think of this episode? How is Ally going to get herself out of this mess? Sound off in the comments below!