So a few weeks ago, American Horror Story: Cult gave us an episode that focused mainly on the Valerie Solanas / SCUM Manifesto story and a mysterious woman named Bebe Babbitt (Frances Conroy) who was the lover of Solanas. She attempted to get the women in Kai’s cult to revolt against him, but it didn’t go so well and then we got the bombshell that she was apparently working with Kai. But to what end?
This week we found out and even got a little more background on Bebe … she’s Kai’s anger management counselor (mandated after he slapped one of Winter’s friends who taunted him about Trump during the last debate)! There’s a twist we didn’t see coming. And during one of their sessions, she told him he was special but at the same time made him recite the “I am a turd” mantra that Valerie made any male she deemed worthy of joining her group recite. But Bebe encouraged Kai to pursue his political aspirations, not because she felt he would be someone who could actually get things done, but because he was the perfect, right-wing, wrong-headed person whose political beliefs would serve one purpose: to unleash the female anger so that Valerie’s mission in life would finally come to pass. Women in charge, all the men (which she referred to as biological mistakes) dead.
Unfortunately, Kai may seem malleable to Bebe’s suggestion, but he’s got others influencing his thoughts as well. Except it’s actually just the voices in his head, and this week it’s the voice — and vision — of Charles Manson (also Evan Peters). After relating the story of the Manson Family murders that left actress Sharon Tate, her unborn child, and several others brutally slain, Kai’s force of Blue Shirts was ready to do anything he asked. And Kai had the “ghost” of Manson egging him along (not to mention a quick appearance from his dead brother as well).
Kai’s big plan to really stir the pot involved Gary and some of his men breaking into a Planned Parenthood clinic to steal the records of all the women who have gone to the clinic or are waiting to have an abortion. But when poor Gary gets inside, the Blue Shirts lock him in, only to be confronted by several members of the group in their clown costumes (although who was wearing Gary’s and Ivy’s costumes is unknown). Kai arrives and convinces Gary that he must make a sacrifice for the greater good, and he is brutally massacred and left outside the front door with a “Stop the Slaughter” sign next to his body and blaming the act on his political opponent. (Are we to surmise that Kai is completely mad at this point, because why kill one of your most loyal followers who already cut off his own hand?)
Of course, Beverly was the first on the scene and interviewed Kai, but something was off about her. She seemed like a broken woman and he sensed it. Winter also sensed it and blamed herself for framing Beverly and sending her to solitary. Trying to truly take some responsibility for what she did, she offered Beverly a train ticket to Butte, Montana to get away and start a new life. But Beverly only saw it as a test, to see if she would turn on Kai, and she refused.
Poor Winter was also feeling responsible for Ivy, not really knowing what happened to her. Kai told her Ivy went to a cooking school in Paris, but she didn’t believe him. When forced to work with Ally repainting their ice cream truck so the cops wouldn’t spot it, Winter asked Ally if Ivy was in pain when she died and let on that she knew Kai killed her. But Ally is still resentful of Winter’s part in trying to destroy her and ruin her marriage, and spat at her, “What makes you think Kai had anything to do with it?” The sly hint of a smile on her lips when she walked away was chilling.
After a heart to heart with Kai while giving him a buzz cut and a close shave with a straight razor, Winter said she’s always support him no matter what but she really needed to get away for a while. While Kai talked about moving up the political ladder all the way to the White House, he said he’d know she would always be there for him. What she didn’t know what that Kai was convinced the Feds were spying on him. He swore he could hear a hum but didn’t know where it was coming from and his only escape was the bedroom mausoleum. When Kai agreed to let Winter leave, he suggested Butte, Montana and gave her the ticket she had bought for Beverly.
In the basement surrounded by the Blue Shirts, Kai had Winter tied to a chair, interrogating her when Ally popped in with the source of the hum — she found the bug. Winter said that was the battery to her Fitbit but Kai was having none of it. Ally also produced a phone that she had “found” in the ice cream truck where Winter had been working. Charlie Manson appeared again and explained how it was a woman in his group that was the cause of his downfall, and Kai knew Winter would do the same to him so he literally choked the life out of her. RIP Winter Anderson.
But Bebe wasn’t done with Kai. Seeing that he’s completely screwed up the mission she set for him, she was going to put him out of her misery but before she could pull the trigger, another shot rang out and Bebe’s brain matter splattered all over Kai. Ally had fire the fatal shot, asking “Who was that?” When Kai said it was his anger management counselor, Ally said she didn’t do a very good job. But perhaps she did, because while Winter began to fall apart, and Beverly is a shell of her former self, Ally’s anger has obviously been unleashed, orchestrating pretty much everything that happened this week.
But there was another twist. After Kai murdered Winter, one of his most loyal Blue Shirts, Speedwagon, ran off, uncharacteristically shaken by what he had just witnessed. Getting into a car, it was revealed that he was wearing a wire, for who we don’t yet know. As he tore it off and smashed the receiver or recording device, Ally slipped into the passenger seat saying just “Hello Speedwagon.” With the season finale one episode away, will she rat him out to Kai or work with him? And can she help unleash any more female anger to take Kai down? (And in a case of life imitating art, this episode aired the same night as several elections, most notably one in Virginia in which the Democrat trounced the Republican — who ran on Trump ideologies — for the governor’s race. White men overwhelmingly voted for the Republican, but women overwhelmingly voted for the Democrat. You can almost see the parallels.)
And in a case of dead but not gone, we got to see Billy Eichner and Leslie Grossman return as two of Charles Manson’s acolytes in the flashback sequence.
American Horror Story: Cult airs Tuesdays at 10 PM on FX.
What did you think of this episode? Who will emerge victorious in the finale? Sound off in the comments below!