In what has been the most divisive season of American Horror Story yet, mainly due to its non-supernatural, highly politically charged storytelling, we come to the end of “Cult” and I know many people are breathing a sigh of relief. But for those who were invested in the story and charaters this season, was the finale satisfying, or did we all see it coming from a mile away? I’m in the latter group.
So the episode picked up eleven months after episode 10 when the last thing we saw was Ally discovering Speedwagon’s betrayal of Kai. Now Kai is in jail, using his silver tongue to build a new army. But how exactly did he get there? Betrayal, of course but not by Speedwagon it turns out. Nope, Ally killed him in the car so he was never able to deliver the recordings he’d made (and he was only there to avoid charges for his own minor infractions). Not only was Ally dealing with that betrayal, she also had to keep Beverly from teetering over the edge, reduced to a sniveling mess by being forced to a background role in Kai’s group, preparing meals for the Blue Shirts. At one point Beverly begged Ally to kill her but she told her she had to hang on while the plan was brought to fruition.
That plan she was talking about in the moment seemed to be Kai’s Night of a 1,000 Tates, which got trimmed down to 100 Tates since it was hard finding 1,000 pregnant women in the area. Kai and his boys were planning to hit Lamaze classes and any place else groups of pregnant women would be gathered. While the boys were practicing stabbing watermelons, Ally left the house to “get snacks.” Turns out she was working with the police and the FBI the entire time, and they carried out a raid, arresting as many of the guys as they could (some took their own lives), and Beverly as well.
But Beverly was released without any charges because, as Ally explained, she didn’t meet the profile of Kai’s followers who at that point were all young, white and male. To the authorities, Beverly was just someone who got roped in to serve Kai. While talking with Ally, Beverly seemed to know that she killed Ivy, but Ally spun her story that Kai was the killer and Ally’s last words were to take care of Ozzy. Except Kai copped to ALL of the murders … except for Ivy’s. Ally brushed it off and Beverly played along, but she knows. But now Ally has a new girlfriend and she’s dodging requests for interviews from Rachel Maddow and Lana Winters (it would have been interesting to see Sarah Paulson share a scene with herself, and it would have made this the third appearance of Lana but this seems to be the only connecting thread to the other seasons). But Ally has something else up her sleeve — she’s going to run for the Senate seat Kai was planning to run for.
In prison, Kai is not happy to hear this news but he is plotting his revenge. In his group of followers, he brings in a new arrival to the prison, a young man who won’t last more than a few weeks without Kai’s protection. Kai also has an insider on his team, a female guard, who we assume will eventually help him escape undetected. When the new recruit shows up to meet Kai after getting a series of identical tattoos, Kai brutally murders him and then peels off his face (and one would assume his fingers and teeth are removed to make IDing the body even more difficult) and walks out of the prison with the guard.
While Ally is preparing for a debate, the news comes that Kai is dead and she decides to proceed with the debate. Beverly is now working on her campaign and is worried this news will somehow trigger Ally, but she insists she’s fine. During the debate, questions are taken from audience members and who shows up but Kai, with a gun supplied by his friend the guard. He confronts Ally on stage, talks about her betrayal (but fails to mention the murder of Ivy, which might have made her stumble a bit), rages and pulls the trigger. Click. Click. Click. The gun is empty. It seems the guard was actually working with Ally. A flashback reveals Ally talking to the woman, asking if Kai made fun of her wait, and explained that’s how he got people to follow him, by breaking them down mentally. The guard was also tired of his “Divine Master shit” and eager to join Ally’s movement.
Before the stunned and betrayed Kai could do anything else, a shot rang out and his brains became part of the scenery. Nice shot, Beverly. Ally eventually wins the election, and when she tucks Ozzy in for the night she explains that she has to go to a meeting with some very powerful and supportive women. Fixing her face before leaving, Ally looks at herself in the mirror and pulls a hood over her head. Many thought that this was going to be some kind of crossover with “Coven” but a closer look at the cloak she wore revealed that it was the same one that Bebe wore. In the end, Valerie Solanas’ agenda was being carried on to a new generation. The female rage had been unlocked but … Ally has simply traded one cult for another, and now she’s the new leader. Perhaps, though, this is one movement we can all get behind.
American Horror Story will return in 2018.
What did you think of thie finale? Did you think Ally would become a new version of Kai? Sound off in the comments below!