(This is a recap. Spoilers below.)
Nothing is scarier than real life these days. But this week’s episode of American Horror Story: Cult tried and it was sort of cute.
Remember Ally’s hallucinations? Some are real, some aren’t? Who knows why they’re happening? Well, here’s another one!
Stressing out over the breakdown of her marriage and the loss of her son, Ally envisions she has holes in her neck and tells Dr. Rudy (Cheyenne Jackson).
It’s surprising she can look herself in the mirror at all, that Jill-Stein-voting crybaby.
A lot of this episode’s plot is revealed through exposition, e.g. during Ally’s therapy session when she mourns the failure of her marriage and when Kai (Evan Peters) and Beverly (Adina Porter) are scheming at Ivy’s (Allison Pill) restaurant.
Game Of Thrones is famous for inventing “Sexposition,” but “Theraposition” and “Restaurantosition” don’t have the same riveting effect.
Bob (Dermot Mulroney) questions Beverly’s sensationalist reporting, she threatens him with extortion (see Serina Belinda) and is immediately fired. So, The Scooby Gang (the “cult”) decide to murder Bob and film it, then use the tape to scare the town into voting Kai for City Counsel.
They plan to chant “ave satanas” while attacking Bob instead of “hail Satan” like Harrison (Billy Eichner) suggests because, according to Kai and the jokester who wrote his line, “Latin is inherently scary.” Well, not after that exchange it ain’t.
4. Ice cream
The Insane Clown Posse (the “cult”) attack Bob in his home (supposedly after a healthy, balanced dinner because powerful news anchors should not just be eating ice cream.) But, alas, he never gets to enjoy his Neapolitan. We practically do, however, because the ice cream stays in frame for 80 percent of the scene.
Bob offers them money; they don’t want it. He then pleas, wait for it, for the safety of his gimp. So there’s a bit of a detour before Bob gets axed in the face by Beverly.
Everyone loves a good gimp, right? But in moderation only. Gratuitous gimp is gauche.
No explanation, no justification. Bob the anchor-fucker just randomly has a sex slave in a dungeon. Who does he think he is, Stephen Sondheim?
So let’s get this straight. In the episode before last, Meadow (Leslie Grossman) disappears and blood is found in Ally’s house. Nothing happens because of it, she is not framed for murder; there are no consequences. Then, in this episode, Ally discovers Meadow in an open grave, just hanging out, not even trapped because she easily climbs out of it. Why is she lying in a grave if she can climb out of it? What sort of low-rent haunted hayride bullshit is this?!
7. Guest Star Roles
In this episode, we meet a fine young actor (James Morosini) who either saved Ryan Murphy’s life recently or is the “Serina Belinda” to his “Bob Thompson.” We are introduced to his character, R.J., just before he is conveniently deemed the weak link who must be taken out. It’s sort of like the Rick And Morty character, Mr. Poopybutthole, who appeared out of nowhere, was integral to the episode plot, and then was never mentioned again.
8. Nail Guns
There’s dissension in the ranks so Beverly and Kai insist R.J. “the weak link” needs to be “taken care of” - obviously, in the worst pay possible.
The group takes turns nailing R.J. in the head. There’s a pun or two in there, no doubt intentional on the part of the writers, so ugh. But there’s also the “holes” connection here - as nails driven into a skull tend to create, um, holes. Hit the nail on the head much?
9. Taco Tuesdays
At Beverly’s behest, Kai recounts his parents’ terrible relationship, his father’s inadequacy issues, and his mother’s subsequent murder-suicide. All of which happens on Taco Tuesday!
Dr. Rudy, who is revealed to be the older brother of Kai and Winter (Billie Lourd), covers up the murder so that his therapy practice, Winter’s studies and Kai’s minimum wage career aren’t all ruined. Rudy suggests preserving the bodies by sprinkling them with lye, essentially nixtamalizing them like the corn in a tortilla.
By the end of the episode, it’s clear that Kai is not the leader of a cult but just another broken little boy. Rudy is clearly in charge. He is the one who covers up the deaths, he is never seen being manipulated by Kai (even though he is part of the cult) and Kai has, in the past, been seen with pills (similar to Ally’s), suggesting Rudy prescribes him something for potential control. These pills might be causing Ally’s visions, too, so maybe they make Kai the insane sociopath we know and hate.
We’ll see next week, when all of these meaningful revelations are discarded for, hopefully, another jerking-off scene.