(This is a recap. Spoilers below.)
The third episode of American Horror Story: Cult, was chock-full of new and interesting irrational fears.
Here are 10 Phobias You Didn’t Know You Had until “Neighbors From Hell”
1. Fear Of White Women’s Sex Fantasies
The episode opens with a therapy session, featuring one of Dr. Rudy’s (Cheyenne Jackson) other overly skittish/privileged patients (Laura Allen). She fears being buried alive which, for some reason or other, is triggered whenever her husband initiates sex. (What are they even suggesting about this dude?)
Jokes aside, this is certainly inconvenient and disruptive for the unnamed character. Fortunately, she’s getting over it. Unfortunately, the only way to depict this newfound mental/physical release is with daisies, a lot of daisies, and butts. We, as the audience, must now forever suffer with that association.
2. Fear Of Tacky Taphophobia
Unnamed lady and her husband are the latest victims of the murder clown gang or, according to the weird timeline/flashback, the oldest? They are both shoved into caskets and left to rot. Fun! But…those…coffins…are…so…old…fashioned. Please, bury me alive in a pine box or, better, burn me alive and spread my living ashes over a fun mountain or something.
3. Fear Of Getting Away With Murder
In the previous episode, Ally (Sarah Paulson) of course shoots and kills her employee, Pedro (Jorge-Luis Pallo). And, even though Ivy (Alison Pill) sends him to their house with supplies, she appears to have no qualms about Ally having done this. The Mike Pence-cop a.k.a. Detective Samuels (Colton Haynes) offers reassurance that Michigan’s “stand your ground law” will protect her. And, of course, Kai (Evan Peters) approves, encouraging Ally to “live her truth.” If you get away with murder once, what’s to stop you from killing again? Huh? You don’t know, do you?
4. Fear Of Protesters
Protests are great unless you’re the one being protested. If you’re the (hypothetical) president, you could just ignore them and continue your (hypothetical) reign of illegitimacy. But what is a helpless, rich, white business owner to do? Luckily for Ally, we later discover these protesters are fake, staged by ringmaster Kai himself. He’s like an American Horror Story George Soros.
5. Fear Of Ironic Appropriation
The neighbors, Harrison (Billy Eichner) and Meadow (Leslie Grossman), waste no time showing Ally, in their own fucked up way, that they disapprove of Pedro’s murder (even though the gun was theirs.) Donning sombreros, they “confront” Ally with her prejudice. Well, they certainly proved that intricately woven hats meant to block out the sun can be scary given the right context. So, kudos to them.
6. Fear Of Government Experiments
A mysterious black truck spewing mysterious green gas appears in the neighborhood. By morning, all of the birds on the property are dead. Ally, being the classic Alex-Jones-loving liberal that she is, assumes it’s either a covert op or chemical testing by Monsanto. She’s the best.
7. Fear Of Being Doxxed
Oh boy. This one is unequivocally scary, and there will be a name for this phobia soon, if there already isn’t one. Doxxing is the weapon of choice for hackers and trolls and, in this case, cult members.
Ally and Ivy find a naked, masturbating stranger in their home who calmly explains he was just answering an online ad, but then insists he should be able to rape them even if the ad was fake. What the fuck?
It’s of course Winter (Billie Lourd) who lets him into the house. If you don’t know she’s evil, at least assume she’s dumb. Why won’t they just fire her already?!
8. Fear Of Conspiracies
It’s becoming pretty apparent that even Ally’s most trusted confidants are in on whatever Kai is planning. His motive is still unclear but what is clear is that everyone in town, with the exception of Ally’s son and, possibly, wife is somehow affiliated with the mystery cult.
9. Fear Of Guinea Pigs
Ozzie (Cooper Dodson) is gifted a pet guinea pig, courtesy of Kai’s cult, who is then casually microwaved. For anyone with pets or a heart, this is quite traumatizing. Thankfully, the image lasts only a split second, too fast for a proper screen-capture, apparently.
10. Fear Of Losing Everything
Well, whattaya know? Looks like Winter did set out to frame Ally as a cheater, making sure Ivy found out, driving that Jill-Stein-shaped wedge deeper into their cracked relationship.
Ozzie will now have to spend sixteen hours a day in therapy dealing with his night terrors, fried guinea pig AND his mommies’ divorce. (Oh, and the multiple neighborhood murders.)
Speaking of which, is Ally going to be blamed for Meadow’s disappearance?
Things are escalating quickly and it doesn’t look like Ally has anyone she can trust. But, who knows? Maybe Ivy will forgive her in the next episode, when Meadow turns up dead in their clawfoot tub. (Pretty good guess, right? They keep showcasing that sweet, sweet tub.)