In the ‘American Horror Story: Cult’ recap, Kai’s paranoid delusions are getting the best of him while we finally find out what motivated him to get into politics in the first place…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
A few weeks back when ‘American Horror Story: Cult’ spent almost an entire episode focused on Valerie Solanas — Andy Warhol’s would-be assassin — and her feminine manifesto known as SCUM it felt like that had to tie back into the larger story being told this season about Kai Anderson’s ascent into political superiority by way of preaching the gospel of Donald J. Trump.
At the end of that episode it was revealed that Kai was in league with Bebe Babbit, the woman who once shared a bed with Valerie Solanas and was still preaching the SCUM manifesto of female empowerment while trying to topple the male patriarchy.
Well the payoff came in the penultimate episode of this season titled ‘Charles (Manson) in Charge’.
A flashback carries us to a few weeks before the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton was seemingly curb stomping Donald Trump at the debates and every liberal voting for her in the country was convinced that she was about to waltz into the White House. Kai knew better and tried to tell his sister and her smarmy friends from Vassar College that nobody really liked Hillary and Trump was causing a fervor amongst his base with the rhetoric he had been spewing for months.
The altercation got so heated that Kai ended up slapping one of Winter’s friends, which landed him with probation and court appointed anger management sessions. His counselor was none other that Bebe Babbit, but she wasn’t there to control his rage. Instead, Bebe suggested that Kai take his ideals and put them on an even bigger platform like politics where he could get the female base so enraged that they would eventually erupt and revolt.
The way Bebe saw it is female rage has been bottled up for decades but Trump getting elected was starting to hammer away at that damn and Kai getting into public office would only further those cracks to ever widen. Kai even took his oath as a turd — much like the other male followers of SCUM — and that’s when he transitioned into creating his own niche in the political machine.
Obviously as time went on, Kai’s ego and thirst for power took over as shown in this latest episode, but now we know who gave him the inspiration to get involved in the first place.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘American Horror Story: Cult’ titled ‘Charles (Manson) in Charge’….
After conquering the city council and passing several controversial ordinances, Kai has now set his sights on a higher office with a race for Senate coming up in the mid-term elections in 2018. Kai has already targeted his opponent — a liberal Democrat, who he accuses of rooting for abortions as last as the third trimester with no value for human life — and he’s stirring up local support with rallies in town. Of course ever since Kai came into the national spotlight from the attempt made on his life, there are now hordes of protesters objecting to his policies every time he speaks in public.
At this particular rally, the scene turns ugly when the protesters begin clashing with Kai’s militant supporters. The rally eventually turns violent with balloons filled with urine being thrown and Kai getting blasted in the face by a can of mace.
Of course the rally only meant that Kai’s message is spreading but he needs to think bigger if he’s going to win this election and then the next one that would put him into the White House. That’s when Kai tells his loyal followers to bust out their sleeping bags because it’s story time.
He proceeds to tell them a very graphic tale about the brutal Sharon Tate murders in the late 1960’s orchestrated by Charles Manson and his “family”. Kai details how Manson was trying to incite a race riot by blaming the crime on African-Americans and then watching the world burn after the war broke out. Unfortunately, Kai says that Manson didn’t think big enough and that’s why he’s going to take things one step further for his cause.
That’s when Kai unleashes his plan for the night of 1,000 Tates — a horrifying revelation, especially considering what really happened to that poor woman thanks to Manson’s psychotic delusions.
Regardless, Kai’s plan begins with an attack on Planned Parenthood — or so it seems.
Rather than rescuing a list of pregnant women about to have abortions, Kai actually set this up as an elaborate plan to sacrifice his old pal Gary — the one armed grocery store manager who had been one of his most loyal supporters — to help spread his message. Gary was butchered and laid out in front of the building and Kai immediately pointed the finger at his Senatorial opponent as the culprit after his followers committed this heinous act.
This was just the first step as Kai was determined to start his war even bigger than anything Manson could have imagined.
Paranoia, Paranoia, Everybody’s Coming to Get You
As much as Kai wants to focus on his campaign, his paranoia is starting to get the best of him as he’s convinced that the Federal government is following him and they’ve bugged his house. He tears through furniture trying to find the source of the bug but alas he can’t seem to find anything.
Kai’s delusions are only further fueled by visions of Charles Manson talking to him and giving him instructions on what to do next.
In the midst of his mad dash to find the bug, Kai gets a visit from Bebe Babbitt, who is none too happy about the current state of his campaign because she tried to mold him into the ultimate weapon that would finally unleash female rage on a much broader scale. That’s when Kai tells his former mentor that he never intended on following her down that path, much less that he actually believed women could lead and win a revolt.
“Women need to be grabbed by their pussies and led — preferably into the kitchen to make me a sandwich.”
Well that sets Bebe off and she points a gun at his head, disgusted by his betrayal. She barely gets a word out before half of her head is blown off and a shocked Kai looks up to find Ally is the one holding the gun. Ally shot first and asked questions later as she killed. Manson even approves of Ally and tells Kai that he can definitely trust her.
Judas In My Mind
As Kai becomes more and more unhinged, Winter is really becoming concerned for her brother and the people following him. Most notably, Winter sees that Beverly — once his most ardent supporter — has been beaten into a shell of herself after Kai nearly killed her and locked her away in a closet after believing that she betrayed him.
Winter offers Beverly an exit — a one way bus ticket to Butte, Montana where Kai could never possibly find her. But Beverly has been so conditioned by fear that she believes this is a test and she just repeats that she would never betray the divine leader.
Later, Kai has a meeting with his sister as she gives him a haircut and a shave as he gets rid of those blue locks that his Senate opponent mocks him for having every time he’s on TV. The entire act is a procedure in trust as Kai is testing Winter and she’s also gauging her brother’s responses with each swipe of the blade.
Finally, Winter unveils her plan to Kai — she wants to leave town for a while. The turmoil of recent events have left her in an uneasy place and she feels like a little time away will allow her to focus and re-center towards his cause. Kai seems to agree with the plan until he suggests a one way bus ticket to Butte, Montana.
From there Kai puts Winter in the middle of his circle of judgment just like the place his brother Vincent sat a few weeks ago. Winter asking to leave is all the confirmation that Kai needs to prove that his sister is the mole that’s been spying on him and reporting back to the government this entire time. His paranoia is proven true when Ally produces a bug she found along with a voice recorder tucked away in the Ice Cream Truck that he previously used to torment her neighborhood at the start of the season.
Of course both items were planted by Ally because she’s playing for keeps and after getting revenge on her wife, she’s now turned her attention to the woman who seduced her away in the first place. Kai finally snaps and tackles Winter before choking the very life out of her.
With each passing second, Kai’s torment grows stronger but he only tightens his grip as the last breath of life slips out of Winter’s lungs until she’s dead.
Just after Winter expires, Speedwagon — one of Kai’s loyal soldiers — leaves the house and returns to his car where he rips off a wire he had been wearing the entire time. Obviously he’s scared to death after watching Kai kill someone he thought had betrayed him as well as frightened because that just as easily could have been him if he was discovered.
A second later, Ally jumps in the car and tells Speedwagon that they need to have a chat. Perhaps Ally knows someone in this cult is on her side and she’s finally ready to bring Kai Anderson toppling down.
We’ll all find out next week in the ‘American Horror Story: Cult’ season finale next Tuesday night at 10pm ET on FX.