In the ‘American Horror Story: Cult’ recap, Kai proves just how loyal his followers are to him and Ally goes on a mission to expose the cult….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
By now you’ve surely heard about the edits made to the latest episode of ‘American Horror Story: Cult’.
There was a screen ahead of tonight’s episode warning that the episode had been cut down in response to the tragic mass shootings in Las Vegas because the latest installment featured a similar situation unfolding at a political rally.
The unedited version is now available on FXNow or through the FX on demand service — I’ve watched both and can say the differences are rather minor outside of a few graphic pieces of video with people being gunned down. Editing the episode before airing felt like the right thing to do and given the circumstances surrounding the tragedy in Las Vegas, the decision was absolutely understandable.
That being said, it’s almost eerie how art imitates life/life imitates art sometimes with these sort of situations unfolding.
Either way, if you do wish to see the unedited version it is now available and I can say the images aren’t all that graphic, especially if you’ve witnessed ‘American Horror Story’ for the past seven seasons. The message in the episode, however, is incredibly powerful no matter which version you watch so with that said, let’s get into our recap of the latest episode of ‘American Horror Story: Cult’ titled ‘Mid-Western Assassin’…
The episode begins with the mass shooting at a political rally that ends with the police telling Ally to drop a gun while we see images of Kai Anderson sprawled out on the stage after we assume he took one of the bullets. That scene will come back around at the end of episode as well as a twist to the plot helps explain how it all unfolded.
For now, the episode flashes back to last week where Ally is confronted by a kidnapped Meadow Wilton, who tells her that her paranoia was justified all along because there’s a cult in town and they’ve been after her this entire time and everybody’s in on it. Her next door neighbors, the cops and even her wife Ivy has played a part in tormenting her these past few weeks.
Ally seems to ignore it at first but after watching Meadow get dragged away from her window with a bag over her head, she decides to do something about it.
Armed with a butcher knife and a can of mace, Ally wanders across the street where she finds Harrison and Detective Samuels boning in the living room, which is the perfect distraction to grab the set of keys to the garage so she can set Meadow free.
Just as they are escaping, a box of tools is knocked over, which alerts Harrison and Detective Samuels to what’s happening. They give chase, but Ally and Meadow are able to escape in her car while looking to find safe haven until they can alert the authorities as to what’s really unfolding in this quiet little town in Michigan.
The first place Ally runs to is her restaurant, which seems rather obvious, but it’s the only secure place she knows. There, Meadow begins to paint the picture about how she got drawn into the cult in the first place and then begins to explain how her ideals were turned upside down after Ivy arrived.
Meadow says she’s never fit into any specific category as a woman despite proclaiming herself to be a feminist. She’s not really the “boss bitch” type and she’s never made it to wife mode with 2.5 kids and the white picket fence in suburbia. To make matters worse, Meadow was in love with her best friend Harrison, who was gay and clearly had no interest in anything more than a platonic relationship with her.
That’s when Kai came along and filled all those voids left in Meadow’s life. He talked her up like the brightest shining light in his otherwise dark world. He made her feel loved. He gave her something to believe in — him.
That all changed when Meadow saw Kai giving the same exact speech to Ivy when she arrived at the house and that’s when she realized that it was all a trap to get them to orbit this leader rather than him giving them something to truly believe in. Ally objects and says that Ivy would never join him because she hates Trump and everything he stands for — the exact tenets of Kai’s entire political ideology.
Meadow then explains that perhaps Ally doesn’t know her wife as well as she thinks she does. Kai preys on the people with nothing left to believe in and in Ivy’s case she’s just fueled by hatred — for her own wife.
After hearing all this, Ally decides to run to the only person left in her life that she can trust — Dr. Rudy Vincent.
Of course, Ally has no idea that Dr. Vincent is actually the older brother to Kai and Winter Anderson but she’s out of options otherwise. Ally tells Dr. Vincent to get the whole story out of Meadow that she’s been told about Kai’s influence on the cult and how her own wife has been working against her this entire time.
Ally then bolts off to find help but she doesn’t have much luck in finding it.
In a flashback to the day after the election, we find Ivy panicking after she ran into Gary — the one armed Trump supporter she helped to tie in a basement — at the polling place. Ivy is freaking out that Gary will identify them and they’ll go to jail for kidnapping amongst other potential charges. Winter promises that all will be OK but if she has any worries, perhaps it’s time to meet her brother, who can take care of anything.
That’s when Ivy comes face to face with Kai Anderson for the first time.
Kai instructs Ivy to hold pinky fingers with him and tell him the truth with each question he asks. That’s where Kai figures out that the dread that lives inside Ivy comes from her disdain for Ally.
It seems ever since the birth of their son Ozzy that Ivy has been festering hate for her wife. See, Ally is technically Ozzy’s biological mother because Ivy was unable to conceive. Ever since the baby was born, Ally has quietly held a tighter bond with their son while even dropping a “my baby” on her during his earliest years growing up. That hate for Ally has only grown over the years and it was just multiplied when she decided to cast a vote for Jill Stein rather than Hillary Clinton in the election.
Kai suggests killing Ally to ensure that Ivy will always have custody over Ozzy, but she’s not ready to take it that far. Instead, Ivy concedes to a different plan — one that ends with Ally driven so mad that no judge on Earth would ever grant her custody over Ozzy again.
As Kai’s political campaign is gaining even more steam, he gets into a town hall debate with his opponent, who is now 16 points behind and all but a lock to fall in the election. Kai’s speech about the monster hiding under the bed, who is no longer hidden, gets the crowd seething with fear and anger — the perfect mix for what he needs to get elected.
That’s when Sally Keffler shows up — she’s a Conservative who worships at the throne of Ronald Reagan, who says that Kai’s brand of politics isn’t anything but reactionary. He’s not a Conservative — guys like him and Trump aren’t even trash. They are the flies that circle the garbage that’s already piling up in America.
The rousing speech gets Sally a roomful of support as she announces that she’s going to run as a write-in candidate for the city council election.
Later that night, a frantic Ally shows up at Sally’s front door asking for help. Ally hopes that Sally can help expose this cult for what it truly is and she might have the platform to finally rid this town of Kai’s influence. Sally agrees to help but their conversation is soon interrupted by a break in by the killer clown cult.
Ally makes a run for the bathroom, unseen by the clowns rushing into the home.
Sally holds them off for a moment with her own gun, but they soon get the drop on her when Kai exposes his face and begins to lay out his plans for her. Sally might have had a real shot in the election, but Kai is running on a message of fear and what better way to convey that to the public that his opponent admitting that everything she said was wrong just before blowing her own brains out.
Kai writes a suicide note on Sally’s Facebook page — and everyone will believe it because it’s on Facebook — before placing the gun at her throat and pulling the trigger. The sound of the gunshot rattles Ally, who is hiding in the bathroom, so Kai sends Ivy to look around the house to see if anyone else is there.
When Ivy walks into the bathroom — with her face covered with a mask with both an elephant and a donkey on it — she stares down at her wife and Ally recognizes her immediately. Ivy turns and walks out of the room before closing the door behind her. Was Ivy sparing Ally’s life even though she hates her so much or was this just a setup for what unfolded in the final chapter in the episode?
Following Sally’s murder, Ally rushes back to Dr. Vincent’s office where he reveals that Meadow never told him anything about the cult before fleeing off on her own. Ally is irate because Meadow was suppose to corroborate her story about the cult.
That’s when we rejoin the rally for Kai when the gunfire explodes through the crowd.
Ivy runs away in terror as people are cut down directly in front of her. As the shots continue, everyone panics and that’s when we get a shot of the person holding the gun.
It’s Meadow Wilton.
Cut back to an earlier scene when Meadow confronts Kai after seeing him whispering the same sweet words to Ivy that he said to her when she joined the cult. Meadow was ready to quit and leave before Kai had Harrison and Detective Samuels tie her up in the garage. That was what we had seen thus far before Ally helped Meadow escape.
As it turns out, Kai visited Meadow later that night after she had been tied up when he frees her from the restraints. Kai explains that she’s the one person in the cult that he needs more than anybody because she truly believes and what they share goes beyond ideology. What they feel for each other is love.
Kai then proceeds to have sex with Meadow while explaining in graphic detail the plan that he has plotted to take him from a local celebrity to a national phenomenon. It includes Meadow revealing everything to Ally to get her so stirred up that she goes out ranting like a lunatic about the cult and then the ultimate act will be the mass shooting at his rally where he will be gunned down — not dead but enough to where he’ll be held up as an example of the growing aggression and fear that are haunting the country.
Flash forward to the rally as Meadow fires out into the crowd just as Ally arrives to try and stop her. Meadow had told Ally that the only way to stop Kai was to kill him and this tirade made it appear that she went through with it. In reality, Meadow only shot Kai in the leg before she opened fire on the crowd but when Ally arrives she grabs onto the gun trying to stop her from any further damage.
That’s when Meadow forces the gun under her own chin and tells Ally that this is the face of true love before pulling the trigger.
Meadow falls dead and the gun remains placed in Ally’s hands as the police arrive. She’s shocked at what just unfolded but perhaps she doesn’t even notice the handcuffs being placed on her as Ivy stands up to see her wife was the one holding the gun. Ally is under arrest for the shooting and as Kai is wheeled away for treatment, a small smile creeps across his face because this is exactly what he always wanted.
‘American Horror Story: Cult’ returns with a new episode next Tuesday night at 10pm ET on FX.