In the latest ‘American Horror Story: Cult’ recap, it’s the battle of the sexes as Kai’s victory puts him at odds with the women in his life…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The latest episode of ‘American Horror Story: Cult’ mixes truth with fiction as Lena Dunham joins the show to play Valerie Solanas — a real life woman who actually shot artist Andy Warhol.
Much of the latest episode is dabbled with real history including Valerie’s attempt on Warhol’s life as well as her feminist bible known as the SCUM Manifesto. Of course, Ryan Murphy then drops in several twists and turns including SCUM’s man hating army committing murders that are actually attached to the real unsolved Kodiac killer crimes that haunted the San Francisco Bay area during the 1960’s and 1970’s.
It all plays out through a series of flashbacks courtesy of Frances Conroy’s voiceovers as she fans the flames on Kai Anderson’s devoted femme followers who suddenly get shut out after he gains national attention and no longer seems to need his cult around any longer.
The whole thing gets turned on its head in the end, which not only saved the episode but also put an intriguing spin to see how things play out over the next few weeks.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘American Horror Story: Cult’ titled ‘Valerie Solanas Died For Your Sins: Scum’…
Man of the Hour
The episode begins with a flashback to 1968 when writer Valerie Solanas accused artist Andy Warhol of stealing a script she wrote and handed over to him. Warhol insisted that he misplaced it but mostly just seemed to brush her off. A few days later, Solanas returned with a gun before firing three shots at Warhol — the final was the only that landed but it hit him directly in the chest.
“Suck my dick, Warhol!”
~ Valerie shouted after shooting Warhol
Back in present day, a news reel catches us up on what’s happened since the last episode.
Kai’s shooting put him into the national spotlight and he won the councilman election by a landslide. This prominence has led a huge rise in notoriety for Kai and his movement. Unfortunately since he was shot, Kai has surrounded himself with new followers — a group of young white men who suspiciously all dress the same with short haircuts (you get the picture) and Beverly Hope is enraged when her friend and leader barely has time to speak to her much less give her any real attention as she wonders why his focus has moved away from their goal to watch the world burn.
That encounter is coupled by Beverly running into a strange woman outside her television studio named Bebe Babbit. She proclaims that Kai’s actions are just the latest in the patriarchal control over women in this country. Beverly begins to realize that maybe Bebe is onto something after Kai just brushed her off earlier and now his house is filled with testosterone seething men while he’s simultaneously shut out all the women in his life now that he’s got what he wanted.
That leads to Beverly calling a meeting with all the women from the cult including Ivy and Winter, as they sit down to hear the tale of Valerie Solanas from the woman who loved her most in the world before she died.
Battle of the Sexes
Bebe tells the story of Valerie Solanas from before she pulled the trigger that nearly killed Andy Warhold.
It seems Valerie had written a manuscript called the SCUM Manifesto (a real piece of work mind you) before gathering a group of women to teach them about her theory that men are destroying the world so women need to rise up and eliminate them all together. The group fills with hatred as each meeting grows angrier than the next and the women are ready to take on the patriarchy running the country.
Of course, Valerie allows for a couple of men to join their group — namely two homosexual friends who have been used and abused by males just like the women.
That’s when she lays out her plans to shock the nation back into coherency by beginning a murder spree that will wipe out the male population in shocking numbers.
Valerie’s plan then shifts into motion on the day she shoots Andy Warhol because that was supposed to serve as the signal for the revolution to begin. From there, her SCUM army goes on a murderous rampage, killing several couples in gruesome fashion and the crimes are left unsolved.
Sadly for Valerie’s plans, the newspaper begins receiving details about the crimes with clues that only the killer could know. That leads to the reveal that the SCUM murders were actually credited to the Zodiac killer — a notorious unsolved crime where the perpetrator sent letters to numerous local papers taunting law enforcement to crack a secret code he sent them that would allegedly reveal his identity.
Valerie later finds out that one of the men she allowed into SCUM was responsible so she killed him — a lot — but her already fractured mind began to splinter even further and further away from sanity. In the end, Valerie was spouting all sorts of nonsense and everybody — including Bebe — left her before she finally died a few years later.
The way that story played out is similar to watching Meadow unravel just recently before shooting Kai Anderson. Now as Kai begins to shut out the women in his life, Beverly knows that it’s time to get their revenge before the same thing happens to all of them.
Don’t Look Back in Anger
Winter returns home after he meeting with Bebe and the other ladies and she finds Kai in the room with their parents rotting corpses. There, Kai tells her that heavy is the head that wears the crown as he’s trying to adjust to this new life where he’s famous and everyone is looking to him for leadership.
That’s when he shows Winter a copy of the SCUM manifesto that he discovered in her room. She tries to play it off like it was from a college class, but Kai sees right through it. He then reveals that the manifest has inspired him to enact his own acronym for the movement he’s started. Perhaps MLWB, which stands for ‘Men Lead, Women Bleed’, which obviously doesn’t sit to well with Winter. Kai quickly knocks down the name and says it was all Harrison’s idea in the first place.
That’s all the women needed to enact their own piece of revenge against the male species as they lure Harrison into a trap and knock him out before tying him to a table inside the Butchery on Main. Harrison confesses that Meadow shooting Kai was all a plant and his idea. He begs for his life but to no avail as the women chop him up limb for limb before leaving the body parts in a grisly scene across town.
Of course, Beverly is first on the scene to report the news about the murders while proclaiming that anyone saying that this once friendly neighborhood is safe again is just false. It’s a direct shot at Kai’s campaign promises that helped him get elected.
Kai watches it all unfold from the comfort of his basement couch as he gazes on with joy in his eyes.
“They’re at their best when they’re angry, don’t you think?”
Kai leans over and the person sitting next to him on the couch is none other than Bebe Babbit. It turns out she’s been working with Kai this entire time and he somehow orchestrated this rebellion himself. How that plays into his larger plan to sink the country further into chaos is unknown but it was certainly quite the twst at the end of the episode.
‘American Horror Story: Cult’ returns with a brand new episode next Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET on FX