American Horror Story: Cult

AHS: Cult Recap: Devil's Three-way

Show of hands: Who agrees that Tuesday’s American Horror Story: Cult might have been the anthology series’ most gratuitously sickening hour yet?

Like, where do I even begin? Maybe the scene where Kai attempted to enter Detective Jawline while he was entering Winter, in the hopes of conceiving a “Messiah baby”? Or perhaps it was the sight of a young woman strapped to a chair while bleeding profusely from her vagina that made your stomach turn? Either way, you know an AHS episode has gone too far when an attempted-rape scene is the least jarring part of the hour.

But I’ll leave the judging up to Judy and recap this damn thing as objectively as possible. Here we go:

Tired of being treated like Handmaids™ by Kai’s gaggle of idiot minions — one of whom told Ivy, “Your bang-ability would go way up if you just smiled” — the ladies of the cult finally reached their breaking point. Well, everyone except for Winter, who justified her ongoing allegiance to her lunatic brother by reliving one of their most memorable Halloweens together:

Back in 2015, Kai and Winter were just a couple of kids with normal-colored hair and no big plans, so they spent the holiday doing what every sad basement dweller does best: making trouble online! Whilst trolling social justice warriors on the dark web — the new American pastime, really — the siblings received an invitation to Judgment House, a “show” at an old farmhouse run by a man named Pastor Charles. And because these two idiots wouldn’t know a red flag if it slapped them in their dumb, gorgeous faces, they accepted his invitation.

But who could have possibly imagined that Judgment House would turn out to be — wait for it — a house where Pastor Charles kidnapped sinners and “judged” them for their misdeeds? (You know, besides everyone.) Behind Door No. 1, a girl Charles found at a Planned Parenthood was strapped to a doctor’s table, bleeding from her vagina. Door No. 2 revealed an addict Charles took from a rehab facility, receiving steady streams of ecstasy, cocaine and opioids until his innards were mostly “mush.” And then there was Door No. 3, behind which an AIDS clinic volunteer was tied to a chair whose back was rigged to send knives shooting straight through the poor guy’s torso.

Shockingly, Kai acknowledged that this behavior must be stopped, at which point he saved the prisoners before killing Pastor Charles — but he was never the same after that. “He realized that you can’t save everyone,” Winter noted, “so it’s better to burn it all down and build a new world.” But even Winter was horrified by the next phase in her brother’s plan: a threesome with Detective Jawline… to conceive a baby. (“As he enters you, I will enter him,” Kai explained. “That way, you will remain pure and unsoiled.” What?!)

Anyway, the conception went about as well as you’d expect; Kai put on All-4-One’s “I Swear,” declaring it a new religious anthem, and Jawline failed to maintain his erection. (You know, on account of Winter having a vagina.) And the whole awkward ordeal brought up uncomfortable memories for Kai and Jawline, like when they used to sell drugs together, or when Kai taught him that sex with men is better because women steal your power. (It’s science or whatever!) Honestly, given how much we learned about Colton Haynes’ character this week, I can’t say I’m surprised that we also witnessed his bloody demise at the barrel of Winter’s gun — not that he didn’t deserve it for trying to rape her.

Meanwhile, following Vincent’s own uncomfortable encounter with Kai — though far less uncomfortable than an incestuous insemination — the eldest Anderson sibling came clean to Ally about his connection to Kai and Winter. He apologized for letting things get so out of hand, then promised he’d help her get custody of her son. But it was too little, too late. Knowing that Kai was her only shot at reuniting with Ozzy, Ally sold Vincent out, resulting in Kai brutally murdering his older brother in front of the entire cult. (He also threw Beverley into the isolation chamber, as Winter convinced him that she was the one who shot his precious Jawline.)

Oh, did I mention that Ally is a member of the cult now, too? That was a fun little twist in an otherwise stomach-churning hour of television.

What say you, Cult fans? Am I overreacting to the grossness of this episode, or did it go too far — even by AHS standards? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.