AHS: Cult Recap: Shots Fired

American Horror Story: Cult Recap

This wasn’t a great week to be a woman on American Horror Story: Cult — but when has it ever been?

Tuesday’s time jump-happy hour opened at a rally for Kai’s city council campaign, where a shooting left several bystanders either injured or dead. Kai appeared to have been among those hit, though the real “surprise” came when the dust settled — and Ally was the one holding the literal smoking gun. (Side note: The version of this scene that aired on FX was re-edited in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre on Oct. 1.)

But this was merely one piece of the puzzle. To pick up the rest, we went back to the night Ally finally learned the truth about Ivy’s involvement with the cult. The night she broke into the Wiltons’ house. The night she rescued Meadow. The night she caught Billy Eichner boning Colton Haynes on the dining room table. It was already a lot for one night — and it was far from over.

Ally took Meadow to the restaurant, where Harrison’s dutiful wife told her everything, including that she was just one “project” of several across town. As for those trucks Ally saw, they were merely spraying water; the objective was to scare people and “soften them up for the takeover.” Meadow also revealed that she was in love with Kai, and that he felt the same — until she realized he was buttering up Ivy with all the same lines he once used on her. “There’s only way to stop him,” Meadow concluded. “We have to kill him.”

Meanwhile, another opponent was rising to take down Kai by less violent means: Sally Keffler (played by AHS alumna Mare Winningham) declared her write-in candidacy for city council, calling Kai a “snake oil salesman — and not a very good one.” She also likened to President Donald Trump: “They are not the garbage. They are the flies that the garbage has drawn. It’s time that we stop worrying about the flies and we start hauling away the garbage.”

The episode then jumped back to Nov. 9, the day after Gary cut his own damn arm off just so he could vote. To calm Ivy’s fears about getting caught, Winter introduced her to Kai, who started right away with the pinky-on-pinky action. Ivy revealed that she hated Ally — not because she voted for Jill Stein, but because she was the one who gave birth to Oz. Kai fueled Ivy’s paranoia, insisting that Ally made her feel like she was Oz’s only mother, that she breastfed him until he was three in order to assert her importance. He promised Ivy that by the time they were through with Ally, no judge would grant her custody of a child.

Back to the present… Ally met with Sally (hey, their names rhyme!) to tell her everything she knew about Kai’s cult, and she was pleasantly surprised when Sally actually believed her. “Nothing shocks me,” Sally said, taking a hit off her freshly rolled joint. “I went to Berkeley.” But Sally was about her eat her own words, as her house was soon swarming with murderous clowns who made her fatal gunshot appear self-inflicted. Hell, Kai even left a suicide note on her Facebook wall. “No one’s going to believe that,” Sally tried to tell him, though Kai’s response was pretty incredible: “Of course they will — it’s on Facebook.”

Ally barely escaped Sally’s house — thanks to Ivy, who found her hiding in the closet but didn’t turn her over to Kai — before heading over to Dr. Vincent’s office, where she’d been stashing Meadow. By the time Ally got there, Meadow was gone and her psychiatrist was trying to convince her that she imagined the whole situation. Her response was one of the most satisfying “f–k you”s I’ve heard in a long time.

This brought us to the rally from the beginning of the episode — only this time, we saw that it was Meadow who fired the gun. After shooting Kai in the leg, then targeting a few innocent bystanders, Meadow turned the gun on herself. “This is the face of true love,” she told Ally before blowing her own brains out. (Yeah, it turns out she was still working for Kai. He needed to fake an assassination attempt to elevate him to the national stage, and he convinced Meadow that she was the only one capable of getting the job done.)

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