***Spoilers for American Horror Story: Cult through Episode 9 follow. Spoilers***
Finally! Finally, after Kai managed (mostly because people were at gunpoint) to get the whole of his followers to swallow his particular brand of slickly sweet, we got to the point many of us have been waiting for. Now, you can all drink in my Koo … kiness.
Rounding up his basement boys, Kai recounts the history of March 26, 1997, when Marshall Applewhite convinced thirty-nine people to commit mass suicide. He follows up with the tales of David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, then “The Kanye of leaders”, Jim Jones; Kai brags that “Nine hundred eighteen of his loyal parishioners were more than happy to follow him anywhere”, and makes it known he expects the Clown Cult to follow suit.
While Anderson attempts to inspire, including dreamlike flashes to Evan Peters as his would-be heroes (Koresh, Applewhite) — including Jesus, effectively kissing himself as Jim Jones — Ally angrily confronts her wife about having joined Kai’s cult, and asks why Ivy destroyed their family. Though she allows Ivy a moment to become emotional — “You came back for me?” — Ally soon makes it clear that all is not forgiven.
Winter shows up, apologizes for losing her mind and having realized her brother’s madness (Vincent was an asshole but he was one of us), with a plan to leave the cult — found on wikiHow. Before they can do anything, Kai’s army shows up to collect the women and Oz; once the cult is reunited, including Beverly, Anderson brings out his “radical” pot, which turns out to contain nothing more than a loyalty test which most of the group passes.
Later, at their home, readying to run, Ally and Ivy go over last minute plan details, then head to Oz’s school to pick up their son, only to find Winter (and Kai) have taken him to the clown den; Kai pinky-swears the boy into his club after they share a Holy Shit! worthy secret — Kai made many donations to the sperm bank where Ally was impregnated, and he claims to be Oz’s father. Reeling from the reveal, the mommies head home to regroup … er, have a deadly dinner.
As Ally ostensibly begins laying out their escape to Ivy, plying her wife with homemade pasta and the wine they had on their honeymoon, she runs through the emotions and her recovery while in the psych ward (after Meadow’s shooting), finally letting in Ivy on what “cured” her. Feeding her fear with thoughts of revenge, Ally starts with Ivy, a carefully concocted meal laced with arsenic serves as gruesome goodbye.
After pleading with a clinic employee, Ally confirms Oz’s paternity; though it’s not Kai, she obtains a forged document indicating he is the father, and Kai takes the bait, hook, line and little paper cup. “Now we can be a real family.” But, as he goes in for the group hug, one thing is quite apparent; Ally is merely enacting step two of her master revenge plan.
Though it’s taken much longer than we thought to get there, finally, Ally is getting to work on Kai. I can’t wait to see how exactly this plays out. For Cult to play out a la Murphy, there has to be a delicious twist, and I believe the twist will turn out that after Ally gets done with Kai, she’ll basically drink her own Kool-Aid — believe her own hype — and she’ll end up a new cult leader. Will she be worse than Kai? Will she run for president? Only two more episodes until we find out.
One of the creepiest moments was when Kai brought in Ivy’s body, laid her on the floor in the bedroom where his dead parents are and sprinkled her with lye. He really does believe Ally and he are family now.
This is one of the least convoluted seasons of AHS in a while; a nice change of pace. There’s a different kind of fear intertwined in the comparatively (to other AHS outings) realistic happenings, bringing in that trademark Stephen King sense of fear in the ordinary, everyday aspects of people and life.
Winter’s a hot mess, and though she keeps trying to break away from her brother, it’s clear she can’t quite manage it … keeps either lying or switching her loyalty back and forth. I can’t quite predict where the character will end up.
Evan Peters is killing it with his flashbacks as Jones, Koresh, Applewhite, Jesus impressions, and that moment when he basically kissed himself was pure gold. Next week, Peters takes on Charles Manson (*shudder*).
Angela Bassett directed this episode.
Ivy to Ally on joining the cult: “I wanted someone to come in and say Do this, care about that … It felt so good to take my hands off the wheel. I’m sorry but I hated you. I was so angry that I thought I hated you.”
Ally: “People died, Ivy, because of you.
I knew you would never leave unless I got you out.”
Ivy: “You came back for me?”
Ally: “I came back for Oz and our family. If we can escape, I am not leaving Oz’s mother behind.”
Oz to Ally when she gives him a Twisty comic: “But that has a clown on it … Mama, I missed you.”
Winter: “The election made me lose my mind. We have to run away. It’s the only way. I found this on Wiki How: 14 steps, how to escape from a cult.”
Gary: “I think I just shit my pants.”
Kai: “No, that’s your colitis.”
Kai to Oz: “What kind of games do your play with your Daddy?”
Oz: “I don’t have a Daddy.”
Oz to Ally and Ivy: “I wanna stay with Daddy.”
Kai to Ally: “The Brighton Clinic. That’s where you got turkey basted, isn’t it?
I’ve kept close track of all my children.”
Ally to Ivy: “I put arsenic in the wine, and the pasta. I only want two things in this life. I want Oz all to myself, and I wanna watch you die … Halfway home.”
Kai to Oz: “Hey buddy, Wikipedia is fake news. I’m the only one you can trust. I know things. Ultimate truths … Doubters get no cookies.”
Kai to Ally: “With a name like Ozymandias, he’s just begging to get the shit kicked out of him. Who came up with that?”
Ally: “I did.”
Kai: “Where’s your wife?”
Ally: “She’s in the trunk. I killed her.
A son needs his father.”
Kai: It’s like hitting the genetic jackpot — donor X93994. This is cosmic. Written in the stars. Divine intervention. Holy shit. I’m a daddy, Oz’s real daddy. I made a Messiah baby.”