As loose story threads are tied up and red herrings are exposed, AHS: Cult is slowly whittling away at its remaining cast members. A final confrontation between Kai, Winter, Ivy, and Ally is looming, and it is looking likely that they won’t all make it out alive.
Following Bebe’s intervention with the women of the cult last week, Ivy, Winter and Beverly have realised that the patriarchy they once swore to destroy has become such an overriding influence within Kai’s new circle of followers. Beverly is ready to take Kai down from the inside, but Winter steps in with a timely backstory to temporarily quell her animosity.
While trolling SJW’s on the dark web years ago, Kai and Winter were roped into visiting the Judgement House – a walkthrough horror exhibition run by the incredibly creepy Pastor Charles. Each display demonstrated torturous punishments for different types of sinners, with real life participants suffering through every second. After Kai rescued the victims and killed the pastor, he came to the realisation that the only way to better the world is by killing the people who are ruining it.
Detective Samuels is similarly given the origin story treatment this week. He explains that his struggles with his sexuality led him to Kai, who offered him the words that he needed to hear. While it is nice to see Samuels’ background being fleshed out, it feels jarring to get it so late in the season – especially since he is killed by Winter immediately afterwards.
Beverly’s cult membership also comes to an end, with Winter blaming her for Detective Samuels’ death. As a result she is sent to isolation, although we can certainly expect her to reappear at some point in the future.
As for Winter, her loyalty is flopping all over the place right now. She isn’t happy with Kai’s new direction, and now that she has cut her ties with the feminist sect of the cult, her allies are few. Seeing as she is the namesake of this episode, the effects of her growing discontent will certainly have a real impact on Kai very soon.
Moving into the final act of this episode, Dr Rudy Vincent’s story gets its own resolution. All those theories about him being a master manipulator or advocate for the cult can be chucked right out, with the major reveal turning out to be that he is simply an innocent man caught up in his siblings’ antics. I can appreciate that he was simply a red herring intended to make us question the extent of Kai’s power, but at the same time it is disappointing to lose him after so little development. Regardless, his ending is cringe inducing, with Winter snipping off his pinky in a symbolic gesture of his betrayal, and Kai stabbing him through the chest.
Lastly, it is clear that leaving Ally in rehab for a couple of episodes has done her character justice. By design, she was always supposed to constantly grate with us as viewers. This was necessary to demonstrate that just as the right wing doesn’t necessarily represent America’s best interests, certain members of the left wing are just as out-of-touch with society. But from the first moments she appears back on our screens this episode, the change she has gone through is obvious. In her private conversation with Kai, she tells him without a waver in her voice:
“You cured me. I’m not afraid of anything anymore.”
For most people, fear leads to dependency. But Ally is a prime example of how fear can often lead to strength. She has faced all her worst nightmares, and she has come out the other end alive. Is this what Kai has been trying to demonstrate this whole time? That fear and chaos builds a stronger society?
The shock ending only reinforces this. With Beverley’s ousting, her vacant clown costume is occupied by Ally. She is prepared to regain control over her life, starting with her son. And by the look on Ivy’s face, she is terrified of this new, confident Ally.
So she should be. Heading into the final quarter of this season, Ally and Kai’s alliance is sure to make for an unstoppable force of furious determination.
What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below!