If there’s anything we know for sure about this season of American Horror Story, it is that there is an extravagant trick being played on us. What it is, we have no idea. But there will inevitably be some sort of surprising relevation that could be any combination of the hundreds of theories being flung around the internet.
Is Kai really the main leader of the cult? How involved is Winter? Does Doctor Rudy have something to with the events? Does Ivy? Is everyone teaming up to play an extremely elaborate hoax on Ally?
So many questions, and even at this point we still have so few answers. But at least where last week dragged us through repetitive horror tropes, this week’s ‘Neighbours from Hell’ treated us to some engaging developments.
While we begin with Dr Rudy Vincent helping an unknown woman conquer her fear of coffins, it isn’t long until we are given our first terrifying death of the episode. Arriving home, this woman and her husband are forced into locked coffins by home invaders dressed as… yep. Clowns.
It is starting to look increasingly likely that Dr Rudy is more than just a humble psychiatrist. He, along with Kai, is one of the only characters to display a psychological understanding of fear. He also has the complete trust of a number of patients who regularly bare their souls and weaknesses to him. With this sort of knowledge and power, he is a prime suspect.
But it is the repercussions of Ally’s accidental shooting of Pedro last week that is the main focus in episode 3. She has become the victim of those left-wing protestors who she might have once supported. Kai adopts a sympathetic approach to her plight, reassuring her that she was simply acting in self-defence and that she was right to be scared.
Kai is targeting Ally at her most vulnerable. While everyone else is telling her she is crazy, he is encouraging her to put faith in her own instincts. Their relationship just got a whole lot more complicated, and even more so engaging.
With her newfound self-confidence Ally loses her temper at the Wiltons, who have done nothing but bullied her since the shooting. The lesbian sex ad was nasty, but the microwaving of Mr Guinea is a step too far and points to them as the guilty party. In a fit of rage, Ally threatens to kill them if they interfere with her family anymore.
This obviously comes back to bite her in the bum, when in the last 10 minutes of the episode all hell breaks loose. Firstly, a secret recording of Ally and Winter’s brief sexual escapade from last week comes to Ivy’s attention. Storming out of the house with Oz in tow, the family finds a newly established crime scene across the road. Harrison has exited the house soaked in blood, claiming that Meadow his disappeared. And of course, drawing on Ally’s death threat, the blame is laid directly at her feet.
In one last terrifying scare, the trademark signature of the recent killings has appeared in Ally and Ivy’s home – a bloody smiley face.
There is so much going on in this episode, and so many more questions are opened up than are answered. Why are the Wiltons meeting with Kai? What is that chemical truck up to? Secreting some sort of fear-based hallucinogen?
As long as American Horror Story: Cult is able to keep up the intrigue, then I may be able to make peace with the fact that we might not be getting any major answers until the latter half of the season. And as long as these answers are satisfying and can connect the dots in a logical way, then this season may be destined to be one of the show’s better seasons.
What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments below!