Every season of American Horror Story seems to have one or two flashback episodes. Where we take a break from whatever is happening in the story to explain a few things we might have missed. That’s what this episode of Cult has in store for us. 

We start again at Election Night. We see who each character voted for. There were some surprises, like Meadow voting for Oprah. And, of course, Kai coming in to vote with a man whose hand’s been cut off.

Next, we see Harrison at his job as a personal trainer. Kai comes in, having specifically asked to train with him. And right away, he starts love bombing Harrison.

If you’re not familiar with that phrase, you haven’t spent as much time devouring crazy cult documentaries as I have. Which is probably healthy. But love bombing in this context refers to the behavior of a cult leader and followers when a new victim joins the fold. 

The victim, in this case, Harrison, is bombed with love, attention, and praise. And Kai is working right out of the cult leader handbook.

Harrison and Meadow are getting evicted from their home. He’s about to lose his job. Soon enough the only person in his life who doesn’t feel like a drain is Kai. And that’s when Kai gets him to kill his boss. 

Evan Peters in American Horror Story Cult

Next in Kai’s crosshairs is Beverly Hope, the reporter. She’s angry. After a series of men interrupting her live broadcasts by screaming “Grab her by the pussy!” she finally snaps and beats someone with her microphone.

I don’t blame her one bit.

When she gets out, she discovers that a younger reporter has skipped ahead of her, doing puff pieces. And doing the boss, too. 

Kai takes her out for coffee. He tells her that they can burn the world down together. She turns him down. 

Then, Kai has the new reporter brutally murdered while doing a piece about an adoption fair. It was right after she insulted an adorable puppy, so I’m not shedding too many tears. The puppy gets away, the cameraman does not. 

Emma Roberts in American Horror Story Cult

Kai is building an army. A loyal army of broken people who will die for him. Who will kill for him.

Finally, we see Ivy at a Clinton rally the day before Election Night. She’s assaulted by the same man we saw earlier in the episode. He still has both his hands for now. But finally, I realized why he looked so familiar. He’s the same man Ally saw at the grocery store in the first episode. The one-handed man who pulled on a Trump cap. 

Ivy is saved by Winter. They go to have something to eat at Ivy’s place. Which is either a plot hole or something that will be explained in a later episode. Because Ivy sure as hell didn’t seem to recognize Winter when she interviewed her to babysit Oz.

Ivy and Winter kidnap Gary, the man from the grocery store. They duct tape him, and tell him they’ll let him out when the election is over. 

Kai finds Gary in the basement, handcuffed to a pipe. He gives Kai a hand saw and talks him into sawing off his hand to vote.

And so we’ve now come back full circle.

The puzzle pieces are falling into place. We’re seeing now that Ally is the farthest thing from crazy someone can get. As I said in the last episode, they are out to get her. The neighbors, the man at the grocery store, the babysitter. Even her wife.

So, what’s so special about her, then? I guess we’ll have to wait and find out in the next episode. 

See you then, Killer Queens. 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

You can grab the whole season of American Horror Story Cult now on Amazon.