SCUM and Helter Skelter duke it out for ultimate domination of Trump’s America on AHS this week. What a world. Evan Peters continues his on-point impersonations of famous cult leaders with a pretty good Charles Manson, while the rest of the cast plays the rest of the Helter Skelter devotees. Loyalty is the buzzword of the week–who has it and why. Let’s find out.
Flashback to October. Winter and her Vassar squad are laughing at Trump in the debates. (Oh, simpler times.) He can’t possibly win! Who would ever vote for him?! Oh, hi Kai. He bashes Clinton and debates Winter’s friend, who mocks him and other alt-righters. He slaps her, and she threatens to press charges.
Two weeks later, Kai is in anger management with…Bebe Babbitt. Remember her? (She was a SCUM believer alongside Valerie Solanas, who incited the female cult members’ rage while secretly reporting to Kai.) She sees potential in him. Politics perhaps? Wha? Well, she’s an old-school feminist but her favorite politician of all-time is Donald J. Trump. Female rage is about to explode; Trump is hammering away at the dam that’s keeping it pent up. Kai can be that guy, too. He’ll be a legend! She strokes his ego, hard.
Back in the present day, Kai is holding a rally in a park for his senate run when protesters approach. Fighting breaks out, in an echo of the Charlottesville rallies. (Kai even gets maced.) After unsavory coverage by the local news, Kai riles up his cult devotees: it’s the fake media! (Drink.) And then it’s time for a tale from the master. The cultees love story time!
- Cielo Drive. The AHS cast reenacts the infamous murders, with Billy Eichner, Sarah Paulson, Leslie Grossman, and Billie Lourd playing Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian, respectively. We all know what happens next. And happen it does, in gory AHS detail. Paulson is convincingly terrifying as Susan Atkins. Seriously, is there nothing this woman can’t do? Kai, after popping a pill, introduces the cult to the idea of Helter Skelter – but they need to do it bigger.
Gary Longstreet and co. go to Planned Parenthood to find lists of women who want abortions to target. Ugh. But Gary is met by the clownish killers. Oh yeah, where have these guys been? Anyway Kai has him mercilessly killed– and left outside disemboweled.
Beverly is on the scene with the report, this time clearly begrudgingly and helpless. Kai blames it on the “Woke Warriors” who must have targeted Longstreet for his beliefs, saying the deaths are on the senator. Beverly, however, isn’t selling the story. After everything she’s been put through, she’s snapped. At the Butchery, Winter, racked by her guilt, tries to help Beverly escape with a train ticket. But Beverly can’t accept it. She’s been broken.
Kai’s paranoia has reached a fever pitch. He’s convinced there’s a mole. In his room of dead relatives, he has conversations with the undead Rudy Vincent and the ghost of Charles Manson (played by Evan Peters, a dead ringer here). Manson gives him some cult-running advice: don’t trust the women. Ding dong, Bebe is here! And she is not happy. Valerie Solanas passed the torch to her, and Kai is screwing it up. There is no female rage: there’s just rage everywhere. That wasn’t her plan. She aims to shoot Kai, but Ally shoots her first. Has Ally actually changed, or is she trying to save herself? Does she have a master plan?
Later, Winter shaves Kai’s head and his beard, making him look even more eerily similar to Manson. (Why won’t anyone kill him already?!) He questions her loyalty…and pulls out the train ticket she offered Beverly. He’s convinced she’s the mole, since Ally found bugs and tape recorders, which Winter denies being hers. No use. She’s killed ceremonially in the basement in front of the cult, by Kai’s hands alone. One of the cult members runs to his car in a panic because…well, he’s the mole. He tosses his equipment. Too late: Ally is already on the scene. What’s her end game? Has Ally become our new favorite character now that she’s a stone-cold killer? More Manson callbacks to come.