28th Sep2017

‘American Horror Story – Cult 7×04: 11/9’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


If there has been one thing about American Horror Story: Cult, it is the mystery of just how the “clowns” came together. This week we see a flashback that provides that answer, and also reveals a few surprises that make us re-evaluate a few characters. More importantly, we get to take a glimpse into just why this season is called Cult.

Looking back at the events around election night, Ally (Sarah Paulson) and Ivy (Alison Pill) cast their votes. While doing so though, a few other people are also casting their votes, all connected to one-person Kai (Evan Peters) who is building up his plan for world domination.

To say Kai is planning world domination may be hyperbole, but in his head, this seems to be his end game. First local government then moving on up to bigger and more powerful things. In this episode we see how he works, and just how he became connected to Harrison and Meadow (Billy Eichner and Leslie Grossman). He preys on the weak, and he offers them what they are lacking. Even as the audience, we start to see his more likeable side as he helps his little group of losers.

What is important about this episode is that we are finally seeing Kai as the cult leader. His charisma and manipulative ways are the same things we’ve seen in history. From Manson to Koresh, Jones to numerous other cult leaders, this is where they found the power to do what they did. In the world of American Horror Story: Cult it may be taken to the extreme, and even seem easy, but that point is that Kai has this power.

The sting in the tail of course is that Winter (Billie Lourd) also shows some of that charisma too. It is somewhat of a twist that Ivy had met Winter before the election night, which sheds the fact that she allowed her into her house as a nanny quite puzzling. Knowing what they did, does this mean that Ivy has some connection to the cult too? If this comes to fruition then it is a surprising twist that makes things even more interesting.

With American Horror Story, part of the fun is the re-use of recognisable actors over the seasons. This week Emma Roberts made her return, but only for this episode. Using her character as the catalyst to Beverly Hope’s (Adina Porter) joining the cult, it will be an unforgettable appearance, if a short one. The Beverly Hope story is one of the most interesting in the way she opens up more of Kai’s plans and his desire to use her job as a TV reporter to spread his message. It also works to tease which “clown” is which now we know who they are.

In regard to Ally, we see her hypocrisy in action. While this episode does pull a lot of politics into it, it needs it. What we see is a mocking of both sides of the political spectrum, and this episode really highlights just how ridiculous the whole situation is. The hints are there though that Ally could very well be enticed into the world of Kai’s cult, and very easily fit into it. She has the weaknesses that Kai is praying on, and it is only a matter of time before she fully gives in to his persuasions.

For people questioning American Horror Story: Cult, this is the episode that should pull everything together for them. I’ll admit that the actual horror element of the show is lacking right now, no matter how much gore we see. What we have to remember though is that not all horror is the same, this is psychological horror that is slow burning.

Now that we know who the cult is, it is time for American Horror Story: Cult to reveal just what Kai’s plans are. The fact that we watch in anticipation of finding this out shows that it has its hooks into us. I for one am enjoying where American Horror Story: Cult is taking us, let’s just hope it lives up to expectations.

****½  4.5/5

American Horror Story: Cult airs in American at 10pm on FX and in the UK on Fridays 10pm on Fox.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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