31st Oct2017

‘American Horror Story – Cult 7×08: Winter of Our Discontent’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


Watching American Horror Story: Cult it has been obvious that the show is, already, running out of steam. With a good set-up, the season had potential, and probably still has. If Winter of Our Discontent shows anything though, it is that it is starting to become a parody of its own self. If anything, this week’s episode is more like American Comedy Story.

With the female cult members in the kitchen making the men their meals Winter (Billie Lourd) finds it hard to defend Kai (Evan Peters). When he decides to test her faith, it leads to a death which has bad consequences for Beverly Hope (Adina Porter). A new member to the cult also proves very shocking to Ivy (Alison Pill).

There has been a lot of good work so far to create a mystery around Kai, or potential mystery. This week we see the destruction of that mystery, and show his cult for what it is, a joke. While we are meant to believe that he will gain power, all he seems to be doing is consolidating it around himself.

Where you would hope that Winter would be a stronger character than she actually is, you see her weakness this week, and she pays the price. The problem with this of course is will she change her views next week? Or will she just be like Kai, another character who spouts off phrases to remind us that this is meant to be satirising “Trump’s America” and providing little else.

The return of Ally (Sarah Paulson) is an interesting move, but very predictable. It also shows the weakness that is building in American Horror Story: Cult, and it is one that can hopefully be fixed. Kai’s little cult is becoming unbelievable and his little mind games are a power trip that will run out of power. The real problem is that this is becoming to feel more like Fight Club than a cult based in reality.

The idea that we see real life cults that existed, and see the connections with Kai’s group may be a good idea, but for that to work then Kai’s cult needs some work done to it. Right now, it is turning into a group of boys believing they are part of something that will give them power.

Hopefully this episode is just a bump in the road, designed to pull Ally back into the story and to get rid of some of the characters that needed culling. It may have fallen into the trap of parodying the whole concept of this season’s story, but maybe there is some end goal in sight?

For now, we just have further seeds of discontent that will no doubt end in Kai’s doom. We got to see why Winter is so devoted to her brother, and we even saw that their brother wasn’t a guilty party in any of this. So, in true story terms, not much happened. Unless you count Ally of course, but she only has one aim in mind at the moment.

While I’ve been negative about this episode of American Horror Story: Cult, I am hoping that the next week’s episode gets back on track. This is meant to be about horror, not an attempt to parody the show itself. To go down the show’s own route…can we make American Horror Story great again? We shall have to see, because right now the cult is running out of steam.

***½  3.5/5

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

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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