By Michael Alford III
Published: October 11th, 2017
Ally Mayfair-Richards (Sarah Paulson) is phobia-infested. It’s something she struggled with all her life, as she admits to her therapist. Ally had been getting better, but once she saw the news that Donald Trump won the election, it was like a switch had been forcefully flicked on.
So far in the show, she has been tormented by clowns that appear out of nowhere, who often commit murder. Of course, with her fear—or phobia—of clowns, she is constantly having panic attacks whenever they come around. Besides being petrified of almost everything, Ally ends up almost cheating on her wife, Ivy Mayfair-Richards (Allison Pill), with the babysitter, Winter Anderson (Billie Lourd), and is left alone in the house to fend for herself while all the terror around her is rising.
In last week’s episode, “Holes,” Ally’s neighbor tells her that Ivy is in on it with the clowns. Ally becomes skeptical of Ivy in the last few minutes of the show and seems to internally question what’s really going on.
On the other hand, Ivy is a strong woman. She has made tremendous strides with helping Ally get over her phobias and raising their son, Oz (Cooper Dodson). She is also keeping the family afloat by taking care of their restaurant and home expenses while Ally is going through her more consistent panic attacks.
While she seems ideal, Ivy is not even close to innocent. Viewers soon find out that she has become a part of this cult and is one of the clowns that is committing the murders. She’s been colluding with assumed leader and Trump supporter, Kai Anderson (Evan Peters), in setting up her wife’s cheating scenario and leaving her. Ivy’s conscience, however, has seemed to be getting to her in the recent episode.
Every person has the lines in which they will cross, but it looks like Ivy is realizing that she will have to lose her sense of morality to comply with Kai’s plans.
Kai considers himself “the humiliated man” archetype. He has been recruiting people to be a part of the new order that he’s creating. He invokes fear into people by using his crew to commit crimes across town and record them to put on the news. Every move he makes is calculated and carried out precisely with little room for disobedience from his followers.
Kai has been carefully watching potential followers. It seems a little creepy when he admits to one follower that he’d been watching them for a while, but it also makes him more convincing. After all, he does see everything that is going on in a person’s life. Kai is a dangerous person because of his power to persuade.
Fortunately, in the last episode, we see Kai’s vulnerability when reporter Beverley Hope (Adina Porter), questions what makes him tick. His message is extremely radical but the fear he is inflicting is very effective.
As a reporter, Beverly is frustrated with being put out on the sidelines when it comes to the hard-hitting news, while her coworker, Serina (Emma Roberts), is doing reviews on spa treatments. Beverley attacks a skate boarder after several incidents of people saying “grab her by the p*ssy,” while she was on air and ends up in a psychiatric care center for a month.
When she returns, she confronts Serina and news anchor Bob Thompson (Dermont Mulroney) about being able to air the stories she’s doing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go over well with them. Beverley then kills them both, each at different times, after joining Kai’s cult.
Beverley has gotten more interesting as the show progressed. After the one-on-one conversation she had with Kai, it seems there is more to her than what meets the eye. I firmly believe that if Kai ever falters, she will become the next leader.
As for Kai, I’m anticipating how well he will do in this cult. Although I’m not at all rooting for him, bringing these people together was a feat that he has accomplished. Each person is so different, yet under him, they become one, which is crucial when trying to lead.
These four characters, I believe, are essential to this new season. The storyline follows each one of these characters more intimately than the others we see. All in all, “American Horror Story” has gotten a lot more realistic. Incorporating the 2016 election and building a story around it was pure genius; I hope its ending will be just as genius.