Over the first half of the season we’ve gone from slasher horror featuring a Killer Clown Squad to a much more horrifying look at how easy it is for someone like Kai to enter into normal people’s lives and turn them into the absolute worst of humanity.
His goal is to take over the world but how is he going to do that?
By using everything he’s done to Ally and making her a assassin.
I thought it was really well done. We open seeing a SWAT team surrounding Ally and the belief that she went crazy and killed a load of people. We see Ivy reacting, Harrison trying to get her down on the ground and Kai on a podium looking pretty dead.
The whole episode was then a masterclass from Leslie Grossman whose character Meadow takes a last bow being maybe one of the most influential characters of the season with only herself and Kai maybe ever knowing it.
I went on a lot in the last review about Ivy’s character because I feel that a lot of people will pain the Cult as bad guys and Ally as the good guy and not look deeper then that. On the surface that is true but you lose a lot of the important message if you do that. One thing a wise person has always said to me when I question why she’s so obsessed with learning about things like World War II is this “If people never understand how Hitler made people do terrible things then we’ll never see it happening to ourselves until its too late” and that is the message that pops up in my head time and time again with this whole story.
Everyone wants to say the Nazi party of WWII were just evil people but they don’t look deeper and see how that party was made of normal people who were scared, angry and in pain and given purpose and convinced to do horrible things.
We’ve seen this happen to Ivy in this series, hell we’ve seen it in real life with Trump, we see the final straw that truly broke Ivy was the birth of Oz who was birthed by Ally and breast fed until he was 3 in what Ivy felt was a way to remind Ivy that she was never going to be able to give birth or have that bond with their son. I feel like I talk too much about Ivy and Ally and might need to write something away from the reviews about it.
This episode we got to see it with Meadow and we got to see how Cult leaders don’t just make people do horrible things to others, like the Manson Family, but to do it to themselves, like Jones Town.
He preyed on a woman who had been in love with a gay man her whole life, who had finally got this man but in a way probably made it worse because why would you want a man who would never want you? Its the absolute in bittersweet. She seemingly has two kids who she doesn’t see, survived cancer but still gets melanoma’s. She fears no man will ever want to touch her again. She then falls in love with a man who see’s those fears and indulges in them but when she see’s him for what he is her HUSBAND as well as the man she now loved ties her up and treats her like nothing.
Until he gives her what she wants.
In doing so she’ll give her life for him.
The fear, the loneliness, the pain that Meadow went through could easily have led her to suicide before Kai came around. She was a fighter but couldn’t see that herself and couldn’t love herself, she had ended up in a relationship that could never give her what she wanted. We also know she was abused in a job after marrying Harrison. She was so very strong NOT to have been suicidal, she was hanging on by her finger tips and Kai made her feel like he pulled her to safety. He made it so that she couldn’t see anything but his plan and what he wanted to be. She then helped him frame Ally for a mass shooting at a rally giving her life for the cause.
For me Grossman gave the performance of the series so far. I was heartbroken for her, I was angry for her and I felt sorry for her all at the same time. What she did was abhorrent but what she went through was soul destroying. She had nothing left and Kai filled that emptiness with himself.
It was a very powerful episode that once more showed the power of a personality like Kai.
Also a great cameo by Mare Winningham who was delightful as Sally Keffler. She stood up to Kai and even till her death was defiant. Winningham is one of my favourite AHS guest stars, her character Hazel Evers is possibly one of my favourite characters of all time and she has such fantastic chemistry with Evan Peters both in Hotel and in this episode that its sad that she had to die so fast. It makes me excited for when Frances Conroy appears as she is another actress that I just absolutely adore in the AHS universe and always pulls out wonderful performances.