American Horror Story: Cult – Drink the Kool-Aid
By: Kelly Kearney
In this week’s episode, ironically titled Drink the Kool-Aid, Evan Peters brilliantly transforms into three famous cult leaders that shocked the nation and left a death toll like America had never seen before. As Kai digs deeper into his own narcissistic leadership role, he finds an unlikely friend in Ally (Sarah Paulson) whose traded her phobias in for revenge. It was an action-packed hour filled with twists and shocking deaths that have always been the calling card of “American Horror Story.”
Catching comets in Waco with the Kool-Aid Cult
It’s story time and Kai’s narrating the inspirational pasts of cult leaders in America. Dressed in make-up and prosthetics, Evan Peters stretches his acting muscles by portraying these three prolific and demented men.
Told in a flashback, the first example Kai gives is the Reverend Jim Jones. Jones was responsible for ruining Kool-Aid for all future cults when close to a thousand of his followers committed suicide by drinking fruit flavored poison in his honor. Next on the list is Marshall Applewhite who also led his Heaven’s Gate followers to suicide when he convinced them to castrate and poison themselves in order to hitch a ride on a comet to paradise. The last cult leader Peters portrays is the FBI’s least favorite wild card, David Koresh. The Waco zealot amassed an enormous arsenal behind the doors of his cult Davidian compound that ended in a shootout with federal agents and a fire that killed almost all his followers.
Back to the present, Kai’s telling this story not as a warning but as proof of what it means to be loyal to the cause. He romanticizes these suicides and cult leaders so it’s no surprise when he asks his misogynistic fanboys if they would castrate themselves for him. There’s a slight discussion about the groups masturbatory habits and how it’s a no- no unless they’re traumatizing lesbians in clown suits with man-goo soup. Since they’re not really allowed to use it, the men agree they would happily remove their manhoods in honor of Kai. Proud that these men would endure such trauma for him, Kai smiles and says that its time to start the next phase of their plan.
Control is the name of the game
The plan Kai was referring to was using his power at the city council to regulate the town’s internet usage. He proposes a bill called The Kai Anderson Internet Freedom and Integrity Act and it is a ploy to limit the flow of information the townspeople can see. Like all cult leaders, control is what keeps them powerful and Kai can’t build followers if they can think for themselves. The bill passes because Kai strong arms his opponents with violence and threatens making the council afraid to vote against him. The bill isn’t the only thing on Kai’s agenda. He also announces his Senate run for 2018 because his ego is running amuck and his current success proves he’s unstoppable. First the Senate, next The White House? A true American horror story indeed.
Kai’s power over the town is undeniable, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few loose threads that could unravel this whole thing for him, namely the women of the cult. Winter (Billie Lourd), Ivy (Alison Pill) and Ally are ready to run after witnessing Kai kill Rudy (Cheyenne Jackson) and they even print out a Wiki article on how to escape a cult. That’s when Kai’s fanboy thugs break into Ally and Ivy’s home and drag the women to their leader for a little Kool-Aid refreshment.
All the cult members are gathered in Kai’s basement and the women look terrified, especially the traumatized Beverly Hope (Adina Porter) whose been locked in Anderson’s isolation room. “Our bodies are holding us back,” Kai preaches and that can only mean one thing – to save themselves they are going to have to die. He orders the men of the group to pass around cups of Kool-Aid and then tells them to drink. Most of the men down the sugary beverage, all except for one who Gary (Chaz Bono) shoots for his insubordination. The women on the other hand need convincing so Gary holds a gun on them until they drink. The group waits for death but when nothing happens Kai starts to laugh. He admits he can’t have a cult if all his followers are dead. This was a test to prove their loyalty and now that he’s running for Senate he can trust that all his cult members will back him no matter what. All but maybe Beverly Hope who’s kneeling on the floor and shaking like she’s ready to be fitted for a strait jacket. The strong woman is a broken shell of who she once was and it’s a shame because she was the only member brave enough to put Kai in his place.
After the Kool-Aid fiasco, Ivy and Ally head back to their house even more sure of their plans to flee. As Ally’s deciding what to take with them that won’t raise suspicions, Ivy has the nerve to ask her wife, “What about Winter?” Floored by her wife’s loyalty to the nanny, Ally rips Ivy’s head off because seriously?! You’re going to bring up your mistress now?! Bad form Ivy. The two women decide to grab Ozzy (Cooper Dodson) from school and hit the road, but when they get there their son has already been checked out by that traitor Winter! You can see the “I told you so,” in Ally’s eyes when she tells Ivy they’re going to Kai’s to take back their son.
When they get to Kai’s house, Winter opens the door to Ally throttling her for taking their boy and that’s when the real horror show starts. Ozzy is in the basement with Kai and when his mother tells him it’s time to go the boy says he wants to stay with his Daddy. Did he say Daddy? He sure did! Kai convinced the boy he was Ally’s sperm donor and now Ozzy wants to get to know the father he never had. Having no choice but to keep him safe, Ally and Ivy leave Ozzy with Kai until they can figure out a plan. Knowing Kai’s ego and his quest to make a messiah child with Winter, Ally’s certain the cult leader won’t hurt their son.
Hurting his son wouldn’t be an issue unless he disagrees with Kai, which Ozzy does when he questions “Daddy’s” Jim Jones story. Kai tells his followers an outlandish tale about the Jonestown victims being raised from the dead by Jesus who happens to look an awful lot like Kai. Ozzy interrupts and says this story makes no sense because it doesn’t match what he read on the internet. Kai freaks and tells one of his thugs to lock Ozzy in a room until he can learn his lesson: never question the leader, he is all knowing.
Revenge is oh so sweet
Back at the Mayfair-Richards house, the mood has changed and Ally’s cooking dinner while flirting with her wife. She serves Ivy wine with pasta and the two sit down to talk about what went wrong in their relationship. Ivy is honest and admits Winter isn’t the one who came in between them. She was out the door long before the nanny came on the scene. She admits that she hated Ally for giving birth to Ozzy and felt pushed aside in the mothering department. Ivy admits that Ally’s phobias didn’t help and then compliments her wife in how strong she is now. This is the person she would have stayed with, not that frightened and broken version she married. Ally then talks about her time in the asylum and how it changed her for the better. She was hopeless and ready to end her life, but one thing got her through those days – revenge and her anger over her cheating wife. Revenge made her strong and revenge made her a fighter, but her anger towards Ivy gave her something to live for. Ivy takes a sip of her wine and says Ally would never hurt her because Ozzy would never forgive her. Ally, who suspiciously has not touched her dinner, smiles condescendingly at Ivy like she couldn’t be more wrong and says, “I already have. I put arsenic in the wine and pasta.” That’s when Ivy starts to cough and Ally watches as her wife falls to the floor in a bleeding and convulsing mess. Ally leans over her wife’s dying body and says, “I only want two things in this life: I want Oz all to myself and I want to watch you die. I’m halfway home.”
After Ally kills Ivy, she reveals that Kai isn’t the father of Ozzy but later, she tricks him with fake proof when he comes over for Manwich sandwiches. The minute Kai enters Ally’s house the mood switches to a flirtatious banter where Ally has the upper hand. Kai asks where Ivy is, and she nonchalantly says she killed her and the woman is in her trunk! Kai’s impressed with this stronger version of Ally and the two sit down for dinner and get to the topic of Ozzy. Ally plays Kai like a fiddle knowing how desperate he is to have an heir. The doctored file frim the sperm clinic is enough to convince him that he is indeed the father and Kai is so happy he wells up with tears. He is amazed that they created this messiah child and claims Ozzy is the key to bringing them together, one big happy family. After dinner, one that Ally didn’t sprinkle with arsenic, the two drag Ivy up to the bedroom/mausoleum where his dead relatives are laid out and they cover her body with lye. The episode ends when he camera pans out on the two hugging but it’s obvious that Ally is in a tight position. Of course, she’s conning the cult leader into trusting her, but Kai is smart, and Ally must stay one step ahead of him in this game if she plans on getting her son back and being rid of this fear cult once and for all. Things are heating up and with one episode left in the season, its anyone’s guess how this will play out.