Warning: spoilers lie ahead for Episode 6 of American Horror Story Season 7, called "Mid-Western Assassin."
Tragedies in real life can sometimes influence the content that makes it to the airwaves on television. The recent shooting in Las Vegas has understandably affected the lives of many, and there are still many unanswered questions about what happened. The American Horror Story: Cult episode that was slated to air on October 10 featured a terrifying mass shooting in its original cut, but series creator Ryan Murphy and the producers decided to edit the episode to remove some of the violence from the scene. If you're curious about what happened in the episode prior to the edits, you're in luck. We have some answers.
The shooting took place at a political rally for Kai as part of his ongoing campaign to win a spot on the city council. He began to lose some of his popularity with prospective voters after a new candidate stood up against him. So, in true Kai style, he and some minions staged a suicide for the new candidate to take her out of the running. He then orchestrated a shooting at his own rally to drum up sympathy and create headlines. He convinced Winter to do the shooting, and even arranged for her to shoot him.
Unfortunately for Winter, the scheme ended with her shooting herself in the head. The shooting was ugly from start to finish, as the unedited version featured close-ups of a trigger being pulled as well as bystanders at the rally being picked off one by one by the shooter. It was a pretty horrifying sequence, and it's easy to understand why Ryan Murphy and Co. decided to chop the scene to make it a little less vividly violent.
Besides, there was still plenty of violence to get across the point that Kai was even more off his rocker than ever before. Viewers could still understand that Winter was wreaking all kinds of bloody havoc without as many lingering shots of the violence. Frankly, if it hadn't been announced that a scene was being edited in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, I don't think many viewers would have noticed anything missing. The horror of Kai and the cult members is sold just fine with the edited version.
That said, if you'd still like to see the original cut of the shooting scene without any edits, you have options. FX has been taking steps recently to get in the streaming game and appeal to cord-cutters, and the unedited episode will be available on the network's additional platforms. The episode opened on a title card revealing that viewers who are interested in the unedited version of the episode will be able to find it on Video-On-Demand, FX NOW, and FX+.