Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet watched American Horror Story's latest episode, "Charles (Manson) In Charge."
Somehow, ten episodes of American Horror Story: Cult have aired, meaning we just a solitary entry left to go in this wild and politically motivated season. The latest installment took its title from not only the Scott Baio sitcom, but also the big introduction of Evan Peters' Charles Manson, shown as one of Kai's everyday muses. But American Horror Story: Cult's harrowing version of the Tate Murders wasn't the headline-making scene of the night. That distinction belonged to Frances Conroy's return and Winter Anderson's demise.
Kai's Cult Was All Bebe's Idea
It seemed clear from Day 1 of American Horror Story: Cult that Kai Anderson wasn't the big-minded person who first got the bright idea toincite a revolution as a follow-up to Trump's election win. In a most winning and then disheartening return, Frances Conroy's Bebe Babbitt is revealed to have been the REAL inciting factor for Kai's cult, though her original intentions had since been amended by Kai's expanding ego and reach. Not that she created the monster that is Kai, so to speak, as they only met after his Hillary Clinton-bashing post-debate rant resulted in him slapping the piss out of one of Winter's friends.
As Kai's anger management counselor, Bebe basically fostered and focused his rage to give him a purpose. Bebe wants Kai to follow in Trump's footsteps as a way to foster and focus the rage of women everywhere, resulting in a patriarchy-toppling revolution. ("I am a turd. A lowly, abject turd.") It definitely makes sense, considering Bebe's history with feminist cults, and it definitely makes sense that the overzealous Kai took things too far outside the original female-empowerment guidelines. Sadly, this encounter ended with Ally putting a bullet in Bebe, so we likely won't see Frances Conroy again in the finale. We will see Kai's pig-headed opinions, though.
Kai Totally Murdered Winter
Speaking of Kai's overzealousness...Evan Peters had quite an episode, balancing his Manson portrayal with Kai's impending breaking point. In his obsessive hunt to track down the electronic bug he swears is creating a buzzing in his head, Kai resembled a fix-hungry meth lover with all his ranting and raving and tearing through everything. I almost thought that Ally was somehow going to make it look like it was all in Kai's head, but no, it eventually just became Ally's free ticket to pinning the blame on Winter, who had just previously attempted to repent for falsely accusing Beverly in a previous episode. What goes around...
Considering Kai had already set the true believer Gary up to be killed -- and after apologizing to Gary for making an arm-related comment in a fun bit of foreshadowing -- there wasn't much of a shot for the brother-fearing Winter. It was a pretty rough scene to watch Kai strangle her to death, and there were moments when I thought he might give up, but Ally's smugly contented face was proof enough that Winter has been completely erased from the storyline. Although there's an interesting twist with the mole Speedwagon having been wired.
Beyond just thinning the casting herd, I think that American Horror Story: Cult was letting Ally deal a "gotcha" two-birder there with Winter dying by false accusation (so many false statements happening in this show) and by having Kai murder the person he cared about most in the world. Under different circumstances, Ally would have probably hated having to murder Ivy, but it was satisfying for her in this context. Next week, I have to assume Ally will bring about the destruction of the entire cult before Kai's eyes, and in such a way that he can't do anything to hurt or kill himself. Or maybe Oz will get to kill him, and Kai will almost die thinking he was meeting a similar fate as his father, happy to be passing on the killer lineage, only to have Ally rip that assumption away in the end by revealing he's not Oz's father. However it goes, it'll be good to see some twisted justice prevail.
American Horror Story: Cult will air its season finale on Tuesday, November 14, at 10:00 p.m. ET. To see other shows that'll be debuting in the weeks after that, check out our fall TV premiere schedule.