March 21 2018

'Be Afraid of the Dark' Episode of AHS: CULT

March 21 2018, 10:11 | Frederick Owens

American Horror Story Evan Peters is returning as a cult leader called Kai

American Horror Story Evan Peters is returning a cult leader called Kai

Should we be afraid?

"Cult" clearly intends to be provocative, using the toxic partisan political divide - beginning with the 2016 presidential election - as its jumping-off point.

After Trump was announced president, Kai goes into a frenzy and becomes power-hungry, while Ally slowly gets eaten by her anxieties and phobias. Their friends, the Changs, yell at each other. The latest instalment in the horror anthology show is set to tackle "the rise of a cult of personality", inspired by Donald Trump's own rise to political office and with the help of the programme's mainstay actors Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson, plus a cast of guest stars, newcomers and returning cast members (including Lena Dunham, Billie Lourde, Billy Eichner, Cheyenne Jackson and more).

We meet Kai Anderson as he attends a sparse town hall meeting, protesting an initiative to allocate funds for religious protection.

"American Horror Story" has always capitalized on all its viewers' fears to give them the worst creeps known to humankind.

It's hard, however, to see how the season could not be an allegory on Trump's populist movement, as the series' focus is on an angry white male using the feelings of similarly angry people for political success - which is how many would characterize the president's rise.

It could easily be a throw-away line, but then again, consider how big of a role Twisty the Clown has played in the season already.

However, Ally is not the only one who sees these clowns. This season will see him terrorizing MI mom Ally (Sarah Paulson) by preying upon her intense fear of clowns which has resurfaced following the November 2016 election. She freaks out, runs to her vehicle and calls her wife in a panic about how they're trying to kill her. So are the murderous clowns real, or just a figment of Allie's (and adorable son Ozzie's) imagination? Are the clowns real or just in Ally's mind? What are they feeling? I think how the show begins on election night, pro or con.

Later, Ally and Ivy are chatting about their voting habits on a sidewalk when Kai suddenly appears, throwing his latte on Ally. Here is a guy who fills a condom with pee and hurls it at a bunch of Mexicans so they'll beat him up and he can film it. Terrified that something terrible has happened to their son, they're in a frenzy but eventually find him and Winter. You can probably guess where this is going. Ally and Ivy look to hire a nanny, who is naturally exposed as rather shady so that the audience can be "in the know", and decidedly uncomfortable. They hire Winter, who acts sweet and nice during the interview. Did Oz imagine he witnessed the crime or could Winter be covering up for someone? She logs into the dark web, making him watch videos of people dying. And while it remained unclear what the actual horror aspects of that would be, there were many jokes to be made about how those months of campaigning didn't need anything extra to make them terrifying. The police confirm this by saying the scene looks to be a murder-suicide. Actress Sarah Paulson plays Ally Mayfair-Richards, a Donald Trump-hater prone to phobias. Did these murderous clowns really kill the Changs next door? And based on the premiere, it does seem that Peters is definitely in villain mode-at least for now. Did Ally actually see them in the supermarket and at the restaurant or was that a hallucination? The rest of the episode continues to capitalize on the fears of both the left and the right, with Ally and Kai serving as tropes of their respective parties. Was the detective lying to cover it up?

The point? This could all be in Ally and Oz's heads, but it seems unlikely.

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