Well American Horror Story fans, we’ve reached the finale of a tumultuous season with the cult theme coming to a close. After the events leading up to the finale, we take a slight time jump to 2018 where we see Kai has been imprisoned. Not only has the cult leader been sentenced, but he also continues to find more followers in the process (which includes a female prison guard and another inmate who kills to save Kai’s life.) Kai’s typical form of a thank you involves Kai slitting the throat of his “comrade” and claiming to his hallucination of charles Manson that he now has the tools to make his escape. A random inmate is shown wandering the prison yard (we also see someone getting a tattoo of Kai’s smiley face emblem) where it is revealed that the majority of inmates refer to Kai as “divine ruler” and dedicate themselves to his cause. The seemingly scared prisoner is forced into his pinky-promise oath with Kai and it becomes known that Kai now entirely hates women and wants to end their presence in any position of power -- taking us back 11 months when Kai claims to have been betrayed.
After backtracking, we see Kai call off his “night of 1,000 Tates” that is now replaced with 100. The act is meant to target pregnant women and Kai even demonstrates on a replica, telling the men they must kill mother and child to ensure their message of hatred is spread. Ally watches the practice from a distance and we instantly know that she will be putting an end to this army in one way or another. Ally enters the kitchen and finds Beverly coming unhinged, begging Ally to kill her because she doesn’t even have a desire to live anymore. Ally promises that what happens tomorrow night will be “glorious” and that she will have to hang on to fully understand what she means.
Kai enters the room in a panic of his own, causing Ally to pull him aside to show him something she found… Now if you remember from the last episode, Ally found the bug that belonged to Speedwagon and she tells Kai that she discovered Winter was loyal to him -- but that Ally killed the man who betrayed him. Now knowing he murdered his own sister for no reason, he is overcome with grief until Ally encourages him to be the leader Winter always believed he could be. We next see the cult preparing for their night of murder when Ally makes the move to walk outside and cue the FBI that it was the time to strike. As they rush the home, smoke bombs are dropped and Kai’s cult beings to kill themselves, get arrested, or are killed trying to fight back. As Beverly is carried out by police, she reiterates that she’s glad she held on like Ally insisted -- and Kai completely snaps upon seeing Ally with the FBI and screams over and over that he will kill her, not a threat you want from a man with numerous murderers at his disposal.
Sometime later, Ally has resumed running The Butchery (which has had success now that Ally is a public figure) and Beverly strolls in as if they were former friends ready to have a real housewives style sit-down about Kai. They discuss the fact that he has fessed up to all murders (except Ivy) and plead guilty to save himself from receiving the death penalty. The conversation seems tense to say the least -- but Ally invites her former cult friend to her son’s birthday party anyways to prove how many f**** Ally doesn’t give. They receive a call from Rachel Maddow's camp with the hopes of pinning down Ally for an interview but Beverly responds with “if she turned down Lana Winters, why would she talk to Rachel Maddow?” Giving me another Lana Winters shout out that ignites my inner AHS Asylum fanboy, bringing me complete joy.
As the phone rings again, it’s a collect call from Kai Anderson in prison and Ally accepts, ready to confront the mass murderer. Kai has since learned that Oz isn’t his child and he (clearly at his wits end) tells her it was the only thing keeping him from killing her to begin with. Ally feels smug and as if she has won, taunting his group of wannabe men but Kai screams that his army is growing and he will tear her apart. Kai is next shown to be having sex with the female prison guard who follows his word as an interview airs where Ally has apparently changed her mind and come forward since their conversation over the phone. Ally’s announcement -- she’s running for the senate which will only enrage Kai even more than we thought possible.
Cut to a docu-series advertisement with Ally telling a camera she found herself targeted by mayhem and terror, overcoming them to prove her strength and run for office. Her claim is that she has seen people become enamored by misuse of power, making it a strong yet entertaining argument. Beverly informs Ally that she trails in the poll when it comes to Ally’s perceived power, but she’s ready to turn her doubters into supporters. Back at the prison, Kai cuts off the face of his new follower who also gave himself identical tattoos and a haircut -- making it possible for Kai to sneak out in a guard’s uniform thanks to his connection whilst making the world think he was murdered long enough to get away. Beverly shares the news with Ally claiming Kai was “mutilated” but Ally decides to move forward with her debate having gone through so much to get to this point in time.
As the interview kicks off, Ally confronts the gender bias towards her and fights for her power but it’s cut very short when an audience question turns out to be Kai. His men pulls guns immediately keeping the crowd in place and he walks to the stage toting a gun rambling that Ally only offers false hope to women who will always be inferior to him. As he goes to fire his gun on Ally, a flashback reveals Ally got inside the head of the guard before him and she has become a leader in a way Kai never could. She smirks and tells Kai, “there is something more dangerous than a humiliated man. A nasty woman.” leading Beverly to shoot Kai in the back of the head and help Ally skyrocket into power. The scene transitions to Ally tucking in Oz who asks if she is leading now, but she tries to suggest that a good leader will do what’s best to lead us all into a better tomorrow. She tells him to get some rest and that she is going to be conducting a meeting downstairs of powerful women looking to change the system -- and we then see Ally giving herself a long stare into the mirror as she puts on an emerald green robe that implies she now leads the Scum beliefs of Valerie Solanas and keeping a cult alive.
Overall Grade: 7.5/10
I was pleased with the ending that basically came full circle for Ally and showed the power of a cult that she couldn’t entirely escape. It was the best way to see Kai Anderson dealt with and that he finally realized his sister actually intended on staying true to her word. I additionally appreciated the innuendo that Ally was so changed by the events she experienced making her story feel the most satisfying in the series -- I just would have liked to see her create something of her own instead of following yet another set of rules. As far as American Horror Story finales go, this one was satisfying but still lacked the punch that some of its early seasons provided us with. Overall, this was a season that was dominated with strong performances by Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson and newcomer Billie Lourd.
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
- This had moments that felt like tributes to Asylum (including my favorite Lana Winters)
- Though the season had a lot of things that could have been tweaked, it’s casting staples made it worth the watch.
- Hoping to see that supposed AHS Coven / Murder House crossover next season, and if so please bring us Madison Montgomery back please!