‘American Horror Story: Cult’ Episode 10 Recap: Charles (Manson) in Charge

American Horror Story: Cult
Evan Peters as Kai Anderson in ‘American Horror Story: Cult” (Photo by Frank Ockenfels/FX)

FX’s politically-charged edition of American Horror Story, American Horror Story: Cult, begins episode 10 on the night of the third Presidential Debate. Winter (Billie Lourd) and two of her female friends are prematurely celebrating Hillary Clinton’s election, declaring Trump will suffer the biggest loss in electoral history.

Kai (Evan Peters) is positive they’re wrong, spouting fake news about Clinton. He’s sure no woman wants Clinton as president. He then suggests angry white men have been humiliated for too long and says Trump is one of them. He truly believes men will do whatever it takes to make sure they vote for Trump.

One of Winter’s friends teases Kai about never getting laid and about how no alt-right male has a girlfriend. Kai has heard enough and slaps her hard. He quickly apologizes but she says she’s pressing charges and runs out of the room. Winter tells him he’s finally crossed a line.

Two weeks after the slap, Kai meets with a court-appointed counselor, Bebe Babbitt (Frances Conroy), as part of his probation. He’s forced to take anger management classes, but he thinks slapping Winter’s friend was a political act and had to do with treating a woman how he would have treated a man in that same situation.

Kai’s asked if he’s familiar with the work of Valerie Solanas, the love of Bebe’s life. Bebe’s not impressed when he makes a joke, but she adds that he’s smarter than the other men. She even suggests he has an untapped charisma and asks if he’s considered politics. If he had a purpose, he could change the world. She then shocks him by saying Donald J Trump is her all-time favorite politician. “We are sitting on the biggest bomb the universe has ever seen,” she says. The bomb is female rage. With every tweet, Trump is slowly releasing the dam.

Bebe then tells Kai he must be a spear for that movement. He kneels before her and repeats, “I am a turd, a lowly, abject turd.” His only purpose will be to release the feminine rage. (So it was Bebe pulling the strings behind the scenes all this time!)

Kai kneels before his therapist. He will use all his skills to break that dam to pieces. Unfortunately, he and every other man will drown in it. But, he’ll die famous knowing he saved everyone. The women of the world are waiting for him to help them give birth to their rage, according to Bebe.

Catching up with current events, women are outraged and protest outside a rally as Kai speaks to his followers. He acknowledges Washington lacks common sense, and he gets his followers riled up. Outside the area, the women continue to chant, “No Nazis, no KKK, no Fascist USA.” Kai calls himself the agent of change, getting the crowd increasingly worked up. He uses all the trigger words against the protestors, and then calls their actions basically un-American. He leads the chants of “Our town, Our State, Our Country” as the protestors approach.

Kai’s blue-shirted thugs try to hold the women at bay, while Kai taunts the protestors. Piss is thrown at Gary, Kai’s speakers are unplugged, and finally Kai’s sprayed in the face with pepper spray.

Later that evening at his place, Kai’s angry because the clown’s ice cream truck won’t stop playing music. He reminds Winter they’re trying to get rid of evidence, not draw the Feds attention. Winter thinks they should just get rid of the truck, but Kai guesses that’s what the Feds expect them to do.

Ally (Sarah Paulson) handles cleaning the outside while Winter does the interior. Winter assumes Ivy is dead, but wants to know if she suffered. Ally’s not ready to feel any sympathy for Winter or put her mind at ease since she seduced her wife and destroyed her family. Ally doesn’t even confirm Ivy’s dead.

Winter confesses her feelings for Ivy were real and she’s going insane thinking Kai made Ivy suffer. “If something did happen to Ivy, what makes you think it was Kai?” asks Ally.

The news reports on the violent political rally. Kai’s opponent, Senator Jackson, is interviewed and he admits he doesn’t take Kai seriously. He jokes Kai should only be taken seriously by the Department of Justice.

At home watching the news, Kai gets his men all worked up again, telling them if people wear masks they’ll rip off their heads.

Kai has one final tale about a famous cult to tell his followers. He recalls the story of Charlie Manson and his “family,” saying in 1969 Manson was playing the long game. Kai recounts the events of the attack on Cielo Drive and how Manson didn’t participate but instead ordered the killers to make sure it was especially gruesome. In this reenactment, Evan Peters is Charlie, Sarah Paulson is Susan Atkins, Leslie Grossman is Patricia Krenwinkle, Billie Lourd is playing Linda Kasabian, and Tex Watson is Billy Eichner. Kai walks his men through how the murders went down.

The men are told Linda Kasabian wasn’t a closer and hid in the car. Sarah Paulson’s Susan Atkins is particularly vicious, and AHS: Cult‘s version of events is the most gruesome reenactment of the Tate murders ever on screen.

Kai says that was act one of Helter Skelter, meant to be blamed on African Americans. However, the women betrayed Manson. Kai says they’re on the world stage now and need to follow Manson’s playbook, but bigger. What they’re planning must be super culture shifting. They have to give the people “the night of a thousand Tates.”

Gary (Chaz Bono) and some of the men head over to the Planned Parenthood facility to steal the list of women booked for abortions. Gary heads into the facility alone, but he’s soon followed by Kai’s people in their clown costumes. Gary asks the Divine Ruler why and Kai removes his clown head to say, “Sweet Gary, it’s not what you’ve done. It’s what you’re about to do.”

Gary’s disappointed he won’t live to see the night of a thousand Tates. Gary’s calling is more vital, and he’ll become closer than any of Kai’s other children. They brutally stab him multiple times as Gary screams.

The next morning a Planned Parenthood worker shows up and finds Gary’s dead body with blood streaming from it. A sign by him reads “Stop the Slaughter.”

Beverly Hope (Adina Porter) reports on Gary’s murder. She interviews Kai for the piece and he says Gary was one of his earliest supporters and was a dear friend. Kai feels incredible sorrow, calling Gary a kind man. He then suggests his opponent emboldens the rogue warriors who killed Gary because Gary thought babies are people. Kai wonders who’s next.

After the camera’s turned off, Kai yells at Beverly because she wasn’t very convincing. She meekly says she understands, and even calls him Divine Ruler.

Back at Ally’s restaurant, Winter tries to get Beverly to relax. She’s been off since she was thrown in isolation and drank fake poisoned Kool-Aid. Winter apologizes for framing her and thinks she needs to escape. Winter gives Beverly a train ticket to Montana, but Beverly believes it’s a trap. Winter swears it’s real and she’s just trying to set things right. Winter reveals she can’t leave because she needs to distract Kai from Beverly’s disappearance.

Beverly gives Winter a message to pass on to Kai that she’ll never run. She swears she’s his loyal follower to the end.

Once more to Kai’s place and it turns out he’s getting really paranoid, thinking his place is bugged. Ally tells him she doesn’t want to be paired with Winter, but Kai’s distracted thinking there’s a mole in their operation. There’s a persistent buzz and it’s driving him crazy.

He runs upstairs to the murder room and shuts himself in with his dead family and Ivy. He talks to himself, wondering what will ultimately trip him up. His dead brother asks how he can help, and Kai admits there’s a mole and he can only be safe in the murder room. Also, he doesn’t think he should have killed his brother because now he has too many secrets.

Next, Kai hallucinates Charlie Manson (also played by Peters). Charlie invites him to visit him in prison and Kai figures out only Charlie can see things like he sees them. Charlie instructs him to identify the Judas and then stop trusting so much. Charlie’s Judas was Linda and Charlie advises him he can’t trust the bitches.

Ally interrupts Kai’s hallucination to show him she found a bug! He’s now positive there’s a mole.

Kai’s counselor, Bebe, arrives and she angrily tells him Valerie Solanas always said the male was a biological accident, a walking abortion. She reminds him he only had two things to do. A) unleash female rage and B) incite the American woman’s anger. He claims that’s what he’s doing and he even got maced. Bebe’s upset about the way he’s treating the women close to him and that he even broke Beverly. She lets him know he’s failed her and Valerie.

But, there’s a new twist. Kai explains he never was going to drown himself in female rage. He had a purpose and he loved the power of making people mad, but women aren’t capable of running things. He’s doing a Charlie Manson on Bebe’s plans, getting the women to rise up and then he’ll have to lead them. He says women have to be grabbed by the pussies.

Bebe’s ready to kill Kai when Ally shoots her first. Ally has no idea who she just killed and Kai reveals she was his anger management counselor. Ally replies, “Not very good at her job.”

Charlie’s still hanging out in Kai’s imagination, and he confirms Ally is not the mole since she just took out Bebe.

Later, Winter cuts Kai’s long blue hair off, giving him a buzz job. He smiles at the result and recalls Winter’s first haircut. She cried because she was afraid it was going to hurt. He cut his own hair to show her it wouldn’t. He tells her he knows her and that her eyes open real wide when she has something to hide.

Next, she gently shaves him. He reminds her he’s her big brother which is a very important relationship. She agrees he’s always looked after her, but then Kai asks why she wants to hurt him. She wonders what all these people want from him and admits she can’t see or feel him anymore. The others will leave, but she’ll still be there for him.

Kai wonders if she wants to destroy what he worked hard to build. She explains she doesn’t and that when his followers are gone, they will be all that’s left of their family. He thinks she’s slipping away and she agrees. She confesses the only way to be with him in the end is to leave him now. She only feels terror when she looks at him now, and if she doesn’t leave that might be all she ever feels for him in the future.

Kai asks what if he says her leaving is a betrayal, and she says she’d kill any of his followers who tried to leave with her. Winter doesn’t want them to betray him; only she needs to leave.

Kai confesses he always loved her the most. She’s the only person who really knows him. He adds that he needs her but if she has to go away, then he’ll let her. He thinks sometime in the future he’ll be in the White House and will need her beside him since he can trust her. Then, Kai suggests that she go to Butte, Montana. He even got her a train ticket, showing her the ticket she tried to give to Beverly. He tells his men to get her out of there and they haul Winter away as she screams and cries.

Down in the basement with his people assembled, Kai asks why Winter did it. He wants to know what the Feds offered her. She claims no one offered her anything and she’s not the mole. She thinks he’s addled and is finding things to fit into his delusion. He speaks out loud to Charlie Manson, and then tells Winter he loved her and wants to know how she can lie to his face. She wants to do pinky power to confirm she’s not the mole. He holds up the bug and asks her to explain it.

Winter laughs and says the bug is actually the battery to her Fitbit. Ally says she found it sewed into Kai’s cushions. Winter thinks this is payback for Ivy and that Ally’s doing this for revenge. Ally calls Winter a Hillary supporter who was just looking for the opportunity to take Kai’s group down. Ally’s happy she exposed Winter, and Winter assures her she’ll be chewed up and spit out. Kai does that to everyone.

Kai demands Winter confess but she continues to say she didn’t do anything. She begs him again, and he asks if she’s willing to do what needs to be done. He begins strangling her as everyone watches. Kai cries as Winter dies. The group is silent allowing Kai to cry on his own.

One of his men gets in his car and it turns out he’s wearing a wire. He smashes it to pieces, realizing he barely made it out alive. Ally joins him in his car and says, “Hello, Speed Wagon.”

More on American Horror Story: Cult:
Recap of American Horror Story: Cult Episode 1 “Election Night”
Recap of American Horror Story: Cult Episode 2 “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”
Recap of American Horror Story: Cult Episode 3 “Neighbors from Hell”
Recap of American Horror Story: Cult Episode 4 “11/9”
Recap of American Horror Story: Cult Episode 5 “Holes”
Recap of American Horror Story: Cult Episode 6 “Mid-Western Assassin
Recap of American Horror Story: Cult Episode 8 “Winter of Our Discontent”
Recap of American Horror Story: Cult Episode 9 “Drink the Kool-Aid”