Episode three of FX’s American Horror Story: Cult finds Ally obsessing about the creepy neighbors from Hell. Ally can’t get anyone to believe in her conspiracy theories, and she becomes convinced Harrison and Meadow Wilton are responsible for everything horrible that’s going on in her life. Airing on September 19, 2017, AHS: Cult episode three also begins to mesh the different storylines together.
Rosie discusses her recurring nightmare in which she’s with her husband, Mark, and suddenly everything goes black. She’s trapped in a coffin and no one can hear her. However, she’s pleased to report the nightmare has changed. She tells Dr. Vincent (Cheyenne Jackson) she’s conquered her phobia and he’s happy for her. She thought she was crazy, but Dr. Vincent and her husband know her fear stems from being locked in a cupboard when she was a kid and from the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father.
Dr. Vincent reminds her terror lingers long after the actual incidents, but she’s relieved that following her father’s death she now feels free. Rosie was committed to desensitizing herself, and Dr. Vincent praises her for her hard work.
Rosie and Mark arrive home after the session, and Rosie’s still feeling good about her progress. Mark says he has a surprise and after he leaves the room, Rosie hears a ruckus. She opens the door to her bedroom and two coffins with red velvet lining are set up, lids propped open. A clown grabs her from behind as four others hold onto Mark. He screams at them not to touch his wife as they push him into one of the coffins and close the lid.
Rosie tries to fight them off but they shove her into the other coffin and begin screwing the lids shut. Rosie and Mark scream for their lives inside the coffins while on the wall behind them the clowns have painted a red smiley face.
Ally (Sarah Paulson) watches from inside her home as Pedro, who she shot dead believing he was an intruder, is wheeled away. Detective Samuels (Colton Haynes) reminds her they have a “stand your ground” law in Michigan and she had the right to defend herself. Ivy (Alison Pill) returns to the kitchen where Ally and Samuels are discussing what happened, and Ally can’t believe she traumatized Oz by killing a man in front of him. Ivy’s very sympathetic, telling her it was pitch black and Ally didn’t know who the man was at the door. Ivy also confirms the power grid is still down and it’s possible they’re being attacked by ISIS. Ally’s view of current events differs some as she believes the clowns are also attacking, and that they were in the house with she and Oz. Ivy and Samuels blow this off, and Samuels reconfirms Pedro was already under investigation for murder at the time of his death.
All three jump when the lights suddenly come back on. Samuels tries to assure Ally she has nothing to worry about, and when he walks away she asks Ivy how Oz will ever get over what happened. Even years of counseling won’t be enough to wipe away what he witnessed. Ivy thinks they just need to hope he finds a way to live with it.
The next day Ivy and Ally are driving to the restaurant when they spot protesters out front and hear them chanting, “No justice, no peace.” Signs with Ally’s picture declare she’s a murderer, as news reporter Beverly Hope (Adina Porter) stands outside and covers the story. Beverly reports crimes in the neighborhood have escalated and there’s been a three-fold increase in calls to 911. Beverly adds that Ally has earned the label “Lesbian George Zimmerman.”
Ivy has to stay and open the restaurant despite the presence of the protesters, but she sends Ally home. As Ally’s about to drive away, Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) appears at her driver’s side window. She tries to roll it up but stops when he tells her he finds her incredibly brave. He believes she didn’t do anything wrong and doesn’t need to apologize. He also promises to take care of the mob for her, and then tells her to have a nice day.
Ally makes it home and immediately pours herself a drink. Insistent knocking on the door immediately follows and it’s Harrison (Billy Eichner) and Meadow Wilton (Leslie Grossman) wearing sombreros. Ally doesn’t want company but they refuse to leave. Instead, Harrison asks, “How does it feel to exercise your white privilege and execute people of color with impunity?” He can’t believe she committed murder with the gun he gave her, and then claims he’s 10% Mexican. Grabbing the security bars on the front door, he asks if she wants to kill him now. They tell her she’s not progressive and throw Taco Bell coupons at her, declaring they want racists out of their neighborhood.
When Ivy arrives home, Ally says she doesn’t feel safe with the Wiltons across the street. The news comes on and the anchorman (Dermot Mulroney) reports the protest is still going on at the restaurant, even though the police cleared Ally. He turns the reporting over to Beverly who’s now in front of Mark and Rosie’s home. The police found the smiley face which was also at the Chang house, and they believe the murders are related. Rosie and Mark were dead for more than a week when their bodies were discovered sealed in caskets. Beverly wonders if there’s a serial killer on the loose.
Ally and Ivy hear a noisy vehicle outside and look out the window to see a large industrial truck driving slowly by while spraying some sort of chemical.
The next morning Ivy walks around the house calling out for Ally. She finally spots her outside standing by dozens of dead birds in their yard. Ivy calls in a report and learns the township didn’t sanction any chemical trucks.
Winter (Billie Lourd) shows up as Ally wonders if it’s all mind-control experiments, and Ally’s angry Winter deserted her the night of the blackout. Winter apologizes and Ally finally forgives her, and then Winter casually adds she let in a stranger who said he was there in response to an ad.
The stranger turns out to be a large naked man who’s standing in their living room. He says the Craigslist ad said horny lesbians were looking for what he can provide, and he’s genuinely confused when they say they have no idea what he’s talking about. He assumes their bit is luring in men, getting them worked up, and then humiliating them. Disgusted, Ivy chases him out of their house.
After he’s gone, Ally and Ivy locate the ad online, complete with their address.
Dr. Vincent reads the ad out loud, and it says not to call or write – just show up. He’s in his office talking to Ally who’s in her car on the phone, and she’s angry the ad keeps being put back up. She believes her new neighbors placed the ad, and Dr. Vincent plays with smiley face pins on his desk as he asks why she thinks the Wiltons are responsible. Ally confesses she can’t handle all this, and Dr. Vincent assures her he’ll help get the ad down. He always wants to get evidence the Wiltons are behind this, calling it harassment. He recommends she file a police report, and Ally says it’s all happening because people think she’s a racist.
Dr. Vincent is so concerned he thinks they should schedule an emergency session for tomorrow and then suggests she might want to think about a voluntary in-patient stay for at least a while until things calm down. This murder has escalated her phobias, and he’s concerned for the people around her. Ally says she’s dealing with this and doesn’t want to commit herself. Instead, she’s going to go speak with the protesters. Dr. Vincent doesn’t think that’s a good idea and warns her to be careful.
The protesters surround her car when she pulls up. She asks them to move, telling them she’s one of them. She yells move but they refuse and then she spots Kai behind the crowd. Kai tells the protesters, “Enough,” and they leave her alone. He comes to her window and says, “I told you I would take care of it and I did. Have a nice day.”
Returning home, Ally and Ivy find Winter and Oz petting a guinea pig. Ally is sensitive to dander and they have a strict no-pet policy, but Winter refuses to take it back, saying it’s Oz’s. Oz says he’s named him Mr. Guinea. Winter then reveals the lady from across the street brought the guinea pig over as a peace offering. Ally’s adamant Oz won’t be keeping the pet. She tells him to say his goodbyes to the guinea pig and instead Oz replies, “I wish I could say my goodbyes to you.”
After Oz and Winter leave the room, Ally is livid. She screams about the neighbors knowing the shooting was an accident, once again proclaiming she’s the least racist person they’ve ever met. Ally calls them while Ivy pets the guinea pig.
The scene shifts to the Wilton home where Meadow, Harrison, and Detective Samuels are relaxing and watching TV. Ally yells at Harrison over the phone, and Harrison says he likes her kid. Samuels smiles as Harrison tells Ally Oz needs a man (in this case, the guinea pig) in his life. Harrison claims Oz is “drowning in white privilege and estrogen.” Meadow takes over the phone call, calling Ally a horrible racist before hanging up on her.
The weird chemical truck is about to pass by again and Ally runs out in the street. She yells at the driver to stop and to reveal what chemicals he’s spraying. He doesn’t stop and Ally has to jump out of the way as the chemicals flow over her. When Ivy comforts her, Ally’s bleeding.
Meadow and Kai do a pinky swear and he asks what she’s afraid of. She flippantly says she’s afraid that Sonya on the Real Housewives has a drinking problem. That answer earns her a hard slap across the face and she falls to the floor. Kai screams at her not to waste his time and that this is a revolution.
Meadow apologizes and admits she hides behind her humor. They try again and this time Kai asks if she’s afraid she’ll die unloved and that she’ll never have sex again. Meadow says she is and reveals Harrison is turning against her. Kai confirms he is because she’s irritating. Meadow confesses Harrison has a friend and now they whisper about her behind her back. Kai tells her to stop saying she’s sorry because that makes her nothing. “Everything is somebody else’s fault from now on,” says Kai. “You want to be somebody, you want to matter, then you make the world wrong.”
It’s going to take a week before the blood tests come back and before Ally knows if she’s been harmed by whatever chemical the truck was spraying. Ivy suggests she try and leave her worries behind, at least for the night. Ivy’s prepared a delicious dinner for Ally and Oz at the restaurant, and the threesome have some solid bonding time alone over dinner. Oz apologizes over yelling at his mom and says he knows they can’t keep Mr. Guinea. He asks if they can find him a good home and Ally surprises Oz by saying they can keep him.
They arrive back home after the family dinner and Oz is about to rush in when they see the smiley face painted in red on their door. Oz goes in just ahead of his moms, and they all are on time to witness Mr. Guinea exploding in the microwave. (Oz is going to be the most traumatized kid in history by the time this is over.)
Ally runs across the street to confront Harrison and Meadow. She barges in their home with Ivy and Oz hot on her tail. Ivy warns her she’ll be arrested for breaking and entering but Ally doesn’t listen. She punches Harrison in the face and threatens Meadow. Ally yells at them, demanding to know how they got into her house. Ally knows they did it because they believe she’s a murderer and a racist, but she wants to know how that justifies killing Oz’s innocent pet in front of him.
Meadow acts like she has no idea what happened, and Ally demands they stop terrorizing her family right now. When Meadow threatens to call the cops, Ally tells her to go right ahead because she’ll show them the smiley face the Wiltons painted on her front door. Harrison says the smiley face means Ally’s been marked by the killer, but Ally doesn’t believe it and assures Oz that’s not true. Meadow swears they didn’t do it, but Ally continues to threaten her neighbor. She warns she’ll kill them both if they bother her family again.
As they march out of the Wiltons’ house, Ivy tells Ally they’re screwed if the Wiltons sue them. Ivy’s had enough; Ally has gone too far this time. Ally’s behavior is affecting Oz, and Oz takes this opportunity to interrupt the argument to show them a smiley face painted on the side of Harrison and Meadow’s house. Ally thinks they painted it themselves, but Ivy’s worried for the Wiltons and wants to warn them. Ally’s response: “F**k them.”
Ivy takes Oz home and Ally lingers behind, touching the paint. It’s dry. She hears the truck again and this time it stops in front of her house. She sees the driver get out and begin spraying a chemical on her lawn. Ally demands to see his face (he’s wearing a gas mask) and asks who he works for. When he finally removes the mask, a white mask with the red smiley face is revealed. Ally faints as more than one of the truck’s occupants continue spraying the lawn where she’s passed out.
It’s now Harrison’s turn for pinky swearing, and Kai asks him about his first homosexual experience. He follows that up asking about Harrison’s biggest regret which turns out to be the fact he married his “fag hag.” He says he loves Meadow and then Kai gets him to admit he wants her dead. Kai and Harrison stare into each other’s eyes, not breaking the pinky swear.
Detective Samuels listens as Ally tries to connect the dots between the clowns, Roger’s murder, Pedro’s accident, the Craigslist sex ads, and Mr. Guinea’s horrific demise in the microwave. She blames the neighbors from hell. Samuels asks Ivy if Ally’s exhibiting any signs of psychosis, and Ally yells that she’s not crazy. She shows him the baggie with Mr. Guinea’s remains and just then he gets a text. Samuels confirms the smiley face is authentic and he’s concerned they’ve been marked by the killer. He wants to set up surveillance.
Ally and Ivy’s discussion with Samuels is interrupted when they hear Oz cussing in another room of the house. He was using the computer and admits he clicked on a link and that he deactivated the parental controls. Ivy grounds him and says he’s lost his computer privileges for a week. However, Oz won’t turn over the computer because he can’t turn it off and doesn’t want them to see what he was looking at. Ivy demands to see it and opens the laptop. On the screen is a video of Ally in the bathtub with Winter bathing her…and then going even further. Ivy rushes out of the room and when Ally follows her, Ivy slaps her hard across the face. She asks if Ally’s having an affair with the babysitter and Ally says she’s not.
Ally tries to get Ivy to realize someone was in their house and put a camera in their bathroom. She insists this is all connected and that Winter must be working with the neighbors. She blames them but Ivy’s not having it. “No, it’s you! You cheated! You betrayed our family!” screams Ivy. Samuels makes his way upstairs and asks if there’s a problem, and Ally tells him it’s none of his business.
Ally begs Ivy to stay but Ivy doesn’t care. She’s going to take Oz and leave, tossing out the suggestion that Ally call Winter. She adds that if the smiley face means what they believe it means, Ally will soon have plenty of company.
As Ivy and Oz are about to leave, the cops – sirens blaring – pull up in front of the Wiltons. Harrison screams that he doesn’t know what happened and was asleep. He woke up, rolled over, and got covered in blood. When the cop tells him to calm down, he says the officer should “calm up” and get to his level of agitation. That’s when he spots Ally and Ivy, and he points out Ally as the killer. Meadow is missing and he demands to know what Ally did with Meadow.
During all this commotion, Oz has disappeared. Harrison continues to yell that Ally did it as Ally and Ivy spot Oz inside Harrison’s home. Oz stands stock-still as Ivy and Ally look at all the blood covering the walls and on the stairs. They see handprints and then join Oz in staring at the smiley face painted in the living room.
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 4 “11/9”
– Recap of American Horror Story: Cult Episode 5 “Holes”