The edited cut of FX’s American Horror Story: Cult episode six which aired on October 10, 2017 differs from the version screening on VOD and FX Networks’ FXNOW and FX+. Changes to episode six’s opening scenes were made due to the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas and out of respect for the hundreds of victims. FX issued the following statement the day prior to the episode’s premiere:
“In light of the tragedy last week in Las Vegas, Ryan Murphy and the producers of American Horror Story: Cult have chosen to make substantial edits to the opening scene of tomorrow night’s episode (Tuesday, October 10, 10 PM ET/PT). This opening, which was filmed two months ago and which portrays an occurrence of gun violence that has sadly become all too common in our country, contains a sequence that some viewers might find traumatic. Only the edited version of the episode will air on the FX linear channel, while the unedited version of the episode will be available on the VOD platform of your cable, satellite or telco provider, as well as on the FX Networks non-linear platforms, FXNOW and FX+.”
The following recap reflects the original cut of the episode and not the edited version which aired on FX.
Episode six of FX’s politically charged killer clowns season of American Horror Story begins with a rally supporting Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) for City Council. Kai’s supporters are chanting and cheering when a gunshot rings out through the crowd. The crowd flees as people are shot. Harrison (Billy Eichner) grabs Ivy (Alison Pill) and tells her to run, but she panics and freezes. Another man tries to rescue her but he’s shot and his blood spatters on the ground.
Ivy screams as police move in and demand the shooter drop the gun. It’s revealed Ally (Sarah Paulson) is holding the gun and she does as instructed, shaking in fear with gunshot victims scattered nearby on the ground. Kai lies either injured or dead on the stage.
Next is a flashback to Meadow (Leslie Grossman) banging on Ally’s door, telling her about the cult before she’s hauled away by an unseen person. Ally quickly locks all doors and windows and closes the curtains. Dr. Vincent (Cheyenne Jackson) calls and tells her Ivy’s concerned about her, and Ally admits she no longer knows who to trust. She swears she’s not crazy and that she’s been targeted. She also thinks Ivy’s part of it. Dr. Vincent suggests she get some sleep and not take any immediate action.
Instead, Ally grabs a knife and mace and heads over to Harrison’s house. She sneaks in a bathroom window and hears grunting. She quietly grabs a set of keys as Harrison and Detective Jack Samuels (Colton Haynes) are having sex on the nearby bed.
Ally races to the garage, pulls the hood off Meadow, and cautions her to be quiet. She frees her from the chair she’s tied to and Meadow grabs her purse on the way out, knocking something to floor and making noise. Jack sees them and Ally quickly opens the garage door. Ally maces Harrison and then she and Meadow make a break for it. They make it to her car and speed off, arriving at her restaurant where the alarm is sounding.
She shuts it off and then tells Meadow they’ll be fine there until they figure out a plan. Meadow is adamant they need to get out of the state now, but Ally refuses to leave until she gets her son. She demands to know about the cult and about Ivy’s involvement. Meadow explains Ivy has been helping them get in and out of her house, and the plan was to make Ally go crazy. Ally wants to know why Ivy would do this, and Meadow brings up Ally voted for Jill Stein. Or, maybe Ivy just hates her.
Meadow also says there was nothing in the chemical trucks that they drove all over the city. The dead birds on Ally’s lawn were all poisoned on purpose by Meadow’s feeder. It was all a plan to make people paranoid and scared, all so they could take over. Ally says this plan is insane and refuses to believe Ivy’s in a cult. She hates organized religions and isn’t a joiner. Meadow replies, “That’s kind of how it starts. If you already believed in something, there wouldn’t be room for him.”
Next, we see Beverly Hope (Adina Porter) reporting from Town Hall. She’s there to cover the debate, and as Ally watches the news segment, she realizes she knows Kai. Meadow confirms Kai’s behind the plan.
A flashback to December 2016 shows Meadow admitting to herself she’s in love with Kai. Kai loves her artwork and says she’s incredible. He’s also pleased with Meadow’s embrace of everything he asked of her. Kai makes her feel special after feeling trapped her entire life by feminist expectations. A rage had built inside her until Kai set her free. She’s willingly and fully participated in the killings.
However, Meadow tries to leave after noticing how much attention Kai pays to Ivy. Full of jealousy and pissed she’s been manipulated, she tries to leave her house but Harrison and Jack block her escape. She rages at Kai, telling him his plan’s insane and that no one outside of this town knows who he is or cares about the city council.
Kai responds to Meadow’s outburst by telling Harrison to call the police because something terrible happened to Meadow. Harrison and Jack tie her up, while Kai says, “A cat goes missing and there are posters plastered all over the city. You…no one’s even noticed you’re gone. No one gives a sh*t if you live or die.”
Kai continues to taunt her, calling her worthless.
Harrison and Jack toss Meadow into a grave in the backyard. She would have died if Ally hadn’t found her.
Back at the restaurant, Ally is determined to notify the cops or maybe even the FBI. Meadow doesn’t think anyone will listen and the only way to stop Kai is to kill him.
April 3, 2017 – The City Council Town Hall Debate: Kai makes his case for a real change happening on the local level, declaring the monsters are here. Sally (Mare Winningham) calls bullshit on Kai’s speech, labeling him a snake oil salesman. She throws real facts in his face, fighting back against his made-up statistics and fake news. She agrees they need to find the killer, but says Kai’s just trying to scare people. He doesn’t disagree, admitting being scared will keep them safe.
Sally takes issue when Kai calls himself a conservative. She interviewed Barry Goldwater and had conservative parents. “I’ve seen conservatives up close. You’re not a conservative,” says Sally, now also in the center of the debate circle nearly face to face with Kai. She adds, “You’re a reactionary. You use fear and the fantasy of a time that never was when people left their doors unlocked. People like Mr. Anderson and Trump are not the garbage; they are the flies that the garbage has drawn. It’s time that we stop worrying about the flies and we start hauling away the garbage.”
The crowd responds with enthusiastic applause.
Sally won’t let a candidacy of fear take over the election and declares her own candidacy. Kai reminds her the deadline’s passed and she’s not on the ballot. Sally knows that and will officially declare her write-in candidacy. With that, she gets another round of applause.
Another flashback to the day after the presidential election shows Ivy pacing as she tells Winter (Billie Lourd) she saw Gary at the polling station. She knows he cut off his own arm so he could vote. She thinks they’re going to jail, but Winter assures her they’re not. Winter says her brother can fix anything.
Kai watches protests against Trump on the news as Winter brings Ivy to him for a talk. Winter leaves them as Kai makes Ivy pinkie swear. She won’t, and Kai wonders if Ivy’s scared of what the police will do when Gary tells the cops what happened. Ivy gives in and pinkie swears. He explains she must answer all questions once the pinkie swear begins. When he demands to know what fills her heart with dread, Ivy finally admits lying in bed next to her wife. She tries to take it back but Kai laughs.
When he asks when she started hating Ally, Ivy said it was when Ally was delivering their son. Ivy wanted to carry their son but couldn’t, and she resented Ally saying “my baby” like she didn’t count. Oz wasn’t weaned until he was three, and Kai says Ally waited that long to make herself more important. Ivy hates Ally’s entitled bullshit phobias and that she voted for Jill Stein. Kai says Ally sucked all the happiness out of Ivy’s marrow, but being with Winter will make her happy. Ivy also wants Oz but knows she won’t get full custody if she leaves Ally. Kai asks if she thought about killing Ally, but Ivy doesn’t want to kill her because of how it will damage Oz. Kai believes he can come up with a plan that will make the courts refuse Ally custody.
Back to the present, Ally takes Meadow to see Dr. Vincent and wants him to document what Meadow tells him. She leaves Meadow with Dr. Vincent and takes off. (Ally has no idea Dr. Vincent is Kai’s brother.)
Sally’s pouring herself a drink when Ally pounds on her front door. Ally apologizes for being at Sally’s house so late, but has no one else to turn to. Ally reveals there’s a cult and Kai is the leader. She claims the cult is responsible for the murders and all the weird things going on in town. Sally doesn’t respond and Ally continues, assuring her Meadow will tell her everything. Sally isn’t surprised, saying this is what happens when the patriarchy is threatened. She talks about Manson, David Koresh, etc, and how men are told who they’re supposed to be. Ally’s astounded Sally believes her, and Sally says every society that leads with fear has undone itself.
Sally will follow her down this path if it means she’ll win the election. She went to Berkeley and nothing shocks her. Ally wants Sally to talk to Meadow and that’s when the clowns break down Sally’s front door. Ally runs but Sally remains calm, grabbing her gun and standing her ground against the clowns. “Please, one of you a**holes make a move. I’m desperate to make an example of someone,” says Sally, moving her gun from clown to clown.
Unfortunately, a clown surprises her from behind and disarms her.
Ally listens to the clowns from her hiding place.
Sally’s on the floor and spits at a clown who leans down over her. Kai removes his mask, telling her she’s overestimated her ability to control the world. Sally says Kai’s just a “spasm in democracy,” and killing her won’t change the world. Kai takes a seat at Sally’s desk, telling her she’s old since she’s using Facebook. He posts a suicide note on her page, making it sound like she’s now completely disillusioned with the world. He posts it as Sally screams, “No, please!”
Sally adds, “No one is going to believe any of that.” Kai replies, “Of course they will. It’s on Facebook.”
He shoots her with her own gun. Ally screams from the bathroom as the shot rings out. Ivy, in her clown outfit and elephant mask, opens the bathroom door but doesn’t kill Ally. She leaves when Kai says it’s time to go.
Ally rushes back to Dr. Vincent’s and says Sally is dead and Ivy’s with them. Dr. Vincent reveals Meadow left after they talked. Meadow didn’t say anything about a cult, and Ally’s mad Dr. Vincent let Meadow go. He doesn’t think Ally actually saw anything and thinks she needs to check herself into a mental hospital for treatment. He doesn’t want to have to commit her; it will look better if she does it voluntarily. Ally says, “F**k you,” and leaves his office.
Back to the scene at the rally, we see the crowd’s enthusiastically cheering for Kai. Beverly’s there with her new cameraman, reporting live from the rally. Kai tells the crowd his opponent committed suicide, pledging he’ll never desert the people like she did. Ally works her way into a position where she can see the crowd and Kai on stage. She spots Meadow in the crowd and screams out to her. Beverly watches as Ally walks toward Meadow, while Meadow is now on the move toward the stage. The crowd chants, “We are the wall!”
Ally watches from behind Kai’s supporters as Meadow shoots a young woman in front of the stage. She stares at Kai, smiling slightly and it appears this is part of a plan. She shoots him in the leg although she’s only yards from where he’s standing.
The crowd runs away as Meadow shoots at random people. Ally screams for her to stop and then tries to grab the gun. Meadow, hands still on the gun’s handle, says, “This is the face of true love,” and kills herself by placing the gun in her mouth and pulling the trigger.
Ally ends up with the gun and is still holding it when the police arrive. She drops it, obeying their orders.
Another flashback reveals that when Meadow was tied up and Kai was alone with her before Jack and Harrison dumped her in the grave, he cut her loose. He said she was everything to him and that she’s the only one who sees him. She was right and they have to accelerate their thinking. Kai thinks only Meadow can make that happen. He tells her he needs to be assassinated, and that she’ll try and fail. He’ll recover stronger than ever. “We’re a Christian country. Everybody loves a resurrection,” explained Kai.
Kai’s plan was to send Meadow to Ally and to tell her the truth about the cult. No one will believe Ally and thus the truth can hide in plain sight. She’ll be labeled crazy. Meadow was afraid she’d crack under pressure from the police, and Kai told her it would be their everlasting secret. She knew what she had to do.
Ally’s taken away by the cops as Kai’s taken into an ambulance. He smiles.
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 8 “Winter of Our Discontent”
– Recap of American Horror Story: Cult Episode 9 “Drink the Kool-Aid”
– Recap of American Horror Story: Cult Episode 10 “Charles (Manson) in Charge”