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.