The finales to AMERICAN HORROR STORY tend to be a mixed bag. Sometimes they provide closure, like the brilliant ASYLUM closer, and other times it’s a bit of a drag, like FREAKSHOW. The performances often drive the finales, as usually we have one or two characters going through absolute hell for several episodes, which is what made Lana Winter’s story so satisfying in ASYLUM when she got her final confrontation with her son. The word on social media seems to be that CULT may have lost some fans due to being not much of an escape from reality. For me, that’s what made this season a real American horror story, as the focus remained grounded.
Kai staged multiple scenarios to scare the public into voting for him and creating fear out of ignorance, segregating Americans from each other based on color and beliefs. While it initially began as a mere race issue, with immigration and white privilege being a common theme, this season leaned more towards gender equality. Kai has gathered his cult and the women are making “manwiches” while the guys listen to fucked up bedtime stories and kill to create false martyrs.
We finally find out what Ally has been up to as the last couple episodes — she’s been playing along almost as an assistant to Kai and displaying no emotion, even when she set up Winter to be killed. Kai has already lost his mind and knows that the “night of 1000 Tates” wasn’t going to work out. He settles for 100, but before they can embark on their murder spree (which apparently included invading a Lamaze class and shooting the fathers), Ally steps out and the FBI steps in. She’s been playing Kai since she was locked up earlier in the season, and it was such a moment of relief. Her motives were questionable even to viewers, but Kai got his ass finally locked up. However, his philosophy bullshit got in the heads of other prisoners, and even a female guard who he seduces and manages to escape.
This results in Ally becoming a feminist icon and deciding to go into politics. She represents someone who escaped from the oppression of men, literally having to slaughter way to survive. During a big debate, Kai shows up, gun in hand, ready to assassinate her on live television. As usual, Ally is a step ahead and the gun turns out to be empty, and Beverly blows his brains out from behind. It’s only fair that Beverly get the last shot in, as she was going out of her mind, trying to be a competent follower. At one point, she begged Ally to kill her as she no longer could keep going, but Ally’s secret agenda kept her alive and refused to push the knife forward. What’s funny (at least in my sick mind it is) is that Kai is the only person who knows that Ally killed her own wife. Everyone believes Kai did it, but she’s got to play the role of hero for America, so I guess there’s no such thing as an innocent hero.
Kai’s death leads Ally to be a winner in the race, and now she plans on setting up a new movement, one hinted at with the last shot as she lifts a cloak above her head in front of the mirror. It looks to be part of the SCUM cloak, which fans became familiar with in the Lena Dunham episode, unless you were much informed than I was and were already aware of Valerie Solanas. Solanas’ story might have played out in only one episode, but her legacy lived on as the Trump era helped ignite a feminist anger that he helped push to the limit. Now, the female voice is louder than ever, and I’m not just talking about the show. This season played out while several of Hollywood’s top guys turned out to be predators as A-list actresses came forward with their experiences. As this season proved, one voice can lead to a thousand screams, and it’s about time everyone gets heard.