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American Horror Story: Cult - 11/9 - Advance Preview: “Someone to Believe In”



“We are going to wipe out everything you know and build something bigger and better than anything you can possibly imagine. Do you believe me?”

Episode four of ‘Cult’, titled 11/9, is a unique installment. Rather than looking forward, we’re transported to a few months before the current narrative. Specifically, we start on election night and eventually watch its ripple effects in the days that followed. The episode serves as an origin story for the growing cult, as we witness Kai (Evan Peters) recruit several characters, getting a glimpse into the fears and frustrations that he exploited - and the promises he made.

First, we see Kai approach Harrison (Billy Eichner) at the gym on the day after the election. “So what flavor of gay are you?” he asks. He goes on to give a spiel about the labels that ‘leftists’ put on different communities, and how all they do is seek to divide us. As Harrison’s frustrations mount over time (he’s given a particularly awful assignment at work and then returns home to find out that the bank is foreclosing on his house), he’s driven further and further into Kai’s dangerous web.

“People don’t want news right now, they want to be distracted from the news.”


We also follow reporter Beverly Hope (Adina Porter) as she struggles to stay ahead of Serena Belinda (Emma Roberts), a young, beautiful, up-and-coming reporter who is willing to do anything to become an anchor. Roberts is at her best here, playing a character who’s both fun and conniving, at one point telling Hope that, “I’m going to be on 'The Today Show' one day, and I don’t care how many dicks I have to suck to get there.”

Kai, feeling Hope’s frustrations, quickly takes her under his wing. Playing on both left and right ideals, he lets her know that he understands her pain – and not only that, but he has a solution, a real way to utilize her anger.

“Great men and women have been weaponizing fear forever. But what all those men had was a great messenger.”

Tonight's theme is unquestionably fear. Kai understands the anxiety plaguing Americans, and he understands the power behind even the most seemingly insignificant individual. As the cult takes shape, it’s truly unsettling to watch an ordinary man play on ordinary emotions… and utilize them for terror and mayhem.

The final segment focuses on Winter (Billie Lourd) and Ivy (Allison Pill), who we learn actually met before the election. It’s interesting to see where all of these characters were before we met them, and it gives a lot more depth to some of what we’ve already seen. Even with the focus shifting away from Ally this week – she only appears in two brief scenes – the narrative still feels focused and exciting, allowing us to flesh out the world we’ve been living in for the past 3 episodes.

Scary Good: Stuff You’ll Love
- Tonight is a magnificent showcase for Evan Peters. Kai is truly terrifying in episode four, showcasing that he’s much more than just an unhinged psychopath. What’s truly unsettling is how smart, calculated, and calm he can be.
- Leslie Grossman is as hilarious as always, particularly in a scene where she comes home to discover Harrison and Kai in a compromising position that would have most roommates running off in terror.
- Have you been wondering how Gary (Chaz Bono), the grocery store owner in the ‘MAGA’ hat, lost his arm? Well, you’ll find out tonight.

Bottom Line: Episode four is another win for ‘Cult’, giving us a greater understanding of our existing characters and their motives. Allowing Peters’ Kai to take center stage works brilliantly, and his character serves as a terrifying needle that threads all of our other characters together. We continue to see the folly on both sides of the aisle. Certainly Trump’s supporters are easy to peg as the main villains here, but there’s blame to be placed all around, as Ryan Murphy and his writers explore our inability to communicate, the walls we put up around our own notions of right and wrong, and how far both sides of the aisle are willing to go to prove their own points.

American Horror Story airs tonight at 10 on FX and Friday at 10 on FOX UK. For more on ‘Cult’ and all my other SpoilerTV work, feel free to follow me on Twitter.

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