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American Horror Story: Cult - Holes - Advance Preview: "We'll Take Turns."

"Reporting to you from a neighborhood gripped in terror..."

Not only is “Holes” the strongest installment of American Horror Story so far this year, it’s also one of the series’ best episodes of the past few seasons. It’s hauntingly scary, with strong performances throughout, and the narrative remains impressively focused. After last week’s flashback-heavy outing that began to tie together the story of ‘Cult’, “Holes” moves things full speed ahead. With grisly murders, unsettling real-world connections, and an electrifying lead performance from Evan Peters, tonight’s episode will likely stay with you for a while.

To be honest, this is the type of episode that’s so good that it’s hard to write about beforehand. What I will say is that the central cult is no longer simply taking shape. Now, they’re fully-formed and ready to move ahead with Kai’s sinister plans.

What’s clear, though, is that some members are more committed than others. But even as we witness some resistance from certain members, Kai remains determined to keep his plans on track. That means more torture, more murder, and perhaps even turning the knife (or, in this case, the nail-gun) on one of their own.

"There is a hole, and he put her in it!"

Elsewhere, Ally is haunted by a nightmare that left me so unsettled I had to look away. Before this season began, I had never even heard of trypophobia, and now I’m quite certain I’ll never look at small holes the same way again. Soon, she begins to piece some things together that simply aren’t adding up, and a shocking discovery across the street will have massive implications in the coming weeks.

Scary Good: Stuff You'll Love
- There are multiple flashbacks this week, both to some previous murders committed by the clowns and to a crucial piece of Kai’s past.
- We also get a brief glimpse of Ally and Ivy before the election, in September 2016.
- When I said there are some grisly murders in this episode, I meant it. “Holes” features easily the most gruesome and gory deaths of the season so far. One scene, in particular, is still a bit hard for me to shake.
- The ensemble cast is really starting to gel. There’s great work this week from James Morosini, Cheyenne Jackson, Dermot Mulroney, and Adina Porter.

Bottom Line: I continue to be supremely impressed with ‘Cult’. This week, despite the gore and macabre, the deepest chills still come from parallels to the real world, specifically at this moment in history – the use of fear to motivate hate, the constant questioning of one’s own sanity, and the haunting notion that all of what we’re watching is possible. ‘Cult’ doesn’t need vampires, witches, or zombies to scare us. Instead, it holds up a mirror to what life looks like in parts of American in 2017. That, sadly, is scarier than any supernatural entity.

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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