The Cult’s Conscience: 11/9, Holes
The insight to America’s favorite cult is finally here after last Tuesday’s episode of American Horror Story “11/9” that aired on Tuesday, Oct. 3 on FX.
In “11/9” we saw Kai Anderson’s manipulation in full effect, being shown how he recruited Harrison Wilson (played by Billy Eichner) and Beverly Hope (played by Adina Porter), the Channel 7 local news reporter. Kai proved he would do anything for the members of his cult, but was also obvious in the underlying thought that this is all just for his own personal gain. Kai recruited Beverly for one reason: to control the media. He uses her to instill fear in the surrounding community and present himself as a ‘city councilman candidate fighting back.’
Early in “Holes”, the notion that Meadow is dead was put to rest. Beverly reports that authorities are hopeful she will be found alive, which means Harrison is trying but has yet to receive his wish. However, that is not the only bomb drop. As I stated in the very first portion of this series, it is now confirmed that Ivy is a member of the Cult.
As the story returned to Beverly, a plan had to be formed. Her boss Bob Thompson started to understand that the station’s reporting was compromised. In response, the cult decided to kill Bob, not only to keep Beverly in the forefront of the media, but also to send yet another message of fear to the public. The cult did successfully accomplish this goal, but Ivy’s displeasure and uneasiness with death first hand was apparent.
Ally, alone and paranoid, began looking into her neighborhood a little more closely after the disappearance of Meadow. As she looks through a telescope of some sort, she catches Harrison dragging a body, on top of mingling with the same law enforcement officer that investigated her ‘self-defense’ murder. Though unsettled, Ally obviously could not just leave this issue alone. To her surprise, Ally discovers Meadow seemingly prepared to be buried alive by Harrison. Ally rushes home to notify Ivy, who we now know is a part of it all, but Meadow escapes momentarily to tell Ally through the window about the cult and its members before being recaptured. The story has moved away from Ally in the last two episodes in order to reveal the cult, but now that Ally knows everything, the conflict is here. Ally is a by the book spirit, but the question is whether or not she will be able to realize who she can and cannot trust in order to bring it all down. The local law enforcement, a potential city councilman, local news, her babysitter, etc. are all involved. Where will she turn now?
With the killing of Bob, the public is afraid and standing behind the only city councilman candidate fighting back against the terror threat that is Kai Anderson. He does currently hold a lead in the polls but will need a lot more to avoid a runoff situation. More importantly, we finally see the vulnerability of Kai. In the patented fear-swapping pink promise, Beverly took control by forcing Kai to release the truth behind his story. Kai opens Beverly to his abusive upbringing, ultimately ending in his parents’ murder-suicide. Instead of going the normal route, Kai, his brother *spoiler alert* Dr. Rudy Vincent decide to pad lock them in the master bedroom and leave them to decay forever. Oddly enough, Kai still has an emotional connection to them. Winter shows up at the house in this flashback infuriated, so now we can assume she is Kai’s sister. That makes three of my opinions from earlier pieces a reality, just for the record.
More so than an insight of Kai, this openness spoke to the power of Beverly Hope. Every other scene similar to this, Kai was in control. This may speak to the extent Hope’s character may go in this season. Many believe Hope is connected to the 20th century African-American actress, Beverly Hope Atkinson, and I agree. Though profession and time do not align, there is a symbolism that may be revealed. Ask yourself if Beverly Hope is a woman driven by her career path and need for success or by her own dissatisfaction and anger. To this point, she looks like an actress to me. One playing the role of news reporter turned cult member, taking a back seat to Kai only to set up her own move for the throne of terror. We will soon see.
Follow the next episode of American Horror Story: Cult on Tuesday at 9 p.m. CT only on FX.