The Cult’s Conscience: AHS Cult Episode 7 and 8 Recap
“Valerie Solanas Died for Your Sins: Scumbag”
Episode 7 “Valarie Solanas Died for Your Sins: Scumbag,” we finally find how the American artist Andy Warhol connects to American Horror Story: Cult.
If you were not aware, earlier in the season photos surfaced of Evan Peters depicting Andy Warhol on the set of Cult. Many wondered how the time frames would meet and how someone could connect Warhol to a cult, but now we know. The connection is through the woman who attempted to murder Warhol in that 1960s: radical feminist Valerie Solanas (played by Lena Dunham).
Other than the attempted murder of Warhol, Solanas is known for writing the SCUM Manifesto. This piece of work urged women to overthrow any formation of government and eliminate all males. Long story short, Solanas met Warhol and requested that he produce one of her plays entitled Up Your Ass. She gave Warhol the script, who later lost the only copy. She was convinced that Warhol had conspired to steal her work and limit her success due to her gender and became consumed by that thought. In 1968, she went to Warhol, shot him and turned herself into the police. She was charged with attempted murder, among other things, and was institutionalized after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. All depicted in this episode.
However, American Horror Story also suggests that Solanas formed a cult following to her SCUM Manifesto. This is where things divert from historical truths. One notable member was her lover, Bebe (played in the present by AHS faithful Frances Conroy). The SCUM group is presented by the AHS producers to have been the face behind the infamous Zodiac Killer. According to Bebe’s account, Valerie was the mastermind behind these serial murders from the psychiatric hospital she was committed to after the Warhol incident. She is enraged when she realizes a man started taking credit for it by sending letters to the local San Francisco media and police.
Valerie eventually goes to the Bay Area police to take credit for the Zodiac crimes, but they also find her claims to be insane. From there, Valerie falls off the edge. She makes a hit list that included Hugh Hefner, Billy Graham and Steve McQueen. Eventually, her outlandish agenda scares away her following until only Bebe is left.
Bebe approaches Beverly Hope in the present to explain how Kai Anderson is running a man’s cult and is suspicious about how Meadow failed in assassinating Kai from such a close proximity in the previous episode. Bebe indulges in the Solanas flashback to show Winter, Ivy and Hope her understanding of cult mentality and the true power of women. Hope uses this to persuade the females into an uprising against Kai, and it partially works. Just as I predicted.
The women lure Harrison, Kai’s right hand, to the Butchery on Main by telling him it’s a surprise for Kai. The women threaten Harrison with a saw to find out what truly happened to Meadow. Harrison did not satisfy their request, so Ivy took a saw to Harrison’s arm and throat. Hope then reports the body being found on the news as a message to Kai. However, the episode ends with a surprising exchange. “They’re at their best when they’re angry,” says Kai. Sitting next to him, Bebe responds “Aren’t we all?” Chaos is among us.
“Winter of Our Discontent”
This episode opens with Dr. Rudy Vincent visiting Kai to congratulate him on winning the city council seat. Kai tells his older brother one alarming thing, “From now on, call me councilman.” It’s safe to say this political cult ploy has made both Vincent and Winter, his only family, question his motive and purpose.
Kai’s new following of “soldiers,” predominantly just young white males, has been employed as private security for the city through the city council’s compromise. The new group has altered the share of power of female cult members from equal power down to servants essentially, sparking Hope’s need to revolt. Winter obviously has her reservations due to her relation to Kai and remains on the fence.
Winter gives the other females an insight to where it all started with Kai: a dark web discovery of a place called Justice House. This was no haunted mansion, but a satanic church in which the pastor imprisoned people against their will in order to secretly “preach” to other and display symbolic murder. Winter details how she and her brother managed to escape, save the victims and murder the troubled pastor. She explains that Kai’s original mission, to save people from the dark web, developed from this, in an attempt to make a plea that he has simply lost his way and that she can fix things.
This quickly draws back to one of the earlier episodes where Winter introduced Oz to the dark web. There has to be some connection there.
Deeper into the episode, Kai suggests that Winter’s true role in his plan is to be the mother of his “messiah.” He urges that the baby must be pure between their blood to have a child that can continue their legacy after death. It gets crazier. He doesn’t propose incest, but he insists Samuels, one of the cult followers, will impregnate Winter. While doing so, Kai illustrates how he will also be having intercourse with the follower to ensure he remains the true father.
Samuels, the homosexual police officer previously connected to Harrison, can’t seem to follow through with his orders due to his sexual preference. Winter backs out of the deal as well and Kai is infuriated. In my opinion, this perfectly sets up my theory on Oz becoming the focal point as the Cult’s new leader. That will ultimately be a decision Kai will be forced to make, but we’ll see.
Moving forward, Vincent confesses to Ally about his relation to Kai and Winter, and as Ally outrages, he turns, vowing to get Kai off of the streets.
Kai, joined by his security, visits Ally for dinner upon request. Ally asks for a moment alone to provide Kai with information in the hope it might persuade him to bring Oz back home. She immediately tells him about Vincent trying to get him committed.
To wrap this up, Kai and his clown posse murder Vincent and stick Hope in an isolation chamber due to Winter’s false confessions. But more importantly, the ultimate spoiler: ALLY has joined the cult. Kai introduces a new member, and when the clown mask is removed, Ally appears.
Do not worry though; it won’t last. If this is the typical American Horror Story-Paulson writing, she’s bringing it all down. And it’s more than probable that she will successfully, unlike Hope, recruit the women to help her do so. Just wait.