Warning: Full spoilers for the episode beneath.
Cult wrapped up its twisty, turny season somewhat principally with “Nice Once more” – by which Kai, even with all his preliminary complexities and intriguing concepts about controlling folks by way of concern, was lowered to a one-note misogynistic software screaming hack Spencer’s Presents slogans earlier than getting shot within the head.
Starting final week, in “Charles (Manson) in Cost,” the aspect of the present that concerned us not with the ability to belief what we might been watching vanished rather than a considerably uninteresting revenge scheme that wanted Kai to lose all of his wits, and something that made him fascinating actually, in favor of a rabid anti-woman ideology – that for some time he’d used as a canopy however now had simply totally embraced. Though, in flashbacks, we noticed that that is actually how he was all alongside. Right here we have been, on the finish of the season, with two or three totally different variations of Kai that did not line up within the least.
Now, there’s one thing to be stated for a present streamlining issues because it heads towards its end. Cult usually gave us too many twists and it had gotten to the purpose the place it was simple to imagine every little thing we have been watching was a ruse in some regard. Nothing might be trusted. So then why not begin giving us a standard story and displaying us issues at face worth? That is sensible. I get it. However you additionally do not wish to go from a season stuffed with smoke and mirrors to “Wait, that is it?” That is no good in any respect.
I’ll say this: I preferred the few twists that we did get. Kai discovering that he had an empty gun as a result of Ally had outsmarted him? Good beat. Additionally, the reveal, I assume, on the finish that Ally was able to change into a cult chief in her personal proper (and presumably take the SCUM agenda nationwide for actual?) was a nifty little nugget to shut issues out with. However that does not change the truth that Cult, even with its swirling fishbowl of concepts and messages (that it generally pressured out like the underside of a toothpaste tube), resorted to Horror Story’s go-to blueprint of straight-up vengeance – notably when it entails a Sarah Paulson character.
Listening to that Asylum “Lana Winters” reference hammered it house much more as Ally, having been tortured and tormented for many of the season, discovered her means up and out of her darkish place with a purpose to punish and kill the villains. We noticed it in Asylum and Salem earlier than this. Not solely does she flip the tables on her boogeymen, however she will get fame bump as properly – whether or not it means turning into a well-known reporter, the “Supreme,” or a senator. Seeing a heroine overcome excruciating odds is not with out benefit, however we have carried out this already.
If Cult had been a bit extra dedicated to Ally’s plan, drawn it out even longer, and made her accountable for the deaths of Harrison and Rudy and possibly a number of others in Kai’s cult (she might have nonetheless killed Ivy herself), this finale would have made extra sense. Like, if she’d truly infiltrated Kai’s ranks intent on making him kill his personal folks and, in the end, ruining himself. By the tip, certain, she had a whole lot of management over him, however that each one solely actually began final week when she framed Winter. Earlier than that, Kai’s cult was already within the enterprise of dismantling itself, and killing off its personal members, on varied whims. Sadly right here, for Ally to be totally proactive and intelligent, Kai needed to go nuts and lose his edge. He needed to cease with the ability to be 5 steps forward of everybody else.
Cult, as a narrative, started by addressing the concept that there have been folks from many walks of life who have been offended and able to “burn all of it down.” Then it type of rolled up right into a ball and simply made it about douchebags who wished ladies to make them sandwiches (which is generally a nasty, hack joke and never a dramatic hill to climb and seize) and by the tip characters are screaming “snowflake” and “nasty girl” and all of it felt like an internet t-shirt store and never a TV collection. What occurred to Ouncess obsession with clowns and Winter displaying him lifeless our bodies? How did Kai convert so many individuals in jail with out with the ability to provide them something besides jail life? I loved the time bounce (which was additionally textbook AHS), however I really feel like quite a bit was left on the desk right here contemplating how this season began, and performed out for the primary six episodes.