Frank Ockenfels/FX
October 25, 2017 at 08:19 AM EDT

American Horror Story

TV Show
run date
Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters
Current Status
In Season
We gave it an A-

But does Winter have the power to pull her brother back toward the light — or the will to defy him? At first, it sure doesn’t look like it. The next time Winter and Kai meet one-on-one, he tearfully reveals his plan: “I love our family — the one we’re going to make.”

Whaaaaaat? If that sounds like a plan for Kai to impregnate his own sister, it’s… not. Not exactly. Thank god. But it’s still weird as hell — and it involves a brother-sister threesome with Detective Samuels, complete with ceremonial robes, anointing oils, and a soundtrack of “I Swear.” (“From this day forward, it shall be played whenever a Messiah is conceived.”)

Fortunately, AHS doesn’t see this scene through to its repulsive conclusion (although it does gift us the permanent squick of Kai saying, “You may lay down your receptacle now.” Brb, dousing my eardrums and my brain in a bleach solution.) Winter puts a stop to the incestual ceremony — and earns a creative punishment in return. The next time we see her, she’s picking up (or putting down?) trash on the side of the road in an orange jumpsuit and a dunce cap, and eating a steady diet of gruel brought to her by Samuels.

Samuels explains how he came to be involved in the cult: He blackmailed Kai for cash and sex when he caught him selling prescriptions. But it didn’t take long for Kai to flip the script, and teach the sexually-frustrated, closeted Samuels that having sex with men is the most masculine thing he could possibly do — and it doesn’t make him gay, or anything.

“You’re totally gay,” Winter says.

Samuels lunges, putting his hands around Winter’s neck; in the scuffle she grabs his gun. Rearing back, she screams, “Say it! Say ‘I’m a turd!'” But he won’t, and Winter has had enough. She has become Valerie Solanas, destroyer of men. She pulls the trigger. RIP, Detective Samuels.

Finally, we’re back once again in Kai’s basement, where he commands “the betrayers” be brought forth. Who’s on the chopping block this time? It’s Beverly and Vincent — who Ally sold out to Kai in a previous scene. The two are bound, gagged, and surrounded by clowns… who appear to be multiplying. There are definitely at least two new clowns in there.

Kai confronts Vincent first, screaming, “I’ve been chosen, Vince! People are counting on me to lead!”

“No matter what happens you are my brother and I love you,” Vincent replies.

And for a minute, it actually looks like that might work. Kai kneels, cutting Vincent’s bonds, and holds out his pinkie. Vincent responds in kind… and Kai slices it off. The part where he stabs him is practically an afterthought, but he does — and RIP, Vincent. As the body is dragged away, Kai turns to Beverly, whose “betrayer” status is something of a mystery until a last bit of information clicks into place: Winter told Kai that it was Bev who killed Samuels. But Beverly, who has been defined all season by her ice cold rage, isn’t about to cower and cry now. Instead, she calls Kai out in a spittle-flecked diatribe for being directionless, incompetent, manipulable, and phony… and incredibly, he doesn’t kill her. (Side note: Is this all for show, a la Meadow’s defection from the group? Discuss.) While Beverly is taken offscreen to “the isolation chamber,” Kai turns to his remaining disciples. The clowns remove their masks one by one, revealing all of the usual suspects — until only one remains. The cult’s newest member.

Everyone, say hi to Allison Mayfair-Richards, Murder Clown.

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