Friday, September 08, 2017

My Review of American Horror Story: Cult - Election Night

Written by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk
Directed by Bradley Buecker

Kai (to Mr Chang): "I said there is nothing more dangerous in this world than a humiliated man."

Okay, I've had some mixed feelings on this upcoming season to be honest. On one hand, I'm surprised it's taken the show until it's seventh season to actually do a season involving cults but on the other hand, I cannot be the only one who has become fatigued by Trump infecting the media.

I hate the guy as much as the next person and I certainly think he shouldn't be president either but sifting through this first episode alone as our lead female character of the piece Ally Mayfair-Richards (Sarah Paulson) and her wife, Ivy (Alison Pill) watched the results of the orangey one's victory back in November and despite sympathizing with Ally's reaction, I also found it as cringe inducing as Kai Anderson's (Evan Peters) more elated reaction to proceedings.

Seeing the contrasting reactions would've been more interesting had I not seen the same thing over social media for the last ten months, so I kind of feel like we've already done this even before the episode was ten minutes into proceedings already. What we didn't see were the more neutral or muted reactions to the election but with ten episodes left to go, it's likely we will at some point.

Trump becoming president however is a part of this season's narrative and also motivating both Ally and Kai's actions in this one and for the season. Ally seems to be driven by fear, mainly of clowns as she freaks out when she catches her son, Ozzie reading a Twisty The Clown comic book while imagining clowns everywhere she goes, including one volatile moment in the supermarket, much to Ivy's own frustrations.

Kai on the other hand, when he wasn't taking pleasure in forcing his sister, Winter (Billie Lourd) in making some confessions and throwing coffee over Ally and Ivy also took the time to spread some racist rhetoric around town while also getting himself beaten up for a scheme that we should see the results fairly soon I bet.

As for the gross out moments of the moment, we did get to see Twisty murdering another couple in the comics while a group of clowns also broke into the Changs home and murdered them, which gave some justification for Ally's triggered fears of them. Then there was also Winter becoming Ozzie's babysitter and being all kinds of inappropriate by showing the kid gruesome videos online and gaslighting him in front of his concerned parents. Safe to say that Winter is just as unhinged as her 4Chan inspired sibling is to be honest.

- Other characters we saw in the episode briefly were Gary Longstreet (Chaz Bono), Rudy Vincent (Cheyenne Jackson) - Ally's therapist and Detective Samuels (Colton Haynes).
- Ally and Ivy run a restaurant called The Butchery On Main. This season is also set in Michigan. I also found it interesting that Ally didn't actually vote Clinton either. Nice enough twist there.
- Is Twisty going to be kept to comics or will he actually surface in the present day?
- Chronology: November 2016 before swiftly moving into early 2017 it seems.

Election Night wasn't the strongest opening episode we've had and while the commentary is timely, it has been so prevalent on social media that I think part of it's impact didn't quite land as it should have done. Still though, there were plenty of great moments in the episode and if we can move away from the Trump/Clinton bits and focus on the clowns that would be nice.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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