Thursday, October 12, 2017

American Horror Story, Season 7, (Cult), Episode 6: Mid-Western Assassin

This already vexing show is doing the annoying thing where it shows the end of the show first and flashbacks. I’m not handling this nonsense so let’s skip over that until we get to the right place in the plot.

American Horror Story, you managed a couple of decent episodes, don’t push it.

So instead we get a flashback to Meadow being recaptured and Ally suddenly changing from her screaming and wailing in the corner and finally getting up and doing something.

Y’know, American Horror Story could probably make me very happy by having Ally go full on Carol on everyone. Yes it would probably undermine the whole political message of peaceful liberal and hate/fear mongering right winger but, hey it’s American Horror Story, I will forgo political message for Ally hitting everyone else in the face with an axe.

So she ignores Dr. Vincent encouraging her to sit still and not do anything silly - and goes to her neighbours (taking advantage of Detective Jack and Harrison being distracted by having sex. I saw one person describe how awesome this was that they rewound and watched several time - which I don’t get because why rewind a 2 second scene? You’d have to pause it to see two torsos in proximity. Better standards please, or a better porn at least). She rescues Meadow and they make their escape to her restaurant

Hey go Ally, actually effective! And while Meadow is panicky, Ally is focused and demands Meadow explain the cult. Which she does - including how Ivy and Meadow both entered the cult

Ivy entered the cult when Winter took her to Kai after she panicked seeing one-armed Gary voting and assuming she was going to go to prison for kidnapping. Winter took her to Kai, blackmailing her into co-operating for the pinkie-swear thing and got Ivy to admit her darkest thought. She hates Ally for voting for Jill Stein (*eye roll*) and because of her mental illnesses consuming everything (given how poorly mental illness is portrayed here, that’s not surprising) but overall because Ally was the mother who gave birth to Oz and Ivy resents her for that so much, along with Ally playing “real” mother that it led to her outright hating her wife

There is no way this whole narrative isn’t toxically homophobic. A lesbian relationship torn apart because one of them gave birth, because one is the “real” mother - this show has presented us with a Lesbian family and then demonised it utterly thoroughly. Ivy’s descent into the cult wasn’t a desperate person facing rock bottom like Harrison and Bev. Ivy’s descent into a cult was directly from her lesbian relationship: and elements of that relationship which are directly linked to them both being women (they can’t both be biological parents to Oz). This is why Ivy is a murderous cult member

This axe Ally’s going to wave better be huge and equally aimed at the writers.

Ivy wants out of the relationship but wants her son. She also doesn’t want to murder Ally because that would traumatise Oz. So instead they drive Ally so far over the edge there’s no way she’ll get custody

He also thinks Ivy will be tempted by his, I quote “hot sister.”

Meadow’s rebellion against Kai came from him doing his standard love bombing, making Meadow feel like the best, most special most important person in the world, confronting and banishing her insecurities about not being successful (and the pressure on what it means to be a successful woman - having both a highflying career and a family and children) and generally making her feel wanted and good.

And then she hears him using exactly the same lines on Ivy…

She urges Ally that the only way to stop Kai is killing him - politics won’t do it, the police won’t do it.

But at a political rally for Kai we see Sally Keffler step up and call him out on ALLL his bullshit and the bullshit of fear and anger for a political movement at all. After a pretty awesome speech slapping him down, she announces her candidacy

And oh gods how I wish, wish wish we could have seen a show which would have been Sally and Ally the Unfortunately rhyming duo kicking arse and taking ballot boxes

But, it’s not to be. While Ally goes to her for help, the clown cult moves in and fakes Sally’s suicide. Damn it, Sally could have been good. There is a moderately decent message here about how information is being valued less and less and emotional certainty without foundation is sadly very very true. She also points out that cults rise up when patriarchal forces feel challenged - a violence lash back

Ally hides and is found by one clown - Ivy - who let’s her escape and doesn’t murder her.

Ally returns to Vincent - to find that Meadow has left, claiming she’s safe. Of course Vincent couldn’t keep her since she has choice and is a grown woman - and because he’s evil. He tries to poke Ally towards checking herself into a mental institution, which Ally is Not Having any more.

But Kai has been plotting further - because looking back we see Meadow’s rebellion is yet more part of his plan. She’s still under his thrall - deeply under his thrall - and she uses her to forward his plans by trying to kill him. By injuring him and nearly killing him she will make him nationally famous rather than just in one small local political race

She does this at a political rally for Kai, shooting several people in the crowd, injuring Kai. Ally tries to wrestle the gun from Meadow - and Meadow shoots herself, leaving Ally holding the gun. To be then arrested by the police.