Thursday, November 9, 2017

American Horror Story, Season 7, Episode 10: Charles (Manson) in Charge

Who wants to know more about Kai’s background?

Nobody? Yeah me too - but we’re getting it anyway. Because being traumatised by his parents and keeping their corpses just isn’t enough reason to believe he became a serial killer cult leader

So, back to the past and the election, oh yay, and we have Winter and some white lady friends playing Oppression Olympics between sexism and racism, they’re super confident Hillary will win while Kai dismisses this because they’re underestimating the power of futile white male rage. They argue and Kai slaps Winter’s friend - and she presses charges despite his begging. Yes this is Kai in a more pathetic time

He’s sentenced to Anger Management with the improbable counsellor, Bebe. Yes that Bebe. How anyone could consider her qualified is bemusing. More bemusing is how she decides to recruit Kai to her mission to destroy all men within 10 minutes of seeing him. Seriously can you imagine her office? Within 5 minutes of meeting a new patient she’s trying to recruitment them on her genocide campaign and she keeps her license?

More unlikely, Kai agrees to call himself  a turd and get on board to unleash the mighty power of female rage on the whole world. She’s decided that centuries of patriarchy mean women are just ready to rise up and burn it all down and they just need the number one misogynist to finally provoke them.

This is actually a bullshit argument we’ve been hearing a lot since Trump has been elected - that by hitting the Utter Worst it will provoke a backlash, nearly inevitably from people who on the whole won’t have their lives completely ruined by that Utter Worst. And it comes with a bizarre lack of historical knowledge about just how fecking bad things were. It wasn’t that long ago when men could legally rape their wives beat their wives, women couldn’t own property - and women didn’t explode and murder all men.

Anyway, Kai, after this 5 minutes speech, decides indeed he does want to be a martyr in the name of exploding female rage. Because who needs coherent motives?

To the present we get more political drama with protestors protesting Kai’s naziness and run for Senate. But mainly we have Kai getting steadily more paranoid, believing the feds are everywhere and bugging his house

That would be the house with 3-5 rotting corpses in one of the bedrooms. Seriously if the Feds can sneak in microphones, they will notice the stench of death. You don’t need to record incriminating evidence if you have actual murdered corpses.

Meanwhile Ally is there calmly sharpening her knives, making it clear to Winter her time is numbered and gently ramping up Kai’s paranoia to new heights

Kai is back to needing the most dramatic murders ever to launch his senate career. Because murdering really replaces campaigning

Good gods please no-one tell the Trump campaign.

This involves Hitler Youth Story time about Charles Manson, mainly to lead up to “yay violence” and “boo women”.

This plan involves taking Garry to a Planned Parenthood clinic and then brutally murdering him so they can sell the narrative of pro-choice activists committing murder supported by the evil Senator who is such a pro-choice champion.

Yes, in a world where anti-choice terrorists have in fact committed murder, this is the narrative Kai wants to sell.

It has also killed yet another cultist with an actual name pretty much leaving us with Ally, Winter, Beverley and the Aryan Youth Movement

And Beverley is so utterly broken by Kai she can barely even report the news and when Winter tries threatening her with a bus ticket to Montana she can barely muster any horror to offer her an escape to Montana she assumes it’s a test and just Kai looking for another way to torture her. Or she just doesn’t want to move to Montana.

Kai continues to be more paranoid and insists everyone calls him Divine Ruler. He’s terrified of his home being bugged and thinks hanging around with all the forensic evidence in the body room will make it hard for him to be prosecuted. This is when Bebe arrives to point out how badly the whole female bomb thing is not working. Kai hasn’t enraged women - he’s enraged everyone (because there are many groups he’s attacking) he’s also pretty much killed off many women and he’s even broken the unbreakable Tiger of Beverley. Bebe is not amused. Kai responds with misogyny and Bebe gets ready to shoot him

Alas, Beverley saves him, securing Kai’s (and his hallucination Manson) belief that he can trust Ally

Which is time for Ally’s master plan: showing Kai a “bug” that he says Winter has planted. And her phone and the bus ticket he already found and Winter’s wish to leave him and he’s convinced Winter is a spy for the federal government. He murders her.

And another character down.

Which leaves us heading to the last episode with Ally ready to burn everything down

The end is in sight. Soon this clumsy, broken attempts at political commentary among all the wallowing in attempted political relevance handled with all the subtlety and awareness of a drunken rhinoceros with middle ear trouble, will soon be over. Among that terrible political nonsense that doesn’t come close to approaching the actual issues that have so many people actually afraid, we have lots of random pointless asides as we wallowed in various past cults and tragedies, the purpose of which seemed largely to be for Evan Peters to show off his acting chops (and, credit where it’s due, you can’t criticise him on that score).

We had some decent moments as we examined what drew people into cults and how they preyed on people but that was quickly lost as every actual cult member with a back story - every character we were even vaguely interested in - was killed off or plot boxed and replaced by just a random mob or men who like story time and sleep overs for no apparent reason. All of them devoted to their “divine ruler” without any real reason.

This may actually be the worst season of American Horror Story to date.