“American Horror Story – Season Seven” (2018)

Television/Horror

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Eleven Episodes

Created by: Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk

Featuring:  Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Cheyenne Jackson, John Carroll Lynch, Chaz Bono, Adina Porter, James Morosini, Emma Roberts, Mare Winningham, Frances Conroy, Jamie Brewer, Billie Lourd and Alison Pill

Ally:You were wrong. There was something more dangerous in this world than a humiliated man. A nasty woman.”

Released this week on DVD & Blu-ray is the US drama/horror/anthology show “American Horror Story” (2011-present) which has been going from strength to strength since its first season. It has routinely used many of the same actors to tell very different stories with this seventh season, whose secondary title is “Cult”.

Taking place straight after the 2016 Presidential election this is a reactionary response to the election of Trump as well as many of the ramifications that could and have taken place since as well as the fear and paranoia that has occurred since. There is far too much to go into a review but to say that this season looks at cults from the past five decades is a simplicity but is a good start.

This is a season that needs to be seen to be believed with Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson the standouts as usual with many guest stars that fill out the season.

This season takes place in fictional city of Brookfield Heights, Michigan which is left divided by the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Local restaurant owner Ally Mayfair-Richards (Sarah Paulson) is utterly distraught by Donald Trump’s victory and several of her longstanding phobias flare up as a result. Similarly devastated is fellow Brookfield Heights resident Winter Anderson (Billie Lourd), a liberal college dropout. Contrarily, Kai Anderson (Evan Peters), Winter’s estranged and manipulative brother, rejoices at the election results and is enticed to pursue political power. Kai recruits a disillusioned Winter and frustrated newscast reporter Beverly Hope (Adina Porter).

Ally finds herself relentlessly terrorized by masked clowns. Those close to her, including her psychiatrist Dr. Rudy Vincent (Cheyenne Jackson), question whether the attacks are real or merely anxiety-fuelled hallucinations. Ally’s paranoia, escalated by suspicious activities perpetrated by new neighbours Harrison (Billy Eichner) and Meadow Wilton (Leslie Grossman), hinders her relationships with her wife Ivy (Alison Pill) and their son Oz (Cooper Dodson).

Episodes:

  1. “Election Night”: Ally and Ivy are a married couple who have a son named Oz. Ally suffers from several phobias which intensify after learning that Donald Trump has won the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Rudy Vincent, recommends a medicine to calm her phobia-induced anxiety. Clowns soon start to stalk Ally. Meanwhile, Kai and Winter are two siblings who make a mysterious pact after Trump becomes president. Winter becomes Oz’s nanny and attempts to desensitize him to violence. Kai entices a group of Hispanic men to beat him up. Ally and Ivy’s neighbors, the Changs, are slaughtered by a group of clowns.
  2. “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”: Chang’s death leaves a city council seat vacant. Kai campaigns for the vacant seat. Ally distrusts the new occupants of the Chang’s former home, Harrison and Meadow Wilton. At Ally and Ivy’s restaurant, the Butchery on Main, tensions fuel between the sous-chef, Roger, and a Hispanic employee, Pedro. Later, the restaurant’s security system trips and Ally investigates. She finds Roger hanging on a hook in the meat locker. Detective Samuels singles out Pedro as the most likely suspect. Ally obtains a gun from the Wiltons. Later on, there is an alleged power shortage in the city and Ally is terrorized by clowns. Ivy sends Pedro to deliver supplies to the house and he is accidentally shot and killed by Ally.
  3. “Neighbors from Hell”: Clowns break into a couple’s home and entomb them in coffins. Picketers protest Pedro’s death outside of the Butchery on Main. Kai promises Ally that he will dissuade them and he delivers. The Wiltons berate Ally for Pedro’s death and gift Oz a guinea pig. A truck, dispersing a mysterious green gas throughout the neighborhood, disturbs Ally. Oz’s guinea pig is microwaved and killed. Ally suspects the Wiltons to be the perpetrators. She assaults Harrison and threatens Meadow. Footage of Ally being seduced by Winter is posted online, devastating Ivy.
  4. “11/9”: The day before the election, Ivy attends a political rally where she is groped by a man named Gary. Winter comes to Ivy’s defense and the two have lunch together. That night, Ivy and Winter kidnap Gary and chain him to a pole in an abandoned building to prevent him from voting the next day. Kai comes to Gary’s aid one hour before the polls close and offers him a saw. Gary severs his chained hand. The day after the election, Harrison becomes Kai’s personal trainer. Kai takes Harrison under his wing and eventually convinces him to murder his degrading boss. Later, Kai takes a special interest in a news reporter named Beverly Hope and offers her “equal power” in his quest for domination.
  5. “Holes”: Beverly informs Kai that her boss, Bob, is compromising news coverage of the clown murders and thereby hindering Kai’s campaign. Kai, Beverly, Winter, Harrison, Detective Samuels, Ivy, Gary, and Beverly’s cameraman, RJ, don clown masks, break into Bob’s house, and film his murder. Beverly later advises Kai to cut ties with RJ whom she views as a weak link. Each cult member shoots a tied-up RJ in the head with a nail gun before Kai finishes him off. Meadow pleads to Ally for safety from the cult and lets it slip that Ivy is a member.
  6. “Mid-Western Assassin”: Meadow reveals to Ally that she had fallen in love with Kai and decided to desert the cult when her feelings were not reciprocated. Meadow also tells Ally that the cult has made strides to drive her insane so that Ivy would gain sole custody of Oz. Ally plans to use Meadow’s testimony to expose Kai and pays an opposing candidate of his, Sally Keffler, a visit to ask for her help. In the midst of their conversation, the cult breaks into Sally’s house and Kai shoots her in the chest. He stages her murder as a suicide. The next day, at a political rally, Meadow shoots several people, including Kai. Ally attempts to wrestle the gun out of Meadow’s hands and Meadow shoots herself in the mouth.
  7. “Valerie Solanas Died for Your Sins: Scumbag”: Ally is sent to a psychiatric hospital. Kai wins the vacant seat on city council. His presence in the national media attracts an underground following of misogynistic militiamen. Beverly, Winter, and Ivy are warned by Bebe Babbitt, the former lover of radical feminist Valerie Solanas, about the danger of putting their trust in Kai. Bebe asserts that men in power always push women aside. She divulges to them that Solanas orchestrated the murders accredited to the Zodiac Killer. Solanas died haunted by the fact that her legacy would be tied with her shooting of Andy Warhol.
  8. “Winter of Our Discontent”: Winter assures Beverly and Ivy that Kai is dependable and recounts an occasion in which they saved tortured captives of a deranged pastor. Kai’s proposal that Winter be impregnated with the “messiah” by Samuels does not go as planned, and Samuels later attempts to rape Winter. She shoots him in the head. In the meantime, Ally is released from the psychiatric hospital and, in an effort to get her son back, informs Kai that Vincent is seeking to get him committed.
  9. “Drink the Kool-Aid”: Kai declares his intention to run for Senate. Later, he requires each cult member to drink presumably poisoned Kool-Aidto test their loyalty. Afterwards, he reveals that the drinks were untainted. Meanwhile, Ally serves Ivy pasta and wine laced with arsenic, and Ivy drops dead. As a means to protect Oz from harm, Ally presents to Kai doctored evidence that his sperm inseminated her when she became pregnant.
  10. “Charles (Manson) in Charge”: Kai recounts the Tate murdersto the militiamen. Afterwards, he begins to suspect that a mole has infiltrated the cult and slips into a state of manic paranoia which plagues him with visions of Charles Manson. Meanwhile, Bebe Babbitt is incensed by Kai’s failing to implement their master plan: to unleash female rage with an inflammatory political platform. Ally shoots Bebe in the head after she pulls a gun on Kai. After reporting on the murder of Gary, enacted by the cult at a local Planned Parenthood, a broken Beverly is urged by Winter to run away. Beverly insists that she remain loyal to Kai.
  11. “Great Again”: A SWAT team storms the Anderson basement on the night that the cult intends to massacre one-hundred pregnant women. Months later, Ally divulges to Beverly that the FBI recruited her as an informant. Beverly becomes a key advisor to Ally’s Michigan Senate Kai escapes from a maximum security prison and infiltrates a televised political debate between Ally and her opponent. After spewing a misogynistic tirade, Kai points a gun to Ally’s head and pulls the trigger, but discovers that the gun is not loaded, having been sabotaged earlier. Beverly then shoots him dead. Ally obtains the vast majority of the female vote and wins a Senate seat. Later, Ally dons a cloak similar to Valerie Solanas’ group cloak, and departs to attend a meeting with a group of “empowered women who want to change the system”.

 

 

 

Episodes:

 

  1. Election Night“: Ally and Ivy are a married couple who have a son named Oz. Ally suffers from several phobias which intensify after learning that Donald Trump has won the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Rudy Vincent, recommends a medicine to calm her phobia-induced anxiety. Clowns soon start to stalk Ally. Meanwhile, Kai and Winter are two siblings who make a mysterious pact after Trump becomes president. Winter becomes Oz’s nanny and attempts to desensitize him to violence. Kai entices a group of Hispanic men to beat him up. Ally and Ivy’s neighbors, the Changs, are slaughtered by a group of clowns. The police erroneously rule the incident as a murder–suicide.
  2. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark“: Chang’s death leaves a city councilseat vacant. Kai campaigns for the vacant seat. Ally distrusts the new occupants of the Chang’s former home, Harrison and Meadow Wilton. At Ally and Ivy’s restaurant, the Butchery on Main, tensions fuel between the sous-chef, Roger, and a Hispanic employee, Pedro. Later, the restaurant’s security system trips and Ally investigates. She finds Roger hanging on a hook in the meat locker. Detective Samuels singles out Pedro as the most likely suspect. Ally obtains a gun from the Wiltons. Later on, there is an alleged power shortage in the city and Ally is terrorized by clowns. Ivy sends Pedro to deliver supplies to the house and he is accidentally shot and killed by Ally.
  3. Neighbors from Hell“:Clowns break into a couple’s home and entomb them in coffins. Picketers protest Pedro’s death outside of the Butchery on Main. Kai promises Ally that he will dissuade them and he delivers. The Wiltons berate Ally for Pedro’s death and gift Oz a guinea pig. A truck, dispersing a mysterious green gas throughout the neighborhood, disturbs Ally. Oz’s guinea pig is microwaved and killed. Ally suspects the Wiltons to be the perpetrators. She assaults Harrison and threatens Meadow. Footage of Ally being seduced by Winter is posted online, devastating Ivy. The Wiltons are individually interrogated by Kai. Harrison expresses his desire for Meadow’s death. Afterwards, Meadow disappears and Harrison blames Ally.
  4. 11/9“:The day before the election, Ivy attends a political rally where she is groped by a man named Gary. Winter comes to Ivy’s defense and the two have lunch together. That night, Ivy and Winter kidnap Gary and chain him to a pole in an abandoned building to prevent him from voting the next day. Kai comes to Gary’s aid one hour before the polls close and offers him a saw. Gary severs his chained hand. The day after the election, Harrison becomes Kai’s personal trainer. Kai takes Harrison under his wing and eventually convinces him to murder his degrading boss. Later, Kai takes a special interest in a news reporter named Beverly Hope and offers her “equal power” in his quest for domination. He instigates the murder of her rival, Serena Belinda, as proof of his dedication to her.
  5. Holes“:Beverly informs Kai that her boss, Bob, is compromising news coverage of the clown murders and thereby hindering Kai’s campaign. Kai, Beverly, Winter, Harrison, Detective Samuels, Ivy, Gary, and Beverly’s cameraman, RJ, don clown masks, break into Bob’s house, and film his murder. Beverly later advises Kai to cut ties with RJ whom she views as a weak link. Each cult member shoots a tied-up RJ in the head with a nail gun before Kai finishes him off. Meadow pleads to Ally for safety from the cult and lets it slip that Ivy is a member. Beverly probes Kai about the whereabouts of his parents and Kai divulges that his mom shot his dad and then herself in a murder–suicide. Kai’s brother, Dr. Rudy Vincent, insisted that they cover up their deaths in order to protect his career and continue receiving their mom’s pension and their dad’s disability checks.
  6. Mid-Western Assassin“:Meadow reveals to Ally that she had fallen in love with Kai and decided to desert the cult when her feelings were not reciprocated. Meadow also tells Ally that the cult has made strides to drive her insane so that Ivy would gain sole custody of Oz. Ally plans to use Meadow’s testimony to expose Kai and pays an opposing candidate of his, Sally Keffler, a visit to ask for her help. In the midst of their conversation, the cult breaks into Sally’s house and Kai shoots her in the chest. He stages her murder as a suicide. The next day, at a political rally, Meadow shoots several people, including Kai. Ally attempts to wrestle the gun out of Meadow’s hands and Meadow shoots herself in the mouth. Ally is arrested after a SWAT teamarrives to the scene and finds her with the gun in her hands. Kai had ordered Meadow to attempt to assassinate him so that his figure would be elevated to a national level. In addition, Meadow was instructed to bear witness to Ally on the grounds that no one would believe a “crazy woman”.
  7. Valerie Solanas Died for Your Sins: Scumbag“:Ally is sent to a psychiatric hospital. Kai wins the vacant seat on city council. His presence in the national media attracts an underground following of misogynistic militiamen. Beverly, Winter, and Ivy are warned by Bebe Babbitt, the former lover of radical feminist Valerie Solanas, about the danger of putting their trust in Kai. Bebe asserts that men in power always push women aside. She divulges to them that Solanas orchestrated the murders accredited to the Zodiac Killer. Solanas died haunted by the fact that her legacy would be tied with her shooting of Andy Warhol. Later, Beverly, Winter, and Ivy murder Harrison for making a sexist comment. Kai and Bebe watch Beverly report on Harrison’s death together.
  8. Winter of Our Discontent“:Winter assures Beverly and Ivy that Kai is dependable and recounts an occasion in which they saved tortured captives of a deranged pastor. Kai’s proposal that Winter be impregnated with the “messiah” by Samuels does not go as planned, and Samuels later attempts to rape Winter. She shoots him in the head. In the meantime, Ally is released from the psychiatric hospital and, in an effort to get her son back, informs Kai that Vincent is seeking to get him committed. Kai kills Vincent and confines Beverly, having been blamed for the death of Samuels by Winter, to an isolation chamber. Ally joins the cult, much to the dismay of Ivy.
  9. Drink the Kool-Aid“:Kai declares his intention to run for Senate. Later, he requires each cult member to drink presumably poisoned Kool-Aidto test their loyalty. Afterwards, he reveals that the drinks were untainted. Meanwhile, Ally serves Ivy pasta and wine laced with arsenic, and Ivy drops dead. As a means to protect Oz from harm, Ally presents to Kai doctored evidence that his sperm inseminated her when she became pregnant.
  10. Charles (Manson) in Charge“:Kai recounts the Tate murdersto the militiamen. Afterwards, he begins to suspect that a mole has infiltrated the cult and slips into a state of manic paranoia which plagues him with visions of Charles Manson. Meanwhile, Bebe Babbitt is incensed by Kai’s failing to implement their master plan: to unleash female rage with an inflammatory political platform. Ally shoots Bebe in the head after she pulls a gun on Kai. After reporting on the murder of Gary, enacted by the cult at a local Planned Parenthood, a broken Beverly is urged by Winter to run away. Beverly insists that she remain loyal to Kai. Kai later tearfully strangles Winter to death after Ally singles her out as the mole. Ally takes notice of the real mole, militiaman Speedwagon.
  11. Great Again“:A SWAT team storms the Anderson basement on the night that the cult intends to massacre one-hundred pregnant women. Months later, Ally divulges to Beverly that the FBIrecruited her as an informant. Beverly becomes a key advisor to Ally’s Michigan Senate Kai escapes from a maximum security prison and infiltrates a televised political debate between Ally and her opponent. After spewing a misogynistic tirade, Kai points a gun to Ally’s head and pulls the trigger, but discovers that the gun is not loaded, having been sabotaged earlier. Beverly then shoots him dead. Ally obtains the vast majority of the female vote and wins a Senate seat. Later, Ally dons a cloak similar to Valerie Solanas’ group cloak, and departs to attend a meeting with a group of “empowered women who want to change the system”.
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