×

‘American Horror Story’ Finale Recap: Kai and Ally’s Story Comes to a Close in ‘Great Again’

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read on unless you’ve seen Season 7, episode 11 of “American Horror Story,” titled “Great Again.” 

It’s hard to imagine that Ryan Murphy could have predicted how relevant the “female rage” would be currently when plotting out the arc for “Cult.” Of course, there were the Women’s March after the election, the fury over the “p—y-grabber-in-chief,” but “Great Again,” the finale of “Cult,” debuts at a time when Hollywood is at a reckoning for all sexual abusers. And though she has her flaws, in this context, it’s satisfying to see a reborn Ally (Sarah Paulson) take victory from the hands of the misogynistic Kai (Evan Peters).

But give Kai this: he’s nothing if not resourceful. We find him in prison in 2018, having a pinky power scene with a guard, Gloria (Liz Jenkins), and imploring her to “show me them biker chick t-tties.” A couple of inmates pull him aside, and one of them beats the crap out of him for upsetting the simple order of the penitentiary with his “silver-tongued bulls—.” Lo and behold, this isn’t where Kai dies. The other guard kills Kai’s adversary, but has nothing to show for it. Goaded on by a hallucinatory Charles Manson, he kills another one of his loyal followers, telling him, like he told Gary (Chaz Bono), that he would be a “martyr for the cause.” Devotion to Kai gets you nowhere, folks.

If only someone could have told Trevor, the young, cowardly inmate in for killing a child while drunk-driving in his daddy’s Tesla. He makes a deal with the devil in joining Kai’s prison cult — an army of men while women “ruin the world outside” — in exchange for protection. Little does he know Kai has no interest in protecting him.

First, though, we need to learn how Kai got himself thrown in the joint. Back in 2017, Kai panics over Speedwagon (the real mole, if you remember last week’s episode)’s absence. He pulls it together to describe “The Night of 100 Tates” — it turns out he bit off more than he could chew when he proposed “The Night of 1,000 Tates,” logistically speaking. There’s an element of humor, but it’s still disturbing to see the men practice killing pregnant women by stabbing watermelons with glee. Meanwhile, Beverly (Adina Porter) is on edge and doesn’t see how she can go on, but Ally encourages her to keep going. The Night of 100 Tates will indeed be glorious, but not for the reasons that Kai thinks.

Kai still has to worry about Speedwagon, though. Ally reveals to him that she found his recorder, and that he killed Winter (Billie Lourd) for no reason. He’s heartbroken, but Ally encourages him to go forward with the big night, and so he does. The next night, the men are all set with their meticulously planned “kill kits” to murder the pregnant women, their babies, and their husbands, when Ally leaves… to let in the FBI. After an intense shootout, Kai is finally apprehended, Ally’s triumphant face the last thing he sees before the FBI truck’s doors slam.

Months later, Ally is seen as a hero. In the Butchery, where business is booming, she politely turns down a photo op, and is surprised to be visited by Beverly, who wonders when the other shoe will drop, paranoid about her own reckoning. Ally reveals that, while she was receiving psychiatric treatment, the FBI offered her immunity if she helped bring down the cult. And why turn Beverly in? She never saw her commit a crime. Ally still denies killing Ivy (Alison Pill) — though it’s the only murder Kai didn’t take credit for — and puts on a good show, tearing up as she talks about honoring her late wife’s memory. It’s clearly practiced. But Ally’s got a new life now: she has a girlfriend, and the two of them invite Beverly to Oz’s birthday party.

At that birthday party, we get another glimpse into Ally’s new life. She’s turned down interview requests from Rachel Maddow and, in a fun “AHS” crossover, even Lana Winters: Paulson’s character from “Asylum” who gained fame as a Barbara Walters-esque journalist. But she also gets a call from Kai, where she boasts that she’s a “legit feminist icon” and rubs it in his face that he’s not Oz’s father as Kai foams at the mouth, threatening her.

As Kai has sex with Gloria in prison, he watches a press conference (what better way to set the mood?) that announces Ally’s run for Senate. She’s running on a platform of disbanding the “cults” of the two-party system — fitting, if you remember that she did vote for a third-party candidate in the 2016 election. Her campaign ad scored high marks, but Beverly, who’s advising her now, tells her that the people think she lacks strength. She’s still tied to Kai, and the only way she can show her strength is by dominating the upcoming debate versus incumbent Senator Jackson, Kai’s former rival.

Meanwhile, Gloria helps Kai escape from prison. He’s procured a guard’s outfit, and murdered Trevor, who is also a white man with a body shape similar to Kai’s. To finish the job, before Gloria escorts him out of the prison, they cut off Trevor’s face to give the impression that the dead body is Kai’s, and it works. News that Kai is dead breaks right before the debate, but Ally remains unshaken, sounding strong as she stops Jackson from mansplaining to her and elicits cheers from the audience.

But just as she’s gaining momentum, Kai bursts in, grabbing a gun from Gloria, terrifying the audience, and waltzing toward Ally as he belittles her, telling her that she’s just a symbol that women will rise from pay inequality, abuse, and general disrespect. And maybe she’s a fitting one, right now: as Kai tries to shoot her, he fires blanks. Ally had beat him to the punch, used his cruelty against him, and got Gloria on her side, who provided him with a faulty weapon. Beverly steps in to shoot Kai, and just like that, Ally’s won… in more ways than one.

She won the Michigan Senate seat, securing 80% of the female vote, no less. Plus, she and Oz seem to be in a good place. As she explains governing to him, he vows that he’ll be a better man than those who came before him. But Ally has to run off into the night, as she’s meeting with some “empowered women who want to change the system.” Alone, she throws a hood over her head — is she the new Valerie Solanas? It seems that Bebe Babbitt (Frances Conroy) may have accomplished her mission after all.

And so caps another season of “American Horror Story.” The most topical yet, “Cult” focused less on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as individuals, instead commenting on how the political divide has made monsters of people on both sides. And all in all, it provided a fierce showcase for the show’s two stars, Paulson and Peters. Consider this a fitting bow on the twisted “love story” Murphy teased months ago.

More TV

  • American dollars bills and coinsAmerican cash,

    Entertainment Biz Comes Under Fire for Assistants' Low Wages, Working Conditions

    It’s no secret that many assistants in Hollywood bear heavy workloads for low pay. But the entertainment industry’s labor practices when it comes to those workers have now become the subject of intense social-media scrutiny. TV writer and WGA board member Liz Alper shone a light on the issue Monday with the creation of the [...]

  • Megyn Kelly

    Tucker Carlson Plans Megyn Kelly Interview on Fox News Channel

    Megyn Kelly is returning to Fox News Channel – briefly. Tucker Carlson has scheduled an interview Wednesday with the former Fox News and NBC News anchor, who will make her first appearance on her former employer’s programming since leaving in early 2017. The “Tucker Carlson Tonight” segment would also mark Kelly’s first appearance on a [...]

  • Picture shows: Gemma Foster (SURANNE JONES)

    India's Hotstar to Remake BBC Thriller 'Doctor Foster'

    Hit BBC thriller “Doctor Foster” is to be remade in India following the sale of the scripted format to streaming platform Hotstar Specials. Disney-owned Hotstar has collaborated with BBC Studios to adapt the series for Indian audiences. Indian filmmakers Tigmanshu Dhulia and Aijza Khan are directing the show, which is yet to be titled and [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Watch Signs Content Pact With France's M6, Unveils European Short-Form Slate

    Facebook Watch has inked a content pact with French channel M6 and unveiled a slate of short-form content from European digital publishers for the platform. The deal with M6 will see the French broadcaster place spinoff programming from some of its hit shows on Facebook Watch. M6 will run pre- and after-show clips, interviews, and [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Amazon Drops ‘Marvelous

    TV News Roundup: Amazon Releases ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Season 3 Trailer

    In today TV’s news roundup, Amazon Prime Video releases the Season 3 trailer for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and Showtime announces Celeste Barber’s standup special premiere date.  DATES Showtime’s forthcoming comedy special “Celeste Barber: Challenge Accepted” will air Nov. 1.  This marks Barber’s televised standup debut. She is best-known for her viral Instagram hashtag #celestechallengedaccepted. [...]

  • Tom Succession

    'Succession': Matthew Macfadyen on the Status of 'Tomelette' After Season 2 Finale

    Matthew Macfadyen hasn’t even seen the second season finale of “Succession” yet, but says he wasn’t surprised by how it ended when he read the script. Over the course of the series, Macfadyen’s character Tom has suffered at the expense of the Roy family on personal and professional levels. Will he turn a new leaf [...]

  • Jason Sudeikis Apple

    Jason Sudeikis Sets Ted Lasso Comedy Series at Apple

    Jason Sudeikis is bringing his Ted Lasso character to Apple’s upcoming streaming service. Variety has learned that Apple TV Plus has given a series order to “Ted Lasso,” on which Sudeikis will star in addition to writing and executive producing. In the series, Sudeikis plays Lasso, an idealistic all-American football coach hired to manage an [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content