Although I’ve gone into every episode of this season eagerly, my interest was immeasurably piqued when I discovered that the lovely Angela Bassett would be directing “Drink The Kool-Aid.” Aside from being a fantastic addition to the cast over the past few seasons, she also has displayed her directing skills to us in arguably the only noteworthy episode of Roanoke last year. Cult has already been bringing us remarkable episodes this season, and having Bassett in the mix would only make sense when it comes to delivering top-notch quality. I’m going into this episode with high expectations and the hope that we won’t see as many flashbacks. I love American Horror Story, but dear Lord, I am growing very intolerant of this overabundance of flashbacks, especially the irrelevant and extended ones. Nevertheless, I am very excited to recap/review this episode for you all...it should be a special one!
Drink The Kool-Aid
Writer: Adam Penn | Director: Angela Bassett
Our episode opens with Kai narrating various stories revolving around cult leaders and their corresponding suicide pacts, all portrayed by Evan Peters. Kai brushes over Marshall Applewhite and his cult, Heaven’s Gate, ingesting a poisonous pudding concoction. However, they didn’t die but merely graduated into the next stage of their life. We also learn a little bit about David Koresh, the fearless leader of Branch Davidians whose sperm was godlike. Koresh dissolved all of the marriages within his cult and fathered all of the children with his “holy ejaculate” while the rest of the men remained celibate. When the law came down on them, some people took suicide pills, while others died in the fire or were shot.
However, Kai hones in on Jim Jones, the infamous man behind the Jonestown massacre who originated the term “drink the Kool-Aid.” Jones was the founder of the People’s Temple, who were blind to the divisions of race, class, and sex. The cult moved to Guyana to form a utopia of sorts, but a congressman tried to infiltrate it. 918 individuals died at the helm of a gun or a cup filled with poisoned Kool-Aid. Jones told everyone in the cult that they weren’t committing suicide, but rather partaking in a revolutionary act.
These various stories Kai has introduced to us ultimately ended up being a bedtime story he was telling to his alt-right douchebags, to compare himself to these men and emphasize the strong bond the cult members harbored for their leaders. Kai asks his bodyguards, who are all christened with hilarious names such as Pus Bucket, Heart Attack, Tripod, Speedwagon, etc., if they would be willing to make the “ultimate sacrifice” for him, receiving an affirmative response from all of them.
We’re now at a City Council meeting, wherein Kai is proposing that website he personally deems offensive shall be banned from all residents of Brookfield Heights. Although this perfectly exemplifies censorship, Kai likes to think of this as “regulation”. Kai naturally receives some backlash from Perry, so he turns to Councilman Moyer, who appears to have taking a beating from Kai’s brainwashed buddies. He agrees unenthusiastically, as does the rest of board, and the motion passes. On top of this, Kai announces that he’s going to be running for U.S. Senate in 2018. Perry tries to tell him that he has no chance in hell because the current senator is a popular incumbent who’s served three terms. With a grim smirk on his face, Kai tells him that anything can happen. We’ve all seen what he means by this and the extremes he will go to in order to get his way...R.I.P, Sally Keffler.
Back in the Mayfair-Richards’ household, Ally needs an explanation as to why Ivy up and joined a cult. Ivy responds by saying there was no real structure in her life and she needed somebody to tell her where to go and what to do. Ivy was incredibly resentful towards Ally and felt that driving her crazy brought her relief. However, all of that didn’t come without the burden of guilt when it came to the various people she killed. Now that Ivy’s spoken her mind, she’s all like,“What’s your excuse for joining, bitch?” Ally explains that Ivy gave her no choice but to join, knowing that she wouldn’t leave unless Ally rescued her. Ally adds that she came back for Ozzy, too.
Speaking of Oz, him and Winter show up. Ally gives Ozymandias a Twisty comic book as a reparation for her absence over the last month or so. Thank the Lord! We saw a lot of Twisty in the earlier episodes of the season, but his involvement as a pop culture icon tapered off throughout the rest of the season. Quite honestly, I thought they’d forgotten about him. When I first glanced at the comic book, I assumed it was another chapter in the Twisty chronicles. However, once I paused and scrutinized it, I discovered it was called “Freaks,” and featured Pepper, Jimmy Darling, and Meep! Oh, how I miss all of them.
After Oz heads upstairs to read his comic, Winter begins to apologize to Ally. Ally bleakly responds, “For what? Fucking my wife, driving me crazy, or trying to kill me?” Oh snap, bitch! Winter explains how heavily she relied on her family in the wake of the election, but after Kai killed Vince, she made the tough decision to escape the cult. Winter hands Ally a pamphlet she found on WikiHow of all places, entitled “How To Escape from a Cult in 14 Steps”. Just in case we weren’t aware of how much of a millennial Winter was, she does shit like this just to prove it... absolutely golden. They come to an agreement to flee from the cult, and Ally says that “she will fucking get Oz” when Winter offers it up.
Much to their dismay, Pus Bucket and the rest of Kai’s clique bang on the door and inform the ladies of an emergency meeting at the Anderson household. Once they arrive, Beverly smacks the hell out of Winter, and a fight ensues. Kai says they need to surpass this petty bullshit to cross a new threshold, while bringing out a pot of Kool-Aid. Here we go…
All of the women in the cult begin to lose their shit when Kai informs them they all need to drink the Kool-Aid to become a more significant person after their death. When he points to a member, they must drink. Kai calls on Pus Bucket first, but his fear of death overruled his loyalty to Kai and Gary shoots him consequently. Kai now points to the women, and we hear the classic Sarah Paulson wailing that we’ve all come to recognize and either love or hate. The rest of the cult drinks and after not instantly dying, it becomes prevalent that there was absolutely nothing in the Kool-Aid. Kai announces, “Why would I kill us? I’m running for Senate, and dead people can’t vote!” According to Kai, there was nothing in the raspberry Kool-Aid besides proof of their fidelity and loyalty to Kai. Now, many of you may be wondering why Kai would force such a twisted and sordid test upon his followers, but I’m more confused as to why he would use such a gross flavor like raspberry. I mean, if you’re going to bring on death-induced fear to your supporters, at least have it be represented in a cherry or grape flavoring!
After Kai’s dishonorable prank, Ally and Ivy have decided to go through with their plan. They’re going to pick up Oz from school and never look back. Ivy’s concerned about Winter after they leave, and she has a right to be. If Kai found out that she was involved with their escape, he would kill her instantly. They pull up to the pick-up line, and Ally is informed that Winter picked up Oz thirty minutes ago with Kai.
Back in Kai’s basement, Oz wants to know where his mommies are and Kai continues to probe him and taunt him with the thought of his “daddy” and the belief that he needs a male role model in his life. Kai eventually ropes him into a pinky power, looking to tell him a secret. Ally and Ivy sprint into the house, pushing one of Kai’s hilariously-named sidekicks out of the way and bitchslapping Winter in the process. To be fair, Winter deserves it after all the bullshit she’s pulled this season, but damn! Winter is getting the worst of it this episode. Ally and Ivy make it downstairs in the basement just in time to knock the Kool-Aid out of Oz’s hand that Kai was trying to get him to drink. Oz gets upset and says that he just wants to stay with his “daddy” tonight and Kai refers to him as his son. Okay, what the fuck is going on? Dear God, please tell me that Kai isn’t Oz’s father.
Kai provides some compelling information that he donated to the Braddon Clinic, which is where Ally and Ivy got their sperm. Oz pushes to have a sleepover with his “daddy,” and Ally and Ivy just sort of cave. Eager to discover if Kai is, in fact, Oz’s baby daddy, Ivy scrounges up their file containing information about their sperm donor. In their record, it doesn’t give out the donor’s name or picture but provides personal traits such as medical history, height/weight, etc.
Ally is cooking dinner for the both of them as Ivy’s belief that Kai is Oz’s father stands stronger than ever. Unlike her typical paranoid ways, Ally doubts that Oz is Kai’s son and encourages Ivy to calm down.
While eating her pasta and drinking her red wine, Ivy is confused because Ally isn’t eating at all. Uh oh, I see precisely where this is heading. Ally begins her monologue regarding her experiences at the psych ward, explaining that in the very first week, she had suicidal thoughts and began to dwell on the fact that Ivy left her in there without as much as a single word. In the second week, however, she pulled herself together and was able to focus her energy on freeing herself of her fears that once dominated her. Once she cured herself of her various grandiose phobias, she used all of her newfound power to exact her revenge on Ivy. Ivy responds to this by saying that this is the side of Ally she’s always wanted to see, but it won’t last. Ivy says that Ally will be cowering in just a few days and that she’d never do anything to her, but Ally merely says, “I already have.” It turns out Ally has put arsenic in the wine and pasta and that pretty soon, Ivy will be dead. Ivy says that Oz will never forgive her for this, but Ally reports to the contrary, Ozzy won’t forgive her for abandoning their family. OH MY GOSH! I am living for this new Ally...I love the bad bitch she’s become. Ally went from being afraid of everything to being the thing that everyone’s scared of.
We return to the Anderson crib, where Kai is telling another bedtime story to his followers and Ozzy, regarding the finale of the Jonestown massacre. According to Kai, Jones was taken to Heaven after his death, and he also portrays Jesus coming down and kissing Jones. After he is resurrected, Jim Jones gained the ability to revive t all of his followers, and they all lived happily ever after. Although Kai’s loyal buffoons think this story is beautiful, Oz pulls up a Wikipedia page and sassily informs everyone of the harsh reality of the Jonestown massacre and its conclusion. Kai, enraged by the “fake news” Oz has been spreading, breaks his phone and sentences him to a timeout.
Ally comes to pick up her kiddo the next day, but apparently, he isn’t there. Ally tells one of the bodyguards to inform Kai that dinner will be at her house tonight, and she’ll be making manwiches. Completing the rest of her errands for the day, Ally heads to the Braddon Clinic and attempts to obtain a picture of Oz’s actual father. After begging doesn’t work, Ally slips the nurse an envelope filled with cash that she proceeds to stuff in her bra and she receives the verdict. Kai Anderson, you are…NOT the father! After being relieved by this revelation, Ally asks for just one more favor from the nurse.
At their dinner together, Ally informs Kai that Ozymandias actually means, “king of kings”. I believe I discussed the backstory of Oz’s name and what it could indicate in an earlier recap, but I am glad we are finally discovering its significance. Kai asks where Ivy is, and Ally bluntly and proudly states that she killed her and she’s in their trunk. It turns out Ally’s favor from the nurse was using her Microsoft Word abilities to create a fake donor file for Kai, which Kai surprisingly accepts to be true. Kai cries tears of joy because they finally have made the Messiah baby. We watch as they carry Ivy’s corpse to the DIY mausoleum. When Ally guides her towards the bed, Kai informs Ally that the bed is just for family, which leads to them dropping her on the floor.
Ally, Ozzy, and Kai share a warm embrace in Dr. Vincent’s office, and Kai softly says, “Now we can be a real family.” WOW!
Honestly, this episode was freaking incredible. Just when I think I have a favorite episode of the season, the writers and directors up the ante and continue to provide a new favorite for me week by week. I adored Evan Peters’ portrayal of the various cult leaders and Jesus...he looked different in every segment, and I think it was incredible. I love the “new Ally” and her wicked ways. I hope that she uses Kai’s belief that Oz is his son to her advantage and uses it to gain control/power over Kai. I was living for Oz’s sass this episode. Also, there weren’t any flashbacks this episode, simply Kai’s portrayal of the various leaders, which was so damn entertaining. There are just two more episodes left in this season, and I expect nothing short of greatness from what’s turning out to be an astounding season.
Thanks for reading,
Though much too modest to admit it himself, Jonah is perhaps the world's preeminent AHS expert. He loves talking film & television, building his fledgling vinyl and Blu-Ray collection, & having far too many coffee drinks. Jonah can often be found binge watching shows with his handsome one-eyed ocicat, Irving.