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We Need to Talk About That Mass Shooting on American Horror Story: Cult

Here's what it means for Kai

Keisha Hatchett

[Warning: This post contains spoilers from Episode 6 of American Horror Story: Cult, "Mid-Western Assassin."]

American Horror Story: Cult isn't one to shy away from violence and Tuesday night's episode included one of its most brutal acts yet. The episode, titled "Mid-Western Assassin," saw an unidentified shooter -- who we later learn is Meadow (Leslie Grossman) -- firing off rounds into a crowd at a political rally for Kai (Evan Peters).


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The graphic scene, which was edited in the broadcast airing out of respect for the recent shooting in Las Vegas, was devised by the blue-haired cult leader himself, who had been inspired by Meadow to take his campaign to the national level. In the flashback-heavy episode, we find out why she actually joined his cult and what led to her commit the callous act without the help of her clown mask-wearing partners in crime.

"I hated feeling helpless, hated myself for being so weak... Everyday faced with the failure that I wasn't a successful boss bitch ...That I was nowhere near having it all," she explains to Ally (Sarah Paulson). "And this rage began to build and fester and burn until Kai finally set me free."

The reality TV-loving murderess admitted to falling in love with Kai because he made her feel special. However, after overhearing him spout the same speech to Ivy (Alison Pill), she realizes he was only using her and decides to leave the cult. But Kai, the master manipulator that he is, convinces her to do one last thing for him on her way out. "You were right about all of it," Kai pleads. "We have to accelerate our thinking, get the entire country to pay attention... elevate me to the national stage."

To earn that national attention, he stages a failed assassination attempt in which he would recover and come back stronger than ever. But to do that, he needed a scapegoat, which is why he sent Meadow to Ally's doorstep under the guise that she was finished with his cult. "I want you to tell the truth about all of it because when it comes out of her mouth, that's when the truth can hide in plain sight. Nobody will believe what a crazy woman says," Kai says.

Ally, convinced that Meadow planned to murder Kai as the only means of getting rid of him, shows up at the rally to stop her. Playing right into his hand, she soon finds herself holding the gun Meadow used to shoot at the crowd and is immediately handcuffed when the cops show up.

With Ally presumably framed for the mass shooting, Ivy -- who joined the cult to escape her marriage without losing their son Oz in a custody battle -- finally gets what she wants. More importantly, it also means that Kai's reach will soon grow exponentially, making him more dangerous than ever.

American Horror Story: Cult airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.

Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Cult