Part of the brilliance of American Horror Story is that it always keeps us guessing. Just when we think we've figured out the game, the show has a way of pulling the rug out from under us. Consider this week's episode, which involves a very wacky take on the Zodiac Killer, the attempted assassination of Andy Warhol (portrayed by Evan Peters, who also plays Kai), and Lena Dunham's strangest role yet.
For the duration of the episode, we're led to believe that all the women in Kai's cult have decided to take matters into their own hands. With the help of Bebe (played by the inimitable Frances Conroy), they learn the supposed history of the feminist SCUM (Society For Cutting Up Men) cult and rally together to form a revivalist women's cult of their own. Here's the thing: Bebe is working with Kai.
It's a truly delightful twist for the AHS fan who lives for drama. Not only that, but now a few other things have clicked into place. Maybe Kai planned for Harrison to die. Maybe he wants Beverly and Winter to start an opposing cult. The decision might be part of a plan to kill Beverly, but let's think even bigger.
Kai's ultimate goal is to infect the nation with fear and to ascend through the political ranks until he has some sort of absolute power in America. He can't do that if people start to catch wind of his cult. A possible twist emerges: maybe Kai is setting Winter up for the ultimate betrayal.
This theory makes a lot of sense and has even bubbled up once or twice on the American Horror Story subreddit. Even Billie Lourd's prison jumpsuit — you know, the one we saw in that seemingly innocuous Colton Haynes Instagram post — could be a secret sign that things are about to go south. You see, there's been a sudden shift with Kai's mode of operation in the past few episodes. In some cases, he's not actually committing the crimes. Consider how he convinces Meadow to pull off the mass shooting and then kill herself. It's nearly impossible to prove Kai is somehow involved in that shooting. Only he and Meadow know about the plan, and now Meadow's dead. He can take that to the grave.
Something similar is happening with the SCUM revivalists. Kai is working with Bebe to stoke the flames of hatred in the hearts Winter, Beverly, and Ivy. They've already killed Harrison. Based on the way Kai talks to Winter, we can assume he's playing dumb, and Winter is eating right out of his hand. If Kai has his way, Winter's new cult will target Gary Longstreet and Detective Samuels next.
With all this blood on Winter's hands (and with a bit of advanced planning), Kai will be able to pin everything on her. She will take the fall and go to prison, and no one will be standing in Kai's way. Think about the growing amount of new recruits who are coming to Kai with the intention to blindly follow him. He doesn't need these smart, angry people anymore. They're only a liability, and now he just has to wipe them all out.