Emma Roberts made her debut on American Horror Story: Cult on Tuesday in the episode titled "11/9," which gives viewers a peek into what was going on with the characters between Election Day and the present-day storyline. It also shows how Kai recruits reporter Beverly Hope (played by American Horror Story: Roanoke breakout star Adina Porter) to his cult, which has a lot to do with Emma Roberts's character, fellow reporter Serena Belinda.
Serena is basically like if Chanel Oberlin from Scream Queens left college and became a reporter. She's b*tchy and ruthless, hiding behind a faux feminist front; she acts like she wants to raise fellow women up, but really she's just out for herself. As we see in the Election Day montage, Serena says she's voting for Hillary Clinton and really votes for Donald Trump. She also accuses Beverly of being a woman who needs to drag down other successful women in order to feel good about herself, which is not what Beverly is like at all.
She also tells Beverly, "You can say whatever you want to me, b*tch, but I am going to be on the Today show one day. And I don't care how many d*cks I have to suck to get there, 'kay?"
Presumably, Kai decides that Serena needs to go, both because she's terrible and because that's a way to prove to Beverly that she should join his cult. So Kai and two other clowns (who we theorize are Meadow and Harrison) proceed to murder Serena while she films a segment for the news.
It's quite a testament to Serena's awfulness that our biggest feelings of fear during her death scene are for her poor cameraman and the puppy she's holding. (Spoiler alert: the cameraman doesn't make it, but thankfully the dog does. So, hey, the clowns aren't total monsters.)
What's actually far more chilling about that scene is the fact that this scene is a little too on-the-nose with the events of August 2015, when reporter Alison Parker and her cameraman, Adam Ward, were shot and killed by a former reporter for their TV station during a live news broadcast in Moneta, VA. One has to wonder if that was by design from the American Horror Story: Cult creators, and if so, was it in bad taste?
Either way, it looks like we won't be seeing any more of Roberts on AHS: Cult, which is a shame because her colorful characters on Ryan Murphy shows are always usually a lot of fun. Nobody plays "heartless b*tch" like Roberts.