American Horror Story: Cult recap: 'Don't Be Afraid of the Dark'

Frank Ockenfels  FX

In the era of Peak TV, it's hard not to think about what a show's legacy will be once it's off the air, how often its title will appear in essays and pop culture books next to Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and The Sopranos, and what its blurb will say.

Spoilers for the next episode of "American Horror Story" season 7 suggest that Kai Anderson and Ally Mayfair-Richards will cross each other's paths again.

It could be argued though, the AHS' greatest legacy will be its reaction GIFs. Ally screams, fleeing down the stairs and into Ivy's arms. Cult's second episode lacks any chills or thrills because it utterly lacks suspense, its message (and possibly the message of the entire season) so clearly telegraphed-fear can turn us into the monsters we condemn. Although it is unclear whether the clowns are real or a figment of her imagination, Ally gets her gun out in order to protect herself. It's not like Kai physically forced her to get the handgun used to shoot Pedro, but is it really just a coincidence that the same people who filmed Kai's attack are the same ones who gave Ally a gun? As Ally frantically blocks every entrance to the house and locks all the windows she begins to see clowns everywhere.

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In episode 2, viewers meet Harrison (Billy Eichner) and Meadow (Leslie Grossman) who quickly move into the residence of Ally and Ivy's murdered neighbors. (Their budget is ten gajillion dollars.) They also have a dozen mysterious barrels stocked inside their garage, which in combination with the still-prominent bloodstains on the floor and Harrison's honeycombs (ewwwww, HOLES) are enough to turn the unhinged Ally into a suspicious peeping tom. Which is where things get much less interesting. And as far as Ally is concerned, it's proof that all her insane fears were valid; a week later, she's turning the house into a fortress, packing a secret gun in the kitchen drawer, and calling her therapist a "knee-jerk liberal" when he reacts with dismay.

If Harrison and his wife Meadow (Leslie Grossman) turn out to be followers of Kai, then they probably gave Ally the gun with the sole objective of hoping she'd do something drastic with it. Kai played his part by amping up her paranoia during his threatening home visit and likely even arranging the chef Roger's death as a means to validate Ally's fears over her family's safety. Spoilers reveal that in episode 2, she will ask the boy to let go of all his fears.

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