The eighth installment of American Horror Story: Cult focused a lot on Kai’s relationship with his siblings — particularly Winter, which is no surprise given the title, “Winter of Our Discontent.” It also gave us some much-needed insight into his relationship with his older brother, Dr. Rudy Vincent, who we finally learn is actually not affiliated with the cult in any way, and had actually distanced himself from his brother in the wake of one of his patients essentially colluding with the woman who attempted to assassinate him. Apparently Kai and the other cult members have actually been getting intel on his patients all along by breaking into his office and going through his files, so Vincent is actually innocent in all of this. Oh, except for the dead parents thing! Can’t forget about that.
This week also saw tensions continue to rise among the women of the cult who have been relegated to kitchen duty at Ivy’s restaurant to feed the militia that Kai managed to squeak through city council, now that he’s officially been voted in. In an attempt to prevent the other female members of the cult from turning on Kai, Winter reveals some seriously messed up backstory in an episode that’s more or less comprised of seriously messed up moments. Eight episodes into this season and despite last week’s interesting diversion, I’m finding myself more and more exhausted as the weeks go on.
A flashback to two years earlier reveals the incident that apparently caused Kai to go full Looney Toons, when he and Winter were playing around on the dark web and stumbled upon an invitation from someone named Pastor Charles (Rick Springfield, in a guest appearance) to something called “Judgement House.” Once they arrive they realize that the pastor is an actual lunatic who has been kidnapping people he deems guilty (a woman leaving Planned Parenthood, an AIDS clinic volunteer, etc.) and torturing and killing them. Kai and Winter rescue the victims from the house and put the pastor into his own torture device — a chair with knives that shoot through the back, and — upon Winter’s approval — Kai pulls the trigger. It was subsequent forays into the dark web, and the realization that he couldn’t save everyone, that Kai decided he needed to “burn it all down.”
Winter’s attempts to get the other women from turning on Kai don’t go so great though, when she approaches him about it and instead, he suggests that they make a “messiah baby” together. But not through basic incest, of course, because that would be wrong. Instead, Kai recruits the (now-deceased Harrison’s lover) Detective Jack Samuels to participate in a ceremony in which he is to penetrate Winter and inseminate her while Kai penetrates him from behind. Which, not to quote Rick and Morty here, but that still sounds like incest “with extra steps.”
For some reason, Winter decides to go through with this insane and disgusting plan, although we’re right there with her when she quips, “I can’t believe I was at the Women’s March two months ago” as they prepare for the ceremony. (Side note, I hope you all took a shot in your Ryan Murphy drinking game for a sibling threesome set to the ’90s hit “I Swear” by the R&B group All-4-One.)