DRINK THE KOOL AID (AMERICAN HORROR STORY RECAP)
When I was in seventh grade New Mexico History, my teacher was an unhinged evangelical Christian proselytizer. He spent many class hours railing about the book of Revelations, the Black Hawk helicopter as the scorpion tailed beast mentioned in that book of the Bible, the New World order being ushered in by Bill Clinton, and the Mark of the Beast. As is documented, I am a from-the-womb liberal and I stewed in class at this flouting of the separation of church and state (Tales of a Seventh Grade Liberal). I bring all of this up because this piece of crap is forever tied for me to an even bigger piece of crap in the form of David Koresh.
The Branch Davidian stand-off was a hot topic on Channel One, the short news program that birthed Lisa Ling and Anderson Cooper and beamed current events into the tiny, wall mounted TVs in homerooms across this nation in the 1990s. When the federal government finally took the walls down and the place went up in flames, my history teacher pointed to another sign of Armageddon. I thought, you wish you were David Koresh, you asshole.
Apparently Ryan Murphy wishes Evan Peters were David Koresh too, because he just had him cosplay Koresh and several other murderous assholes in this episode. Peters gets bald to play Heaven’s Gate Leader crazy bald guy, he gets fat to play Jim Jones, and he gets Jim Morrison-y to play Koresh. Each segment plays out the last moments of the respective cults in horrific detail. I’d argue this is a big departure into the grotesque for a show with an already questionable taste level. It’s grotesque because real people died in each case. To see Evan Peters as Jim Jones acting like Marlon Brando, exhorting men, women, and children to drink poisoned Kool-Aid is disgusting. Real people died under these grandiose, homicidal maniacs and this show is trotting it out like hahaha.
Of course, drinking the Kool-Aid has gained an additional connotation in our political discourse, right up there with “Sheeple” as an insult slung in comment sections. On the city council, Peters pushes through his internet censorship bill or whatever. He’s got the whole city council cowering in fear and his own flock of sheeple to applaud his bullying.
Now Paulson is in the cult, and her formerly estranged wife, Alison Pill, seems to have warmed up to her. Paulson asks Pill why she decided to join a clown murder cult and Pill is like, well, you suck as a wife. Paulson takes this all in.
Evan Peters’ character uses the cult leaders as a model and brings together his army of blue button-down fascist fuck bois and the dwindling number of women to pretend to drink the Kool-Aid. Of course, it’s not poisoned, but the first fuck boi who refuses to drink is shot to death. Then the rest of them swallow it down and he just LOLz all over the place because they are building a movement, not killing themselves.
Peters demands that young Ozymandias join him in the basement and starts grooming the boy. He tells him that he is his actual father, and when his frantic mommies show up, bitch slap the terrible Billie Lourd for stealing their child, and rush downstairs, Peters tells them that he frequented the sperm bank they used to conceive Ozzy and is his father. They are like, no way, but they also have doubts. Ozzy asks to stay at his “daddy’s” house.
Pill and Paulson reconnect at their house as they dine and talk about how to escape the cult and their marriage problems. Pill is into this version of Paulson who has her shit together and is not a weeping mass of phobias. For a second we think, man, this is going to work! And then Paulson admits that she’s poisoned the wine and the pasta and the everything, and Pill coughs up blood and spasms on the floor. REVENGE!
Back in the crazy basement, our young spectacle wearing sweetheart is not indoctrinated, and there’s a whole “Emperor’s New Clothes” moment about the facts of the Jonestown Massacre. Ozzy does a little Wikipedia-ing and disputes Peters’ bullshit. Now we can see why Peters wants to lock down the internet--mostly so nine year old boys with smart phones won’t be able to contradict him in front of his fuck bois.
Paulson invites Peters to a Manwich dinner at her house. But before that, she rushes to the sperm bank and bribes the receptionist for the records. She leafs frantically through the file until she gets to the picture of the donor, who is definitely not Evan Peters, and breathes a sigh of relief. This bitch is not finished, though.
Peters shows up to dinner, ready to chomp on some Manwich and bitch about his new “son.” He talks shit about his name (BRAVO) and Paulson tells him it means King of Kings. As they sit down to eat, she tells him that she’s poisoned her wife and has her body in the trunk. He is impressed by her murder skillz. She tells him that they were meant to be together, and gives him a file from the sperm bank, proving that he is Ozzy’s father. (Which of course is fake news, given that she bribed the receptionist to fix the file.) Peters is intoxicated by her destiny talk, and convinced that he “spoke” this into existence. She moves in on him like a stealthy panther, flattering him and stroking that ego. He has started to believe his own hype, and she feeds it back to him smoothly. Will she make a sheeple out of the shepherd?
Peters helps her dispose of Pill’s body by hauling it to his house and tossing it into the corpse room. They go downstairs and she reunited with Ozzy. Peters says they can all be a real family now.
So here’s the deal: Paulson has what she wanted, her son. Peters has begun to drink his own Kool-Aid, having spoken his messiah baby into existence. Throughout the series, I’ve wondered if it would be revealed that he’s just taken trolling to a new level, or that he is a force for chaos like the Joker, or if he is a burn-it-all-down collapsitarian like Steve Bannon (with whom I share a birthday), or a nihilistic Bernie-Bro. I still don’t know. He’s done a lot of murders if it’s just for the lolz. The cult leaders he seems to emulate were driven, let’s face it, mostly by the desire to sexually dominate as many women as possible. (Excepting the Heaven’s Gate guy but including the yet to be seen Charles Manson.) Peters’ cult’s female membership has diminished down to his sister, a lesbian, and Adina Porter, who is mad as hell and locked up for a crime she didn’t commit. So what’s the endgame here? I feel like Peters is meant to stand for something, but I can’t put my finger on it. Similarly, what does the position of women mean? Is it some analogy for the way women helped bring Trump to power and then were forgotten? I DON'T KNOW!
All I know is that I want to get my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames.
--Jim Morrison, fellow Sagittarius