SPOILERS herein for American Horror Story: Cult Episode 9: "Drink the Kool-Aid."
This week's episode opens with faux video footage of three of the most infamous cult leaders of all time: Marshall Applewhite, David Koresh, and Jim Jones, all played by Evan Peters. All that we are missing is Charlie Manson. Kai is telling his minions all about these men, like bedtime stories, but with a very specific message: Real power is having people willing to kill themselves for you. His minions swear they would. Kai promises they will find out more about his new mission at the next council meeting.
I have to stop here to make a nitpicky comment. Kai says that Jim Jones was "the man who coined the phrase 'drink the Kool-Aid.'" In actuality, Jim Jones did not popularize that phrase; that phrase was started by others about what he made his followers do: drink poisoned punch. Fun fact: While people always say that Jones' followers drank poison Kool-Aid, in actuality they drank a similar product: Flavor Aid. Grape flavored.
At the meeting, Kai puts forth a wholly ridiculous notion: He wants to ban constituents from visiting specific websites, ones he deems "fake news," porn, and distraction. One of the council members is, unsurprisingly, highly against this, but another one, badly beaten, votes in favor of this unconstitutional law. The intimation is that the minions beat him into agreeing, and the other council members are scared they will meet the same fate, so they vote for the ban as well. This whole thing nauseates me. As a writer and journalist, I hold the First Amendment in the highest regard, and in our current political climate, where we have a president who keeps leaning toward totalitarianism -- which includes curtailments on free speech -- I find this bone-chilling. Anyway, that wasn't Kai's "big announcement." The big announcement is that Kai plans on running for Senate in 2018.
Ally and Ivy have switched positions tonight. Ally is strong, stable, commanding, while Ivy -- faced with questions about why she joined the cult -- is a mess. I like this Ally so much better. Winter arrives with Oz, and a "gift" for the ladies: 14 steps for escaping a cult. They decide they are going to leave, right then, but their plans are thwarted by minions banging on the door. Kai wants to see the three women -- and Oz.
Over at Kai's house, Oz waits upstairs while Ally, Winter, Ivy, and Beverly sit before Kai, minions hovering over them. Kai produces a big pot of punch and wants everyone to drink. One of his minions, remembering the story of Jonestown, refuses. Gary shoots him dead. Everyone else drinks, with fear and anger. Kai drinks, too, claiming this will set them free from their burdensome bodies. Kai reveals it was all a hoax -- the punch wasn't poisoned. He just wanted to test their loyalty. Dead people can't vote. This outcome doesn't surprise me. Kai has disgusting beliefs, but he is not mentally insane.
The next day, Ally is preparing Ivy to leave town. They go to pick up Oz from school and discover his nanny took him home already -- and she wasn't alone. Panicked, Ally and Ivy rush to Kai's house. Kai has already made friends with Oz, even played the pinky game with him. When the moms arrive, it is just in time to see Oz drink a cup of punch. Ally swats it away. Oz calls Kai his daddy, which horrifies Ally. Kai insists that he has been donating sperm to local clinics since high school, and he has been keeping track of his sperm. Oz wants to spend the night, which Ivy consents to. Outside, Ally is furious. Ivy points out that they saved themselves. If they pushed too hard, Kai would have killed all of them.
Back home, Ivy goes through the clinic paperwork while Ally cooks dinner. There is no photo of the donor, no identifying information. Ally tells Ivy to relax, sit down, eat some dinner, drink some wine. Ivy likes this; she thinks they are on their way to reconciliation. Instead, Ally reveals how she healed herself. Her first week in the psych ward, she was suicidal. Her second week, she turned her energy toward "freeing" herself from her fears. The only way to do that was to replace them with something else. Ally chose revenge. The thought of taking revenge on Ivy cured her. Ivy laughs, suddenly turning vindictive and cruel, calling Ally's "cure" a "passing phase." Ivy isn't scared, and stands -- and wobbles. Ally reveals she put arsenic in the wine, and the food, and takes joy in watching her wife convulse and die. Honestly, is there anyone who did not see that coming?
Over at the cult house, Kai is again telling his minions -- and Oz -- about Jim Jones, but this time he embellishes the story, telling how Jones was resurrected by Jesus and then went around resurrecting the others. Oz speaks up, saying that doesn't make any sense. According to Wikipedia, Jones died from a gunshot wound and was cremated. Kai becomes upset and insists that Wikipedia is "fake news" and Kai knows "ultimate truths" that no one else knows. Kai stomps on Oz's phone and tells his minions Oz needs a timeout. Oz screams as he is carried upstairs.
Ally goes to pick up Oz in the morning, and the door minion doesn't know where Oz is -- Kai must have taken him somewhere. She invites Kai for dinner and leaves. Next Ally visits the fertility clinic and begs the nurse to see her donor's file. She is relieved to discover that Kai is not Oz's biological father. But Ally has another trick up her sleeve.
Kai goes over to Ally's house for dinner. The suspicion is that Ally has poisoned Kai's food, too. After she admits to poisoning Ivy, Kai eyes his food warily, but keeps eating. It is not poisoned, but now Kai has mad respect for Ally. Then Ally drops the bombshell: that Kai is Oz's father. She passes him the doctored file the nurse gave her. Kai is ecstatic. "We made a messiah baby!"
After dinner, Kai and Ally take Ivy's body over to Kai's house, and stash her in the family "crypt" upstairs. They find Oz downstairs, and the three of them hug. "Now we can be a real family," Kai says. Ally has misgivings, but swallows them down.