If you've been keeping up with American Horror Story this season, then you know it's been one horrifyingly thrilling episode after another. Between arms being sawed off, nail guns being used to kill people, dead people being preserved with formaldehyde, and people being poisoned in their own damn kitchens, it's been one seriously f—ed up ride. Having said that, the AHS: Cult season finale was the most perfect, most sinister way to end one of the darkest chapters since Asylum. For a season that generated so much hype in the months leading up to its premiere, AHS: Cult certainly delivered the bone-chilling terror we have come to expect from the show and left us with goosebumps.
That's right, like most every other episode this season, the final episode, titled "Great Again," was terrifying and full of jaw-dropping surprises that could only happen on American Horror Story. Indeed, between Kai escaping prison, Beverly shooting Kai, and Ally ~seemingly~ being a member of Bebe Babbitt's cult, the episode is filled with one shock after another, but it does wrap up everyone's storylines pretty neatly (well, except for Kai's dead family... not quite sure what happened to them), and hints at the fact that Ally has become "Great Again."
The season's ending was especially well done considering the various avenues Ryan Murphy could have chosen to take with this season's finale. Any fan of the show knows multiple fan theories have surfaced online since the season's premiere, some of which even ended up coming true, others of which did not; as for how the series ended, though, it's a bit different from what fans thought.
Indeed, there have been theories suggesting the show would end with Kai training Oz to be the next leader of the cult or with Kai ascending to the presidency. Ryan Murphy himself told Collider earlier this year that Cult is,
[A]bout somebody who has the wherewithal to put their finger up in the wind and see what’s happening, and is using that to rise up, and using people’s vulnerabilities about how they’re afraid, they’re feeling vulnerable, and they don’t know where to turn. We’ve been very conscious of that in the writing, to make sure that that idea is central to the show.
So it's easy to see how some would have thought Kai would end up as POTUS. That's obviously not the case, though; instead we got something much more satisfying.
The finale episode opens with Kai in prison, eleven months after the events in the penultimate episode. From there, we see Ally and how she has been coping since Kai's been out of her life: She is back running The Butchery on Main, she has a new girlfriend, and she's preparing to run for a Michigan Senate seat — the same seat that Kai was after. We soon find out that Ally is the one responsible for Kai's being arrested; she worked with the FBI to infiltrate and dismantle his cult from the inside and, of course, when Kai finds this out, he makes it his mission to get revenge on her.
Unsurprisingly, Kai uses his "divine leader" bullsh*t to manipulate a guard and escape from prison at which point he immediately goes after Ally during a Senate debate, using the guard as an accomplice. Low and behold, Ally got to the same guard and used her own charms to lure the guard into working with her and Beverly to defeat Kai once and for all.
The episode closes with Ally winning the Senate race and explaining what that means to Oz. That's not all, though: In the final minutes of the episode, Ally can be seen getting ready for a "meeting," which seems normally, especially now that she's a Senator, only she's getting ready in a green cape reminiscent of Bebe Babbitt's cape from earlier in the season.
All of this leads me to believe that while Kai's cult might be dismantled, it looks like Ally, now a U.S. Senator, is heading up her own cult.
It may not be the way we expected the season to end, but it is American Horror Story, after all. Now the only thing left to do is see how Cult will connect to past and future seasons.