‘American Horror Story: Cult’ episode 5: Is Beverly going to try and take over the cult?

The news reporter is settling into her new lifestyle with ease

Even by American Horror Story standards, the latest episode of Cult was fucked up. Amongst the gruesome killings and rotting corpses, though, there were some important signals of what could be coming up in the rest of the season.

Until now, Kai has seemed like the only one who could lead the deranged cult of killer clowns. But then along came Beverly, who last week was just a news reporter full of post-election rage, fed up of being passed over for a younger, easier woman. Now she’s had her eyes fully opened to the actions of the cult and has settled into her new lifestyle as one of their number with relative ease.

So much so that, while taking part in one of Kai’s pinky lock confession sessions, she turned the tables on the head clown and got him to reveal just how he lives in such a nice, big home with no job and where his parents are. He’s been giving false stories about his background to every different individual he recruits, but this time things seemed at least a little bit more genuine – or are they?

Fans are torn between whether he was telling Beverly the truth or merely playing her to make her feel like she has some power over him. He broke down in tears as he recalled his parents’ fate, but were they real tears or an act to make him seem weak? Why would he want Beverly to feel powerful in the first place?

Reddit users reckon Kai has seen how easily Beverly has adapted to being a cold-blooded killer (example: when she shuts down compassionate RJ by saying “You wanted to make the news, stop being a bitch” as two people fight for their lives in sealed coffins) and is manipulating her with this new, vulnerable façade. If he makes her feel like she is stronger than him, he can use that mightiness for his own benefit, but ultimately stop her (i.e. murder her) when he no longer needs her, or let her misguided sense of authority lead her into taking the fall for their crimes.

The final scene is key here. Beverly stands over an apparently emotional Kai, her hands on his shoulders, her face stern and cold, as if she’s processing what his meltdown means for her. She seems like she’s going to use the crack in his mask to her advantage, but just how far will she try and go?