‘American Horror Story: Cult’ episode 4: Fans think Kai and Winter’s bet was to decide how to start a cult, not who should do it

The pair's election night wager is still shrouded in mystery

Cast your mind back to the first episode of American Horror Story: Cult. In the show’s opening minutes, as we saw the results of the 2016 election dawn on the characters, Kai and Winter discussed a bet and its victor – Kai.

At the time, it seemed they had bet on who would win the election, with the winning gambler getting to head up their own cult. But now fans are theorising the siblings could have taken a different angle. 

Some viewers have suggested the wager could have been to determine how, not who, to start their own twisted collective. If Trump wins, use fear and frustration to win over the weak and disenfranchised of the community. If Hillary makes history, use language of empowerment and positivity to create a gang of vigilantes trying to do good by the world.

Episode four features flashbacks to before the election was called and the world was plunged into uncertainty. One scene shows Ivy and Winter meeting at a pro-Hillary rally, the latter coming to her soon-to-be employer’s defence when a man gropes her. From there, Winter invites Ivy for coffee and begins to unearth details about her life – including her frustrations with her wife, Ally. For her part, the tough-talking younger woman also shares an important ambition she holds: to be behind-the-scenes, pushing a powerful person to greatness.

Is this Winter planting the seeds of recruitment in case she ends up victorious in her bet? There are similar patterns in her actions to those of Kai’s when he recruits Harrison and Beverly – the empathy, the support, the notion that they get whoever they’re talking to. There’s also a similar level of aggression to Winter’s moves. She might convince Ivy that handcuffing Gary Longstreet – the pro-Trump groper at the rally – in a basement so he can’t cast a vote for Trump is the right course of action and justice for his actions, but you’d like to think most Democrats would be appalled by such undemocratic and corrupt behaviour.

Of course, it’s not quite the murderous streak Kai appears to be on, but it does also lead to some grisly scenes. You’d expect a cult based around empowerment to be a lot nicer than one centred on fear, but, as previously pointed out, there’s a dark side to Hillary-campaigner Winter that makes her motives seem less than upright. Put it this way: she doesn’t appear particularly disgusted by what her brother is up to, so we’re guessing she’s not too fussed about the way power is gained, whether or not this fan theory is correct.