The show's creator, Ryan Murphy, recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter and said that he had the idea of opening Cult with the election result all the way back in September 2016, at which point he was assuming that Hillary Clinton would win.
This season also is the first to not have any supernatural elements. I got nearly 6,000 followers from that.
While there were only small snippets of the "Cult", it looks as if the rest of the season Ally will be fighting with her thoughts and whatever Kai and Winter have in store.
Though the season is due to offer many of its usual twists and turns, Murphy calls the cycle a "grounded" one and compares it to common fan-favorite season Asylum. Meanwhile, Billie Lourd's character, Winter, seems to be both at odds with and in cahoots with Kai. Sarah Paulson's Ally has a son named Ozzie, who she catches reading the book under the covers after bed time. "F- you, Nate Silver!" A simple locking of their pinky fingers together has sparked the idea that the siblings had a bet on around the election, with the victor getting to create their version of a cult. From there, however, the season quickly reveals itself to be more about the blue and the red - rather than the orange. Even worse, she is someone who committed an unspeakable act against her community: She voted for Jill Stein. In the context of the 2016 election, MI is especially divisive: that fact that MI was part of Jill Stein's recount effort adds more salt to the wound.
Clinton supporter Ally is married to Ivy (Alison Pill) and they have a son and what appears to be an undocumented nanny who disappears post-election.
"When I got into the booth, I couldn't do it!"
Likely under the direction of Kai, Winter starts corrupting Ozzie the first night she sits for him. I don't blame them either. Kai, unsurprisingly, is opposed, and launches into a diatribe over using fear to control people (it's a familiar narrative - earlier, when Winter admitted that she's "just so scared now", Kai snapped back, "Everyone is.") A city council member dismisses him as a basement dweller who feels free to emerge now that Trump is POTUS, and Kai storms out, incensed. "She went to Arizona, for God's sake". It's not just the characters themselves that tie each chapter together though. Ahead of the election, many critics believed Clinton was wrongly focusing her efforts on the ground. Clinton could have won in their state of MI with only 10,000 more votes. And usually they're like, masturbating or trying to attack her with a knife. And the thing that we're doing is we're really examining all different sorts of cults. "You felt it leading up to the election with all the liberal news". Upon realizing that they are in the actual presence of the real Twisty, the guy takes out his gun and shoots the clown several times.
Then the show cuts between two very different election nights taking place in a small MI town. It was an attitude carried by some Republicans and on-the-line Democrats who, as Ally puts it, simply "couldn't do it" when it came to voting for Hillary.
Of course, American Horror Story: Cult will also have plenty of returning actors from previous seasons.
It seems like the latest season of AHS is leaning on the fear and anxiety the audience brings with them rather than introducing the kind of twisted, heart-pounding mystery the show's pulled out in the past.