By Edward Petty
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: CULT 707 “Valerie Solanas Died For Your Sins: Scumbag”
Valerie Solanas, who was played by Lena Dunham, or Hannah Horvath from HBO’s GIRLS series, was prominently featured in this episode. Valerie Solanis shot and killed Andy Warhol on June 3, 1968. Andy Warhol was brilliantly played by Evan Peters here. Valerie Solanas shot Andy Warhol because she was angry that Andy didn’t fulfill his promise to make her script into a film.
Scene two’s back in the present day where newscasters tell viewers about the mass shooting at the rally where 5 were killed and one was wounded. Ally Mayfair-Richards (Sarah Paulson)’s seen getting into a patrol car while handcuffed. Harrison Wilton (Billy Eichner)’s seen giving a statement, saying that his wife Meadow (Leslie Grossman) wrote in her diary that she was upset over Hillary Clinton’s loss and that she vowed revenge against Trump supporters. Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) sits on a couch with Winter Anderson (Billie Lourd) awaiting election results. He finds out that he’s polling 20 points ahead, declares that he won the election and then, astonished, proclaims that Eric Trump re-tweeted him.
Scene three, which is still in the present day, shows Beverly Hope (Adina Porter) meeting Bebe Babbitt (Frances Conroy), who was Valerie Solanas’s ex-girlfriend. Bebe warns Beverly that her influence in Kai’s cult, and her importance to him, is dwindling. Bebe invites Beverly to come to her hotel room when she’s ready to be told the truth.
Scene four shows Bebe and Beverly meeting with Ivy Mayfair-Richards and Winter so that Bebe could explain to them how she met Valerie. Valerie collects a brood of mostly women in her own sort of cult, a cult that demeans and demoralizes men. Valerie tells the group that it isn’t only men who’re scum, and that women are as much a part of society’s denigration. Valerie says that the group most kill them both to send a message. Valerie’s group of killers was, indeed, the Zodiac. Valerie’s angered when she learns that someone, no less a man, is taking credit for all the Zodiac murders. She vows that all the killings will continue until a thousand killings have been committed. Valerie meets with her cult group in 1975, after her release from a mental ward. She tells all in the group that she knows who the male impostor Zodiac killer is. He’s one of the only two men that Valerie allowed into her group. It happens to be not the first man that she confronts but the other man. The first man runs out the door. Valerie and all the other women in the group stab the other man to death.
Valerie tries telling a police officer that she’s the mastermind behind all the Zodiac killings, yet she’s dragged out of the police station still not believed. She vows to the group to kill people like Hugh Hefner, Billy Graham, Bobby Riggs and Steve McQueen, all of whom have, at least to Valerie, have lessened women’s worth in some way. The group that she’s talking to about all these men slowly dwindles as women realize Valerie’s insanity.
Valerie’s interrupted while writing her SCUM manifesto by a vision of Andy Warhol. Valerie laments to Andy that he’s taken her import, her legacy and her life from her. Andy tells Valerie that her killing him will be the only thing that she’ll be remembered for doing. He tells her that he is her legacy. She turns, slips, falls, hits her head against a table’s edge and dies after trying to lash out at Andy’s ghost for what he said.
Bebe tells Beverly, Ivy and Meadow that they all must reclaim power from men. Beverly vows that all the women should strike back at men without missing.
Kai and Winter are seen in this episode’s final scene inside the bedroom where their parents are lying dead. Kai needs to count on Winter, yet Kai confronts Winter about finding Valerie’s SCUM manifesto in among her books. Kai tells Winter that he’s going to write his own sort of manifesto, not in book form but on social media. Kai tells Winter that Harrison came up with one name for his manifesto that appears to be unfavourable to Winter. Beverly, Ivy and Winter are later seen confronting Harrison with a chainsaw, with which Ivy kills him.
Kai’s sitting in his house watching a TV report by Beverly about Harrison’s murder. Kai says that most women are at their best when they’re angered. Bebe, who’s sitting nearby Kai in the room, replies: “Aren’t we all?”
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