Last week, one of the highest-anticipated television series on FX came back on air: American Horror Story. If you have not watched, DO NOT CONTINUE THIS ARTICLE. It will be full of spoilers.

The season starts with a middle/upper class lesbian from Michigan, Ally (played by Sarah Paulson), distraught over the 2016 election results. She is a weeping mess in the face of what America has become, and ends up triggering her own past, full of phobias. Whether it be clowns, small spaces, holes, or blood—she spends the rest of the episode spiraling into oblivion while her wife, Ivy (played by Allison Pill—Scott Pilgrim, anyone?) tries to be there for her and also manage their daily life, which is causing a lot of stress on their marriage and their restaurant.

The other main storyline in this episode is that of Kai Anderson (Evan Peters), who presents a plan to instill the American citizen with fear at a city council meeting; after they reject him, he says “there is nothing more dangerous than a humiliated man”. Later in the episode, you find him with his sister, Winter (Billie Lourd) making a pact to kill Trump supporters. Whether or not they are linked to the clown gang that kills Ally and Ivy’s neighbors later in the episode is not specified yet.

Ally and Ivy’s son, Ozzy, spends the night being exposed to the dangers of the dark web with his babysitter who originally presented herself as a sweet-natured feminist studies major who took the year off to work on Hillary Clinton’s campaign trail. She drags him to the house where his neighbors are murdered, but as he tells his moms the story, his nanny explains that their son has a wild imagination.

Overall, it is hard to determine who is credible in this season, which is part of the fun. Is Ally actually seeing clowns in public? Or is it just her phobia? There is no doubt her sanity will be put further to the test as the actual clowns come into play.

Fear is clearly the major theme of this season. You would think with a name like American Horror Story, fear would be the basis of every season, but Ryan Murphy has a way of going beyond and beneath fear, bringing up even creepier options. With Cult, though, he is displaying the real fear instilled in the American people after Donald Trump’s presidency commenced. Of course, one would argue these characters are more dramatized than most – but are they?

Last year around this time, a clan of clowns began chasing people down. In real life. This phenomena even spread to Belmont’s campus when a student photoshopped a clown near the Beaman. And this year, we have people marching around with Nazi flags. There are some severely scary things happening in the world right now, and Ryan Murphy clearly turned to his art and has tried to reflect it onto television for this Cult dynamic. Kai’s character gives a speech strangely reminiscent of the latest House of Cards season, in which the Underwoods rely on fear to keep their positions in the White House.  Whether or not both shows are directly related, it seems as though the writers of the world are picking up what Donald Trump’s America is putting out and trying to portray it in their own way.

Overall, the premiere was a wild ride from start to finish. The eye for detail in American Horror Story never ceases to amaze me; however, I hope that the following episodes don’t rely as much on shock value and focus more on the storylines of all the characters. I also hope they continue to make the political situations a focal point of the plot.

You can catch American Horror Story Tuesday nights at 9PM on FX.

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