(This is a recap. Spoilers below.)
The second episode of American Horror Story: Cult, while still relying heavily on Ally’s (Sarah Paulson) sweet, sweet lady fear, and, like, still so scary, lacked a certain nightmarish quality. Instead, the dreads felt more practical, realistic, rooted in danger.
Here are 10 Seriously Dangerous Moments from “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”:
1. Unattended Fires
Episode 2 picks up where the first episode left off, with Ally unable to sleep. Whisper-calling (how does that work?) to her beloved Ivy (Alison Pill), she discovers an unwelcome guest in her bed, who will lovingly be referred to as “Pricky, The Penis-Nosed Clown."But it’s not Pricky who doesn’t belong there - after all, that’s his purpose - it’s the roaring fire in the bedroom, which appears to will itself into being while Ally is downstairs, calmly explaining to Ivy that there’s a murder clown in the bedroom. Not only is it dangerous to fall asleep in a room with a blazing fireplace, it’s downright precarious to have a self-lighting one, which appears to activate when intruders are present and/or the owners leave the room.
2. Yelling Racist Things In A Room Full Of Knives
Zach Ward makes a cameo as Roger the xenophobic chef , whose hateful words and transition sunglasses make him a prime target for horrible murder. His first onscreen act is to antagonize Pedro (Jorge-Luis Pallo), thereby casting Pedro as the suspected eventual murderer. Guys, don’t be a hate-monger, especially in a room of people whose purpose in life is carving mammals into strips. *Spoiler alert*, Roger is killed almost immediately but, *obvious alert*, not by Pedro.
3. Billy Eichner
In episode 2, Billy Eichner makes his dramatic acting debut (someone else please factcheck this). His character, Harrison Wilton, and his wife, Meadow Wilton (Leslie Grossman), move into the house where, literally the night before (someone else please factcheck this), a couple is slaughtered by clowns. Most assuredly, Harrison and Meadow, who refer to Ally and Ivy as the “Lesbians"next door, are probably clown people, or part of the cult that we have no information on yet.
Harrison keeps bees which, albeit helpful for the environment, seems dangerous in a suburban setting.
Boy that man is dangerous, guys, dangerously FUNNY. Watch Billy On The Street, a nonaffiliated program that has nothing to do with this website (someone else please factcheck this.)
4. Eating Human Chef Blood
Ally runs down to her restaurant after the alarm is tripped to discover, surprise, Roger hanging from a meat hook. As he drips onto her, Ally appears to consume at least a little bit of blood.
You all know that cannibalism is bad, right? But did you know that it’s also dangerous? It’s especially dangerous when the human in question is a jerk, like Roger, and may have rabies (most classically trained chefs do.)
5. Having A Loaded Gun In A House With Children
Not that guns can’t be kept safely in such a home but, let’s face it, Ally seems to store it irresponsibly. She’s also quick to show it off, which is never a good sign. Plus (and this might sound a bit patronizing) she’s crazy.
6. Toxic People
Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) stops by Ally’s house to campaign for city council. It’s clear from Ally’s instantaneous reaction to him (whether it’s because he had spilled coffee on her or because he’s a raging sociopath) that he makes her feel uncomfortable. And yet, she spends an awful lot of time speaking with him, leading to a probable spike in both stress hormones and blood pressure. That’s unhealthy and…dangerous.
7. Being Brown
This theme is not limited to episode 2, or the season so far, it’s a fact of life. But Pedro or, more accurately, “Ryan Murphy via Pedro,” spells it out for us, very deliberately, as if he’s assuming the audience doesn’t speak English for some reason.
Not only is Pedro cruelly antagonized by Roger, he is then suspected of killing the walking gourmet steroid. Pedro is assumed to be an immigrant by EVERYONE when he is, in fact, a natural-born citizen. And, to add injury to insult, Ally shoots him dead when he benevolently delivers her stuff from the restaurant during the blackout.
Psycho, The Shining, Nightmare On Elm Street, all use the bath to evoke vulnerability and fear. Here, the fear stems from the leading character being talked into a relaxing bath by the annoying supporting character who generally causes her nothing but aggravation. Winter (Billie Lourd) is terrible at her job, nonchalantly leaving Ozzie (Cooper Dodson) wherever and whenever. For all we know, she’s pouring poisoned soap (which might be a thing, don’t judge) into that clawfoot tub. Or casually spilling some of this poisoned soap (shut up, you guys) onto the floor. Two-thirds of accidental injuries happen in the bathroom so, hmm, this all sounds…pretty dangerous.
9. Sexy Nannies
Move over, heteronormative home-wrecker subplots. Make way for new and improved sapphic babysitter fantasies! Complete with cheating lesbians who will ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT regret their indiscretions when they are definitely blackmailed by their shifty hipster governess.
In other words, Winter, a hot lady, touches Ally, a married woman, DOWN THERE. If Ivy finds out, which she most certainly will, their union will be in even more peril than before. Not. Worth. The. Risk. Lady.
10. Using Candles During A Power Outage
When the power goes out, Ally is left alone with a dying phone, enemies everywhere and, gasp, candles. Did you know that battery-powered LED lights are readily available and won’t burn your house down? Clearly Harrison is trying to sabotage Ally’s chances of survival by gifting her “organic” candles from his bees. Anyway, this is where she accidentally kills Pedro.