[This article contains spoilers from American Horror Story: Cult episode 3, "Neighbors From Hell."]
One thing I never thought I'd see was an exploding guinea pig. Now, thanks to American Horror Story: Cult, here I stand, utterly wrong and somewhat traumatized. If you can believe it, though, an innocent creature getting a non-stop ticket to rodent heaven via microwave wasn't even the most shocking part of "Neighbors From Hell." No, that honor goes to the moment it was revealed that Ivy's computer password was "clownz." CLOWNS. Has Cult confirmed that Ivy is part of the posse that's terrifying Ally? Could it be that easy? Let's explore.
Following Ally's unfortunate mishap last episode, Pedro from The Butchery is confirmed as dead. We were hoping there'd be at least a couple days in the ICU before the well-meaning kitchen worker was officially announced dunzo, even an induced coma would have sufficed, but hey, can't win 'em all.
In the state of Michigan, the stand your ground law is in Ally's favor. No legal action will be taken against her because she believed she was acting in self-defense at the time. Detective Samuels assures the Mayfair-Richards Ally is all set, but after news breaks that a white woman has shot an innocent hispanic man, protesters swarm The Butchery on Main. According to this group, Ally is the "Lesbian George Zimmerman," which would be funny if it wasn't so sad.
Naturally, Ally is distraught when she discovers the angry horde damaging her business. She's at her weakest, so of course Kai shows up out of the blue. As she sits in her car, he reassures her:
"You didn't do anything wrong," he promises, all calming and cerulean. "You were protecting yourself and your family. Just keep living your truth, and please... have a nice day."
AHS regular Adina Porter makes another appearance in this episode as reporter Beverly Hope, covering the mayhem of the town. Zimbio spoke to Porter on Tuesday, and you can read that interview here for more on what's in store for Beverly.
Ally and Ivy's crazy new neighbors, Harrison and Meadow Wilton, are inexplicably peeved by Ally's big, murdery mistake, showing up at her place to barrage her with major shade. To them, Ally has "exercised white privilege," and should "wallow in her white appropriation of hispanic culture." They say these things while wearing sombreros, and really, the sass of it all.
The next day, Ivy wakes up to find Ally standing in their front yard staring at something that's not within her vantage point. She steps outside to find at least 30 dead birds laying in the yard. This is probably related to the chemical truck they watched roll through the neighborhood the previous night spraying unidentified green gas like the sketchiest of Ghostbusters.
Winter shows back up at the house, apologizing for bouncing out when things got bad the night Ally shot Pedro. At first, Ivy is mad she bailed, but she gets over it quickly, probably because when you shoot someone, there's not much room for indignation. Weirdly, Winter also let some rando into the house who's "responding to an ad." They find a stranger completely naked in their living room. He's under the impression they're all going to have sex.
They have to threaten him to get him to go, even after he realizes he's wrong. Humiliated, he becomes aggressive and one finds oneself thinking, "Oh, fleshy stranger, why won't you leave?" before Ally grabs the nearest heavy object and he realizes no oral will come of this. All of this has the Wiltons written all over it.
As Ally is driving over to The Butchery to talk sense into the protesters like a real dummy, she calls Dr. Vincent about the online ad. He advises her to file a police report. She's upset because everyone thinks she's a racist, so he says they should have an emergency meeting the next day. He suggests she enter an inpatient facility for a couple weeks until things calm down, she says no, definitely not, and jets forth to talk sense into the angry horde. Logically.
Not surprisingly, when she arrives, the protesters end up storming her Volvo. She's stuck inside the car with no visible exit. Suddenly, wouldn't you know it, Kai shows up. He calmly parts the crowd with his magic hands, orders them to move, and they disperse without hesitation.
"I told you I would take care of you, and I did," he tells her from outside her car window like Smurf Manson come to life.
When Ally and Ivy return home, Winter and Ozzie are playing with a new guinea pig Ozzie has named Mr. Guinea. Ally doesn't want pets in the home, especially ones with cisnormative names, and we're reminded how truly unlikable she is. Later, Ozzie spills that the Wiltons gave the guinea pig to Ozzie as a kind gesture.
Weirdly, Detective Samuels and the Wiltons are hanging out when Ally phones to confront them for posting the sex ad. You know, the one that led to that man infiltrating their parlor with his peen.
Shortly afterward, Ally runs outside to stop the strange chemical truck from spraying their neighborhood for the second night in a row. She has to jump out of the way at the last minute and the truck sprays its mysterious chemicals on her. When Ivy runs out to help her, Ally's nose is bleeding, which is probably not a great sign for her neurologically speaking.
Ally takes a blood test and has to wait a week for the results. It's been a tough time, so the family spends a night together at the restaurant. It's pretty idyllic and maybe the first time we've seen them enjoy each other without being disrupted by some exotic type of lunatic. This peace is, of course, fleeting.
The fam arrives back home only to find the infamous red smiley face marker of homicides present painted on the door and the guinea pig in the microwave. Mr. Guinea blows up right in front of the kid. Ally marches right over to the Wiltons' to confront them, finding them in the backyard, and punches Harrison in the face.
"I'm done. I am not crazy and I am not weak. You people are terrorizing my family and it stops now," she screams at them in a particularly uncharacteristic and endearing moment.
The Wiltons deny painting the smiley face on her front door. Still, Ally isn't having it. She threatens to kill them both if they come near her family again. Following the confrontation, Ivy is upset by Ally's actions — actions that are now affecting Ozzie and that constitute a level of crazy she didn't sign up for. As they're leaving the Wiltons', that damn chemical truck rolls on back and masked men start spraying the Mayfair-Richards' front yard. Ally confronts one of them, rips their mask off, and is shocked to find a smiley face underneath. She collapses onto the ground and is once again exposed to this hazy green chemical.
Later, when Ally reports everything that's happened to Detective Samuels, he asks Ivy if she's exhibited recent signs of psychosis. Ally takes issue with his comment and shows him what's left of Mr. Guinea as proof she's not a loon. Samuels confirms the smiley face on their door is authentic, and then everything really goes to hell.
After the couple hear Ozzie cursing from upstairs, they run to him in a tizzy only to find him sitting at a computer. Ivy is sure he can't have discovered anything too atrocious because she's implemented parental controls, but — BUT — that little sneak Ozzie has figured out her password: Clownz. "Clowns" with a "z." Clowns, as in the mascot of Ally's attackers. This is so totally damning, and at this point, we're pretty sure Ivy is in on all the terrible things that've been happening in town.
Making matters worse, Ozzie has clicked on a link of video footage of Ivy with Winter in the bath tub. Ivy thinks Ally is cheating on her with Winter, and she's officially done. She's ready to leave the house, and Ally, for good. Conveniently, in all the craziness, Ally doesn't have the chance to ask Ivy why her computer password is the one thing that makes Ally most miserable.
As Ivy is leaving with Ozzie, Harrison Wilton emerges from his house. He's covered in blood, surrounded by cops, and (surprise, surprise) Meadow has been murdered. Harrison hones in on Ally, accusing her of murdering his "fag hag" wife. The cops have to tackle him before he assaults her.
While they're outside and distracted by the commotion, someone sneaks into the Wiltons' home and rubs blood all over the walls. As Ally and Ivy are distracted by Harrison, Ozzie walks inside to the mess — and a fresh red smiley face painted on their parlor wall.
Other things to note about this episode:
A new phobia is introduced courtesy of one ill-fated young couple: feretrophobia, the fear of caskets. Dr. Rudy Vincent is helping client Rosie to conquer her fear by facing the real source of it, her dad, who locked her in small spaces as a child. Unfortunately, this accomplishment is for nothing. The clowns show up at Rosie's home when she and her husband get back from Dr. Vincent's office, locking both of them into caskets and leaving them to die. Ugh.
Kai somehow gets to Harrison and Meadow, inducting them into the cult. He sees them separately, performing his go-to pinky promise ritual. When he starts to ask Meadow "What are you most afraid of?", Meadow says something dumb about the Real Housewives, and he slaps the hell out of her:
"DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW VALUABLE MY TIME IS? THIS IS A REVOLUTION!" he screams.
"Stop anesthetizing yourself. Know your pain," he continues. "Stop saying sorry for anything. That makes you nothing. Everything is somebody else's fault from now on. You want to be somebody? You want to matter? Then you make the world wrong."
When it comes to Harrison's turn to do the ritual, he makes the mistake of wishing Meadow was dead because he's gay and all. Later, he gets his wish.
American Horror Story: Cult returns Tuesday, Sept. 26 on FX.