American Horror Story: Cult opts for a flashback episode this time, showing us more of reporter Beverly Hope and the anger felt by the population and characters after Election Night. Not only do we get some of the characters’ backstories in “11/9,” but we also finally learn the truth about whether the clowns are real.

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It’s All About the Vote

After being told that season 7 was going to be about the election, I expected there to be more about the actual event by this point on American Horror Story: Cult. Election night was actually just a catalyst for the overall season, but it was still important for the characters.

We start with the Election Day voting line, as our Hillary Clinton supporters look forward to the first female president and the Wiltons feeling like they should be voting for nothing more than the Emmys. There are the odd voters in the crowd supporting others, including Donald Trump, but most are Clinton fans. Of course, Ally loses the nerve to vote for Hillary and opts for Jill Stein instead. Will Ivy ever get over that decision?

As all this happens, Kai carries Gary Longstreet into the voting room. Gary is bleeding with a severed arm and needs to cast his Trump vote immediately. If you don’t recognize him right away, he’s the guy from the grocery store when Ally first saw the clowns in the premiere.

Inside the Cult’s Abilities

The next day, we soon learn just how so many people voted for Trump in the small town. While training, Kai starts sharing his fearsome and angry views about labels and everything wrong with the world. It just so happens to be the same gym that Harrison works at as a personal trainer, and Kai is one of his clients. It doesn’t take long for Kai to seduce Harrison, and for Harrison to find the clown symbol in the steam room.

Harrison, who is angry at his boss for being forced to clean up the bathroom after a couple’s sexual escapades again, decides it’s time to end his boss’ life. The good news for him is that Kai, who draws that smiley face on the steam room door, is able to use his computer hacking skills to cover up the murder. However, that isn’t before Meadow sees Harrison murdering his boss.

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Even Reporters Have Secrets

The next month, Beverly reports on a body found at the dump and shares about how great it is for her to be back. Where has she been? Kai wonders that too, so he takes to the Internet to find out that she was taunted by young men during her interviews and she finally broke and attacked one. It turns out Beverly went into a treatment program for 90 days, giving rival journalist Serena Belinda a chance to take over.

Beverly’s actions weren’t the only way Serena was able to get the stand-in job. Serena is sleeping with the boss to climb the career ladder. It angers Beverly, so she goes out and slashes Serena’s tires. Of course, Kai happens across her at the time, and it’s a chance to bring her into the cult. There’s a difference with Beverly, though. He wants her in as an equal because of that rage she has.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure who Serena is. She doesn’t last long, as she’s murdered by the killer clowns. So it definitely turns out that they’re not a figment of Ally’s imagination. We now have faces to all the clowns: Kai and the Wiltons. We’d guessed as much, right?

Winter and Ivy Share a Moment

Ally isn’t the only married woman Winter has shared a moment with on American Horror Story: Cult. It turns out that before the election, she also shared a moment with Ivy at a Hillary Clinton rally, after Ivy was assaulted by Gary. This also isn’t the first time the two have met. It’s no wonder Ivy is so mad at Ally for presumably cheating on her with Winter!

Winter and Ivy decide to track down Gary and lock him up, making it impossible for him to vote. What one less guy voting for Trump is going to do is unclear, but it shows the fear, uncertainty and anger over Trump’s positions.

So how does Gary end up with Kai carrying him in? Winter tells Kai all about locking Gary up. As many fans theorized, Kai is Winter’s brother and she will tell him anything. Kai, the master of motivational speeches, gives one to Gary in this episode. Gary needs to get out of his chains because his vote is so important. Kai even has a saw to help.

No, it’s not Kai who saws. Kai is able to convince Gary to saw his own hand off. It’s like a moment out of Saw but slightly crazier. After all, this isn’t quite a life or death situation. Welcome to the cult’s America.

What did you think of the episode? Are you happy to get some answers to some of your questions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

American Horror Story: Cult airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of FX)