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"Valerie Solanas Died For Your Sins: Scumbag"[1] is the seventh episode of Cult. It premiered on October 17, 2017.

Synopsis

Kai's presence in national headlines attracts a new underground following. The women in the cult find themselves pushed aside before finding inspiration in the stories of an enigmatic stranger. [2]

Plot

June 3, 1968

In the back of a parked car, a woman (Valerie Solanas) and a man are having sex. He shorts her $5 on the $10 fee for her services. She leaves and inquires inside a store how many bullets $5 will pay for. Her mission: kill Andy Warhol.

24 hours earlier

On a film set, an actress asks for direction from Andy Warhol, the visionary of the film. Solanas storms in and demands her script back from Warhol, who has lost it. She accuses him of having lost it on purpose. Warhol retorts that as a woman, she should not expect to be a great artist. Infuriated, she's escorted off the set.

June 3, 1968

Solanas loads her gun in a freight elevator, and she's told that Warhol isn't coming in that week. She returns to the elevator, and Warhol enters it. She follows him back to the set and shoots at him until she hits him in the stomach.

Present day

The news reports the shooting at Kai's rally; 5 are dead, one is wounded. Meadow is identified as the shooter, and Ally has been arrested as a suspect. Harrison reads a prepared statement about Meadow's actions. Kai is polling ahead and is the apparent winner. Beverly emerges from the studio to find a hooded figure near her car. The woman tells her that she knows about the cult, and that the assassination attempt was fake. She tells Beverly to call her at a hotel when she's ready.

The next day, Beverly Hope is locked out of Kai's house, where bodyguards fill and guard the house. Each of the men is dressed identically. Kai welcomes her in, and tells her that the men are volunteers from all over the nation. He leads her downstairs to discuss the next steps, and she bristles that the terms of their equal partnership have changed. Beverly reminds him of Meadow, and Harrison tells her to leave.

Beverly visits the mystery woman, who has been expecting her.

At The Butchery, Ivy and Winter discuss Ally's disappearance. Ivy is worried, but Det. Samuels won't return her calls. Winter says that since he's part of the no-women-allowed inner sanctum in Kai's basement. Ivy invites in a knocking Beverly and the woman, whom Beverly identifies as Bebe Babbitt. Beverly asked all the women to assemble. They are all unnerved that "the patriarchy" has taken over the movement's leadership and that they are being marginalized. Bebe discloses that Valerie Solanas was her lover, and tells her story. Solanas' SCUM Manifesto was a feminist tipping point, and intrigued Babbitt (and a number of other devotees) with the notion of killing most men (those pre-approved by the group, such as gay men, would be conditionally exempted as gender-traitors). Upon moving to San Francisco, Solanas outlined her plan to new followers. The attack on Warhol launched other attacks on men by SCUM; the credit of those attacks went to the never-identified Zodiac Killer, but Babbitt explains that there was never a single Zodiac killer and that all those actions were actually the work of SCUM.

Other couples continued to be murdered, directed by Solanas from her hospital cell. Solanas was infuriated when a rogue began sending letters to the newspapers, taking credit for SCUM's work. Babbitt suggested taking credit as SCUM, but Solanas was clear in the manifesto that step would only happen after a thousand were dead from the revolution. Solanas became increasingly unhinged until she emerged from the hospital years later. Her new paradigm did not allow for any exceptions among men, especially as she blamed one of the group's members -- a man named Maurice -- for being the imposter taking credit as the Zodiac killer. The other man, Bruce, is killed by the women as Maurice escaped. His body is found later, ritually dismembered with his genitals in his mouth.

Solanas presented herself to the police and took credit on behalf of SCUM for the murders, but the officer did not believe her confession and sent her away. More left the group as Solanas' schizophrenia decompensated, and she imagined Warhol visiting her to criticize her. Her public identity became tied with shooting Warhol, and her legacy did not include the rest of her SCUM work.

Babbitt warns the assembled women that they must reclaim their power from Kai and the rest of the men. Beverly says they must strike back.

The next day, Winter finds Kai communing with their mummified parents, wondering if they'd be proud of him. She says that she's not happy with all his actions, but she loves and supports him. He questions her loyalty, and asks her about the copy of the SCUM Manifesto he found in her room. She tries to play it off as an old textbook, but he says it has inspired him to post his own message on social media. He tests out titles with her. FIT, or "Fear Is Truth", makes her smirk. Harrison's idea of MLWB ("Men Lead, Women Bleed") has more of a negative reaction. He asks her to leave for more solitary time, and as she walks away says "Say hi to the girls for me."

Back at the restaurant, Harrison and Ivy plan a victory party for Kai. She questions whether Harrison's treatment of Kai as a king isn't a bit much, which he scoffs at. They move further in, and the women surround him. Beverly incapacitates him, and he awakes in the meat locker to find Ivy with an engaged chainsaw. They pump him for answers about Meadow and Ally. He says everything is Kai's idea, even "Men Lead, Women Bleed". Ivy lowers the chainsaw and severs his arm.

Beverly reports on Harrison's "scum-covered" dismembered corpse, and associates it with retaliation for Meadow's assassination attempt. She suggests to the public that Kai's promise of law and order is not being kept, as Kai eyes the SCUM Manifesto resting in front of him. He turns to a guest, saying that they're at their best when they're angry. Bebe Babbitt, his co-conspirator, agrees.

Featured Characters

Valerie Solanas

Valerie Solanas was an American feminist who attempted to kill Andy Warhol. She is a guest starring character in American Horror Story portrayed by actress Lena Dunham. Being the first female cult leader, she commanded a legion of females, codenamed "SCUM".

On June 2, 1968, Valerie had an discussion with Andy Warhol, who rejected her film script and retorted that as a woman, she shouldn't be expected to be a great artist. The morning after, she prostituted herself to buy bullets to her gun. Valerie then went to his studio and his employees told her that he was gone for the week. However, after meeting him in the elevator, she followed him back to his office and shot him in the stomach. The authorities later hospitalized her in an asylum for the criminally insane in New York. While in her cell, she organised the murdering of various men and their female partners. The credit of the SCUM attacks however, were taken by a man calling himself the Zodiac Koller. The thought of a man taking credit for her SCUM killings caused Valerie to go crazy and led to her followers to lose faith in her teachings and abandon her. All alone, she hallucinated Andy Warhol, who mocked her for her appearance and false legacy. Trying to attack him, Valerie fell and her head hit a table, killing her instantly.


Andy Warhol

Main article: wikipedia:Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol is a guest starring character in American Horror Story portrayed by Evan Peters.

He was an American artist who rejected a script written by Valerie Solanas, which made her angry, thus leading her to attempt to assassinate him.


Hedda

Hedda is a guest starring character in American Horror Story portrayed by Jamie Brewer.

Butchy May

Butchy May is a guest starring character in American Horror Story portrayed by Dot-Marie Jones.

Maurice

Maurice is a guest starring character in American Horror Story portrayed by Ryan Alvarez.

Bruce

Bruce is a guest starring character in American Horror Story portrayed by Miguel Sagaz.

Quotes

Notes

Raised Questions

References

  1. The Futon Critic
  2. FX Networks, American Horror Story - Cult

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