Winter of Our Discontent


Original Air Date: 10/24/17 on FX.  Season 7, episode 8.
Starring: Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Cheyenne Jackson, Billie Lourd,
Guest Stars: Rick Springfield

Director: Barbara Brown
Rick's Character Name:  Pastor Charles
Synopsis: Ally confronts Kai meanwhile Winter must choose between Kai and Beverly when he makes a questionable decision.

The Latest episode of American Horror Story: Cult, "The Winter of Our Discontent," had a lot of freaky stuff going on, from a bizarre All-4-One-scored bedding ritual to fratricide to Ally Mayfair-Richards (Sarah Paulson) finally joining the cult. But nothing was so downright terrifying as an early episode flashback that saw a younger Kai and Winter visiting something called "Judgment House," a deranged haunted house run by a man named Pastor Charles that contained the real bodies of tormented "sinners."

The Anderson siblings find Judgment House on the dark web. They're invited by Pastor Charles himself, and at first the siblings believe the house is populated with actors. But after smelling blood on a victim in the first room they enter -- a mockery of an abortion clinic -- they realize they're in a real-life house of horrors, and that Pastor Charles is far more sinister than they could have imagined.

Does Judgment House sound like an invented, over-the-top nightmare designed to spice up a fictional show? It isn't: Judgment House shares a name and basic concept with a real-world series of haunted houses run by evangelical churches throughout the United States. While the actual versions aren't full of dead or tortured bodies, they do have a similar, bizarre function -- to scare people "for the sake of heaven."
Judgement Houses may be strange and intense, but they don't actually inflict bodily harm on anyone. In AHS: Cult, Pastor Charles is a straight-up murderer, and not a particularly smart one: as Kai and Winter discover, the people he's trapped and tortured aren't even guilty of the sins he punished them for.

According to US

The opening alone is enough to keep me from watching.  Ick.  I watched the 1st season of AHS and I thought it was too weird.  So this is only the 2nd season of this I watched, and I did watch the whole thing.  Not sure why I didn't stop after Rick's episode, but I guess I like to finish what I start.  And of course this has election ties to it, which is another strike.  Rick's storyline was part of a flashback sequence.  Kai and Winter were pretending to be part of a "True Believers" following. Pastor Charles offers them a personal (through private message)  invitation to come to Judgement House. At first they think the house is filled with actors, but quickly realize that it is real. The house has a woman who had an abortion, a drug addict, a "sodomite".  They set everyone free that is still alive, and give Pastor Charles a taste of his own medicine.  Except for the "where is that accent" from part, I thought Rick did a really good job.  I know he likes playing parts that are very different from who he is or who people think he is, but yuck.