Charles (Manson) in Charge

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"Charles (Manson) in Charge"
American Horror Story episode
Episode no.Season 7
Episode 10
Directed byBradley Buecker
Written byRyan Murphy & Brad Falchuk
Production code7ATS10
Original air dateNovember 7, 2017 (2017-11-07)
Running time50 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Drink the Kool-Aid"
Next →
"Great Again"
American Horror Story: Cult
List of American Horror Story episodes

"Charles (Manson) in Charge" is the tenth episode of the seventh season of the anthology television series American Horror Story. It aired on November 7, 2017, on the cable network FX. The episode was written by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk, and directed by Bradley Buecker.[1]



Kai attends anger management counseling after slapping one of Winter's friends following an argument regarding Donald Trump’s likelihood of becoming president. Bebe Babbitt, Kai’s counselor, tells him that Trump is her favorite politician and that he should consider running for office. Bebe asserts that Kai’s purpose is to “unleash feminine rage”.


As Kai gives a speech at a political rally, a protestor sprays him in the face with mace. Later that evening, Kai insists that Winter and Ally modify the ice cream truck to avoid detection. Winter asks Ally about the circumstances of Ivy's death and wonders if Kai had something to do with it.

The incumbent senator whom Kai is challenging in the midterm elections dismisses Kai's campaign on television and Kai resolves to orchestrate a “night of a thousand Tates”, referring to the infamous Tate murders. He tells the militiamen that on August 9, 1969, Charles Manson's "family", including Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian, killed Sharon Tate and four of her friends at her home in Beverly Hills. Atkins stabbed Tate, who was eight months pregnant, multiple times and wrote the word “pig” in blood on the door to the house.

Gary and a few of Kai's followers break into a local Planned Parenthood office. Once inside, Gary is surrounded by Kai and his followers wearing their clown attire and he is stabbed to death. The next morning, a woman who works at the office stumbles across Gary's corpse lying at the front door next to a sign written in his blood that reads "stop the slaughter". Beverly reports on the murder while interviewing Kai. Kai suggests in the interview that the incumbent senator is responsible for Gary's murder. When the camera stops filming, Kai chastises Beverly's monotone delivery.

At the Butchery, Winter approaches Beverly and apologizes for framing her for Samuels' murder. She then gives Beverly a train ticket to Montana where Winter says she can start a new life and escape from the cult. Beverly tells Winter that she will always be loyal to Kai.

Kai begins to suspect that there is a mole in the cult. He runs up to his parents’ bedroom trying to identify the source of a perpetual buzzing sound. He hallucinates Dr. Vincent coming back to life and giving him advice. He then hallucinates Charles Manson stabbing Vincent. Manson tells Kai that he can't trust women. Ally tells Kai that she has found a listening device. The doorbell rings and Kai instructs Ally to stay where she is. Kai answers the door and finds Bebe standing there. They both go to the basement where Bebe tells Kai that he isn't keeping his end of the deal they made a year ago. Bebe pulls a gun on Kai and Ally shoots her in the back of the head.

That evening, Winter shaves Kai's head in the bathroom. Kai tells Winter that he feels as though she's slipping away and she tells Kai that every follower of his will leave him one day except for her. Kai tells Winter that he is planning on having her by his side when he is in the White House and they briefly hug each other. Kai then suggests that Winter run away to Montana and pulls out the train ticket she gave to Beverly earlier.

In the basement, Kai, convinced that Winter is the mole, demands her to confess. When she denies that she is the mole and refuses to confess, Kai tearfully strangles her to death. Speedwagon runs to his car afterwards and destroys a wire. Ally enters his car and greets him contentedly.


"Charles (Manson) in Charge" was watched by 1.82 million people during its original broadcast, and gained a 0.8 ratings share among adults aged 18–49.[2]

The episode received mostly positive reviews from critics. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, "Charles (Manson) in Charge" holds an 80% approval rating, based on 15 reviews with an average rating of 7.08 out of 10.[3]

Tony Sokol of Den of Geek gave the episode a 3.5 out of 5, saying "While Kai's subversion and Ally's apparent conversion are unexpected, American Horror Story: Cult doesn't quite pull the rug out from under us this week. The recreation of the murders is expertly done, fulfilling the anticipation of the promised gore, but the American horror at the center of the episode is more sad than frightening. If nothing else, this episode convinced me that Butte, Montana, is the scariest place on earth."[4]

Kat Rosenfield from Entertainment Weekly gave the episode an A-. She particularly praised the scenes with Charles Manson, calling them "horrifying even by AHS standards". She also enjoyed Billie Lourd's performance in this episode. Howewer, she noticed that some plot points, like Gary's death, could only be explained by Kai's madness, "because it otherwise makes absolutely no sense".[5]

Matt Fowler of IGN gave the episode a 6 out of 10, with a mixed review. He said "A week out from the finale, Cult revealed that Kai was never the person we'd come to know, even in flashbacks. Instead, he was a bitter woman hater who was most definitely not pretending to be a woman hater for the sake of a twist that could have flipped the show on its ear. With increasing paranoia and drug use, Kai went from a man leading an ambitious and lethal social experiment to... just another unremarkable trolling bigot."[6]


  1. ^ "American Horror Story - (#710) "Charles (Manson) in Charge"". TheFutonCritic. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  2. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (November 8, 2017). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.7.2017". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  3. ^ "American Horror Story: Cult - "Charles (Manson) in Charge"". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  4. ^ Sokol, Tony (November 8, 2017). "American Horror Story Season 7 Episode 10 Review: Charles (Manson) in Charge". Den of Geek. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  5. ^ Rosenfield, Kat (November 7, 2017). "American Horror Story: Cult recap: 'Charles (Manson) in Charge'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  6. ^ Fowler, Matt (November 7, 2017). "American Horror Story: Cult - "Charles (Manson) in Charge" Review". IGN. Retrieved November 7, 2017.

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