If there's one underlying theme that's been consistent through American Horror Story: Cult's first seven episodes, it's the idea of being cursed to repeat the past when we don't learn from the past. For series creator Ryan Murphy, it's society's long and tragic history of people who've gained power through feeding off of the fear and anger of a population — a history he wants us to realize still continues to this day.
To that end, Murphy has been relying on the acting talents of Evan Peters to not only portray Kai Anderson's small town cult leader/town councilman, but also a number of infamous cult leaders from history. Peters has portrayed or is set to portray David Koresh, Jim Jones, Andy Warhol, and — as we see here for the first time — Charles Manson.
As he's known to do, Murphy took to his Instagram account to share the news:
Peters's Manson will make his appearance in the season's penultimate episode 'Charles (Manson) in Charge', airing on FX on November 7th. By going with Manson, one has to wonder if Murphy will be delving deeper into the family dynamic between Kai, Winter (Billie Lourd), and Dr. Vincent (Cheyenne Jackson), as well as the cult.
During initial press screenings for the season premiere, TV Line reported Murphy's thoughts on how modern history would directly impact the show's evolving storyline:
"Throughout the season, [Peters is] playing six different cult leaders: Kai, Manson, David Koresh, Andy Warhol, Jim Jones — that's a big one. We really examine how those people rise to power. … They really are idiots. … Lena is doing an episode called 'Valerie Solanas Died For Your Sins, Scum Bag.' That episode is about female rage then and in the country now. Valerie Solanas created a thing called the SCUM Manifesto in which she told all women to kill all men [in order to achieve equal power.] We also examine our female characters as they're trying to figure out a way they can have equal power within this cult that Kai has created."
American Horror Story: Cult premieres on FX on Tuesday, September 5th. Lourd, Lena Dunham, Allison Pill, Colton Haynes, Billy Eichner, and Leslie Grossman have been tapped to join returning American Horror Story stars Peters, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Frances Conroy, Mare Winningham, Jackson, and Adina Porter.
American Horror Story: Cult airs on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. ET on FX.