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Sarah Paulson Explains The Final Shot Of American Horror Story: Cult

Contains spoilers for the season finale of American Horror Story: Cult

So that Lena Dunham episode turned out to be hugely important in the grand scheme of things.

The season finale of American Horror Story: Cult brought a violent end to the cult of Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) as the FBI took out most of his disciples, then Beverly (Adina Porter) shot him at a debate for Ally (Sarah Paulson) during her run for Senate. But the season came to an ominously ambiguous end with a long shot of Paulson standing before a mirror as she puts on the hood of a green cloak. 

Clearly, Ally's journey from victim to leader was at the center of the season. But what was the meaning of that final act? Paulson told Entertainment Weekly that it ties back to Dunham's portrayal of Valerie Solanas and the radical feminist group she founded.

"It's the green cloak of the SCUM. It's the SCUM cloak," Paulson said. "Listen, this is a conversation that Ryan [Murphy] and Tim Minear and I really had. At the end of the day, she's the mother of a son. She has a boy she's raising. There's a kind of poignant moment where he says, 'Am I going to be a good person? Am I going to be a good man?' And I say, 'I hope so.' And their intent with writing it and my intent with playing it was, 'I hope you will because my mission in life now is to create a world where men have to be responsible for themselves and their behavior. I'm going to be in Washington and have some power, and the goal being nobody is going to get away with anything anymore. More than a good person, you have to be a feminist. You have to be on the right side of history.' It should have had a feeling of something odd in my communication to him.

However, she said the scene was definitely meant to raise more questions. "I think they wanted to keep it sort of mysterious in the sense of what does it mean," Paulson said. "And what does it mean to each audience member in terms of how they view the reality now that Ally has power, beyond just personal power? But what will she do now that she has some sort of beginnings of a political voice and an opportunity to reach further into the world of being a civil servant? What will she do with that? If she is in fact a member of a new group of women who will stand for nothing but the righteous treatment and respect of them, what will that look like? But it shouldn't be definitive. It should be up to the viewer to decide what it means she's going to do with this. Does it mean she's going to kill men? I don't know. I have an opinion about it, but it's not one I'm ready to share."

Meanwhile, it sure sounds like Paulson will be back again for the next season of AHS. She's already talked about it with Murphy.

"He and I have had a preliminary conversation, and I can tell you that the thought of it is very exciting to me," she said. "However, I think the the kind of magic of this and the beauty of it is that these ideas come to him in ways that are like flashes of fever dreams. Sometimes he'll have a big idea. I've had him tell me things before that were going to be the whole thing that ultimately never turned into the season. So what I'm saying is, I have had a conversation with him, something that is percolating. I do not think it's been decided. I think it's a percolating thing. It got me very excited. Whether or not I'll actually do that or that will be the story remains to be seen. I have said before to that anything he decides to come up with, I'm always so game and on board with because it's obviously been a wild ride for me. But there have been some preliminary conversations. I hope it's the one I hope it is; let's put I that way. I've heard more than one idea and there's one in particular I really hope lands."