Emmy episode analysis: Adina Porter (‘American Horror Story’) joins a murderous cult in ’11/9′

Adina Porter has had a long and distinguished career in the New York theater and on television but it has only been in recent years that she quietly rose through the ranks of the ensemble casts of Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story” to become one of its key players. That culminated this year with her surprise Emmy nomination as Best Limited Series/Movie Supporting Actress for “American Horror Story: Cult.”

The “American Horror Story” franchise seemed to have fallen off the Emmy radar since last year’s addition “Roanoke” didn’t receive a single acting nomination despite acclaimed performances particularly from Kathy Bates and Porter. So, it was a bit of a surprise this year when perennial Emmy favorite Sarah Paulson and Porter showed up on the Emmy list. (It was incredibly unfortunate that Evan Peters was overlooked for his brilliant work, but you can’t have everything, I guess.)

In “Cult” Porter plays a TV news reporter, Beverly Hope, who is filled with rage and anger and is lured into the cult that Evan Peters‘ character has started. For her episode she has chosen the fourth episode of the season, “11/9.” The title refers to the date of the last presidential election in 2016. Porter’s character is reaching the end of her rope with her employer. She is growing increasingly despondent over how a younger rival (played by Emma Roberts) is increasingly getting more airtime.

Beverly hates her boss and has been informed the only reason she is still employed with this company is because she is their only black reporter. She is falling apart mentally and takes out her frustrations on the tires of her boss’s car. Beverly meets Kai (Peters) who seduces her into his cult and murders Robert’s character to show his dedication to her. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of Porter’s chances to take home the Emmy.

PROS

Porter has been acting a long time but she has slowly become a prominent television fixture starting with her work on “True Blood” and then in her “American Horror Story” roles. She is the kind of working actor who has slowly found fame that some voters may think it would be nice to recognize for her body of work and specifically for her strong work here.

This is also a category that could see an upset. Penelope Cruz and Judith Light seem to be battling each other for the win for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” so vote splitting could occur and someone like Porter could sneak through to win.

CONS

The show may be starting to feel old for some voters and this year’s particularly violent season may have turned off some viewers. The network had to edit out some material and place a warning on the show for an episode that was scheduled to air shortly after the Las Vegas mass murder and also featured a mass shooting.

Another obstacle for Porter is the performance of Merrit Wever in “Godless.” If Cruz and Light cancel each other out Wever’s popular performance could sneak in. Wever has done that before with her surprise win a few years ago for “Nurse Jackie.”

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