There was no clear protagonist
By aligning its characters with real-world political candidates, Cult never quite established a “good guy,” and that made it hard to root for anyone. Kai’s obsession with Trump was obviously played to its most villainous extreme, but early on, the show also poked fun at Ally’s backhanded vote for Jill Stein. Her anti-Hillary vote is what turned her wife Ivy against her, but then Ivy joined Kai’s cult and started murdering people. This means that every potential hero character had blood on their hands by the end, which prevents clear stakes from being established. Are we supposed to be mad that Ally voted for Stein? Are we supposed to hate Hillary voters for weakly giving in to Trump? There’s no indication of a creative motive, and the lines are especially blurred once Ally kills Ivy and becomes something of a wildcard.
In the end, Ally and Beverly are the last women standing, which further aggravates this point. Right before Beverly fatally shoots Kai in the head, Ally tells him, “You were wrong, there is something more dangerous in this world than a humiliated man: a nasty woman.”
It’s played for maximum impact, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense from a political perspective. Why did the Stein-voting Ally borrow the most empowering and memorable lingo from Hillary’s campaign? We don’t know if she regrets her vote, and there’s no follow-up that insinuates she’s changed her modus operandi offscreen. In fact, by episode’s end, when Ally pulls up her velvet green hood, we can assume she’s started her own cult built on the pillars of female rage. It’s a chilling notion, and a confusing one; it sends the message that in toppling the patriarchy, women establish their own toxic breed of power -- which seems antithetical to much of what came before, and confuses any feminist yarn the season might have been spinning.