We started with the end of the world. The end of the season begins with the end of the world. But does the world really end?
We begin the end with a match between the redheads. Myrtle (Frances Conroy) arrives at the tech headquarters, and exchanges a few bits of wit with Venable (Sarah Paulson). Getting past her with a spell, and a bit of knowledge about her hair (“My hair is an eternal mystery never to be fully understood.”), she heads to the techies to gain information on the outposts that they have planned. Using a few more witchy ways, she learns the information, guarantees CoCo’s (Leslie Grossman) family has a spot in the Hawthorne outpost, assumingly kills the tech guys, and leaves the headquarters.
Back at the Swamp Witch’s abode, Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) and Myrtle explain Coco and Mallory’s (Billie Lourd) place in the apocalypse. They place them both under an identity spell to forget that they’re witches. They will be placed into the Hawthorne outpost, thanks to Myrtle‘s spell. Post identity spell, Madison (Emma Roberts) ubers CoCo and Mallory to one of CoCo‘s hair appointments.
Whilst in LA, Madison spots a billboard ad for Dinah‘s new talk show on the side of a bus. Madison swears that Dinah wouldn’t be able to get this gig on her own, and assumes that she’s sold her soul to the devil for the gig. Myrtle and Madison want to burn Dinah at the stake for helping Langdon, but Cordelia is adamant on keeping a low profile. They can’t do anything that will lead Langdon (Cody Fern) to their plan. But no worries, she plans to make Dinah pay.
Cordelia, Myrtle, and Mallory went underground (literally, buried) for the burnout. Their rising was brought upon by Mallory‘s – still in identity spell mode – discovery of her powers. A replay of the rising of the Coven at Hawthorne’s occurs as well as a replay of Langdon‘s “I will destroy you” speech to the Coven. Dinah announces her allegiance to Langdon. And then in walks the original VooDoo Queen, Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett).
Cordelia promised Papa Legba Dinah, a darker soul, in return for Marie, who wasn’t really satisfying Legba‘s hellish needs. Marie takes no time in sending Dinah to hell. With a swipe of a machete, she rips open Dinah‘s throat. This sets off a series of sudden deaths and explosions.
Cordelia sets a spell in motion that causes Robot Mead (Kathy Bates) to explode. Madison takes Robot Mead’s gun arm, and lays dozens of bullets into Langdon, giving them a little time as he goes down. Cordelia and Myrtle take Mallory to complete the spell of her going back in time in order to alter what is happening. Brock (Billy Eichner) finally returns, and he stabs a knife into Mallory‘s gut. Myrtle sets Brock on fire, ending him. Langdon gains consciousness, and offs Madison with a head explosion, pulls Marie‘s heart from her chest, and snaps CoCo‘s neck. He’s running right through the Coven. Mallory is set up for the spell, but she’s dying. She definitely does not have the strength to complete it. This is where Cordelia realizes what she must do.
“You will get to watch me die, but you won’t find it satisfying. Satan has one son, but my sisters are legion, motherfucker,” – Cordelia.
With that, she sacrifices herself for the good of the Coven. Mallory, is no longer just the assumed new Supreme. She instantly gains her Supreme powers, and goes back in time to set everything right. The time is 2015, and it’s just as Constance (Jessica Lange, in an in a Guest Starring Emmy worthy performance) has found that Langdon has murdered the priest. She kicks him out. On his across the street, Mallory runs him down with a SUV. She runs him over, a few times, for good measure. Langdon asks Constance to take him to the Murder House so that he can be with her forever, but Constance‘s response? “Go to hell.”
Everything has been avoided! Mallory arrives for the first time at Miss Robichaux’s academy. She is (re)introduced to an alive Cordelia and Zoe. Since there was no apocalypse looming, Cordelia never revived Myrtle. Mallory gives great LA advice that stops Queenie from going to the Hotel Cortez, thus saving her life. Mallory‘s decided to leave Madison in her personal hell, at least for a little bit. Since Mallory defeated the antichrist, she has many fans in hell (“Guess everyone hates their boss … even in hell“). She pulled a few strings, and was able to bring Misty Day (Lily Rabe) back from hell. Nan (Jamie Brewer) delivers Misty to the academy, but doesn’t stay. The chick loves her some hell.
And as for the one possible plot hole that I mentioned in the last recap? Timothy (Kyle Allen) and Emily‘s (Ash Santos) “perfect” DNA that got them spots in the Hawthorne outpost? It’s because they were Satan’s backup plan. Somehow the mixture of their DNA would create another antichrist in the event that the first failed. Fate still brought them together, and their child ends up being the next possible antichrist. The episode ends the same way that Murder House ended. Their child had murdered the nanny.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse successfully wrapped up every storyline that the season offered! It was absolutely coherent in its structure. I recently had a conversation with a friend who said they quit watching AHS after Freakshow because she felt that it began to focus too much on sex and gore and shock elements, and that the story was left on the back burner as a result. I didn’t deny her that opinion because it’s true. Shock value did begin to overtake story. People began to watch to see how far the content would go when it came to the sex and gore. Apocalypse brought it all back to the story and the characters. As a result, I believe this to be the best AHS season, yet.
We were absolutely treated to some of the best character development that she has ever had to offer. Part of that could be because we were familiar with the majority of the characters from previous seasons. We saw Madison go from constantly whiny to having a heart, and sacrificing moments to save her Coven. Cordelia’s bravery and leadership grew exceptionally. Myrtle … well, she was always Myrtle, and we will always accept the Myrtle that we have received.
It wasn’t just the familiar that were successful in the characterizations. Props to Cody Fern for his portrayal of Michael Langdon, the antichrist. We were introduced to him at his most powerful, and then were taken back to when he was just learning of his powers. The growth shown between the two times showed that Fern has a way with the acting. I was actually quite confused as to how he looked so young and innocent when we went back in time. His demeanor at the outpost was seductive and powerful which was a complete contrast to his innocence and goofiness before the realization of his status.
As for the ending of the season, it was a little bit of a letdown. I didn’t continue riding the high that I was on throughout the entire last few episodes. To say it was a tad bit predictable is an understatement. Timothy and Emily had to come into play in some way before the season took its bow. It wasn’t fully expected that this is how it would come about.
I’ll close out these recaps with a minor prediction. Timothy and Emily‘s 3 year old murdered his nanny in the show’s timeline in 2020. AHS is signed on throughout a 10th season which will air in 2020. Will we have another go at an apocalypse? Will we be privy to an even bigger crossover season if that ends up being the show’s final season? We’ll see. For now, let’s just bask in the afterglow of this Apocalypse.