It’s the fifth episode of American Horror Story: Apocalypse, and Cordelia Goode (Sarah Paulson) is gathering her coven. Ariel Augustus (Jon Jon Briones) is creating an Alpha. A war is brewing, and although we may know how the war ends, the stirring of the pot is, nevertheless, interesting. What steps did both sides take this week to make sure they are the victorious side?

At the end of the previous episode, Cordelia fainted at the sight of Madison (Emma Roberts) and Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) making their way towards her. During the time that she unconscious, she experienced a vision of the world after it was destroyed in the first episode. Miss Robichaux’s Academy is in ruins, and the radioactive remaining humans devour Cordelia, but not before she catches a glimpse of Langdon (Cody Fern) in his “white faced” demonic form. She awakens to her growing coven, and lets them in on her vision. To the surprise of her coven, she meets with the Hawthorne Heads, and agrees to give Langdon a chance at the test of the Seven Wonders. If he succeeds, she is willing to hand over the title of the Supreme over to him.

Back at Miss Robichaux’s, Cordelia admits to Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) that her vision has caused her to be afraid. Giving Langdon the shot at the Seven Wonders is her way of making sure that she isn’t wrong about him, and that she isn’t missing out a chance to possibly save the world from becoming what she saw. She knows there will be a day when a new Supreme will arise, and she has to possibly accept that the new Supreme will be male. All of this stems from Cordelia feeling as if her powers are draining, and that she is dying.

 

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A little side shows the powers of the newest members of the Coven, Mallory (Billie Lourd) and CoCo (Leslie Grossman). Myrtle tells Cordelia that Mallory exhibited a great power when she revived a mauled deer, and not only revived it, but reversed its aging. CoCo is brought to Miss Robichaux’s by her father. She has the ability to sense danger although she’s sure that she’s only able to detect gluten in foods as she saved her brother from a biscotti at Dean & Deluca’s.

Back at Hawthorne’s, the Heads are conducting a spell that will protect Langdon in his test of the Seven Wonders. At the end of this test, John Henry (Cheyenne Jackson) catches a glipse of the evil within Langdon. This leads to him to pack up, quickly, and set out to Cordelia. Before he leaves, Chablis (Billy Porter) comes to him and accuses him of being afraid of someone having more power than him. John Henry confides him that he saw the “white faced demon” within Langdon.

John Henry makes it out of Hawthorne’s. Whilst stopping to get gas, Mead (Kathy Bates) shows up. Playing the age card, she gets John Henry to assist her with getting “the thingy in the hole.” He reaches the gas pump to her car. She then proceeds to slice both of his Achilles’s tendons (the worst), and set him ablaze. Devil Mama comes through for Langdon. She meets him outside of Hawthorne’s, and it’s revealed that Ariel was the one who tipped her off of John Henry‘s whereabouts. This shows that Langdon is being protected by anyone who thinks that he will lead them to a patriarchal renaissance.

 
 

Via early black and white silent cinema reels, we see Langdon pass 6 of the 7 tests of the Seven Wonders. The final test, Descensum, requires Langdon to go to the nether worlds, and return. There’s a twist. Cordelia wants Langdon to retrieve Misty Day from the underworld. Ariel doesn’t agree with this added agenda, but Cordelia hangs on to the fact that Langdon may be the one who saves them from her vision’s world. After some words are exchanged between the two, Langdon makes the decision to do this. He goes into the underworld, and successfully retrieves Misty Day. He has passed the final test, and with flying colors. They deem that a new Supreme has risen, and Cordelia instantly begins to fade.

 

Surprise, bitches. Cordelia‘s been playing you all.”

 

Surprise, bitches. Cordelia‘s been playing you all. After Misty Day tells her that she saw pure evil within Langdon, Cordelia reveals that she has used Langdon. She wanted to know how strong he was before she fought against him. He’s given her all of his girls. Misty admits that she’s been gone for so long that she will be of no help. Cordelia has the perfect medicine for Misty. A performance of Gypsy by Misty‘s love, Stevie Nicks.

The episode closes out with a task for Madison. Cordelia wants her to go where Langdon‘s life was conceived. Madison, along with a questioning Chablis, will go to where it all began. The Murder House.

Do not, for one second, think that I am weak. I have humored you men, and coddled your fragile egos, but in no way does that mean you actually have a say. I outrank you. I can destroy you. So I suggest you fall in line because I am still your supreme. – Cordelia

 

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Takeaways

After an exciting 4 episodes, Apocalypse finally experiences a lull. That’s not to say that this episode was in any way boring. It just didn’t add as much to the story that previous episodes did. Here, Cordelia seems to have finished up her armor for the battle ahead. The Hawthorne Heads have gathered up all of the weapons that they need for what’s ahead, and have proven that they aren’t afraid to lose (John Henry) in order to gain.

But who wins and who loses? All of this is happening before the blast, and we see Langdon fully in charge of the Operative that runs the safe house. Do we assume that Langdon succeeds at winning the first battle, and that a second battle is ahead? Absolutely.

I knew you for such a short time, and I’ve missed you, forever. – Cordelia

 

Misty Day returns! It was gut wrenching to know that her character suffered the fate that she suffered in Coven. Along with Misty came another iconic performance from Stevie Nicks. There was nothing more satisfying than having Stevie open those doors, walk in, and say “Hello, Witches.”

Cordelia makes a statement that she has all of her girls now: Zoe, Madison, Queenie, Myrtle, and Misty. But she doesn’t. Missing from the original Coven is Jamie Brewer’s Nan. If I recall her demise, correctly, she was used as a sacrifice in Coven, and was drowned in a bathtub. Her soul went with Papa Legba (Lance Reddick) so she’s out there, somewhere, as well. She can’t be completely forgotten about, right?

Next week, the biggest return of them all occurs. Jessica Lange comes back to the world of AHS as the one that she first portrayed, Constance Langdon. We are all not worthy. American Horror Story: Apocalypse airs Wednesday nights of FX.