FX’s American Horror Story
Season 8, Episode 3: “Forbidden Fruit”
Directed by Lon Peristere
Written by Manny Coto
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Morning After” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Could it Be… Satan?” – click here
Michael Langdon (Cody Fern) has saved Emily (Ash Santos) and Timothy (Kyle Allen) from their execution, as well as Mr. Gallant (Evan Peters). He’s not letting “the seeds from which the future of mankind will blossom” slip away so easily, especially over a little bit of sex, and some murder. He’s continuing his search, talking to everyone, including Mallory (Billie Lourd)— he presses her about Coco (Leslie Grossman) and how she feels about the rich, spoiled woman. Coco only keeps Mallory around for convenience, not because she cares about her. Then he chats with Dinah (Adina Porter), who he seems to know. Gives more depth to her personal story. Hmm. She’s also the mother of Andre (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman).
Regardless, everyone’s vying to get into the Sanctuary. And the people at the outpost all have their own secrets. We do a glimpse of Mallory’s, as she screams at Michael and blows him into the wall. He returns with the terrifying true face underneath, but she’s powerful and won’t bend. Yes— many secrets still to be uncovered.
By himself, Michael’s cutting himself open, praying to his father Satan for the strength he needs. He bleeds in a circle of candles. He says “one survived” but he’s found her, surely Mallory. However, the Antichrist needs help now and then, too. His call to the Dark Lord is answered, and snakes come writhing from out of the bloody pentagram he’s marked on the floor.
Flashback to Halloween of 1962. Miriam (Kathy Bates) talks about trick or treating for the first time on her own, a 9-year-old robot. Then Halloween 1968, when she was on her first date to see Rosemary’s Baby. She enjoyed “being scared,” though boys made her “feel dirty.” She recounts Halloween of ’88, when she was hunting down terrorists as a special agent. She found fighting “like a waltz,” the violence exciting and romantic.
So, though Miriam’s a synthetic human, she feels and remembers somewhat, only to an extent. She’s not sure anymore about herself, whether her memories are just implants. Ms. Venable (Sarah Paulson) assures she has a home and purpose at the outpost. She also wants to know what Miriam knows of the Cooperative, worried about what will happen if she’s left behind. Her friend suggests killing everybody.
In the wasteland, cannibals are getting by the best they can. Out there, Brock (Billy Eichner) has been tracking his girlfriend for over a year. Father Gore’s pretty sure this guy isn’t looking for a happy reunion. He’s likely looking for revenge after being left to perish in the nuclear blast.
Another carriage turns up at the outpost unexpected. Except no one’s inside. Although Brock hitched a ride underneath. Miriam removes a trunk from inside, and they find a bunch of apples. Ah, the forbidden fruit! Who’ll be the first to take a bite? They check to make sure the apples aren’t irradiated, which they aren’t, and Ms. Venable thinks Langdon had them delivered— Wilhemina is the first to munch. Plenty Garden of Eden vibes. She and Miriam want to poison the apples and kill everybody using a party as cover. What fun! They’re having a Halloween masquerade ball in the Victorian style.
Mallory’s continuing to question her own identity. She gets shit on further for it by Coco, who’s a horrible human being. The young woman believes she might have “Dark Phoenix” powers like from X-Men. Could there be a link between her and the witches from Coven? Could she be a witch only now discovering her abilities?
The masquerade ball commences. Ms. Venable relishes the beginning of “the dark half of the year.” She pretends the whole thing’s a celebration when it’s akin to a funeral, at least in her mind with the plans she’s conceived. Everybody relaxes, as much as is possible in post-apocalypse America living in an underground bunker, and they dance to a new song selection. Is Brock lurking under one of those masks? Could he be the one Coco believes is Michael in disguise? Oh, it’s him, indeed, and he’s not happy with his former love. He puts a knife right in the middle of her forehead, too.
In the meantime, everyone bobs for applies. Venable makes sure nobody eats before they’re all ready. She and Miriam prepare for an all-out Halloween massacre. Each of the survivors grabs an apple laced with snake venom. Afterwards, they all bite into their treats. It isn’t long until they start choking, feeling the effects of the poison. They all fall down, vomit, convulse.
With everyone seemingly dead, Venable and Miriam go to find Michael in his room. They’re going to murder him last. They confront him, Miriam wielding a gun, but he doesn’t take any of it seriously. Then they try shooting him, except Miriam’s unable to pull the trigger, and she points the gun instead at Venable, putting a bullet in her chest. She was “programmed to do” what the Antichrist wishes, of course. She’s been doing his bidding the entire time. Langdon treats her like a person, though, and he tells Miriam she was modelled after someone from his childhood— was it his surrogate mother Constance (Jessica Lange)?
A great introduction for the ladies of Coven as they appear to “She’s a Rainbow” by The Rolling Stones out of the apocalyptic fog – Cordelia Fox (Paulson), Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts), and Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) – coming to look for the women: “Find our sisters,” Ms. Fox says. They locate Coco, Mallory, and Dinah, then resuscitate them. Big game changer. And Madison apparently knows Mallory. Who IS Mallory really? Are Queenie, Misty, and Zoe inside these three women possibly? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!
Lots to be excited for now, as if it weren’t awesome already! The witches are back, and this is going to take things in new directions. “Could it Be… Satan?” is next time.