American Horror Story – Apocalypse, Episode 8: “Sojourn”

FX’s American Horror Story
Season 8, Episode 8: “Sojourn”
Directed by Bradley Buecker
Written by Josh Green

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Traitor” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Fire and Reign” – click here
IMG_0001Michael Langdon (Cody Fern) found his witch friends and Miriam (Kathy Bates) burned alive at the stake, horrified by the loss of the latter who helped raise him into a man. Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) confronted him to tell him he’d failed. She also told him Miriam’s “soul is hidden” through a spell only Ms. Goode can break. She tried to convince Michael of his own path, not the path of his father, Satan. She tried speaking to his humanity. But that obviously didn’t work. He only felt empowered by revenge to bring Miriam back and kill the rest of the witches himself.
He went to the woods and called out to his father for answers. He waited for four days until children appeared, tempting him with food and “grape Fanta“— like a dark subversion of the Temptation of Christ when Jesus was in the wilderness, tempted by Satan. Anton LaVey (Carloa Rota) appeared, assuring Michael he was the “Alpha and Omega.” The Antichrist then saw an angel. A black goat appeared, which he slaughtered, and snakes slithered from its corpse.
Still, no dad.
So, Michael walked on into the city. He found his way to the Church of Satan, where Hannah (Sandra Bernhard) preached to the congregation. Hannah wanted the arrival of the Antichrist and to “open up the Gates of Hell.” A woman called Madeline (Harriet Sansom Harris) talked Michael up, noticing he looked starved and weak, offering to feed him after the service was over.
IMG_0002At her place, Madeline fed Michael and talked with him. He told her about being abandoned by his father, nearly killed by his mother. She believed Satanism was the “way of the future” and claimed to have sold her soul to Lucifer during a black mass. The young Antichrist wasn’t impressed with Madeline’s life, between her shooting up heroin as much as she wanted, or banging Brad Pitt and Ryan Reynolds. Michael didn’t see the big deal in “carnal pleasure” as a reward for giving up your soul. Neither did he have much faith in dear ole dad. He chose to reveal himself to Madeline, who immediately praised him.
The “All Sinners Choir” sang a rendition of “O Fortuna” before a human sacrifice ceremony. They had two good people to murder, to make the world a little worse. New member Phil (Dominic Burgess a.k.a Psycho Pete from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), former accountant at Gawker, whose life fell apart before he joined the Church of Satan, was preparing to take the lives of the sacrifices. That is, before Madeline brought Michael in to announce his arrival. Afterwards, the Antichrist cut the throats of the victims, ushering in the End Times. The congregation proceeded to feed their new master. He was still lost, lamenting the death of Miriam, and Madeline assured him just because she was dead it didn’t mean they couldn’t find Ms. Mead again.

“We are on the precipice of oblivion…”

IMG_0004On the road, Madeline told Michael about a “secret network” of people she was involved with, who’ll be more than pleased to help him. She dropped him off at a facility where, inside, we meet AI technicians Mutt (Billy Eichner) and Jeff (Evan Peters) creating robotic sex dolls. They were designing more realistic jerk off hands at the time and sniffing plenty of cocaine. We also see Ms. Venable (Sarah Paulson) in all her glory working for HR.
Jeff and Mutt – also fans of Satan and the Antichrist – then met Michael for the first time. They weren’t exactly convinced, though. They wanted proof he was the Antichrist. He revealed his 666 birthmark. He also caught a woman on fire, burning her to ashes. Soon enough they were looking like Wayne and Garth, except bowing and praising: “Hail Satan!”
Later, the boys explained their lives after joining the Church of Satan, from snorting lots of cocaine to also fucking Ryan Reynolds. They’re so good at robotics they make “HAL 9000 look like a fucking abacus.” Once they were finished, they fielded Michael’s request to bring Miriam back in robotic form, which they were more than thrilled to grant. They decided to make Miriam better than she ever was— as they called it, hilariously, “Mossad.”
The Antichrist was glad to see his closest friend return. The techs explained a few things, including not to let her know she’s a robotic human and other things. They flipped a switch, then it was back to life for Ms. Mead, and she instantly recognised the face of her sweet Antichrist.
IMG_0006An excellent episode! Not as good as the rest, yet it fills in blanks for us on the way towards the apocalyptic event. Can’t wait to see more, and Father Gore’s especially excited to get back to the current timeline to see how things are going to play out post-apocalypse, when the witches have returned.
“Fire and Reign” is next time.

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