FX’s American Horror Story
Season 8, Episode 10: “Apocalypse Then”
Directed by Bradley Buecker
Written by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk
* For a recap & review of the penultimate episode, “Fire and Reign” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 9 premiere, “Camp Redwood” – click here
At her office, Ms. Venable (Sarah Paulson) received a visit from Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy), looking for Jeff Fister (Evan Peters) and Mutt Nutter (Billy Eichner). The witch was there to do a little meddling. She found the plans for the “little Holocaust” they were preparing along with the Antichrist, Michael Langdon (Cody Fern). The robotics dudes were powerless against Myrtle’s strengths, and she was able to look up the outposts, securing a place for Coco (Leslie Grossman) in Outpost 3, where Dinah (Adina Porter) was already on the list.
Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) and the remainder of her witches gathered trying to figure out how to thwart the nuclear attack. Yet she knew Michael was already “too powerful” for them to stop his plan. The coven had their own plan. Coco and Mallory (Billie Lourd) were set to work their way into the bunker under an “identity spell,” so they wouldn’t even remember they were witches. It was a gamble that they weren’t actually sure was going to pay off. Still, they had to try. Cordelia then put her girls under the spell to keep them safe.
This led the best friends witches Mallory and Coco to being the people we met at the start of Season 8. They wound up on a path to Mr. Gallant’s (Evan Peters) shop, where Coco first met Brock (Billy Eichner). Meanwhile, Madison (Emma Roberts) discovered Dinah had her own talk show, having betrayed the coven for the Antichrist. She and Myrtle wanted to burn the Vodou Queen, but Cordelia wanted to wait for their revenge later.
After the nuclear ash began to fall, Cordelia, Myrtle, and Madison emerged from their graves in the Louisiana swamp to get back to the world. They returned to Hawthorne’s, now the Outpost, where we first saw them appear this season. We’ve finally come full circle to the current timeline once more. The witches wake their sisters, who are double waking up from death + an identity spell.
Michael and Miriam (Kathy Bates) are waiting, and the witches are prepared for a fight, aside from Dinah. The Antichrist is pretty cocky. Although he offers them survival, so long as they kneel before him in servitude. Cordelia’s not having that shit. And when Dinah acts like she’s the only Vodou Queen in town, Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) arrives to the party(!!!).
We see a bit of Marie punishing Madame Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) in the dungeons of Hell. Nan (Jamie Brewer) came to say Papa wasn’t happy with her work. This prompted Cordelia to make a deal. Marie returned to bring Legba the heart of a corrupt queen. After that, Miriam decides it’s enough and busts out her gun, except she’s a machine— so the Supreme blows her to fucking bits. Her head lies on the floor, talking to Michael like Ash in Alien speaking to the Nostromo crew. Madison tries using the leftover gun to blow Satan’s son full of holes, pumping him with bullets and spraying his blood all over the walls.
Now, Mallory has to go back into the past to try finishing things. Problem is she’s attacked by Brock, still lurking in the Outpost, and he stabs her before he’s lit on fire. It also causes a distraction long enough for Michael to heal himself, which ends in Madison’s head popping. Marie – “the HBIC” (Head Bitch in Charge, for those who don’t know) – does her best to fend him off, too. Both she and Coco are dispatched by the young Dark Lord, before he goes after the rest of the coven.
“The seventh seal has been broken”
Cordelia tries to keep Mallory alive, but the young witch begins fading away. Myrtle faces the reality they’re finished. Nevertheless, the Supreme stands firm against the Boy Antichrist. She refuses to bow to him, no matter if they’ve failed in their mission. Cordelia then sacrifices herself, stabbing a knife into her heart in a refusal to accept defeat: “My sisters are legion, motherfucker.” She gives her life to allow Mallory, the next Supreme, to live, and Mallory slips back through time immediately.
Back we go to see Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) find sweet young Michael with a dead priest in his room. The surrogate mother was wearing thin in patience for all the destruction and murder. She was fed up, deciding to kick him to the curb. The young Antichrist went out into the world, where he was run over in the street by Mallory. She backed up and ran him over, then ran him over a little more. Such tragic irony that Constance sees another of her children run over in the road, even if it’s the Devil’s son. She cradles Michael in her arms, though she refuses to bring him inside the house and tells him: “Go to Hell.”
Jump back to 2015, when Mallory arrived to meet Cordelia— she remembers, yet the Supreme does not. The course of history has changed, which allows Mallory to revisit the life she once lived in a different way. She was the only one who remembered all the events of the apocalypse, how the world once ended. Things changed, like Myrtle not being around because she wasn’t needed to fend off the end of the world. At least the other witches were murdered. GREAT REFERENCE TO HOTEL— Mallory talks Queenie out of going to the city, where she’d only be murdered at the Cortez. And a huge return of Misty Day (Lily Rabe), after Mallory saved the world, y’know.
Skip to 2020, where Timothy (Kyle Allen) and Emily (Ash Santos) wind up meeting anyway, without needing perfect genes to ride out the apocalypse. What’s meant to be is meant to be. A year later, the couple are having a baby together. Three years after, around 2024, the couple come home from a night out and birds are scattering from the trees everywhere. They find blood smeared on one of their walls and the babysitter with their throat cut. The baby’s got blood on his hands, looking like little Michael at the end of Murder House. A knock at the door comes and it’s the Satanic Wise Man/Women – “the Black Pope” Anton LaVey (Carlo Rota), Miriam, and Samantha Crowe (Naomi Grossman). Because when one Antichrist dies, there’s another one to be born. And on, and on, and on until the end of time itself.
“Nothing ever truly dies”
Father Gore always enjoys the bits of lightness at the end of each season in American Horror Story. There’s always a whole heap of darkness to boot. Here’s to another season. This might be Father Gore’s personal favourite season so far. Can’t wait to see what Murphy & Co. cook up for us in Season 9.