American Horror Story: Apocalypse
October 10, 2018
Cordelia has a terrifying vision of the New Orleans school in ruins after some sort of apocalyptic devastation, in which she is devoured by cannibals while a white-faced demon watches and laughs.
When she awakens, Cordelia sees Queenie and Madison alive and well and hugs them despite Madison’s grumpiness that no one even seemed to notice that she was dead. She then announces that she wants to see “the boy”: she’s made a decision.
When the warlocks arrive, Cordelia thanks Langdon for bringing her girls back before explaining that she had a vision of a cataclysm, fire, death, and a laughing white-faced demon.
She’s pretty sure the vision was a warning and that the future is dependent on what she chooses to do next. To that end, she invites Langdon to take the test of the Seven Wonders if he’s still interested, while Myrtle protests that he CAN’T because he’s a BOY. But Cordelia is like, “And I’m the Supreme, so it’s happening. Two weeks from now, under the blood moon, Curly over here performs the seven wonders.”
Back in New Orleans, Myrtle continues to try to convince Cordelia to look elsewhere for the next supreme, because “men make terrible leaders.”
But Cordelia explains that she knows what she saw in her vision and doesn’t want hubris to turn her into her mother, she needs a successor. Myrtle suggests Mallory who not only healed a wounded deer but undid its wounds, turned it back into a fawn, in fact — it was magic Myrtle has never before seen the likes of. Cordelia is like, “I mean, that’s some cute woodland nymph shit but Langdon brought Queenie and Madison back from Hell, so. Also, did I mention the part where there’s some weird skin disease spreading across my torso and I feel my powers growing weaker and I’m pretty sure I’m dying? Because that’s happening, too.”
And then everyone is crying, which is when Mallory interrupts to let Cordelia know that the old girls are settled into their rooms, and her 2 p.m. appointment is here.
2 p.m. is Coco and her father who is trying to secure a spot for Coco at Miss Robichaux’s Academy so that she can develop her magical power to sense gluten in baked goods.
While Coco dismisses her power as being stupid, Cordelia points out the positive in it: Coco can sense danger. Also, too, Mr. Daddy Billionaire is willing to write Miss Robichaux’s Academy a huge check if they’ll take Coco, which never hurts. With that, Mallory leads Coco to her room.
Over at the Hawthorne school, the warlocks cast a protection spell over Langdon in preparation for his big moment, even though John Henry still has his reservations. Those reservations are not assuaged when Langdon does this:
In fact, that little flash of white-faced demon causes John Henry to head straight to his chambers and pack his bags for an impromptu trip to New Orleans. Mr. Chablis tries to stop him, arguing that John Henry is just jealous, but John Henry, who does not have time for this bitchitude, flings Mr. Chablis against the wall and takes his leave.
However, because he decides to drive (???) to New Orleans instead of fly, John Henry is forced to refuel at one point, where he is approached by Devil Momma looking for some help in gassing up her own vehicle. While he helps, Devil Momma lays it on thick: “God bless you,” she tells him, before adding, “a good samaritan is harder to find than a camel in the eye of a needle.” (Which doesn’t even make sense BUT OK, RYAN MURPHY. WE GET IT.) Then Devil Momma proceeds to slice his Achilles’ tendons before slashing his throat, covering him in gasoline and setting him ablaze. Shoulda taken Southwest.
Devil Momma then heads back to the Hawthorne school where she assures Langdon that she’s taken care of their problem. Langdon exposits that the witches and warlocks are the only ones who pose a threat to him, but Devil Momma waves it off: look how easy it as to manipulate them into inviting him into their school. Langdon just now has to focus on becoming the Supreme, at which time he will own the covens and then own the world. Devil Momma then reveals that she’s not the only one who supports him, which is when Ariel steps out of the shadows (as Devil Momma stage whispers to Langdon to not say anything about his father). Ariel explains that he wasn’t going to allow John Henry to ruin their chances to put a man in charge of the covens and watch “those bitches squirm.”
And then it’s time for the Seven Wonders.
Langdon sails through the first six with no problem, but when its time to perform the final wonder, Descensum, Cordelia is like, “TWIST! Not only do you need to descend into Hell, but you need to retrieve my swamp friend Misty Day while you’re down there.” The warlocks stomp their feet at Cordelia changing the rules at the last minute, that SHE didn’t have to do such a thing when she performed the Seven Wonders, IT’S NOT FAIR.
Ariel takes Cordelia aside where she explains that if Langdon is going to be the next Supreme, he is going to need to be able to withstand anything because shit’s gonna get REAL BAD REAL SOON. Ariel continues to pout that this is really just about Cordelia refusing to cede power, that she’s just her mother’s daughter, and Cordelia reminds him that with a flick of a finger she could crush his throat, so he better WATCH HIS TONGUE. And that’s when Langdon enters the room and tells mommy and daddy not to fight, he’ll perform Cordelia’s final exam.
The witches and warlocks surround Langdon and perform the ritual, sending him to Hell. There, he finds Misty Day trapped in her own personal Hell, bringing a frog back to life in her middle school science class, only to be forced by her teacher to kill it again just to bring the frog back to life only to be forced by her teacher to kill it again, repeat through infinity. Langdon uses one of the scalpels to dissect the teacher and ends the cycle.
Langdon returns to the Hawthorne School with Misty right behind him. Cordelia is overjoyed to see her old friend and embraces her, which is when her nose begins to bleed. Because when a new Supreme rises, the old one begins to fade away. Cordelia, she is forced to admit that Langdon did what she was unable to do: rescue Misty. He is the next Supreme.
Later, Misty tells a visibly weakened Cordelia that Langdon gives her the “heebie-jeebies,” informing her and Myrtle that when he rescued her from Hell, there was a strange moment when the other school children/demons threw their heads back and began speaking some sort of backward language that Langdon seemed to understand. Cordelia suggests that maybe he was negotiating with Hell for her release, and Misty is like, “Yeah, I don’t think that’s what that was … he smells like evil.”
Cordelia then reveals that she also senses something dark about Langdon and that she will make sure that he’ll never be Supreme.
It’s all been a long con — she’s been using Langdon to retrieve her girls so that they are there for the fight ahead because something terrible is coming. Misty protests that her powers are diminished after so much time, but Cordelia is all, “no worries, you did your part — you served as proof. Now, you just heal … ”
And that’s when Stevie Nicks, “The White Witch,” arrives and serenades Misty with “Gypsy” for five minutes mostly so that the Misty fans can get their twirl on.
Finally, Cordelia takes Madison aside and instructs her to go find out what she can about Langdon. Madison wonders what makes Cordelia think that she wouldn’t be loyal to Langdon since he’s the one who rescued her, but Cordelia is all, “witch, please, you’re only loyal to yourself.”
And that’s when Mr. Chablis bursts into the room and is all, “SO WHEN DO WE LEAVE?” Mr. Chablis threatens that if they don’t allow him to tag along, he’s going to tattle, to which Cordelia is like, “Orrrrr … you also have your concerns about Langdon or you would have already told on us.” He admits that he has a bad feeling about Langdon, so Cordelia agrees he can accompany Madison.
And where are they going?
So let’s talk about Mallory. There’s a lot of speculation out there that Mallory is not merely a powerful witch, but something … else. Something angelic. The logic goes that if Michael is the son of Satan and Mallory was able to respond so powerfully — equally, even — to his magic …
… she must be his counterpart, either an angel or maybe a Nephilim, half-angel, half-human.
And, you know, maybe. Because who even knows with this crazy-ass show. I’ll admit, I’m resistant to this theory because it seems more like a plot line from Supernatural than American Horror Story and would require a lot of theological somewhat supra-Biblical mumbo jumbo. But with Ryan Murphy you honestly can never predict in which batshit insane direction he’s going to go. I will grant that this season has been so ham-fisted with the religious imagery and metaphors and idioms that I wouldn’t put it past them to make her some sort of angel.
But I’m inclined to think Mallory is just a very powerful witch possibly descended from the original witch, Scáthach from Roanoke. The two bear a certain woodland natural girl resemblance.
Additionally, I like the witches and want their feminine powers to be enough to counter Satanic energy (which would be especially ironic since witches have long been associated with Satanism).
So, instead of Mallory being an angel, I think ultimately what will happen is that she will be a powerful witch — the next Supreme, maybe — but that in keeping with the religious overtones of the season, she will make a Christ-like sacrifice to either defeat Michael or turn back time to prevent the apocalypse from ever happening. The scene of Mallory healing the deer is a hugely important one: she doesn’t just heal its wounds, she doesn’t just bring it back from the dead, she reverses its age, turning an adult deer into a fawn. She undid time. Is it possible that she could undo time for everyone, reversing it to prevent something from happening, or prevent someone from ever being? And what would it cost her to do something that enormous and powerful?
Additionally, Mallory being able to reverse time would fit in with an answer to a question I had with the last episode, regarding Michael Langdon’s age. I had forgotten in the seven years since “Murder House” first aired that Michael aged at a rapid pace, which is why despite being chronologically only 9 or 10 years old in this season, he appears as an adult. If he can accelerate time within his being and age himself, could his counterpart reverse this, and make him younger?
Speaking of questions I had that I found the answers to, it bothered me in this episode that despite the fact that Langdon had retrieved Queenie and Madison from Hell, the warlocks were still OUTRAGED that Cordelia would ask him to retrieve Misty, calling it a suicide mission. It turns out that while witches who have died can be resurrected, witches who died while performing the Descensum, like Misty did, can not. Thus, this is what Cordelia meant when she said that Misty “gave us the first proof:” her resurrection was proof that his magic isn’t witchcraft, it’s something … else.
But I still have a couple of other questions:
- Sooooooo … how old is Coco? Earlier in the season it was determined that she was in her mid-forties. You know, like yours truly. So why is she allowing her father, billionaire or no, put her into a school designed for 20-somethings? I guess my bigger question here is how does the whole Witch/Warlock world work? I assume there are graduates of Miss Robichaux’s and Hawthorne’s out in the real world, that the coven isn’t limited to the students and teachers at the schools. So why couldn’t they have made Coco a weaker graduate of the school, instead of some 40-something who is forced into a school that she doesn’t want to go to? I get that she is beholden to her father’s money BUT LET ME JUST TELL YOU WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF MY FATHER TRIED TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY DAMN LIFE AND ENROLL ME INTO A TEEN BOARDING SCHOOL I DIDN’T WANT TO GO TO.
- No, really, John Henry. Why was he driving to New Orleans from somewhere out in the western desert? Why didn’t he just fly? The witches flew to them, and I’m pretty sure airplanes go both ways, so …
And I was going to make some comments about the gender game that Murphy is playing with the witches and warlocks where the traditional power disparity is turned on its head, but I mean, you get it. Or I hope you get it — because Murphy is beating us over the head with it. Subtlety is not one of his warlock powers.
March 2012: Michael Langdon is born inside the Murder House. His mother, Vivien dies in childbirth; his father is murdered by murder ghosts; his twin is stillborn. Michael is raised by his next-door neighbor and his sorta-grandmother (it’s complicated), Constance.
2013-2014: There is a power struggle in the witching world when the Supreme witch, Fiona Goode discovers she is dying of cancer and blames the younger witches. Eventually, Fiona succumbs to death, and her daughter, Cordelia, assumes the mantle of Supreme.
2014: Cordelia reveals the existence of witches; The Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men is burned down.
2015: Michael Langdon murders his nanny; Queenie checks into the Hotel Cortez and is murdered by Mr. March.
2016: Cordelia attempts to rescue Queenie from the Hotel Cortez but fails.
June 2017: Michael Langdon kills a butcher, is rescued from prison by Ariel Augustus and brought to the Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men.
July 2017: The warlocks test Michael’s abilities and petition Cordelia to have him perform the Seven Wonders. She refuses. Michael then rescues Queenie and Madison from the afterlife. Cordelia has an apocalyptic vision and agrees to allow Michael to take the test of the Seven Wonders.
Back in New Orleans, Coco’s father enrolls his daughter at Miss Robichaux’s. At Hawthorne’s, John Henry is killed by Michael’s caretaker when he tries to leave for New Orleans to discuss Michael with Cordelia.
Two weeks after Cordelia’s vision, Michael passes the test of the Seven Wonders, bringing Misty Day back to life in the process. Cordelia sends Behold Chablis and Madison Montgomery to Los Angeles to investigate Michael’s childhood.
April 2020: A nuclear war kills off most of humanity. A small group of survivors, including Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt, Mr. Gallant, Grandma Joan, Dinah Stevens, Andre Stevens, Stu, Timothy Campbell (Adam) and Emily (Eve) reside in an outpost run by Ms. Wilhemnia Venable, her second-in-command Miriam Mead and their soldiers on behalf of a mysterious group called The Cooperative.
October 11, 2021: The outpost is visited by a higher-up in The Cooperative, an adult Michael Langdon. He reports that the other outposts run by The Cooperative have either been overrun or about to be.
October 2021: Langdon interviews Gallant and Venable. Timothy and Emily discover Ms. Venable’s rules are fake. Gallant murders his grandmother. Ms. Meade bleeds white.
October 31, 2021: Brock sneaks into the outpost and kills Coco. Ms. Venable and Mead poison a trove of apples, killing the other residents of the outpost. When Ms. Venable tries to kill Langdon, Mead turns the gun on Venable, killing her. Witches Cordelia, Madison, and Myrtle arrive at the outpost and revive their “sisters:” Coco, Mallory and Dinah.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse airs on FX on Wednesdays at 9/10 p.m.