‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse’: Payback’s a witch

American Horror Story: Apocalypse
October 24, 2018

Before the apocalypse, our friend Dinah was apparently a? the? voodoo queen, making love potions and ripping out people’s hearts for rich ladies. It is after performing one of these rituals for one of these rich bitches when Cordelia reaches out to her, looking for Dinah’s assistance setting up a meeting with Papa Legba. Dinah, who is still kinda pissed about what the witches did to Marie Laveau (but also recognizing that it opened the path for her to become the new voodoo queen) (but also, the witches didn’t kill Marie Laveau? so …), reluctantly agrees — for $100,000 cash.

Elsewhere, Madison collects Bubbles, a former coven member-turned-B-slasher-film actress and definitely not just Joan Collins playing Joan Collins in a different wig. Madison and Bubbles exchange some bitchery before Madison explains that Bubbles is being summoned because they are facing an end-of-the-world situation. GRAB YOUR BROOM, WITCH.

Over dinner with Bubbles, Myrtle reveals to Madison that Bubbles’ power is to be able to read not just minds, but what is in people’s souls. (This is demonstrated by Bubbles telling a young waiter, after she caught him wondering, that she was wearing silk panties yesterday, but none today. This, in turn, caused my son who happened to wander into the room during this scene to demand to know what perverted nonsense I was watching. “Just some Ryan Murphy, baby, don’t worry about it.”)

Madison seems underwhelmed.

Bubbles is able to pick up from Madison’s thoughts that she thinks Langdon is the antichrist, but she herself is not convinced, assuming that the witches are just jealous of a male supreme. Despite her skepticism, Myrtle is able to talk her old friend into coming with her to the Hawthorne school to pick some warlock brain.

Meanwhile, back in New Orleans (I think? It’s unclear?) Dinah and Cordelia prepare to summon Papa Legba and Dinah warns the witch to not promise him anything she can’t deliver. Papa, summoned by rum and cigars, arrives and Cordelia explains what she wants him to do: just open the gates to Hell. She’ll lure Langdon in and he’ll be trapped there forever. Legba points out that tricking the spawn of Satan is particularly fraught business and that the last time he was summoned by a Supreme and a Voodoo Queen he was given “the greatest offering.”

And that’s when Nan pops up behind him.


Nan explains that Hell is great fun, but she is lonely for her friends, and Legba names his price: all of Cordelia’s witches. Cordelia’s all, “Uh, no? But you can have my soul!” Legba is not interested and he and Nan take their leave.

Cordelia asks Dinah what she can do to bring Legba back, there has to be something else she can offer him for his help. Dinah, however, disagrees.

Elsewhere in the Miss Robichaux’s house, Coco shows off a new talent to Mallory, Zoe, and Queenie: she can correctly guess the exact calorie count of any food item. After challenging her with a few random items, Queenie challenges her to a snowball, which Coco correctly guesses, and celebrates by eating a bite. She chokes on it, collapses and dies remarkably quickly. Is dying too fast for someone to perform the Heimlich one of her powers, too? In any event, Mallory, using Super Magic, cuts open Coco’s throat removes the obstruction and closes the wound back up again, bringing, somehow, Coco back to life.

I don’t even know, y’all.

In any event, it’s enough to convince Zoe that Mallory is actually the next Supreme.

Meanwhile, over at the Hawthrone School, Myrtle entertains Bubbles with her theremin …

… while they wait for Ariel and Baldwin to accept their dinner invitation which they do without any suspicion because apparently they are blithering idiots. Anyway, over dinner, Bubbles reads their thoughts and discovers they killed John Henry and they intend to murder all the witches and this dinner is SO DELICIOUS.

Back in New Orleans, Cordelia also hosts a dinner for the witches and their new buddy Chablais where Mallory is all, “WAH, I DON’T WANT TO BE THE NEXT SUPREME, WAH,” and Cordelia is like, “Bitch, I ain’t dead yet.”

So, then the show says that it is some 2 years before the apocalypse, which would put us sometime in 2018 — WHICH I THOUGHT WE WERE ALREADY IN? I swear to God with this show …. anyway, sometime before all the events I just described, before all of these Coven flashbacks, in fact, Cordelia resurrects Myrtle because “danger is coming.”

Which, OK, sure, but what made Cordelia come to believe that something bad enough was coming that she would go against Myrtle’s wishes and resurrect her? Remember, Myrtle is fully resurrected when the warlocks announce that they’ve found the Alpha so if it wasn’t that news that made Cordelia worry that something bad was coming … what was it?

ANYWAY. So back into the “present” which is actually in the past from where the show actually began but is now in the future from when that last scene took place, the witches have Mallory perform the Seven Wonders and she completes them by resurrecting John Henry from a pile of ash. Once he gathers his strength, he reveals he was killed “by a woman.” Which, again, great, that’s helpful information, but it’s also pretty vague considering more than half of the world’s population is female?

So I guess the witches use magic to narrow down which woman, exactly, it is that is going around murdering people on Langdon’s behalf, because the next thing you know, Coco is following Devil Momma around a grocery store and confronting her in the parking lot, just long enough for Devil Momma to tase her and for the witches’ security detail to kidnap Devil Momma.

Meanwhile, over at the Hawthrone School, Baldwin is excitedly showing Ariel a toxin he brewed up that only is effective on women (it’s called Axe Body Spray) but before he can use it, the witches stomp in, destroy Baldwin’s little project with fire, and then seal up their mouths because THAT IS ENOUGH OUT OF YOU TWO.

The witches then strap the warlocks and Devil Momma to the stakes to be burned alive for the crime of killing John Henry, who has the honor of setting them on fire. Devil Momma, for one, is excited to meet her fate as it “cleanses” her as fire will “cleanse” the world. “FATHER TAKE ME IN YOUR ARMS! THE FUTURE IS NIGH!” she screams as the flames grow higher and the coven takes their leave.

I honestly don’t have much to add to this episode, it’s pretty damn straightforward. I will say that it’s a shame that Langdon didn’t make an appearance if only to have a wig-off with Bubbles. (She would have won.)

bubbles sexy onions ahs american horror story apocalypse.gif

Speaking of Bubbles, the most interesting part of the episode (which I didn’t really mention in the recap because it had no bearing on the plot) might actually be the B slasher movie she is filming when Madison collects her, “A Christmas to Dismember.” In the film, Bubbles plays a woman who kills her husband, only to be terrorized by a crazed murderous Santa. At the time, I thought the vignette was a not-so-subtle nod to “Asylum’s” psychotic Santa …

american horror story santa asylum

But it turns out, it was an even deeper dive than that. Joan Collins starred in a 1972 horror anthology film, Tales from the Crypt (not to be confused with the TV show based on Creepshow — but same idea), in a segment called “And All Through the House,” in which she stars as a woman who kills her husband only to be terrorized by a crazed murderous Santa.

And now you know.


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. Marie Laveau is murdered by Delphine LaLaurie and descends to Hell.

2014: Cordelia reveals the existence of witches; The Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men is burned down.

2015: Constance raises young Michael who begins killing small animals Michael Langdon murders his nanny. Michael grows into a man overnight and tries to kill Constance. Constance realizing she was out of her depth commits suicide in Murder House, joining most of her children.

Ben Harmon then takes over raising Michael. Michael is rejected by Tate and turns even darker, murdering some new residents of Murder House and obliterating their souls.

The Church of Satan finds Michael at Murder House and perform a dark mass to help bring Michael into his full powers. Vivien attempts to murder Michael, and he tries to obliterate her, but Tate saves her at the last moment. Michael leaves Murder House and Vivien and the other ghosts never see him again.

2015: Queenie checks into the Hotel Cortez and is murdered by Mr. March. Sometime after, Cordelia resurrects Myrtle sensing that something bad is coming.

2016: Cordelia attempts to rescue Queenie from the Hotel Cortez but fails.

June 2017: Michael Langdon, being raised by Mrs. Mead, 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.

Madison and Chablis learn about Michael’s history from Constance, Ben, and Vivien. They bury Moira’s bones near her mother’s grave and Madison helps Violet see that Tate was controlled by the evil of the house. Tate and Violet have their happily ever after.

Cordelia convinces Dinah to summon Papa Legba who agrees to help Cordelia against Langdon in exchange for the souls of all of her witches. Cordelia declines.

Madison finds Bubbles, a witch who can read people’s souls, and she confirms that Ariel and Baldwin killed John Henry and intends to kill the coven.

Cordelia, believing Mallory is the next Supreme, has her perform the Seven Wonders and resurrect John Henry. Upon returning to life, John Henry reveals that a woman killed him. Somehow the witches determine this woman is Mrs. Mead. The witches kidnap her, and she, Ariel and Baldwin are burnt at the stake.

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.

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