AHS: Apocalypse is a disaster. Luckily, in episode 4, the witches arrive, hopefully in time to save the show.
AHS: Apocalypse episode 3 deserves very little of our attention. To recap, “Forbidden Fruit” took the longest storytelling route possible to get us to a point where Ms. Venable and Ms. Mead kill everyone in the house with poison. In a graphic showcase, every single resident chokes on their own vomit and dies. Also, Billy Eichner would be the only person to thrive in a nuclear winter just to have the final word.
Nothing actually mattered in “Forbidden Fruit.” AHS attempted to elicit empathy for a robot programmed to serve Michael Langdon, and him alone. It allowed Sarah Paulson’s first character to deliver one final insufferable monologue. And then, after doing everything in its power to isolate viewers, it gave them what they wanted — WITCHES.
About 25 minutes into this week’s AHS, even after the Mallory and Langdon interaction, I found myself saying, aloud, “Why does ANY of this matter?” And even with the arrival of the witches, the awakening of the three women, and Langdon’s hint about the mold for Ms. Mead, I’m not sure any bit of the last three episodes meant anything.
Crank up the Stevie Nicks, light some candles, don your best shawl. AHS: Apocalypse begins now.
One Sarah Paulson had to die so a better Sarah Paulson could live. Cordelia Foxx is, hands down, Paulson’s second-best character in the AHS canon (long live, Lana Winters!).
The reigning Supreme enters the outpost a little off-kilter. There is a hint of fear behind her voice as she instructs Myrtle Snow and Madison to find their sisters. The bodies of Dinah Stevens, Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt, and Mallory are dragged to the foyer and revived.
Now the fun begins. With Langdon, Ms. Mead, and Billy Eichner still lurking about in the house, it’s only a matter of time until they collide. What, if anything, does Langdon hope to gain from killing everyone in the outpost? And what threat do the witches pose to his endgame?
The past is present
The only way this story can be told is in flashback form. And finally, for the first time this season, we have a trailer of the next episode showing what will likely be some plot points for AHS: Apocalypse episode 4, “Could It Be… Satan?”
Let’s start with Madison. My first thought here is that we are in some form of hell. Madison working retail, folding towels, wearing an unflattering uniform, talking to customers — nightmare.
Langdon’s recruitment, perhaps, is to win over the witches before the Supreme makes a move.
Speaking of flashbacks, the ones provided in episode 3 (the fake memories of the robot Ms. Mead) weave in a bit about the only person to ever love Langdon — his adoptive mother Constance. While there is no connection to Murder House other than the appearance of Langdon, bringing back Constance will likely arrive through a memory.
Other trailers also point to seeing a Langdon from a different time, one without a blowout.
Mallory is the best thing to come from the guests trapped in Outpost 3. Meek and subservient, she proves to be a force of untapped potential. She describes the feeling of having something or someone trapped inside of her. At first, I assumed this meant that another of the Coven witches lurked inside of her body.
But now, I am beginning to think that she was one of the undiscovered girls who never made it to Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Girls. Cordelia pleads to Mallory in the trailer, asking for her help. Whatever this witch’s powers are, they are bigger than adding fuel to a literal fire.
This leads me to another conclusion — that Coco is also a witch. While she was fun to have around, I’d much rather resurrect Evan Peters’ Mr. Gallant.
Where does this leave us?
With three episodes under our belt, let’s review what we know about the world:
- The nuclear winter has set in and very few humans still roam.
- Michael Langdon’s plan with the Cooperative relies on guidance from his “Father” whom he consults by sitting nude in the center of a pentagram while draining his own blood.
- Ms. Mead is one of a series of robots who is made in the image of, we assume, his late mother Constance.
- The Supreme is leading some form of resistance against Langdon and is scouring what remains of the world for her sisters.
- At least one computer in the world still works.
Next week will, hopefully, kick this otherwise lackluster season into high gear.
Watch the AHS: Apocalypse episode 4 trailer
AHS: Apocalypse episode 4, “Could It Be… Satan?” airs Wednesday, October 3 at 10:00 p.m. ET on FX.