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American Horror Story: Apocalypse Recap: Stevie Nicks!

American Horror Story

“Boy Wonder”
Season 8 Episode 5
Editor’s Rating *****

American Horror Story

“Boy Wonder”
Season 8 Episode 5
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: FX

We pick up where last week left off, with Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) having just fainted at the sight of her missing students Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) and Madison (Emma Roberts). While unconscious, Cordelia has a vision in which she’s eaten alive by an army of the power-walking dead commanded by a white-faced ghoul that looks like Michael Langdon (Cody Fern). Her premonition prompts Cordelia to agree to let Langdon take the Test of the Seven Wonders in two weeks. Langdon would be the first man to ever take the test, paving the way for him to become the Supreme (which technically makes him the Jackie Robinson of demons).

While this leaves most of the sad impotent warlocks inspired, John Henry (Cheyenne Jackson) has some reservations. Thus, he’s determined to get to New Orleans as soon as possible to warn Cordelia of his suspicion that the Antichrist is in fact the Antichrist. Unfortunately, he only makes it as far as an abandoned gas station on a dimly lit road. Which raises the question: Was John Henry planning to drive all the way to New Orleans? Hasn’t he ever heard of the magic of air travel? You’d think these supernatural creatures would have some kind of teleportation setup or frequent flyer miles, but no, he’s pumping petrol just like the rest of us. This makes him an easy target for Miriam (Kathy Bates) who stabs him literally in the Achilles heel (because apparently his Achilles is driving a Camaro with bad gas mileage). She then stabs him in the throat, showers hims with gasoline, and sets him on fire. So like … he’s dead dead. Miriam races back to Not Hogwarts™ where Langdon reveals his plan to infiltrate the coven and destroy the only beings that can defeat him from the inside. Even worse, the Grand Chancellor Ariel (Jon Jon Briones) is in on this scheme, but doesn’t care because he’s so thirsty for power. I should note that the metaphor of Ariel’s determination to see his guy in power even if it means aligning with the devil, all at the threat of humanity is … not lost on me. Well played, Ryan Murphy, well played.

Back at Miss Robichaux’s Academy, Myrtle (Frances Conroy) is apoplectic at the thought of Cordelia conceding power to these bloodthirsty short dudes. Cordelia confides that she is losing power rapidly and doesn’t want her hubris to stand in the way of her saving humanity. Good for her! She is a better person than I. If I were in her all-powerful position, I would just go on vacation and stop responding to my emails. Because you can’t take the Test of the Seven Wonders if you can’t find the Supreme!

Meanwhile at the academy, Mallory (Billie Lourd) is showing her magical progress by healing Bambi’s mom. Mallory is by far the most powerful of Cordelia’s young students, especially compared to Coco (Leslie Grossman), whose power is finding gluten in products. I’m not impressed because I have that power too … it’s called an upset stomach.

We finally get to the Test of the Seven Wonders, which is presented as a silent film similar to what we saw in Coven. Langdon flies through the exam with ease until we get to the “Descensum” portion, where Cordelia asks Michael to retrieve her old student, Misty, who died during the same round. This prompts the Grand Chancellor Ariel to throw a witch fit as he believes she’s moving the goalpost — much like her mother, Fiona. Cordelia responds by reading this man for filth. She sternly reminds him that he’s a weak little warlock whose power stalled and that he shouldn’t get it twisted because she will rip out his larynx. This is the witch equivalent of “knuck if you buck.” If what Cordelia was saying wasn’t so violent, I would be supremely turned on by her Supreme dominance. Langdon interrupts this reading to agree to get Misty. All the while, no one wonders what happened to Cheyenne Jackson’s goatee.

Michael Langdon visits Misty in hell, where she has spent five years dissecting a frog in biology class. Being in high school is hard enough, but doing it for eternity? Her hell definitely ranks in the top-ten hells, somewhere between sitting next to a colicky baby on a Spirit Airlines plane and eating cantaloupe. Langdon is able to save Misty by stabbing her teacher until his entrails spit out. With that, Langdon comes back to the realm and brings Misty back with him. Everyone is amazed because no one believed in him (he’s the Jackie Robinson of demons, remember?) and Cordelia’s power fades as she concedes to Langdon that he is the Supreme.

Obviously, Cordelia giving up power to an evil force is concerning to Misty. Langdon could not be more clearly the devil if he wore horns on his head and loved the New England Patriots (as someone that grew up in New England, I say this with love!). Turns out, Cordelia is just as smart as the dumbest viewer because she knew Langdon was the devil the whole time. Her scam was to get Langdon to bring back all her girls while, in the process, she measured how strong he was. Good for her!

Missy warns that Langdon smells like death, which I’m sure he could solve with a little deodorant. Despite knowing the threat he poses, Missy declares that she’s done fighting … girl, no you’re not! You just spent five years stabbing Kermit, I’m sure you got a little bite left in you for the Antichrist. Now, in between all this very loud conspiring on the enemies’ territory, the white witch, Stevie Nicks, interrupts our regularly scheduled programming to bring us a new music video for Fleetwood Mac’s song “Gypsy,” which just so happens to be about witches. This is perfect casting. This is entertainment. I would love for every American Horror Story episode from now on to feature a ten-minute musical performance.

This tender distraction provides ample time for Cordelia to pull Madison aside and instruct her to go dig up dirt on Langdon. Chablis (Billy Porter) overhears them because they are honestly bad at secretly plotting against an evil being. He decides to go with Madison as they head to where it all began. That’s right, they are going back to the Murder House! Which means Jessica Lange is about to bless our screens. Which means this already very good season is about to get even better. Which means I can’t wait for next week.

American Horror Story Recap: Stevie Nicks!