American Horror Story
It’s the penultimate episode of American Horror Story: Apocalypse and we have so much ground to cover. We start this episode with Mutt (Billy Eichner) and Jeff (Evan Peters) lambasting humanity and all its falls. After waiting five (5) minutes for his coffee, Jeff comes to the conclusion that everyone should die. This is a slight overreaction to bad service at Coffee Bean, yet Mutt and Jeff are determined to commit mass genocide.
Unfortunately, Mutt and Jeff have about as much faith in the Antichrist’s abilities as they have in a proper barber. They don’t know if Michael Langdon (Cody Fern) has the gusto to end the world properly, and they think Satan might need a paternity test to make sure his devil son is really a devil. Luckily, Mutt and Jeff are meeting with the Collective, the committee of the world’s most powerful leaders, billionaires, and cultural influencers, in a week to discuss what to do about the Earth. Ms. Veneable (Sarah Paulson) overhears this conversation and consults the coked-out dweebs she’s been babysitting for years to demand her inclusion in this supersecret Illuminati rebranding meeting. They refuse to include her in their doomsday prep, which prompts Ms. Veneable to quit her job.
Meanwhile in New Orleans, the coven waits safely at Miss Robichaux’s Academy to figure out their next move. Mallory (Billie Lourd) struggles to resuscitate a dead bird, which makes her believe her powers aren’t ready to prevent the apocalypse. She’s definitely right about that, but being surrounded by dead animals can’t boost her morale. Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) tries to assuage her stress by telling her that there’s a protection spell around the coven’s mansion that no human or demon can penetrate. After she says this, Dinah (Adina Porter) immediately penetrates her protection spell. This makes me think Cordelia needs to get her money back on her home-security system because whatever she’s got isn’t working. At least ADT would trigger an alarm, but this protection spells leaves all the witches dazed and confused as Michael waltzes in and stabs everyone with nails. Which raises the question: Why are there jars of nails on the table? I’d say that Michael wouldn’t be as successful if these were rose petals, but Meade-bot (Kathy Bates) is packing the Second Amendment in her arm, a fancy design feature that is both functional and terrifying.
The devil-lovers kill everyone without much of a fight, including Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) and Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe). Cordelia, Mallory, and Myrtle (Frances Conroy) hear the commotion from upstairs and decide to slip out the back exit because they can’t save the world if they are also dead (also, witches die every day, B). Surveying the carnage, Michael Langdon thanks Dinah for her efforts by promising a 13-episode order on her talk show. Again, this deal with the devil is underwhelming. If you’re going to sentence humanity to death, you should at least come out of it with five seasons and a movie. (Although, it’s worth noting that no one will watch Dinah’s television show if they are struggling with nuclear fallout.)
Unable to find the witches he intended to kill, Langdon feels lost. I wonder if this man has ever considered going to Burning Man to find himself because Langdon is about as directionless as a boat with no sails, rudder, or Sperrys. Fortunately for him, Meade-bot is there to bounce ideas off. Unfortunately for him, Meade-bot’s programming has back-end access, which Mutt and Jeff can use to speak through her. This is both unsurprising and terrible. When I Google places to eat, is that Google suggesting I go to Panera Bread or is it Sundar Pichai mocking me? I guess there are some mysteries we’ll never know the answers to…
Meade-bot instructs Michael to head back to Silicon Valley to meet the Cooperative, since these powerful people sold their souls to Satan and he needs to cash in on his inheritance. This is a much better idea than Michael’s proposition, which was acting out the plot of Omen III: The Final Conflict, which involved him becoming an ambassador, starting a war, and having a 32 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Cordelia, Myrtle, Mallory, Madison (Emma Roberts), and Coco (Leslie Grossman) hide out in a swamp as they try to regroup with a better plan than “cry because everyone you know has been brutally murdered.” They are better than me. If I saw my friends and family get killed by the Antichrist, I’d call it and just walk into the ocean. Apparently Misty Day (Lily Rabe) and Stevie Nicks are still alive, running around being ethereal and blonde somewhere. I love the idea that all their friends have been massacred but they couldn’t be bothered to check in. My goal is the keep that same energy of self-absorption until my dying breath.
Cordelia takes this free time to try to reach the souls of her dead students. When she’s unable to connect with them, Madison reveals what she learned at the Murder House, which is that Michael has the ability to erase souls from existence. This is when Cordelia slaps the sass out of Madison for just holding that little factoid for a dinner party conversation. Now don’t get me wrong, slapping people is wrong, but why would Madison wait to share this information with the group? Seems like the end of the world is the right time to put everything on the table.
Cordelia and Myrtle resolve that humanity’s only chance is a spell that allows a witch to go back in time and change history. This spell has never been completed before and all who have tried have died. For some reason, Mallory hears this and thinks, I want to go to there. Thus, Mallory goes on a trial run to Siberia in 1918 to help a young witch, Anastasia Romanov, hedge a protection spell around her family to stop them from being being assassinated during the Bolshevik Revolution. As I type this, I realize how much of a left turn this episode has taken, but I’m on this train and I’m not getting off until we reach my stop (the finale or Brooklyn, whichever comes first). Although I’d like to point out how useless these protection spells are: They can’t protect the coven, they can’t protect the Romanovs, a family I have literally no investment in, the only thing they do is make a cute purple aesthetic, and I can get that with Urban Outfitters strobe lights.
Unsurprisingly, Mallory fails at protecting Anastasia and nearly dies in the process, reconfirming to Cordelia and Myrtle that she is not ready to defeat Michael. This is when Cordelia considers killing herself, fully aware that her powers are tied to Mallory and that for her to ascend as supreme, Cordelia must die. I hate that in the coven you can’t self-actualize without a blonde woman dying. That’s a horrible setup. Ultimately, Myrtle dissuades Cordelia from this plan and instead the two women go to Not Hogwarts ™ to seek the help of the warlocks. When Cordelia and Myrtle get there they find that all the warlocks are dead and their carcasses are arranged in the shape of a pentagram. This is clearly a message from the Antichrist, who is more heavy-handed than a Georgia O’Keefe painting.
Back on the Antichrist’s side of things, Mutt and Jeff promise Ms. Veneable a position as leader of an outpost where she can run her post-apocalyptic community however she pleases. You can literally see the purple wheels turning in her head as she conspires to make a bunch of strangers listen to jazz. Michael and Meade-bot meet with the Cooperative (or 150 Daft Punk impersonators) where they outline the apocalypse and the $100 million fee to get into the outpost, with their handy dandy Trapper Keeper. This season of American Horror Story is coming together and we have one more episode to see how the world ends: with a bang or a whimper … or perhaps with a coven of pissed off witches? Until next week …