***Spoiler Warning: Spoilers for American Horror Story through Season 8, Episode 10 follow. Spoilers***
If you’re an AHS regular, there are likely many things you’ve — over time — learned to accept about the series and about yourself. One: Each season there’s an intriguing enough concept to at least hook you in for the first few episodes. Two: By each third episode, whatever the story started as heads completely off the rails. Three (contingent upon whether you watch the whole round): The finales don’t pull everything together so much as entertain, and you’re either okay with that, or you declare you’re never watching the show again. Lastly: Lather, rinse, repeat.
In the case of Apocalypse, this tenth and final hour of the eighth season was an absolute blast, with, blood, guts, exploding heads, and glorious, surprise character returns, leaving most (by the reactions on Twitter) viewers screaming for more — and that includes me. As many had guessed, Mallory’s time-travel practicing was not for naught and in the opening backward-flash, we’re witness to Myrtle’s prep work back at Mr Mutt Nutter and Mr. Jeff Pfister’s technology center, where the boys are arguing over who’s going to which Outpost, where. With her trademark sarcasm and a wave or two, Myrtle’s taken care of business and wiped out two horrific haircuts in one fell swoop.
As Cordelia’s plan unfolds and with spellbound Coco and Mallory in place, the other witches go underground (literally) to await the apocalypse, after which they make their spectacular Carrie-like return, ready to revive and release their sisters as we’d already seen in “Forbidden Fruit“. Facing down Michael, who’s certain he’s already won, this time the team has extra help … in the form of the most fabulous (sorry, Dinah!) voodoo queen ever, Angela Bassett’s Marie Laveau, brought back from Legba-land by Nan, in trade for Dinah. Unfortunately, Marie’s return is over all too quickly, as in a Tarantinoish hail of violence, Miriam whips out her semi-automatic arm, only to be blown to smithereens by Cordelia; Madison takes over the weapon, temporarily incapacitating Michael, Mallory is stabbed by Brock — and in retaliation, Myrtle sets him on fire. While Cordelia futilely attempts to heal Mallory so she can time-travel to Michael when he’s vulnerable, the Antichrist revives himself, sees Miriam “dead”, takes out Marie and Coco, and thinks he’s won the game again … only as usual, he’s underestimated these witches. Sacrificing herself to hand Mallory the Supreme power she needs to go back, Cordelia gives Michael her final “fuck you”, and Mallory simultaneously revives, heading right to the Murder House …
… Where prior to the apocalypse (2015), Constance is just discovering that murdered priest, and letting Michael know she’s thoroughly “done with the horror and misery” he keeps bringing into her house. After begging, then getting angry enough to not choke his grandmother, Michael runs out into the street, only to meet his new fate — being run over (several times, just to be sure) by the determined new Supreme (Mallory). Though Michael begs Constance to give him death everlasting in her magic home, grandmother instead condemns him to the place he really belongs (“Go to hell”), and Michael sighs his final breath.
In the aftermath, we watch Mallory take her place back at Miss Robichaux’s, learning that Myrtle is now never brought back, and Misty and Queenie — warned not to head to the Hotel Cortez — have their fates changed (and Madison’s), as well. Unfortunately, you can’t keep a good Antichrist down, it seems; as Mallory notes, “The devil isn’t going to just give up”.
Flashing forward to 2020, Emily and Timothy have a fateful meeting that ends this segment exactly as it should … with a new baby bad boy, Devan, taking out his poor sitter, and Satan’s familiar minions (Miriam, LaVey and Crowe) knocking at the door.
This was such a fun finale, and though a la Westworld, I’d hesitate at the thought of working out the timelines, if you don’t think about it too hard, it works. I’m pretty sure that’s the unofficial American Horror Story tagline. In case you were wondering, yes, AHS will be back for Seasons 9 and 10.
Loved the allusions to favorite movies — the Carrie shot of hands breaking from the ground, and Miriam’s milky head like Ash in Alien. Also, Bicycle Built for Two (sung by Miriam as she died) was “sung” by HAL 9000 as it “dies” in 2001: A Space Odyssey. And of course …
… I legit screamed with excitement when Angela Bassett showed up (though I wish she’d had a little more screentime),
That line, of course, recalled Lord of the Rings.
And, Jessica Lange’s return was — as always — breathtaking. The woman just commands every word, every onscreen second. I truly hope Ryan Murphy can convince her to come back for a full season, because whenever she pops in, it only makes me realize how much she’s missed.
Everyone was excellent this season — but I have to throw out an extra special kudos to Sarah Paulson (who carries so many hours of this series), Billie Lourd, and Cody Fern. Also, I’m consistently amazed at their shared ability to convey emotion so very well.
The new little Antichrist (Nicholas Hodge) got his make-up done just like the old little Antichrist (There was also a nice shot of the crows circling his house, just as they did with Michael).
Thus, Emily and Timothy’s presence at Outpost 3 is explained — they were Satan’s Adam and Eve, if you will .. Does that mean Satan knew all along that Michael — who tbf, did seem rather weak for an Antichrist (as per Mutt and Jeff) — wouldn’t make it? And, does it also mean either Emily or Timothy are not entirely human? Stay tuned, I guess.
Michael said it wasn’t him in the Rubber Man suit at the Outpost, so … maybe that was Daddy? And, did he then (offscreen) have a (personal) hand in Devan’s creation?
Some folks seem dubious that Michael would so easily be killed by a car, especially after the speedy bullet recovery, but Mallory specifically went back to a time when he was vulnerable and weak (always?), so presumably he hadn’t yet attained enough power to live through multiple roll-overs.
Songs This Hour:
Kathy Bates (covering Harry Dacre), Bicycle Built for Two (Daisy, Daisy)
He can smell a witch a mile away, like a truffle pig.
Consider it an upgrade.
Don’t forget to rate me five stars, please.
I always thought the world would end with fire and ice, not witches and warlocks.
Papa Legba told me to tell you you’re a pain in the ass.
Sorry about your little toy, bitch.
Out with the trash … Give Papa my regards.
You’re dealing with the HBIC now.
I don’t see a man, I see a sad little boy. You think there’s only winning and losing; failure is when you’ve lost any semblance of hope Satan has one son, but my sisters are legion motherfucker.
Tell me something, Michael; do you have to kill every single living creature that crosses your path? Why don’t you just politely ask them to leave?