American Horror Story: Apocalypse “Apocalypse Then” Recap


Warning: Contains spoilers for season 8, episode 10 of American Horror Story, “Apocalypse Then.”

This is the end, beautiful friend, this is the end. Another chapter of American Horror Story is closing just in time for us to enjoy the holiday season without fear of the apocalypse. With that said, how many signatures would we need to get a Coven Christmas special into production? Anyhow, lets get to it.

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Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) pays a visit to Mutt (Billy Eichner) and Jeff’s (Evan Peters) robotics lab to set the coven’s post-apocalyptic plan into motion. She uses magic to get past Venable (Sarah Paulson) and again to convince Mutt and Jeff to make room in Outpost 3 for the St. Pierre Vanderbilt family. We also learn that Michael Langdon (Cody Fern) requested that Mutt and Jeff wipe Robo-Mead’s (Kathy Bates) mind so she can’t remember that he’s the antichrist when he shows up at the outpost after the bombs drop.

American Horror Story Apocalypse

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The rest of the witches are hiding out in Misty Day’s shack, where Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) explains to Mallory (Billie Lourd) and Coco (Leslie Grossman) that they’ll need to be put under an identity spell to carry out the rest of the mission. Before they go under, it’s revealed that part of Coco’s new identity would involve being cruel to Mallory as a way of helping her suppress her powers. Once the spell is in place, Coco and Mallory reappear in the backseat of a car driven by Madison (Emma Roberts). They don’t recognize her and seem to have instantly adapted to their new roles, with Coco being a megabitch and Mallory being her helpless assistant. They’re on their way to Mr. Gallant’s salon—the very place we met them in the season premiere. After dropping them off, Madison eyes a bus advertisement for the new Dinah Stevens (Adina Porter) talk show. She instantly realizes that the voodoo queen made a deal with the devil in exchange for betraying the witches and now Madison wants her revenge. Cordelia calms her down and explains that Dinah will get her comeuppance in due time.

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The episode flashes forward to after the bombs fall and shows us the Mallory/Michael confrontation from earlier in the season, where we first caught a glimpse of Mallory’s power. It turns out that Mallory’s awakened magic also woke Cordelia, Myrtle, and Madison up from the spell they used on themselves to survive the nuclear blasts. The witches make their way to Outpost 3 to save their sisters (another moment we saw earlier in the season).

And with that, we’re finally back to the spot where we left off in episode 3. After being resurrected, Coco and Mallory join the other witches while Dinah pledges her allegiance to Michael. Just when it looks like the tussle is about to break out, in comes Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) to reclaim her title as the voodoo queen from Dinah. It turns out Cordelia made a deal with Papa Legba (Lance Reddick) to save Laveau’s soul from the underworld in exchange for Dinah’s much darker (therefore a better servant to him) spirit. The final battle gets underway when Laveau slits Dinah’s throat. Robo-Mead tries to step into action using her machine gun arm, but Cordelia quickly puts a stop to it by using a spell that makes Mead explode.

Losing Mead for the second time at the hands of the witches pushes Michael over the edge. No more Mr. Nice Antichrist! Ready to let loose some hellfire, Michael stands and prepares to make his move, but Madison uses Robo-Mead’s severed gun arm to pump him full of bullets. The witches know that Michael isn’t down for good but use his weakened state to try and get Mallory to a safe place to perform the spell that will send her back in time to stop him long before any of this armageddon stuff was an idea in his head.

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American Horror Story Apocalypse

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The witches seem to be winning until Coco’s former boyfriend Brock (Billy Eichner), who has been hiding in the outpost, pops out and stabs Mallory. Myrtle uses magic to set him on fire. Back downstairs, Michael recovers from his wounds and makes Madison’s head explode by touching two of his fingers together. Laveau and Coco try to buy the other girls some more time by going after Michael, but he quickly kills them off. It’s not looking good for the coven, so Cordelia sacrifices herself to give Mallory the power of the supreme and the strength to complete the mission. She tells Michael, “Satan has one son but my sisters are legion, motherf**ker!” The sacrifice works and Mallory transports herself back to the Murder House in 2015, where Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) discovers that her grandson, Michael, killed a priest. Constance realizes she can’t do anything more for Michael and kicks him out of the house.

As Michael makes his way into the street, Mallory comes speeding down the street in an SUV and runs him over. Then she backs up over him. Just for good measure, she runs him over a third time after exchanging glances with Constance, as if to say, “You know exactly why I’m doing this.” Constance holds her dying grandson as he begs her to take him into the house so he can live with her forever as a ghost. She tells him to go to hell and lets him die alone in the street.

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With Michael out of the picture, Mallory remains in 2015 and heads to Robichaux Academy to live with Cordelia and the rest of the coven. She keeps her mission a secret from everyone but does little things to help her sisters, including stopping Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) from going to stay at the Hotel Cortez in California (which longtime viewers know is where she was killed off in the Hotel season) as well as making a deal with the underworld to let Misty Day (Lily Rabe) out of hell.

Although everything seems peachy, Mallory questions how these changes affected the future timeline where she came from. The episode jumps forward once again to the year 2020, where Timothy (Kyle Allen) and Emily (Ash Santos) meet for the first time during a protest outside of a coffee shop. We know from the first two episodes of this season (in the post-apocalyptic timeline) that these two have a special connection. They instantly fall in love, and we see that Emily has their first child a year later. Three years after that, their son Devan is exhibiting the same mischievous tendencies that little Michael Langdon had. There are even the same signs of evil that Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton) had described her son having. As if it wasn’t clear enough, the episode ends with a knock at the door and the satanists (including human Miriam Mead) are standing on the other side, ready to help Timothy and Emily’s son embrace his role as the new antichrist.

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American Horror Story Apocalypse

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Final thoughts

    • Overall, it was a lackluster conclusion to an otherwise stellar season. Michael getting hit by a car didn’t seem like a big enough demise given the way the season was building toward this Mallory/Michael confrontation.
    • The surprise cameo from Angela Bassett was the highlight; it would have been nice to have had more from her this season.
    • Michael’s biggest weakness was his loneliness. He longed for any kind of parental figure and guidance. It seemed fitting that the second coming of the antichrist would go about it a different way…this time in a loving home with both parents present.
    • Why was Misty Day completely MIA for the final battle?
    • The show took way too long to return to the Outpost 3 timeline.
    • Ryan Murphy should definitely explore The Cooperative deeper in future seasons.
    • It’s strange that in a season that dealt so heavily with hell and the devil, the only glimpse of God and heaven we got was just an angel that appeared briefly during Michael’s hallucinations in the woods.



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