Because Ryan Murphy chews through plot at such a rapid clip, there comes a point in most seasons of American Horror Story where he exhausts the premise and resets in a different genre. For many, this is the season’s jump-the-shark moment, but at this point, it’s kind of baked in. We expect it. You can’t fit all those Ryan Murphy regulars into one premise! Although, in the case of this season, he doesn’t have enough regulars to meet the demands of two premises, so some people have to pull double duty and play two (or three) different characters. But don’t try and make sense of it. It’s American Horror Story. Just roll with it. Half the fun — if that’s what you want to call it — is the introduction of new characters. Ryan Murphy really loves the first act, and so he just repeats it a few times before finally limping into a conclusion.
Here, we knew the reset was coming, because we understood that American Horror Story: Apocalypse was the All-Star season, featuring Murder House and Coven (and apparently a dash of Hotel). In last week’s episode, with the aide of Miriam, Langdon successfully masterminded an effort to kill everyone in the bunker, including Venable (Sarah Paulson), but at the end of the episode, the Coven witches — Cordelia Goode (uh, Sarah Paulson), Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) and Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) — make their return and give Mallory, Coco, and Dinah their lives back, revealing to them that they had been under an identity spell the entire time for very obvious reasons, namely so that they could play two different characters in the same season.
With everyone else dead for the time being (this being AHS, death is merely an inconvenience rather than a permanent state), it appears as though AHS: Apocalpyse is now AHS Bunker: Landgon vs. The Coven. But before we do that, there must be an extended flashback to three years before the bomb in which Langdon’s origins are explored. As it turns out, Miriam the robot (oh yeah, I forgot! She’s a robot now!) is actually modeled after the grandmother who raised Langdon after Murder House, a devil-worshipping, husband-killing Kathy Bates type.
Meanwhile, after using his powers to kill a butcher and make a police officer’s head explode, Langdon attracts the attention of a coven of Warlocks (a coven? A flock? A circle? A cabal?), played by Ryan Murphy Regular, Ryan Murphy Regular, B.D. Wong, and Ryan Murphy Regular, who have a sneaking suspicion that Langdon might just be a warlock more powerful than them all.
This would be good for the Warlocks, because they have been web searching on their Macs for the prophesied Alpha for quite some time. The Alpha has even more powers than the Supreme, who would be supplanted by the Alpha, thereby making boys better than girls (see? Ryan Murphy is topical!) I’ll cut to the chase here, and tell you that Langdon passes all the Warlock tests, so the Council of Warlocks calls in Cordelia and Co., and tells her, “We got a live one here. Can you administer the Test of the Seven Wonders?”
Cordelia is like, “HELL NO! Last time I did that, I killed Ryan Murphy Regular, and I don’t want to kill Langdon, too. I am the Supreme, so I have to protect yer boy.”
But then the Warlocks are all like, “Yeah. But you abandoned Queenie to Hotel Cortez” (AHS Hotel cameo alert!) and Cordelia is like, “Yeah. My bad. It was my greatest failure. My greatest shame. And now Queenie is trapped playing cards with Ryan Murphy Regular for an eternity. But what are you gonna do? It’s under the control of Satan.” Then we get a flashback within a flashback, showing how Cordelia tried and failed to retrieve Queenie.
That is a signal to Langdon, who is all like, “Stand back. I got this. Satan is my co-pilot.” So, he goes to the Hotel Cortez and retrieves Queenie, and while he’s at it, he fetches Madison Montgomery (Ryan Murphy Regular) from her personal hell (working the returns desk in a Wal-Mart where she’s constantly confused for Lindsay Lohan) and he brings both of them back to our mortal plane, where Cordelia passes out because she probably realizes that Langdon is the Alpha, and she is fucked.
Except that she’s obviously not, because in the post-bomb present day, she has reunited her coven and plans to inflict all kinds of witch hell on Langdon, at least for an episode or two, before a different Sarah Paulson character discovers Skynet and goes back in time to Murder House and kills Baby Langdon.
Header Image Source: FX