I want to say that this week’s episode of American Horror Story: Apocalypse was something of a filler episode — complete with pointless but entertaining musical performance of “Gypsy” from the White Witch, Stevie Nicks — but I understand its purpose. I’m not sure it needed to spend an entire hour basically in a Coven flashback, but I get that certain pieces needed to be moved and it’s probably best to contain those pieces to one episode before moving on to the next chapter, which is essentially American Horror Story: Apocalypse: Murder House: Flashback.
The episode continues last week’s flashback, beginning with Cordelia in the midst of a vision of the future where Miss Robichaux’s Academy is rubble, the world has gone up in flames, and there are flesh-eating zombies, because AHS needed to hit Zombies on its BINGO card this week. Over the vehement objection of Myrtle, the vision prompts Cordelia to administer the Seven Wonders test to Michael Langdon and, should he pass, allow him to become the Supreme. I’m going to cut to the chase here, however, and reveal that Cordelia never had any intention whatsoever of handing that power over to Langdon. She administered the test for two reasons: To see just how powerful Michael Langdon really is, and because the final test of the Seven Wonders required that Michael retrieve Misty Day from the netherworld.
Langdon accomplished what Cordelia could not in retrieving Misty, but in doing so, he gave Cordelia exactly what she wanted: Her full Coven. Cordelia has been playing the long game, using Michael to retrieve Misty, Queenie, and Madison, because while Cordelia understood that she could not defeat Michael on her own, she might be able to do so with the full coven.
That also includes Coco, and in the episode’s most amusing sequence, we learn that Coco initially joined Miss Robichaux’s Academy because her father gave the school millions of dollars and also because Coco could detect the presence of gluten, which made her very popular in her social circles. We should expect, however, that her ability to “detect the presence of danger” in the form of gluten will blossom into something useful to the coven in its efforts to take down Langdon.
Meanwhile, John the warlock, seeing Langdon for what he truly is (ahem, the anti-Christ) decides to pack a bag and get the hell out of dodge. That escape, however, is thwarted by Langdon’s surrogate Mom, Miriam, who slashes John’s Achilles heel, his throat, and then sets him on fire. In the world of American Horror Story, there’s about a 35 percent chance he’s actually dead. We quickly learn that not only is Langdon behind John’s murder, but so is Warlock Ariel.
But the actual point of the episode — aside from illustrating Langdon’s powers (which we already knew about) and showing that the Coven has re-formed (which we also already knew about) — arrives in the final two minutes, after Stevie Nicks’ rendition of “Gypsy” celebrating the return of Misty. Cordelia gets Madison alone and tells her that she needs to do some reconnaissance on Langdon, and Warlock Chablis — who has his own trust issues with Langdon — decides to tag along. The mission? To return to The Murder House and find out as much as possible about Langdon’s origins.
Next week: The extended flashback continues, only Connie Britton and Not Dermot Mulroney may make their first appearance of the season (and Jessica Lange will definitely return).
Header Image Source: FX