In the penultimate episode of American Horror Story: Apocalypse, Dinah breaks the protection spell that Cordelia has cast around Miss Robichaux’s Academy, allowing Michael Langdon and Miriam to enter and kill Zoe, Queenie, Joan Collins, and a bunch of Red Shirts with some nails and the machine gun that Miriam conveniently has as an arm. In exchange, Dinah gets a lousy 13-episode order for her talk show, because even when they’re selling their souls to the Devil, women get shortchanged (compare her deal to Mutt and Jeff’s deal, where they got a billion-dollar Silicon Valley company, unlimited blow, and sex with Ryan Reynolds on Thursdays).
Cordelia, Myrtle and Mallory manage to escape before Langdon can locate them, which makes Langdon a very unhappy boy, so while he goes back to emo-gazing about how to bring about the end of the world, Cordelia continues her preparations at the lake house under a blanket and over a glass of wine with Myrtle. She learns from Madison that Langdon has the ability to destroy souls, which puts a damper on her plan. But no matter! She just needs to prepare Mallory to take over as Supreme. But first, she needs to bring a bird back to life.
Unfortunately, Mallory can’t even muster that, so instead of working on the fundamentals, Cordelia increases the difficulty of her next challenge. She’ll just send Mallory back to 1918 and have her help Anastasia Romanov cast a protection spell to protect her and her family (I say “help” because Anastasia Romonov is a witch herself, but her powers alone are not strong enough to stop the Bolshevik army from killing her family). Alas, not even Mallory can stop the damned Bolsheviks, and she nearly gets killed along the rest of the Romanovs for her troubles.
The important lesson here, however, is that Mallory’s powers are strong enough to allow her to travel back in time; they’re just not strong enough to cast a protection spell to stop the Bolsheviks, and obviously not strong enough to stop Michael Langdon. The clear issue here is that Mallory cannot ascend to the Supreme until Cordelia is dead, and while Cordelia understands that, she’s just not quite ready to let go, because she understands that the hero never sacrifices herself until the season finale.
But there has to be a plan, though, right? Mallory is not strong enough yet but give her a few years in an underground bunker working for Coco during the end-times, and when Cordelia returns, Mallory should be all set. She’ll just travel back in time, perhaps to the very moment before Langdon enters Miss Robichaux’s Academy and kills Queenie and Zoe, thereby preventing a mass slaughter of witches and nuclear annihilation of the planet.
In other words, what happens after Langdon and Miriam leave Miss Robichaux’s Academy may ultimately be erased in the new timeline established in the finale. Those events include Mutt and Jeff experiencing a level of crankiness I haven’t seen since the President gave a press conference after getting his ass handed to him by the Democrats. They’re not so sure about Langdon’s ability to bring about the end of the world, so they help a Devil out by calling in their buddies from The Collective — the world’s richest and most influential people (as it turns out, The Collective is just a rebranding of The Illuminati). All they need to do is set up a number of outposts (which Ms. Veneable is happy to facilitate, so long as she’s allowed to make the rules) to house members of The Collective as nuclear rain pours down on the unwashed masses.
And so now, all the pieces are in place for next week’s season finale, except for any explanation whatsoever of Timothy and Emily’s role in all of this.
Header Image Source: FX