OK, I’ve watched; I’ve processed. I might be ready to talk about the season finale of American Horror Story: Apocalypse.
Ryan Murphy and company pulled out all the stops for this year’s season finale moving pieces into place for a showdown between Michael Langdon (Cody Fern) AKA the Anti-Christ and descendants of the Salem Coven.
For the last half of the season, I kept wondering how they would be able to successfully pull this all together in the end. Sure, they provided some closure to the series’ first season, brought back some characters we’d sorely missed, and given us a chance to see how their stories could play out differently.
But nothing prepared me for the throwdown to come in the finale.
***Spoilers, lots of them, for the season finale of American Horror Story: Apocalypse will appear below. You have been warned.***
So, let’s break things down.
As the season finale opened, we were finally clued into just how big a bad ass Myrtle Snow has been all this time as she infiltrated the Cooperative HQ to gather info on where their various fallout shelters would be found.
This was a great moment. Myrtle (Frances Conroy), fabulous though she is, has often played second fiddle to other witches deemed more powerful, but the red-haired fashionista with a penchant for the theremin, can clearly pack a punch when she wants to, and she rendered everyone around her impotent as she got the information she needed.
We then witnessed as reigning Supreme Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) put into place the spell that would hide the identities of Mallory (Billie Lourde) and Coco (Leslie Grossman) so that they could be placed in the path of the Apocalypse in such a way that would lead them to the Cooperative’s Outpost.
I must admit that Coco grew on me throughout the season.
Yes, her powers (sensing gluten which somehow translated to sensing danger and later being able to divine the amount of calories in any given food after a short bit of trance-like concentration) were some of the silliest I could imagine. Yes, she could be annoyingly vapid, but when the chips were down in the final battle, she acted as any powerful member of her coven would, and did her duty.
As we flashed forward in time from the casting of the identity spell, Madison (Emma Roberts) learned that Dinah Stevens (Adina Porter) had sold out the Coven and pledged allegiance to the Anti-Christ which set an all new series of plans in place for the final showdown.
I can’t be the only fan whose jaw dropped when Cordelia, while confronting Michael and once again being sold out by Dinah produced the real voodoo queen, Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) from out of the shadows, and it was thrilling to watch Marie send Dinah down to Papa Legba’s realm for all eternity.
Then things went left…
In quick succession, Coven members began dying as Michael embraced his power, but for all of his planning and with everything his Dark Father had given him it became very clear that foresight was not one of his gifts.
In last week’s episode, the audience was made aware of a special power and spell that would allow a witch to travel back in time to change the past. It was also revealed that Mallory was powerful enough to harness this spell when she tested it out by going back in time and trying to save Anastasia and her Romanov family from the Bolsheviks.
Most of us, when we saw this, knew that it would be key to stopping Michael.
Time and its inconsistencies has been a theme this season. Much of it has taken place before the apocalypse as members of the cast searched out ways to stop the fateful event and along the way we saw Coven members raised from the dead and saved from their various Hells, wiping away past events and changing the timeline.
We really should have known what was coming. Still, a little foresight on our parts would never have shown us the final picture.
Mallory lay dying in a pool of water, unable to access her powers in her weakening state. Myrtle seemed ready to give up, and then Cordelia was forced to do what so few could.
Confronting Michael, she killed herself after uttering what may be my favorite line from the entire series alongside Fiona’s “She killed the neighbor lady but the bitch had it coming” from season 3.
“Your Father has one son, but my sisters are legion motherfucker,” Cordelia said with all the defiance and power of the Supreme that she was.
As she died, her power went crashing into Mallory who not only healed from her wounds but was able to punch her way into the Time spell to go back and take care of Michael before he could rise to power.
And. It. Was. Hilarious.
Michael storms in a huff from the Murder House out into the street when he is suddenly struck by an SUV. Mallory, of course, is at the wheel. She then backs over the son of a bitch, throws it into drive, and runs over him again before speeding away all while Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) looked on.
And then came a pivotal moment where Constance may have, once again, made the wrong choice.
Michael begs her to drag him onto the house’s lawn. Fans will remember that dying on the property of Murder House traps your soul there. You become a part of the haunting.
Constance decides NOT to give this to Michael, however, and tells him to go to hell, leaving him to die in the street.
We find out soon after that Michael’s spirit returns a few years later in the body of a new baby boy and the whole series of events might be starting all over again.
Could trapping his soul in Murder House have prevented this from happening? Is the Apocalypse unavoidable? Have the witches only bought the world a little time?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching American Horror Story, it’s this: You cannot predict where Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and the series’ writing team will take us next, but this could be a set up for an interesting season 9 which might, for the first time, carry directly over from the season before it.
One thing is for sure. Outside of a new babysitter killing little boy, this may be the most hopeful season ending we’ve seen from the series ever.
As Mallory took her place in Robichaux’s Academy we saw that Zoe was once again alive. Queenie was stopped from making reservations at the evil Hotel Cortez. Misty Day was escorted out of Hell by Nan. The promise was made to get Madison out of her own Hell.
For American Horror Story that’s the equivalent of the warm fuzzies, or at least the closest we may ever get, and I for one am so ready to see where the series goes next!