For starters, Episode 4 of AHS Apocalypse is a big mishmash of crap that will likely mean more later on down the track and is really just a hot mess in this episode.
We open this episode with the tail end of what happened in Episode 3. Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson), Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga), and Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) are catching the resurrected Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt (Leslie Grossman), Mallory (Billie Lourd), and Dinah Stevens (Adina Porter) up to speed on how they are special. In addition, they explain how their powers and memories had to be suppressed in order to protect them from evil.
Mallory seems okay with her new identity, Dinah is all “Fuck, no, I’m not buying into your religion,” and Coco, predictably, will do whatever it takes to stay alive.
But, then Episode 4 delves into a pile of backstory dumping. Not so much fun when it happens in books. But, when it’s American Horror Story, it turns out to be a buffet of Easter eggs in regard to previous seasons.
And this is the only thing that really saves this episode.
Also, according to Vulture, all of this backstory occurs approximately three years before the apocalypse hits.
CF: First off, I loved how Coco was like, “I’ll help, just don’t let me die again”, ’cause this bitch is all about doing whatever it takes to stay alive. It also means we get more backstory later down the line ’cause how did Coco, Dinah, and Mallory end up as they did, not knowing they were witches?
RT: I wonder if Coco and Madison are somehow interconnected, or related? They’re both annoying bitches that we love after all…
CF: That is entirely possible. I want to know how Mallory and Madison know each other.
So, from the first info dump, we discover that Michael Langdon (Cory Fern) based the robot Ms. Miriam Mead (Kathy Bates) on the woman he grew up with. Who also happened to be a Satanist.
CF: Kathy Bates chewing on the scenery was a thing of beauty. I did love this part.
RT: It sure was! 😀Then, Michael receives his letter from Hogwarts after fucking up a cop pretty bad with magic. He also gets to dress like Colonel Sanders from now on in.
During this time, of which trials are performed and Cheyenne Jackson seems to be the only one who notices that Michael’s power might be a bad thing, it is decided that Langdon is the warlock equivalent of a Supreme. As a result of this, the witches from AHS Coven are called in to permit the Test of Seven Wonders to prove that Langdon is the Alpha.
Cordelia is not okay with this, though, as she believes it will lead to his death, just like what happened with Misty Day (Lily Rabe) back in Season 3 of American Horror Story. It is also pretty much an analogy for men trying to usurp women’s power.
CF: I will say that the only part of the whole episode with the four leaders of the warlocks wanting Langdon to take the test of the Seven Wonders is that Cheyenne comes off as the White Savior, and if those other three men of color had only listened to him… well, you know the rest. Minor quibble on my part, but it sort of distracted me from the story.
RT: Oh, that’s an absolutely valid point! Considering how obvious the men vs. women thing was, this makes even more sense.
CF: I can understand the matriarchy/patriarchy split because it’s a real thing and the way the supernatural community is set up in AHS, there would be a lot of tension between them. The men also called out Cardelia as racist because of what happened to Queenie. It appears there’s even more tension there because of that, but what’s interesting is that while the people at the top are PoCs, few of their students are.
RT: I really think this who warlock/witches plot is deliciously layered.
Next, we get a second lot of backstory dumping.
This time, we find out all about Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) and her role in AHS Hotel. It turns out she was trapped within the walls of the Hotel Cortez. Cordelia tries in vain to rescue her but it turns out Queenie really is stuck there and is condemned to playing endless hands of cards with James Marsh (Evan Peters). That is until Michael Langdon turns up and allows her to leave.
Michael then goes and rescues Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) from her eternal retail assistant hell.
Even then, Madison is a spoilt brat.
Even then, I still love her to pieces for being the aforementioned brat.
CF: I have to give points to Evan Peters for also chewing it up as Marsh: you could tell he was having a great time being an annoying pain in the ass. And Madison in Hell: she’s still a little cunt even while going through eternal damnation and doesn’t give a shit if people know it. Makes me love her even more so as well.So, now Michael has two witches on his side prior to the apocalypse occurring and I have no idea what that means moving forward in Season 8. He then turns up at the warlock’s stronghold right as Cordelia’s group is leaving.
Cordelia takes one look at Madison and Queenie on either side of Michael and promptly faints. Or dies. Who knows, because that’s exactly when the episode ends and now we will have to wait until next week to find out how this will all tie up with the present day events occurring in American Horror Story: HotApoCoveMur.
CF: Given that Madison’s with Cordelia when they return to Outpost 3, you know she somehow didn’t side with Langdon. I have a feeling Queenie is gonna say bye bye somewhat permanently at some point. I suppose we’ll learn more next week.
RT: Yeah, I was thinking that too. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
CF: I have a feeling a lot of the next few episodes will concern itself with how this plays out.
American Horror Story returns to FX with Episode 5 (titled “Boy Wonder”) of Season 8 on Wednesday, October 10 at 10 p.m. ET.
[Featured image via FX]