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American Horror Story: Apocalypse Review – “The Morning After”

September 20, 2018 | Posted by Wednesday Lee Friday
American Horror Story: Apocalypse
6.5
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American Horror Story: Apocalypse Review – “The Morning After”  

Before we get started, I think it’s important to mention that FX played more commercials in this episode than any other—even longer episodes had fewer commercials than this week. How odd that this should coincide with their push to sell us all a commercial-free FX plan. They can bite me. Seriously.

I’m not sure how I managed to miss Amazon Eve last week. But yeah, she’s an enforcer at Outpost 3. She appears to be a mysterious black—better than a gray, not quite a purple. She’s dreamy, and I wonder what it means that her character hasn’t been given a name yet. This week, Gallant is tested, we learn Venable’s secret shame, and a familiar face(?) returns to cause trouble. As you’d think, spoilers for American Horror Story Apocalypse: The Morning After follow.

“The Morning After” is pretty close to the name of an 80s TV movie about a nuclear war. That was called “The Day After” and featured the slow decay of humanity as regular Americans slowly lose their hair and died from contaminated cans of food or slowly being radiated to death. This week, we’re given slightly more pleasant things to look at. Only slightly. I love snakes. I was happy to see them—though they did appear to be deliberately placed in Emily’s room. By who though? My guess is Meade. When the snakes were cut up for food, at least one of them returned to life. Does that mean there’s a Montgomery hanging around where we can’t see them? Those Montgomerys do enjoy resurrecting stuff.

It’s curious that Emily presumed that a snake came back to life, rather than thinking a live snake was put in the stew for some horrible or murderous reason. After being trapped together for so long, it’s surprising that there haven’t been more murders. You know what else is curious, Venable not telling anyone about Langdon when they ask. She obviously liked hoarding information, and her general lust for power seems to come from a combination of genuine malice and overcompensation for her scoliosis. She does seem terrified of Langdon.

Everyone wants to get into The Sanctuary. Meade’s question is a good one—if The Cooperative had the means to build impenetrable fortresses, why weren’t all the outposts built that way? Why wasn’t everyone given what Sanctuary has? It all seems very fishy, doesn’t it? It’s interesting to see decorum being maintained even as the survivors start turning on each other. Those Gallants are vile, and I was fine with the resolution of Evie and young Gallant’s relationship. This might be the season where it turns out everyone is in hell.

What’s happening outside? More outposts, even overseas, are overrun. Drag. There are “feral cannibals” outside, which is a delicate way of saying ZOMBIES RUN! Is that what grabbed Langdon’s horses? Inside, Emily and Timothy have decided, based on essentially nothing, that they’re smarter than Langdon and will go off on their own after some snooping. Once they learn that the no-giggity rule was made up by Venable, they engage in some giggity with all speed. * sigh * Also inside, Joan Collins is hilariously pretending to be 52. She looks fabbo, but come on.

Alright, let’s talk about Michael Langdon. I hate his character design. He looks and acts like what a Twilight fan wants the antichrist to be. Maybe my own expectations of the antichrist have been tarnished by guys like Sam Neill. I hate his character design. It’s like a bad Lestat. I hate it. His motives are unclear, though there’s got to be more than just choosing survivors. He’s probably already made up his mind.

I kind of want this guy to turn out not to be Langdon, in favor of the Rubberman who seems to have magical sneaking abilities. Could he be a ghost? If so, that probably means we haven’t seen the last of Joan Collins—because ghosts. It’s nice to see Rubberman, but I want a much stronger connection to Murder House, over and above a new ‘who is Rubberman’ mystery, I mean.

Most of the backstory this week revolved around young Gallant, who still doesn’t have a first name. He’s needy, so says Langdon anyway. He is also assaulted by Rubberman, which has a ghoulish symmetry if you remember your AHS history. Here’s hoping that this is the last rape of the season. Gallant hates his Nana, and it turns out that she basically hates him too. Nana sees relationships as business transactions where you give things with a full expectation of getting things in return. That’s for grownup relationships, not the ones we have with children. Duh. Ratting out the kid who saved her life was crappy.

Emily and Timothy have consensual sex, and it looks like they may be killed for it even though we all know this is just one of Venable’s dumb rules. What’s Langdon going to say if the best genes in the outpost are taken out of circulation? Langdon didn’t say much about young Gallant being whipped for no good reason, or how funny it was that Gallant was totally into it.

We did have some fun pop culture references this week. Time in a Bottle is a great song. Gold Dust Woman is an even better song—and foreshadows the return of Stevie Nicks. The Hardy Boys was a cool show—I totally watched it as a kid. But my crush was on Parker Stephenson, until he married Kirstie Alley and ruined everything we could have had. LOL. Ten Little Indians is a reference to the Agatha Christie story “…and Then There Were None.” There’s a song about ten little Indians dying badly from various tragedies. Actually, my grandfather taught it to me as a kid, but I’ll spare you the recitation.

The dialogue is not thrilling me this week. My fave stand out lines were few, “I freakin’ love bisque” thought that’s mostly for Evan Peter’s delivery. “You have a gift for making the ugly look presentable,” is delightful. I enjoyed the conversation between Wilhemina and Michael. She stood her ground despite her obvious deceit and turned it back around to blame everything on men. She ain’t wrong, despite being in the wrong. This whole scene was the best character development/reveal of the night. I love how Venable hates everyone, because I can’t disagree. I also enjoyed Gallant during the whipping scene, “Rip Taylor, Larry Kramer, Greg Louganis…their names give me strength!”

After Emily and Timothy are caught, they fight back hard and don’t seem to have been killed. Meade is shot. That’s when we learn that she’s…well…a goddamn robot. She’s even got the white Ash blood. Given her previous statements, Meade is a military robot, a pretty old one. I should think the Cooperative knows this, so what does it mean? Ending this week’s ep with a murder, Gallant thinking he killed Langdon only to do in Evie—not very shocking. But still a nice killy scene to go out on. I imagine that display makes Langdon like Gallant more.

The only other thing we really need to discuss is the timeline. I confess that I’m confused. We don’t seem to know Langdon’s precise age, but it’s been at least 20 years since the forward leap at the end of Murder House. How does that fit into the Coven timeline? Is Queenie still alive? Is Fiona? I would need to see it all laid out visually to get a sense of it.

Overall, I’m not wild about tonight’s episode. It’s possible that I’ll enjoy it more when I watch it again after a few more episodes. I get the feeling that they’re dropping hints that I’m not picking up on. All this sneaking around is gonna burn everyone. But there’s so much of it that the suspense is diluted. We already figure that no one can be trusted and everyone has the potential to lay down a double cross. Dinah definitely has some secrets we’ll see later. Coco has to have at least one redeeming quality. That would be fun to know. Evan Peters is playing the sad guy this season, which is sure to drive the youngling fans wild. I could use a little man-candy this season, maybe a straightish guy to ogle. Cheyenne Jackson is coming up, so that’ll be fun.

I just don’t feel like that much stuff happened. I’m ready for the witches to arrive—especially because they keep teasing them in the trailers.

See you’s next week!

6.5
The final score: review Average
The 411
This week we continue our apocalyptic adventures with Gallant, Evie, Coco, and the rest of this brood of terrible, terrible people. I honestly don't know who to root for—they're all just awful. Common themes permeated "The Morning After" as we saw snakes, reanimation of the dead, unsexy sex, and the return of someone we haven't seen since Murder House.
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