Movies & TV / Reviews

American Horror Story: Apocalypse Review – ‘Sojourn’

November 1, 2018 | Posted by Wednesday Lee Friday
American Horror Story: Apcalypse - Sojourn
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
American Horror Story: Apocalypse Review – ‘Sojourn’  

We’re still putting two sides of the same story together as we get closer to Venable’s episode one appearance. This week we meet a new coven of Satan worshippers that are bound to cause even more rage than Anton Lavey’s first appearance this season. Still, “Sojourn” managed to get a few things right about the Church of Satan, including the priestwear, the embracing of carnal desires, and the Wednesday night potlucks. LOL. As always, presume spoilers for the whole season (and previous seasons) to follow.

We begin moments after “Traitor” ends. I still take issue with the title of last week’s ep, since Baldwin and Ariel were both traitors, and Meade was not. I half-suspect that there’s another traitor out there. Maybe Cordelia is the traitor since she named Michael as the Supreme when she didn’t believe it. Her fading is probably just another fake out. But I digress. Michael is destroyed to see his allies murdered by the witches. When Cordelia offers him light and humanity, he responds by promising to kill every last witch.

Michael’s fasting and hallucinations were entertaining—especially Meade taking on the air of Damien’s mother from The Exorcist. An excellent reference well executed. Apparently, Michael didn’t just bring Meade back to life because he couldn’t. Cordelia hid her soul and only she can release it. Crafty! He’s decided to wait in a circle until his father speaks to him. After four days, and tearing a goat limb from limb, he gives up. Somehow though, he finds himself at a Satanic prayer meeting where he meets Madelyn, another post-50 woman who longs to take care of other people (because “nobody’s perfect” Hahahaha). She invites Michael in and learns his identity in short order.

How much do we love Sandra as a Satanic priestess? A lot? Her disgust with the low-key sins her flock has committed is sweetly hilarious. She wants real sin, ugly sin, the kind that turns stomachs. Next, she wants human sacrifices—the kind of people that make the world better. As we know, these geniuses want to bring about the end of the world, so they can revel in sin. I don’t think they’re going to like it as much as they think they will. I will say that they put on a hell of a show. O Fortuna is beautifully performed in this ep.

I don’t belong to Church of Satan, but I can see why they’re angry about the depiction of Anton LaVey. CoS, like The Satanic Temple, do not literally worship a being named Satan. While TST eschews all things supernatural, members of CoS declare themselves as gods and the rulers of themselves. They also forbid drug use, as they say it negatively impacts ceremonial magic. TST doesn’t use magic, so they have no such prohibition. Neither church allows or tolerates human sacrifice. Sorry, Leticia. I do suspect that either church would be fine calling our POTUS a “douchenozzle,” but I don’t know the official stance of either. Now you know more about Satanism than you did. You’re welcome.

These Satanists are very into carnal pleasures. I half wondered if we wouldn’t see Ryan Reynolds before this ep was out. If this ep is any indication, he’s probably very busy and tired. I don’t see the appeal of that guy, but to each their own. I enjoyed how Madelyn reveled in her earthly goods and comfort while saying how much she wanted to be in the worst/best part of hell. Burning and blistering for all eternity just doesn’t sound like a fun time, regardless of one’s church of choice. That said, seeing Michael cut two throats with a single movement was fun. We haven’t seen that on TV since Grey Worm took out those slavers on Game of Thrones. I also enjoyed Phil from Gawker. Ouch, indeed.

So, the Satanists are delighted that the Son of the Dark Lord has shown himself. He seems annoyed and uncomfortable by their attention and adoration. But he has no plan, which they’re shocked by. He’s right though, it “doesn’t come with a fucking instruction manual.” So what happens next? Madelyn has some ideas. I was reasonably sure we’d see the beginnings of the Collective at this fancy building. Instead, we were treated to Wilhelmina Venable treating her staff badly. Worse, we saw dudes literally called Mutt and Jeff living the high life (literally) snorting coke and killing it at robotics. It’s these two awful wigs that rebuild the 240TB masterpiece known as Ms. Meade.

I have questions. If Venable showed Michael to the elevator—why don’t we know that they’ve met before? They didn’t act like it when we saw them interact. Ms. Meade’s first words were about how much she missed Michael, and how happy she was to see him. Does that mean her loyalty to Venable (that we saw clearly in the first two eps of the season) was a lie? Was it a program? Is she really making HAL9000 look like a fucking abacus? I understand that they didn’t tell her she was a robot, but she took it much better than they presumed she would. A lot of viewers asked about Meade’s batteries. This was explained this week as she has a perpetual battery that never runs down. That could mean Meade is still doing her thing thousands of years in the future. That might be fun to see.

What did we learn? Well, this is probably part of the Cooperative since Ms. Meade’s creators and Venable were there. We learned that Mutt (or Jeff, I’m not sure who is who) feels strongly about the playlist, which features songs we heard over and over again at Outpost 3. Apparently, 70s easy listening calms them like cocaine. The playlist is everything. (Toto is amazeballs. Sorry, flashback.) Even after the apocalypse, it seems we’re doomed to be ruled by idiots, addicts, and selfish jerks. We learn that Venable is not a fan of cutesy nicknames and that automated handy machines are not easy to build.

We don’t know exactly where we are in history this week, only approximately. This “terrible accident on the 101” might be related to the bombs dropping or a plane falling out of the sky. We don’t know since we’re not hearing any outside dish. Venable purchased an island—is that the place everyone at Outpost 3 was trying to earn a place in? We don’t know.

Only two more episodes remain this season, which means we have a lot to wrap up in a short amount of time. Will the Satanists get their way? Will everything end up back to normal? Are Mallory and Michael going to have a…a spell-off or something? Should the son of the Devil really be all buff like The Rock? No movie has suggested this, Sam Neil was not so buff as I recall. I’d love to hear your theories as to how the season will end. Does Coco have more power than she’s letting on? Can anything stop Ms. Meade? Will Behold live? I really want him to.

See you’s next week!

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
We're dangerously close to bringing the two ends of this season's story together, as we get an early look at Wilhemina Venable and the bad wigs who created the robotic Ms. Meade. Al Pacino might be envious of the giant bowl of cocaine we see in this week's ep, and learn that Sandra Bernhardt looks stunning in red. Michael faces temptation and Ryan Reynolds gets a couple of hearty shoutouts.