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American Horror Story: Apocalypse Review – ‘Fire and Reign’

November 8, 2018 | Posted by Wednesday Lee Friday
American Horror Story: Apocalypse
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American Horror Story: Apocalypse Review – ‘Fire and Reign’  

Let me begin by saying that I did not care for the guts of this week’s episode. I thought the episode titles were hinting in that direction, and I trusted the writers not to give us something so obvious. But no…it appears that time travel is what will save the day from the Apocalypse. Still, my issues with Coven were all about cheap revivals and magick as deus ex machina. But hey, this isn’t and has never been high drama. I’ll also point out that this episode was only 38 minutes long. That’s pretty damn short. Expect spoilers for everything to date—which you should all know by now.

We begin with Mutt and Jeff complaining that their life of cocaine and hummers is far too taxing. These two geniuses are bummed that the end of the world is taking so long to get here. Watch for a jibe about Satan getting a paternity test. Mutt is the calmer of the two, which doesn’t mean much in this scenario. Meanwhile, Venable is tired of being treated like a servant with no agency and no say in anything. If that hair color is indicative of her decision making—that might be for the best. Speaking of hair—Mutt and Jeff throwing shade on Michael’s hair?!? That’s an insane pot-kettle situation.

Back at Miss Robichaux’s, everyone is worried. Mallory is having difficulty with her spells after pushing herself crazy hard. Cordelia assures everyone that they’re safe so long as they stay inside the house. But she didn’t know that a sizable betrayal was coming. The new Voodoo Queen, we learn, is as ruthless as the old one. When she lets Michael and Meade into the house in exchange for one season of a TV show, we see that she’s more selfish than the son of Satan. At least his motives involve vengeance for a dead loved one. This betrayal is how we lose Zoe, Queenie, Bubbles, and any number of redshirts.

Of course no one should have believed a guardian’s chalice, even several, would hold off the literal son of Satan. Michael’s attempts to come up with his own plan are hilarious. Yes, that really was the plot of the 3rd Omen movie. The Final Conflict, which starred Sam Neill in his first American movie role, is not as bad as you might have heard. I find the first three Omen movies to be highly watchable with deaths that rivaled the Final Destination movies, if you adjust for them being decades earlier. Avoid any other Omen movies though. Seriously.

The Cooperative is actually the Illuminate (not to be confused with the Illuminutty) and these 100 of the richest and/or smartest people have all already sold their souls to Satan. Shenanigans, obviously. Most of them are atheists and wouldn’t bother doing anything like that. We also see that Mutt and Jeff are ostensibly controlling the robotic Meade—because absolutely no one is “good looking” in those awful wigs. These two are ridiculous, and better not live. You really can’t be complaining that others are “selfish and short-sighted, only concerned with instant gratification” while snorting cocaine and arranging for mile-high blowjobs. Anyway, the Illuminati is Michael’s army. Mutt and Jeff are certain that science trumps magic. DeadHand is a real thing, apparently. Not sure why that would surprise me, but it kinda does.

The remaining witches are hiding out at Misty’s while she’s hanging out with Stevie Nicks. Shenanigans on everyone not coming back to help during such a dire time. This is when Cordelia learns that Michael can burn souls out of existence. Her slapping Madison was way not cool. I mean, there are all sorts of reasons to want to slap Madison—but that wasn’t her fault. Sure, she might should have been more specific about that power. But it isn’t as if knowing that would have changed the outcome. And anybody with YouTube access should know that teachers shouldn’t slap students. Still, it’s sad to see Queenie and Zoe vanish as Cordelia tried to revive them.

Of course, Mallory is the savior here. Remember in Superman when Christopher Reeve flies around the world so fast it reverses? And instead of killing everyone on the planet, it actually made time reverse? Well, this is gonna be almost that ridiculous. We learn that Anastasia Romanoff was a witch (funny the animated movie never mentioned it—LOL) and that she attempted to stop her family’s assassination.

Sorry fans, but this whole thing was tired AF. Saying that those who have all tried this spell have died is a cheap attempt to amp up drama and suspense when we all know damn well they aren’t going to kill Mallory attempting to save the coven in E9. No way. So…blah blah power to change past events blah. Of course Mallory does go back, does affect some change (but not enough to actually save anyone) and gets back to the present—bleeding from her eyes and nose, but otherwise unharmed. It’s an odd choice to have her practice this way when just a day earlier Mallory was being told not to push herself so hard. The witches head to the boys school, where they find Behold, John Henry, and all the students dead and artfully arranged into a bloody pentagram.

We wonder this week if Cordelia will invoke the Sacred Taking. It seems that Mallory won’t be ready to take on Michael while the current Supreme is still alive. Myrtle is not wild about this idea, but assures Cordelia that she’s nothing like her mother and that killing herself isn’t necessary—not yet anyway.

Venable has had it with both Mutt and Jeff. She’s preparing to leave when they finally agree to let her in on what’s up. They decide that she’d be a good person to head up an Outpost. They even tell her she can make up whatever crazy rules she wants—which we know she does with much aplomb. They tell her she answers to no one, which might mean they were actively trying to get her killed. Given that Jeff’s playlist survived, I’m wondering if perhaps they did too.

This penultimate episode ends at a retreat for the Illuminati/Cooperative. They all brought their Daft Punk masks to meet around a big scary table, where they’ll discuss the construction of the various Outposts. We know most of these get run over, but Michael never seems too torn up over it. How much do we adore his red gloves, by the by?

We can pretty much assume that next week will revolve around Mallory going back in time to stop the Apocalypse from happening. That certainly doesn’t need to take an hour—or even 38 minutes. What else might be in store for next week? Maybe an Animal House-style recitation of what happens to everyone after they survive the Apocalypse? Coco running a chain of gluten-free bakeries? Maybe young Gallant will join Barrington Womble with two hair salons of his own? Or Victoria Principle will wake up to find Bobby still in the shower? I’d love to hear your predictions for next week!

See you’s then!

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The 411
I can say without hyperbole that this is the episode that's going to lose a few American Horror Story fans. It's one of the things, when people ask why they stopped watching, they'll refer to with disgust. I don't mind it, because I'd already resigned myself to the Covenesque device where no one stays dead. It's only now that we know that sometimes—people DO stay dead. Or do they?