American Horror Story: Apocalypse / Episode 5: Boy Wonder / FX
Last episode, we had some major stuff go down. We started the backstory of the rise of Michael aka Son of Satan (literally), and it looks like he is coming for Cordelia’s spot as Supreme aka the Alpha. He even brought Queenie and Madison back from the dead (with the help of daddy dearest no doubt).
Now then, shall we proceed…
*Spoilers coming like descents into the Nether World*
The Future Ain’t Too Bright
We open to the sounds of the wonderful Coven theme music. Our Supreme Cordelia wakes disoriented in the ruins of her academy (Miss Robichaux’s). She calls out to her coven, but no one answers. Soon people start to appear and close in around her. She raises her hand to magically throw them back but nothing happens. Behind them on the charred remains of the mansion stairs stands a black-hooded figure, his face mostly obscured from view. (We know it’s Michael.) The people advance on her and begin to eat her alive (literally pulling out chunks) as the figure stands there laughing.
Cordelia finally stirs from this hellish vision with Zoe and Myrtle by her side. She is overjoyed that it wasn’t real (at least not yet) and is even happier to see that Queenie and Madison are both actually alive. With a decision to be made and determination in her voice, she asks to see The Boy aka Michael. I just realized how respectfully disrespectful our Supreme was being, because she never calls him by his name.
The warlock leaders enter with Michael at their side. Cordelia thanks Michael for saving Queenie and Madison. She then tells them of her vision of a terrible future and the white-faced demon she saw. After which, she reveals her big decision to allow Michael the chance to attempt the Seven Wonders. If he can complete them, he will be the next Supreme/Alpha. One thing I hadn’t realized until this episode is that the warlocks are so hard up to be in charge, because Cordelia is their Supreme as well. So, they (and all warlocks before) have had to listen to a woman, and that has been just eating them up inside.
The test of the Seven Wonders will take place in two weeks during the rise of the blood moon. This is a motif we’ve seen several times throughout American Horror Story. I think it was especially important in Roanoke.
Michael agrees to take the test. My girl Myrtle Snow ain’t happy one bit and voices her feelings. But Cordelia reminds her that she is the current reigning Supreme, and her decision is final.
It’s about to go down.
*does American Horror Story bop*
Never Reveal Your Entire Hand
Upon their return to the mansion, Myrtle is still voicing her dislike of Cordelia’s choice to allow Michael the chance to perform the test of the Seven Wonders. She goes down a long list of men who have wanted to lead and failed, including Mark Zuckerberg. #burn
Cordelia laments that she thinks her vision was a warning to her that not allowing the test to happen would lead to this fate. She also reveals to Myrtle that she can feel her powers waning, meaning a new Supreme is rising.
#Pause – Our current Supreme has only reigned for about four years?? Not sure of the exact timeline seeing as that would kind of disprove events that took place in other seasons, but either way, it’s a hell of a lot shorter than her mother Fiona. Why is it that a better Supreme would only be allowed to reign for a short time, and her horrible mama get to reign for years? I guess it’s true…the good die young.
Now, back to our regular scheduled program…
Myrtle tells Cordelia how she personally witnessed Mallory perform a significant feat of magic. Mallory not only brought a deer back to life, but she healed all its wounds completely, or as Myrtle put it, she completely undid the damage. Come on, Snow White! Like no, literally, she is the only one dressed in white. Myrtle is dressed in a vibrant shade of blue that makes her red hair stand out even more and the rest of the young witches are all dressed in black. Come on now, Mallory. Don’t forget on Wednesdays we wear black.
Long story short, Myrtle would probably rather be burned at the stake for a third time, than see a man rise to rule over her as the next Supreme. This all brings them both to tears, but this emotional moment is interrupted (by Mallory of all people), and Cordelia has an appointment.
Lo and behold, it is Coco and her father. He knows she has a gift and has brought her there. Guess who shows her around the mansion on her first day? Mallory. So, now we officially have the connection between Mallory and Coco before the events of Apocalypse. And as it turns out Coco is clairvoyant. (This makes me miss Nan from Coven. She was one of my faves.)
All the warlocks have gathered to perform a protection ritual for Michael as he prepares to take on the test of the Seven Wonders. A mixture of salt, sea water, and blood is poured at his feet and (through pyrokinesis) lit on fire by BD Wong’s character, who officially is named Baldwin. Everything seems to go well, but we see that John Henry and Michael are staring at each other. For a split second during this exchange, Michael’s face reveals its demonic-ness with his eyes going completely black. This is something only John Henry apparently sees, and he decides it is time to leave and get some answers.
Mr. Chablis comes into John Henry’s room wanting to celebrate that they are closer to having an Alpha, but John Henry isn’t in a joyous mood. He is packing to go to New Orleans to see Cordelia. John Henry tells Mr. Chablis that Michael is evil, and that he basically wants to stop him. Mr. Chablis accuses John Henry of being jealous and magically pushes a chair in front of the door to block his exit. John Henry throws Mr. Chablis against a wall (magically) and tells him that he is not jealous. He is scared.
On his way to the airport (I’m guessing, because I hope he wasn’t going to drive all the way to New Orleans from LA), he stops for gas at a self-service station (that isn’t an actual gas station mind you, just two pumps). He is soon greeted by a familiar face (to us) in that of Miriam, who pretends to be helpless and asks him for help with the pump. He does, and his reward is to have his Achilles tendons sliced cleaned through, his throat slit, and his body set on fire.
Back at Hawthorne, Michael sneaks out to meet Miriam and thank her for taking care of his “problem.” She reveals that she isn’t the only one looking out for him, and out of the darkness steps GC Ariel, who told Miriam where to go so that she could kill John Henry. GC Ariel is so blinded by wanting a warlock, a man to be Supreme, that he is willing to kill anyone that is trying to stop it from happening. He has those blinders on so tight, he doesn’t realize that Michael is just using them (warlocks and witches) to gain and rise to power, so that he can fulfill his anti-Christ destiny. He don’t give two fucks about any of them. All he needs in this life of sin is him and his Miriam, him and his Miriam. (Jay-Z and Beyonce “03’ Bonnie and Clyde” anyone?)
The Test of the Seven Wonders
It is time for Michael to attempt the Seven Wonders. Coven fans will get a bit of a warm feeling seeing that they brought back the old movie picture frames to explain the coven’s history. Such as why the coven left Salem, or how the Supreme of the time took her own life so that the new Supreme could lead them south.
Michael flies through the first six easily, but when we come to the final test, Descensum, Cordelia decides to tweak it just a bit. Normally, the test is to descend (your soul) to the nether world, afterlife, or whatever and return to your body before the sun rises. However, Cordelia adds that not only must Michael return, but he must find and bring back Misty Day. GC Ariel and the other warlocks (Mr. Chablis and Baldwin at this point, because John Henry’s dead) are not at all happy with this new task, seeing as no Supreme, including Cordelia, has ever had to do something like this.
On one hand, GC Ariel has a right to be mad. Time moves differently down there. So, what could feel like mere minutes might be hours in the living world. This is what makes it so perilous, and for Michael to have to waste time looking for someone else and bring them back, he could easily get stuck there. (Though once again, this is the Son of Satan. He’ll be fine.)
GC Ariel accuses Cordelia of just trying to kill Michael purposefully so that she can remain Supreme. He even goes so far and puts her on the same level as Fiona. Cordelia, in Supreme fashion, reads GC Ariel, telling him that he wants to use Michael to further his own power because he has reached his full potential and still will never be a strong as her or even Michael, a mere boy, at this point. Basically, she tells him to go fuck himself. She’s in charge.
Michael agrees to the task and goes back home…I mean into the nether world.
Home Tortured Home
In the nether world, Misty (Lily Rabe) is still on a sick loop of reviving a frog and being forced to dissect it all over again in Biology class while other kids just stare blankly at her pain. As the Biology teacher is about to force her to cut the frog open again for the umpteenth time, his body splits open and his entrails come spilling out. His body falls to the floor, and Michael stands behind him with a scalpel. (How it did all that is beyond me, but once again being the Son of Satan has perks.) Misty looks at him wide eyed and hopeful that he is there to rescue her.
Michael awakes in the living world, and I’m sure Myrtle was relieved, thinking he’d failed the task and wouldn’t be crowned the new Supreme. The warlocks, GC Ariel mostly, are upset when they see that Michael has not brought back Misty Day as tasked, meaning he didn’t complete it. GC Ariel whines that this was unfair. Suddenly, a cloud of grey smoke and ash forms next to Michael, and Misty Day’s body appears. Cordelia kneels down to wake her up, and once she gets her bearings and comprehends that she is free from her torture, she is all-smiles and hugging her sister witches.
On the other side of the room, the warlocks are waiting for Cordelia to officially proclaim Michael as her successor, the next Supreme and first Alpha. As the words are leaving her mouth, Cordelia faints again. Someone get her some smelling salts for these vapours out here fainting left and right like an old Victorian woman.
Misty looks up a Michael, and he has a sinister smirk on his face.
Cordelia awakes on the couch again, telling Misty how much she missed her, but Misty tells her that she should have left her down there, because Michael is evil. She reveals that after Michael killed the Biology teacher, all the other kids in the room opened their mouths and this strange and demonic sounding voice started to come out. Cordelia thinks maybe he was negotiating with whatever or whoever rules down there to allow her to go free. (Nah, Supreme, he was getting instructions and words of encouragement right from his daddy.)
Misty says that she trusts Cordelia, but that she has known death and evil since she was a child and that Michael is something overwhelmingly evil. Myrtle quietly (and probably while hiding her rage) grieves that they have just made him the next Supreme. Cordelia firmly responds that he will never be Supreme, and that she only did this to test how powerful he was, so that they will know what they are up against. At the same time, she used his ability to strengthen the coven by one more powerful member. (But you know, you could have had him bring Nan and Marie Laveau back as well. But I guess that would be too much to ask. I’ll talk more in my final thoughts.)
As a gift and to help Misty heal, Cordelia has called in reinforcements in the form of the “white witch” — Stevie Nicks herself — to sing. She gives us a beautiful rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gypsy.” Misty joins in with her signature shawl twirling. While this is going on — which frankly I’m surprised that Michael and the other warlocks are showing all of this decorum for this, but I guess they know they’ve won so what’s the rush — Cordelia sneaks away with Madison after telepathically getting her attention, so that no one notices (or so they thought).
Upstairs, or at least away from everyone else, Cordelia tells Madison that she is sending her somewhere to find out whatever she can about Michael and who or what he is. The door swings open and in walks Mr. Chablis having been eavesdropping on the conversation. He threatens to tell Michael about their plan, but Cordelia counters him on why he just doesn’t do it. Mr. Chablis reveals he has his own bad concerns about Michael, and Cordelia tells him that he will accompany Madison to the place where it all began…
THE MURDER HOUSE
Final Thoughts *folds hands softly*
So, first off, this is kind of random, but I really wish that Nan and Marie Laveau would have been brought back too. I can understand if Angela Bassett was busy filming for Ryan Murphy’s other show 9-1-1. Though from an article I read, Angela was surprised Marie didn’t come back either. And as for Jamie Brewer (Nan), I see she’s been tweeting about the show a bit, but not much word on why she didn’t return. I’m just going to hope that Murphy did all he could to get both of them back and that their schedule or something just didn’t permit, because these are two of my favorite characters from the series, not just Coven. And to have them missing feels like a glaring mistake.
Next week, we will be going to Murder House, literally the beginning of it all, as Madison and Mr. Chablis go to try and dig up information on Michael. This will also be the return of the Queen of AHS, Jessica Lange in her first AHS role as Constance Langdon. Also considering that we are going to be in Murder House world, this means that we will at some point see the Harmon Family, Ben, Vivien, and Violet, as well as one of Evan Peters’ most infamous characters in the series, Tate Langdon aka the seed that helped spawn the Son of Satan. I’m also pretty sure this is going to be when Sarah Paulson pulls out her third and final character for this season and reprises her role as the medium Billie Dean Howard, who first gave us the birth of the anti-Christ theory in the Murder House season.
Sorry this one was so long, readers. See you next week, and don’t forget to wear your black.
Following American Horror Story: Apocalypse? Missed an episode? We got all your recaps and reviews.
Want to get Black Nerd Problems updates sent directly to you? Sign up here!