Spoiler Alert: this recaps every episode of American Horror Story: Apocalypse and also discusses events from previous seasons. Proceed with caution.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse has been described as the Infinity War of the AHS universe. Creator Ryan Murphy teased the crossover of two fan favorite seasons, Season 1, Murder House, and Season 3, Coven, and fans have rampantly speculated how the witches of New Orleans and the Harmons (and all their demons) will cross paths.
Apocalypse starts at the end... of the world. A global nuclear war wipes out nearly all of humanity, save for a lucky few. Given Murphy's penchant for intricate character webs, bodily pleasures, and to-die-for outfits, this hellish narrative likely won't feature only the dreary and the drab. It will be outrageous, detail-heavy, and probably the best time you'll ever have contemplating a post-apocalyptic dystopia.
If you've missed an episode - or were so enthralled with Ms. Wilhemina Venable's spectacular outfits to notice anything else - here is what you need to know about every episode of American Horror Story: Apocalypse.
Blink-and-you-miss-it Easter eggs:
- As she dies, Robot Mead sings, "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do..." the same song Hal 9000 sings in 2001: A Space Odyssey as Dave shuts him down. Could this also hint at a space-themed season to come?
- How did Emily and Timothy produce a literal spawn of Satan - aren't they both human?
- Was there really ever a "Sanctuary" - and if so, who was in it?
- Why did Mallory and Coco have to go under an identity spell? Couldn't they have been buried in the magical mud, too?
Recap: The final episode sees the witches prepare for the impending apocalypse. Myrtle Snow bursts into Jeff and Mutt's headquarters as they are preparing to drop the bombs. Using her witchy prowess, she secures spots for Mallory, Coco, and Dinah. Under her spell, the tech bros reveal that the Mead bot does not know she is hand to the Antichrist - her memory was wiped. Myrtle saunters away in style, four coveted apocalypse bunker spots ready for phase two of the witches' plan.
Back at the academy, a tearful Cordelia tells Mallory and Coco she has to place them under an identity spell. Cordelia also adds that Coco is going to constantly talk down to Mallory to ensure Mallory does not go full-Supreme and remember her identity - emotional abuse at its finest. At first the two witches are hesitant - they don't want to forget how they became best friends at the academy! Madison quips that Michael Langdon "can smell a witch from a mile away like some kind of evil truffle pig," and the two agree to go under.
As soon as Mallory and Coco are glittered into oblivion, we see them as the mundane people from the first episode. They are in the back of an Uber (driven by Madison), where Coco berates Mallory for messing up her schedule. Madison drops them off at Gallant's salon, where Mallory meets Brock. As Madison sees them in, she notices a bus with an ad for Dinah Stevens's talk show. Naturally, she assumes Dinah made a deal with the Devil to achieve that level of success, so so goes back to Myrtle and Cordelia and asks for "permission to burn a witch."
A quick cut brings us back to the Langdon and Mallory's first encounter in Outpost 3. This interaction awakens Madison, Cordelia, and Myrtle, who buried themselves in the healing mud near Misty Day's shack to avoid nuclear fallout. They make their way to the Outpost, resurrect the witches post-poisoning, and run into Langdon. Langdon offers to let the witches live if they pledge their allegiance to him. Dinah immediately accepts the offer, going with the "winning team," but her victory is short-lived, as Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) stomps in and slashes the traitor's throat.
Laveau was able to make a trip back to the surface due to a special privilege granted by Papa Lega. Apparently, Dinah's soul is much darker, and he offered to let Laveau exchange Dinah's soul for her spot in the underworld. Robot Mead then attempts her automatic gun of an arm to lay waste on the witches, but Cordelia uses a spell to blow up Mead. This is the straw on the camel's back for Langdon, and things only get worse when Madison uses Mead's arm to pump Langdon full of lead. This only slows Langdon down, and the witches run upstairs to use their small amount of time to perform the Tempus Infinitum spell - AKA the time-traveling spell. Things seem to be on track for Mallory to travel back in time - until a deformed Brock pops out and stabs Mallory. Myrtle sets Brock on fire as Mallory limps into the room.
Time is running out for the witches. Langdon gets back up, angrier than ever. He makes Madison's head explode off her body, sending her back to her own retail-based Hell. Laveau and Coco try to keep Langdon at bay, but they are no match for his Antichrist powers. He stabs and devours Laveau's heart, and Coco stabs him in retaliation. Langdon easily offs Coco.
Langdon makes his way to Cordelia. In the biggest "F you" moment of the season, Cordelia plunges a knife into her own chest, ending her life and allowing Mallory to reach her full Supreme potential. Before she does so, she says, "Satan has one son but my sisters are legion, motherf*cker." As she lays dying on the floor, Mallory magically stops bleeding from her own stab wound as she sinks into the water.
We are transported back to 2015 in front of the infamous Murder House. Inside, Constance yells at a young Michael, who is casually playing video games after killing a priest. Realizing how deep evil runs in Michael, Constance bans him from her house. A pouty and angsty Michael crosses the street, and then Mallory mows him over with a Range Rover. She repeatedly runs over his body as she and Constance exchange knowing looks. After Mallory bolts, Constance runs to a dying Michael, who begs her to drag him into the Murder House so they can be together forever. Constance denies his request and tells him to "go to Hell."
The world is rid of the Antichrist, and the powerful Mallory goes to Robichaux Academy to "start" her life as a witch. She doesn't tell her fellow witches how she saved the world, but she does tell Queenie not to stay at the Hotel Cortez. She is also able to convince the underworld to release Misty Day. One day she plans to save Madison from her retail Hell, too.
But as Mallory pointed out, energy cannot be created or destroyed - it can only be transferred. Timothy and Emily - the two young people selected for Outpost 3 because of their "superior genes" - have a meet cute. The two fall in love, and only a year later, they have a child. A bad child. The couple returns from date night to find their boy sitting in a rocking chair next to a dead babysitter. Seconds later, there's a knock on the door, and Anton LaVey, human Mead, and another Devil-worshipper are on the other side.
Blink-and-you-miss-it Easter eggs:
- The witches returned to Misty's cabin, which fans of Coven may recall has a special healing mud surrounding it. Will this mud play a larger part in the season finale?
- Remember, the apocalypse happens in 2019, but Hotel has a button that happens in a very much still-together Earth in 2022. Perhaps Mallory's time-traveling abilities will tie into this during the finale.
Questions for next week:
- How are they going to wrap this all up in the final episode?
- Jeff and Mutt warned Langdon not to let Robot Mead know she is a robot, and yet, she opened fire with her robotic gun arm at the academy. Is she over the crisis, or is this a creative oversight?
Recap: With just one episode left before the season ends, many viewers have been wondering how Ryan Murphy plans to wrap this all up. The show's audience aren't the only ones either, as tech bros Mutt and Jeff are wondering why Langdon hasn't brought about the whole End of Days thing yet. After loading up on booger sugar, the two come up with a plan to speed things up. They yell for Venable, and when she asks for some sort of recognition for all of her effort, they scoff. Irritated, Venable puts in her resignation.
Meanwhile, back in New Orleans, the witches at the academy are prepping to fight the Antichrist. The women put protective spells and charms around the school, but their tricks are no match for Dinah, who performs countering voodoo on the front porch. Langdon is able to walk into the academy, and in exchange for her work, Dinah's talk show gets green-lit. Langdon and Robot Mead charge the academy, eliminating all the witches except Cordelia, Coco, Madison, Mallory, and Myrtle.
Langdon returns to Silicon Valley, and the tech bros learn that the Antichrist has cribbed his apocalypse plan from The Omen 3. Somehow even more impatient, the two introduce Langdon to the Cooperative, which is really just the Illuminati. They tell Langdon about a hackable Russian missile that will ensure mutual destruction. Langdon's convinced, and the tech bros continue their plan to end it all. They catch up with Venable, who is packing up her things, and tell her she can be in charge of one of the Outposts - in fact, she can run it however she likes! "You could make people do the pledge of allegiance in their underwear," Jeff suggests.
The surviving witches escape to Misty's cabin and try to get in touch with their lost sisters. Cordelia panics, as she cannot feel her girls when she astral travels back to the school. Madison explains how Langdon has the power to erase people's souls, and that there probably isn't a chance of getting them back. Still, they try. The witches think Mallory may have a special ability to travel back in time and alter the past. Before she goes back to the academy, the witches send her on a dry run back to the Bolshevik Revolution.
Unfortunately, Mallory is able to travel back in time, but she can't actually change anything. She jumps back into her present body, screaming as blood pours from her eyes. Cordelia believes Mallory failed because she is still alive - in order for a Supreme to properly rise, the old must perish first. Myrtle convinces Cordelia to wait. Cordelia astral travels back to the warlock school, where she sees all of the boys' dismembered bodies formed into a bloody pentagram.
This has to be one of the final steps for Langdon, who is talking to Daft Punk-masked members of the Cooperative. Langdon says the pieces are all almost in place, and once the Outposts are set, chaos can reign.
Blink-and-you-miss-it Easter eggs:
- Venable wears purple when she first meets Langdon - a sign of what is to come with the post-apocalyptic caste system.
- The song the All Sinners Choir sings is "O Fortuna," a 13th century poem that laments the inescapable grip of fate. Langdon seemingly seals his as he accepts his role as Antichrist.
- Jeff says "Light rock is my cocaine," and a lot of light rock is played in Outpost 3. He might have set the soundscape for the post-bomb bunkers.
Questions for next week:
- We know the Cooperative was ready for the end of days, which is why they set up bunkers - but this still doesn't explain how Mallory, Coco, and Dinah found their way there.
- Were Mutt and Jeff under an "identity spell" like the witches? Their characters of Mr. Gallant and Brock could be mockups.
Recap: Apocalypse's Halloween episode is easily the most bonkers, kitschiest hour of the season - maybe even the series - so far.
Episode eight picks up right where seven left off. Michael Langdon finds his charred allies, and Cordelia tells him the jig is up. The fading Supreme asks Langdon to give up this whole Antichrist life and find his humanity. She also tells him that she hid a part of Mead's soul in the spirit world where Langdon won't be able to find it - essentially, if Langdon doesn't go with Cordelia, he will be left alone in this world. Langdon doesn't go for this, and he vows to kill everyone she holds close.
Langdon makes his way to a forest and sits in a pentagram for four days, begging for his father's help. As he sits, he sees visions of Anton LaVey and an angel. He refuses to eat or drink, even when he hallucinates little children offering him grape Fanta and apples. Daddy Satan leaves Langdon hanging, but then a goat walks in Langdon's space, and Langdon stabs the animal to death.
With goat blood on his hands, Langdon stumbles upon a Satanic cult in the middle of their worship. The group is led by Hannah (Sandra Bernhard), a Satanic priestess, and she yells at her followers for not being "evil enough." Hannah's monologue veers into kitsch as she gives a personal example of the evil she wants to see more of - she once robbed a nursery and then gave the money to the NRA. Langdon lingers in the back during her sermon, throwing himself an angsty pity party.
A cult member named Madelyn (Harriet Sansom Harris) must not have heard Hannah properly, because she does an act of good and offers Langdon food and drink. The two go back to her home, where she tells Langdon that she sold her soul to the Devil. In exchange, she is able to do all the heroin she could ever desire and gets to have sex with Ryan Reynolds. She also got a La-Z-Boy out of the deal. Langdon shares his past with Madelyn and reveals that he is the Antichrist her group has been praying for. At first, Madelyn doesn't believe him, but then Langdon shows her the Mark of the Beast behind his ear.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Satanic cult is performing in their version of a gospel choir. Hannah leads a ritualistic human sacrifice of a social worker and a member of Doctors Without Borders. A new member of the congregation attempts to perform his first sacrifice, but then Langdon interrupts the ceremony. Langdon reveals his tattoo to the rest of the congregation, and he quickly slits the throats of the human offerings. The Devil worshippers are smitten with their leader, an affection that Langdon does not reciprocate.
They ask how he intends to bring the end of days, and Langdon admits that he is not sure. Madelyn suggests that they take a trip to the nexus of evil, Silicon Valley. Madelyn takes Langdon to the Cooperative, who viewers first learned about in the season's first episode. Langdon meets Jeff (Evan Peters) and Mutt (Billy Eichner), two men with terrible bowl cuts and an even worse addiction to coke. The two - who are working on creating sex robots - are supervised by Wilhemina Venable (Sarah Paulson), the woman who runs the Outpost after the bombs drop.
Jeff and Mutt reveal they also sold their souls to the Devil in exchange for Silicon Valley success, model girlfriends... and weekly hang sessions with Ryan Reynolds. Langdon convinces the misogynistic tech bros that he is truly the Antichrist by showing off his mark and setting a woman on fire. Langdon asks the two to bring his dear Mead back to life, and they build their Dark Lord a robot version of her. The two warn Langdon that she cannot know she is a robot, as it will be her undoing. Robot Mead wakes up and smiles at Langdon.
Blink-and-you-miss-it Easter eggs:
- We're introduced to Bubbles McGee as she shoots a B-horror called A Christmas to Dismember. The film is a nod to Tales From The Crypt, a 1972 horror anthology where Joan Collins plays an almost identical character.
- When Cordelia catches the warlocks with their women-killing powder, she tells them it's already been done by a witch named Agnes Sampson, who created a man-killing formula back in 1590. Agnes Sampson was a real woman, a Scottish healer who was burned at the stake in 1591.
Questions for next week:
- Are the two characters played by Joan Collins - Evie Gallant and Bubbles McGee - the same person? Maybe Cordelia wiped her memory to protect her as she did with Coco and Mallory.
- If Evie and Bubbles are the same person, why didn't the witches revive her when they first made their way to Outpost 3 like they did with Coco, Mallory, and Dinah?
Recap: Before the apocalypse, Dinah Stevens was a voodoo priestess, offering up her services to wealthy clientele. Using a voodoo doll, Dinah cuts out the heart of a man's mistress, much to the delight of the man's wife. Dinah blends the heart up with herbs and a chicken foot, and then she and the jilted wife force-feed it to the husband. As Dinah wraps this transaction up, Cordelia approaches her and asks Dinah to connect her with the voodoo Devil, Papa Legba (Lance Reddick). Dinah says she will do it for $100,000, and Cordelia obliges.
Dinah summons Papa Legba, and Cordelia asks him to open the gateway to the underworld and to take Michael Langdon. Pap Legba says he would happily help her, but his service comes at a great cost - he demands the souls of all of Cordelia's witches. Papa Legba reveals that he has Nan (Jamie Brewer), and the two have been having a grand time down in the underworld. Seeing Nan breaks Cordelia's heart, but she refuses to give up her girls, even if it does mean saving 7.5 billion other souls in the process.
As Cordelia tries to find ways to overcome Langdon, Madison makes her way to Hollywood to fetch Bubbles McGee (Joan Collins), a classic Hollywood star on the precipice of hasbeen-dom. We learn that Bubbles is also a witch, and she is able to read minds. The two join Myrtle for a dinner, and they devise a plan to meet up with the warlocks so Bubbles can unveil their true motives.
Back in New Orleans at Miss Robichaux's Academy, Coco - who was previously only able to tell whether or not a food product was gluten-free or not - has expanded her powers. Now, she can look at any piece of food - even ones with a bite taken out of it - and determine its exact caloric value. As the witches are celebrating Coco's progress, Coco chokes on a Snowball. Apparently, none of the witches know the Heimlich Maneuver, and they all panic as Coco loses consciousness. Mallory then uses magic to reach into Coco's throat and remove the blockage. Zoe witnesses this, and she tells Cordelia her powers are fading because the true new Supreme is rising, and it's Mallory - not Langdon.
Meanwhile, at the Outpost, Myrtle and Bubbles make a meal for warlocks Ariel and Baldwin. As they all share wine, Bubbles learns that the warlocks were behind John Henry's murder, and he was just the beginning of their murder spree. With Langdon, the warlocks plan on wiping out all of the witches. The two witches return back to their coven and share what they've learned. With the powerful Mallory in tow, the witches go to the gas station where Henry was murdered, and Mallory resurrects him. Her ability to bring him back to life proves she can pass the Seven Wonders. Henry tells them a woman - Miriam Mead - killed him, and Cordelia and co. set out to bring an end to these warlocks and their co-conspirator.
Cordelia tells Coco she needs her to bring in Mead, and Coco is fairly confused. Coco is the self-proclaimed equivalent of a human Weight Watchers app, so how could she possibly take down this Satanist? Still, she listens to her Supreme and tracks Mead down to her favorite butcher shop. Coco confronts Mead, who then shoots her in the chest and cackles as she tells Coco she will make an excellent addition to her stew. This turns out to be the perfect distraction, as two of the witches' helpers grab Mead and haul her off in a van.
When Mead wakes up, she is tied to a stake next to a mouthless Ariel and Baldwin. The two warlocks had a powder ready to kill "only women," and Cordelia put an end to that nonsense and shut them up permanently. Cordelia says according to witch rules, she is not allowed to burn the treasonous warlocks, but one of their own is. John Henry enters the scene, sporting an extra amount of black eyeliner, and he happily pours gasoline all over the three traitors. He asks if the warlocks have any last words, but they can't answer. Mead says she welcomes death, and then Henry sets them all ablaze.