American Horror Story finally makes ‘Return to Murder House’ in episode six

In the sixth episode of “American Horror Story: Apocalypse,” we return to the Murder House of season one and visit all the ghosts who live there in an attempt to gain a backstory on the Antichrist.

This review contains spoilers for the newest season of “American Horror Story,” as well as seasons one and three.

In our past episode of “American Horror Story,” the witches Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) and Behold Chablis (Billy Porter) were assigned to investigate the Murder House, where their newly-appointed Supreme, Michael Langdon (Cody Fern), was born. In episode six, directed by the show’s very own Sarah Paulson, they come out learning more than they bargained for, and even end up helping some friendly ghosts along the way.

The episode begins with a particularly humorous exchange between the witches and the bank, posing as a couple buying the home. Once they buy it, they move in and promptly realize the place holds some serious bad energy. They then perform a spell to reveal all the ghosts they know are lurking in the shadows.

As has been highly anticipated, characters from “Murder House” who I’ve been eagerly awaiting to see start coming out of the woodwork. Tate Langdon (Evan Peters) has been continuously having therapy sessions with Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott), who does not seem to be in the best state to provide mental advice himself. This is slightly awkward, because most of the sessions seem to consist of Tate talking about being obsessed with Ben’s daughter Violet Harmon (Taissa Farmiga), who is quite literally ghosting Tate. Medium Billie Dean Howard (Sarah Paulson) is also there, and seems to be very randomly lurking in a home she doesn’t own. I guess the place doesn’t have locks.

Once the witches can see the ghosts, they begin interrogating them for information about Michael, who they know was born there. Jessica Lange makes her first reappearance as Constance Langdon after her retirement from season four’s “Freak Show.” Constance says she’ll only tell the the witches information about Michael if they do her a favor of getting maid Moira O’Hara (Frances Conroy) out of the house. They agree, and so they dig up Moira’s bones and bury her with her mother, who she confesses to killing. Surprisingly, she takes the news well and tells her she was in agony and is now at peace. This is a touching wrap on Moira’s story, and I’m glad to see her finally happy.

The witches finally sit down with Constance, who tells them how Michael was a bad child who committed unspeakable acts. Constance first thought him simply troubled, until she comes in one morning to see him aged ten years overnight. Upon realizing this, she notes that he is done with her and that her role as a mother was finally over. She then kills herself in the Murder House so she can permanently stay with her three children who already reside there.

Michael then finds the Rubber Man suit of his real father, Tate, and says to him that he wants to be just like him. Tate completely rejects and dismisses him, which prompts Michael to totally spiral back into an even worse person than before. He relishes in his powers and kills the latest couple to move into the house, and then once they return as ghosts, he terrifyingly burns their souls and causes them to cease to exist.

Once the witches feel sufficiently unnerved about their new Supreme, they learn more information cementing his Antichrist status from his mother, Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton). After unusual activity happens around the house — even more than it typically does — a group of Satanists take notice and visit, Mead (Kathy Bates) included. They immediately recognize him for what he is and set to perform Satanic rituals with him, like killing a girl and ripping her heart out for Michael to eat. Madison says to Behold that she needs to tell the council about this, but he questions if they could even stop Michael.

Before they leave to share the news with Cordelia (Sarah Paulson), Madison notices Violet struggling with her feelings for Tate, who she continues to ignore. Madison has a talk with her and says that after Michael left, he took the evil of the house with him, restoring goodness in Tate. The two finally reconnect, leaving fans rejoicing with how long they’ve waited to see them together again.

This, in my eyes, is the best episode yet of the season and one of the best of the series as a whole. I’m very impressed with the directorial work of Sarah Paulson and the performances of actors returning to such old roles, especially Jessica Lange, who I miss on the show. I’m glad to finally have answers to questions, such as why Constance was no longer the caretaker of Michael.

I’m extremely glad to see such happy endings for nearly the entire house, especially with Violet and Tate. Not only is this an incredibly informative and entertaining episode about Michael’s backstory, it also manages to tie up many loose ends and make happy many characters I care about from “Murder House.” I find myself a little surprised that in a show like this they decided to give everyone happy endings. I know that these good things are a precursor for bad things to come, most likely for our beloved “Coven” witches. Here’s hoping the rest of the season isn’t completely hellish as the Antichrist runs rampant.

Edited by Siena DeBolt | sdebolt@themaneater.com

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