Fifth episode of ‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse’ ups shock, gore

In the fifth episode of ‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse,’ one of the formerly lost coven witches of season three reappears, along with Stevie Nicks.

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

After our fifth week with “American Horror Story,” we are now halfway through the season, and learning ever more about our Antichrist Michael (Cody Fern) and the ends he will go to get what he wants — to destroy the world. Also, Stevie Nicks is here to give a private concert to the witches, because why not.

Taking off from the last episode with Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) fainting upon seeing Michael arriving with the deceased Madison (Emma Roberts) and trapped Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe). She dreams of the future, of an apocalypse filled with zombie-like creatures that eat her flesh as she stands in the ashes of the witch academy she’s head of. A demonic, cloaked figure looks on and laughs at this, and then she wakes.

She takes this dream as a premonition that her not ceding to the men will be her downfall, and allows Michael to take the Seven Wonders test to be the next Supreme. She later admits that she needs to pick a Supreme anyway, as her power and health is fading. This surprises me, considering it hasn’t been all that long since “Coven” and I figured, as a relatively young woman, she would be Supreme for a long while. Apparently not.

Her fellow witches encourage her not to allow this, and to consider Mallory (Billie Lourd) as the Supreme instead, as she has shown great power. She refuses and says Michael deserves a chance. While they await the date for Michael’s test, they meet with a new prospective witch — Coco (Leslie Grossman). Coco shares that she has only one power, and it’s to identify whether foods have gluten in them. This makes her very popular amongst the women in Beverly Hills. (This bit is hilarious and reminds me even with how ridiculous, dramatic and gruesome this show can be, it still has its comedy, and that’s why I’ll always stick with it. Keep doing you, “American Horror Story”). Coco’s arrival at the witch academy allows her to meet Mallory for the first time. If it wasn’t obvious they had their memories wiped of their witch powers in the present, I would suspect this was how Mallory came to be her assistant. Hopefully we’ll figure that out sometime soon.

One of the head warlocks who oversees Michael, played by Cheyenne Jackson of former seasons fame, decides to book it because of his suspicions of Michael being demonic. He is then killed gruesomely with a slash of his achilles upon his exit by Miriam (Kathy Bates), Michael’s satanist mother figure.

She then arrives at the warlock bunker to tell Michael of her loyalty, and he expresses how he’s moving up from within the inside. Once he takes care of the only people in his way, he can do whatever he wants in the world — which is, presumably, to end it as was seen in the present day. We then learn another of the head warlocks is in cahoots with her and Michael and simply wishes for a man to be the next Supreme, to put the women in their place — even if it means the Supreme is the Antichrist, apparently.

The time comes for Michael to take the Seven Wonders test, and he passes six of the seven handily. For the last “wonder,” the descension into and escape from Hell, he’s challenged by Cordelia with a task far harder than one any of the witches have had to do. He must go to Hell and retrieve Misty Day (Lily Rabe), who was trapped there while taking the Seven Wonders in “Coven.” The warlock who was in cahoots with Michael hears this and complains to Cordelia, saying none of the other witches had to do this. He is met with a chilling speech from her who tells him off right back, saying “With a flick of my finger, I could crush your larynx and tear it from your throat.” Sarah Paulson continuously proving how wonderful of an actress she is is yet another reason why I can’t stop watching this show, season after season. I find myself astonished every time by her performances.

After this, Michael comes in and says he has no problem doing it. He then proves himself right and saves Misty from her Hell of constantly reviving and then being forced to kill a frog in a science class. Michael arrives and brutally guts the science teacher. As Misty later recounts, he also communicates briefly with the demons entrapping her, and then they both appear back in the bunker. Cordelia then begins to fade further away, proving Michael to be worthy of next Supreme after passing the test.

To make Misty feel better after her return from Hell, Cordelia brings Stevie Nicks, from Fleetwood Mac and who also appeared in season three, to come sing a song for her. While she does this and Misty and Stevie have a beautiful, touching reunion, Cordelia meets secretly with Madison. Cordelia tells her that she needs to do some investigation on Michael. Cordelia has been suspecting his demonic status even before Misty told her she got the heebie jeebies from him. She says that she has no desire to allow him to be the Supreme, and simply used him as a way to get all her girls back so they can prepare to fight. One of the warlocks, played by Billy Porter, who opposes Michael, overhears this and bursts in the room. He demands to come with on the investigation. Cordelia allows this, and then tells them they must return to where it all began, where Michael was born, as the screen pans over the Murder House of season one.

In the upcoming scenes, the two buy the Murder House. They are then met afterwards by none other than esteemed returning actress playing her character Constance Langdon of season one, Jessica Lange, who has long been retired from the show. I am extremely excited for this episode and the return to the Murder House in general, and have been for the whole season. With this episode and the upcoming one, this season continues to shape up as the best. I’m positive next episode will be the best yet and cannot wait for the “Return to Murder House,” as it’s aptly titled.

Edited by Siena DeBolt | sdebolt@themaneater.com

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