TV Reviews

American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 1: The End Review

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing colors, Fall is closing in, major holidays are inching closer, schools are now in full swing, and another season of American Horror Story is premiering in hopes of capturing its past glory with fans.

Synopsis: After a nuclear attack, a select few must survive in a bunker dubbed Outpost Three ruled by a tyrannical matriarch. (IMDB)

Writers: Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk

Director: Bradley Buecker

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 44mins

Airs: Tuesdays at 10pm on FX Canada (Canada)/FX (United States)

Now in its eighth season, AHS focuses on an imagined version of the end of the world.  All of the world’s major cities are obliterated by a nuclear holocaust leaving a contaminated wasteland in its wake. For now, the show is choosing to focus its attention on a small group of survivors that manage to make it to a fallout shelter called, Outpost 3. Some have paid their way there and others were chosen due to their unique genetic makeup that hopefully will be explained in later episodes.

The shelter’s inhabitants are a myriad of personalities that are equal parts entertaining and annoying that will hopefully be given more depth as the episodes go by but as of now just come across as whiny rich people with no sense of purpose. The shelter is run by Wilhemina Venable (Sarah Paulson) and Miriam Mead (Kathy Bates) who attempt to keep order in the bunker by establishing a caste system of Elites and servants. These are distinguished by colors, purple being the elite and grey being servants. Both are employees of The Cooperative (stay with me now), a shady organization made up of the world’s greatest minds, that have installed these outposts all over the world in order to preserve the human race but if we’re being realistic is more than likely for a much darker purpose that is yet to be revealed.

To maintain order and also to quell boredom, Venable and Mead sporadically choose survivors to kill off in order to better pass the time and preserve food rations, however, everything is changed with the arrival of Michael Langdon (Cody Fern). Langdon states to Venable that their outpost will not survive to the end of the year and that he is there to determine who to take with him to a safer facility in order to survive. Fans since the beginning of the series will already make the connection that yes, this is, in fact, THE Michael Langdon that was born at the end of season one and will be the eventual anti-Christ. Needless to say, his arrival looks to spell eventual doom for everyone involved whether they realize it yet or not.

While this episode served its purpose as far as setting the table for the rest of the season, it still could’ve been better. The episode would’ve been better had it been solely focused on the buildup to the bombing of Los Angeles with the end of the episode finding Tim (Kyle Allen) and Emily (Ash Santos) entering the bunker. This is because it was entertaining and often funny seeing everyone panic and show their true selfish nature as fear began spreading throughout the city. Instead, we were shown all of this in the first minutes and then whisked away to Outpost 3 in the span of twenty minutes.

This premiere was a little shaky, not because it was a bad episode per se but mostly because time after time, AHS will begin its season one way before completely flipping its narrative several episodes after giving birth to what could be an entirely new season. This has worked at times (see: Roanoke) but also hasn’t at others (see: Cult). What is worrying about this season is that it is looking to attempt the same pattern. Only time will tell and if it does choose to change its path and hopefully we will at least be highly entertained or given copious amounts of fan service and callbacks to previous seasons along the way.

APOCALYPTIC NOTES: 

  • Cannot get the news anchor’s words out of mind, “I can’t believe we actually did it.” They showed him saying it TWICE which maybe means something more. 
  • The dystopian apothecary outfits worn by the people of Outpost 3 looked awesome
  • The colors and setting inside the bunker was gorgeous. 
  • Evan Peter’s mannerisms got funnier with each outburst. Him singing at the end had me rolling. (cut to 18 months later. lol)
  • Coco is extremely annoying, but her line about masturbation with her off-hand. Priceless.
  • Stu is STEW! 
  • I wanted to break Wilhemina’s cane with every strike of the floor it made. 
  • Evie Gallant’s Yule Brenner name drop was hilarious and I’m sure had many millennials running for Siri
  • DNA, special genetics….I fully expect an X-Men tie-in now. 

Score: 7/10

 

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