TV Reviews

American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 6: Return to Murder House Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: After being sent to the “Murder House” to gather information on Langdon’s past Madison and Behold discover a horrifying secret about the next Supreme. (IMDB)

Writer: Crystal Liu

Director: Sarah Paulson

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 56mins

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

Return to Murder House wasn’t the strongest episode of the season. That moniker is taken by Could it be…Satan? But depending on how fans look at it, the episode could’ve been either a welcomed return to a better time or an unnecessary distraction from what might happen in the future.

As its title suggests, Return to Murder House ventures back to where the show and Michael’s story all began. At the request of Cordelia, Madison and Behold (Billy Porter) visit the house from the show’s first season and begin interacting with the spirits trapped there. It’s a welcomed distraction as we are reunited with some of the show’s fan favorites – Dr. Harmon, Tate Langdon, Violet, Moira and of course Constance Langdon. Knowing what’s at stake, Madison and Behold waste no time in questioning the ghosts about Michael’s past for which Constance agrees to speak on one condition – get the maid out of the house. The witch and warlock successfully accomplish this which leads to a very out-of-place scene with Moira and her mother that caused me to ask aloud, “Why are they even showing this?” Moira’s family closure seemed so minuscule compared to the Apocalypse and as touching a moment as it might have been it still felt as if it came out of nowhere.

Constance spilled the tea to the duo revealing key elements of Michael’s past and all but confirming their similar thoughts about his proclivity for evil. Constance tried to be a mother to him but ultimately failed which forced her to leave him alone in the world after she bound her soul to Murder House in order to be alongside her other children.

Next, we heard from Dr. Ben Harmon who explained his recognition of Michael’s need for a father figure at that time in his life and attempted to step into that role in order to steer him away from evil tendencies. This was the closest thing to a normal childhood that he could provide and came very close to succeeding, however, Michael eventually gave in to the evil as Harmon lost him for good.

But nothing compares to a mother’s intimate knowledge of their own.

For Vivian, having brought him into the world knew exactly what he was truly capable of but was forced to watch from a distance knowing the entire time there was nothing that could’ve been done to stop it. Vivian also reveals that Michael is in fact not the son of Tate or Ben but instead being created from the house itself. He is more than just evil possessing a sinister nature that is derived from a much malevolent force (Hint: Lucifer). We see this unfold as an inverted retelling of the biblical story of the Magi (3 wise men) with the Church of Satan as Aton LaVey (Carlo Rota), Elizabeth (Jennifer Jalene), and Miriam Mead have all been following signs that have lead them to Murder House. Their arrival and affirmation of Michael help confirm Vivian’s Biblical quote that says:

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.

Revelations 13:1(ESV)

At this point, everything we now assumed is officially confirmed leaving Madison and Behold to return to Cordelia with the very bad news. What lies before us is semi-uncertainty because while we know that the bomb ultimately does drop and at least the beginning of the end of the world occurs, we don’t know how Michael arrives at that point in time. Spending this much time in the past is slightly concerning because as each episode passes, hopefully Murphy isn’t neglecting to focus any attention on the present thus relegating it to be an afterthought by the season’s end. He has done this before and so consider this a fair warning of what might come to pass in the episodes ahead. Nevertheless, Return to Murder House was a much-needed episode that despite telling us things we already knew to be true helped ease the impending gloom by affording us time with beloved characters. Meanwhile…….Brock still lurks in the darkness.

APOCALYPTIC THOUGHTS:

  • 36 people died in Murder House….geez that’s a lot of roses!
  • Petition to have Behold take the place of literally ANYONE else on AHS for now and the season to come starts now. 
  • THE TEARJERKER  – Behold managed to ruin and enhance this phrase all at the same time. I will NEVER refer to another Hallmark movie as a tearjerker in the same way again. 
  • Behold’s facial expressions with non-dialogue were perfection
  • Moira’s closure was unnecessary and I would’ve rather had more time with Tate/Violet
  • Michael aging a decade overnight was a clever writer’s room trick that actually worked
  • Vivian’s entrance was incredible. 
  • Madison’s views on motherhood: If it’s ugly or not cool, I won’t love it. Priceless.
  • The more I see Madison, I kinda want to hear that album of Celine Dion deep cuts
  • The Black Mass scene was disturbing and I wasn’t ready for it
  • Were those flashes of remorse that Miriam had? Are they setting her up to be the Trojan Horse of the season?
  • BROCK WATCH: He’s still out there. 

Score: 8/10

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