TV Reviews

American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 7: Traitor Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode of American Horror Story, 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.After the nuclear apocalypse, the world’s chosen elite survive in secure outposts created by the mysterious Cooperative; underneath the surface of humanity’s salvation lies a battlefield for the final conflict between good and evil. (TV Guide)

Writer: Adam Penn

Director: Jennifer Lynch

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 45mins

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

As expected, last night’s “Traitor” was fun but also a regression to the mean that AHS is more comfortable operating within.

Apocalypse has been on a hot streak as of late with a string of episodes that could be argued as some of the strongest of the entire series but as we inch ever closer to the season finale but it feels like the show is dwelling too much on the past. The direct argument against this point would be that spending this much time in the past is a necessary narrative in order to show the events leading up to the Apocalypse that we know will inevitably happen. While this approach make sense up to a point, it seems as if the show is slightly spinning its wheels by oversharing too many details that don’t pertain to the larger picture.

Traitor began with Dinah Stevens being called upon by Cordelia in order to summon one of my all-time favorite AHS characters, Papa Legba, in an attempt to thwart Michael Langdon’s impending doom on the Earth and trap him inside the gates of Hell which Legba oversees. However, the cost comes at too high a price as he demands the souls of Cordelia’s girls to which she promptly refuses. This decision appeared to bring about desperation from Cordelia who brings Myrtle back from the dead to better council her moving forward. Meanwhile, we are treated to the backstory of Bubbles McGee (Joan Collins). Her introduction was priceless and I kinda want to see “A Christmas to Dismember.” It was a nice nod to Tales From the Crypt (1972) in which she played a similar character to that of her film character. McGee not only has the season’s second-best name (more on that later) but she also is revealed to be a witch with the ability to read minds, more specifically souls. Myrtle recruits her in an effort to discern the true intentions of the Warlocks through an amicable dinner offering serving as an apology for Myrtle’s tirade towards Ariel (Jon Jon Briones). It’s during this that Bubbles learns that John Henry’s murder was organized by the Warlocks and executed by Miriam and also of their plans to eliminate every last witch in existence after Michael’s ascension. Clearly, the Warlocks are experts at holding a grudge but their hubris forces Cordelia to make the first strike by burning Ariel, Miriam Mead and Baldwin Pennypacker at the stake.

SIDE NOTE: If we were to go back just after AHS: Cult’s season finale and you were to try and convince me to stay with the show all you would have to say is one thing: B.D. WONG IS ON THE NEXT SEASON AND HE’S PLAYING A WARLOCK NAMED BALDWIN PENNYPACKER.

That name is mint.

In an effort to lighten up the episode, there was also a fair amount of time devoted to the witch’s trying to develop their powers. Coco has discovered that she is now able to discern how many calories reside in pieces of food to which she envisions herself becoming a human Weight Watchers. But it’s Mallory’s abilities that show promise when she is able to bring Mallory back to life after choking on a snowball. At first glance, this was bewildering due to a fear that the show was choosing just to occupy random storylines in order to meet its runtime, but in reality, something bigger appears at play here that will be revealed in the episodes to come.

As stated earlier, Traitor was a regression from an extremely stunning run of episodes as of late but hey, the run had to reach an end sometime right? This is not to say this episode wasn’t enjoyable. It provided some useful information about the Coven’s plan in attacking Langdon. It also offered us a nice return to a fan-favorite character with Papa Legba and even a surprise appearance from Nan who seems to be enjoying her time in Hell as the resident pot-stirrer. But with this season only having three episodes left to complete its story and with next week’s teaser showing yet another flashback, a feeling of nervousness is beginning to creep back because the show has very little time to appropriately reach a satisfying ending. It can still be done, of course, but we will have to see. For now, Traitor, while still remaining entrenched in a past narrative that has very little meaning given the certainty of what we already know occurs, was still a fun episode. After all, it did give us the greatest name in AHS history: Baldwin Pennypacker.

Meanwhile……Brock continues to lurk in the darkness…

APOCALYPTIC THOUGHTS:

  • AHS all-time characters (in no particular order): Papa Legba, Twisty, Cricket, James March, Liz Taylor
  • Kathy Bates is next level. Her monologue before burning at the stake was chilling. She just seems so free in her character as if given a blank page to do whatever she pleased and it’s captivating to witness. 
  • FAN THEORY: Mallory is being poised to sacrifice herself and reverse the events of the Apocalypse after the Coven figures out how to contain Langdon
  • Liked Papa Legba but felt that it was fan service
  • FULL DISCLOSURE: “Do you wanna just trust me?” – Queenie (to Coco) caused me to do a spit-take
  • Why was Bubbles NOT brought back in episode 3 when Dinah, Mallory, and Coco were? 
  • Baldwin Pennypacker. Say it out loud and tell me you don’t chuckle even a little. 
  • Don’t tell me that 6 billion people die as a result of Cordelia’s short-sightedness
  • If Mallory can’t save the Apocalypse, I hope she can at least heal Brock’s face and John Henry’s hairline

Score: 6/10

 

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