TV Reviews

American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 10: Apocalypse Then Review

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

Synopsis: The witches prepare for a final epic battle with Michael. (IMDB)

Writers: Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk

Director: Bradley Buecker

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 50mins

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

 The Apocalypse has ended. Long live the new Apocalypse. Wait,…what?

The season finale of American Horror Story’s 8th season had to accomplish a lot – Cordelia’s plan with Mallory, The Cooperative, Michael’s end times, The Coven’s fate and more. Having spent the majority of the season in the past, Apocalypse left little wiggle room to tie up these loose ends but somehow it managed to do so although, not in the way we would have hoped.

The finale began yet again in the past showing us how Mallory and Coco were placed in Outpost 3 as well as how the identity charm was placed upon them to ensure their survival. We see them in their familiar roles from the first episodes and all seems right with Cordelia’s plan of Tempus Infinitum. Once in the present, Cordelia and the rest of the surviving members of the cousin do their best to thwart Michael from reaching Mallory as she prepares to travel back in time to reset everything. But first, the witches exacted their revenge on Dinah Stevens for working with Michael to open the Coven doors which is something which was satisfying as it was confusing since episode three. What made it even better was that it wasn’t compassion or a side deal that caused them to spare Dinah but instead just good old-fashioned revenge. With help from Cordelia and Marie Laveau, Papa Legba finally received Dinah’s soul, something he sought after for many years.

Meanwhile on a personal note, my patience was rewarded, albeit in a slightly different way, as Brock made his reappearance by emerging from the shadows he’s been lurking in this entire season only to stab Mallory as the witches try and escape the outpost. This renders Mallory too weak to travel back in time and as one by one each witch falls by Michael’s hands it leaves Cordelia to resort to the one thing Michael couldn’t account for – her death. This sacrifice caused Mallory to ascend as the new Supreme restoring her fading life and powers thus allowing her to travel back to a specific moment in time where she could alter the future. The moment – Michael’s banishment by Mrs. Langdon. This was puzzling as to how this particular instance in time could change the history of what was to come but in typical AHS fashion, Mallory took the road less predicted and simply ran Michael over with a car … four times! We surely can all admit he deserved it but the icing came by way of Constance’s remarks for him to “Go to Hell” as he pleaded to die in Murder House and cementing his soul within. Leave it to Jessica Lange to be given one monologue and a closing line and end up stealing the entire episode.

After the reset occurred, Mallory finds herself back with her now living sisters at The Coven and begins to settle into her new, yet familiar, life with them. However, as her voiceover indicates, when something dies it doesn’t mean that it’s gone. There is still a remaining energy and in Michael’s case is something that is simply transferred onto someone else. This signifies that while the Apocalypse was thwarted this go-around there is still yet another one just around the corner. This manifests in a callback with Timothy and Emily still managing to meet one another and begin a life together and through that life ushering in another version of the spawn of Satan.

To be quite honest, it wasn’t clear as to whether AHS could pull this finale off. It seemed as if it spent too much time in the past only to force itself to answer too many questions in the present with very little time to do so. However, it did and in a very entertaining way. Ten episodes were well worth the wait to see Madison’s head explode and Brock re-emerge from the shadows. While the finale was fun and seemed to tie up all of its loose ends, for me, it still did not stick the landing. All it had to do was land the plane and get to the end credits but instead, with Mallory’s victory in hand and all being right with the world (for the moment), the show chose to render Mallory’s decision useless by continuing the cycle with Tim and Emily’s child.

In one fell swoop, the entire season seemed to be told in vain. What was the point if it was only going to prolong the inevitable? The show’s return to form after the abysmal last season was satisfying to watch but just as expected, AHS went and pulled a predictably unsettling move in its closing minutes that will more than likely have implications on the next two seasons.

Overall, this season’s story and the ride that it took us on were enjoyable. It wasn’t perfect but as we’ve learned from experience no AHS season is. It was nice to see familiar characters in a new light that have received closure and in many ways, this season can be looked upon as a great sequel to AHS: Coven but despite its successes, it’s hard to not worry for what is to come as a result of the season’s ending. If I am a true fan, I should know to not take these moments so seriously, that I’m not very AHS-like, but I’ve wanted to hold this show to a higher standard due to my love of previous seasons but I realize that my effort is no different than Mallory’s.

FINAL APOCALYPTIC THOUGHTS:

  • BROCK’S BACK BABY!!!! (never got that hairline repaired by Mallory though)
  • Jessica Lange made a meal out of the few lines she was given. Perfection
  • I liked Mead but felt Bates could’ve been better used this season
  • The episodes could’ve been told in a better order
  • Mallory’s decision to leave Madison in retail for just a little longer was hilarious
  • Wish there could’ve been more of Nan. 
  • Loved Mallory changing Queenie’s plans for the Hotel Cortez
  • Wonder what Michael’s doing in Hell? 
  • Would’ve liked to see how Jeff and Mutt’s fate ended up
  • His name was – Baldwin Pennypacker. #neverforget

Score: 8/10

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