Recap: AHS Apocalypse, Fire and Reign - Ep 9
When the Apocalypse season began, the prospect of a story being told in 10 episodes seemed to be a promise of how tight the writing was. Then we spent more than half of the season in flashback and unless I missed the part where that plane in the first episode was actually Oceanic flight 815, it would appear that next week’s finale is going to be a real shit pile of throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, at us and expecting us to be happy about it. At this point, if you have inexplicably followed Ryan Murphy’s career (as I have) it should be expected that the end of the season will be unsatisfying and leave a wake of unfinished plot lines. As Apocalypse has steadily descended into satanic mediocrity, I have found myself asking why it is that Ryan Murphy has such a fervent fan base, but more than that, why he is given both the praise and criticism when he is not the main writer? And is he just fucking with all of us and will there be a cliff hanger next episode? AHS is renewed at FX through the tenth season and then who knows what Murphy has planned beyond that. Perhaps Apocalypse could actually span two seasons. That would at least mean that a myriad of storylines would be fleshed out and satisfactorily resolved and it would also guarantee that we won’t be served a very rushed finale with episode 10.
Fire and Reign contained no fire nor any reigning of any kind. Unless you want to count the gunfire from Ms. Mead’s robot arm and the reign of poorly executed bowl cut wigs. After Michael’s sojourn to You Guys Will Watch Any Crap We Tell You To last week, this week we learn that Mutt and Jeff are actually the ones who orchestrated the apocalypse. Mutt and Jeff. The duo named after a comic strip that was created in 1907 and, ultimately, was left to the hands of a team of writers after the original writer eventually lost interest in it. Sound familiar?
Two losers who sold their soul to the devil so they can bang Victoria’s Secret angels and do blow all day, are the ones directing Michael to utilize The Cooperative to set off nuclear bombs. Why? Because they are tired of waiting for their coffee at Starbucks.
Murphy has never been discreet about his disdain for the average American and their propensity towards narcissism and self serving behavior, but this entire season seems to have made fools of the very people who have supported him this whole time: those of us dim enough to tune in every week to what has amounted to a story about two assholes who built a robot that, apparently, has interchangeable weaponized arms who is guiding the Antichrist and the Illuminati into ending the world. The Illuminati now goes by the name of The Collective and is comprised of world leaders who have sold their soul to the devil and meet in a mountain retreat where they dress up like Daft Punk super fans.
Humanity’s only hope is a collection of witches that may or may not have been resurrected from death and are pinning all of their hope on one witch who travels back in time only to fail at reversing the outcome of the Romanov family during the Bolshevik Revolution. Don’t even get me started on the fact that Mallory randomly appears in 1918 Siberia speaking English and Anastasia Romanov just goes with this. Although, I suppose it’s as easy to believe as people watching a show about an adolescent Antichrist with a robot best friend who are bringing on the apocalypse and fighting witches who are probably just going to time reverse all of this anyway. At this point, I wish I had taken a cue from Misty Day and Steve Nicks and given everyone the finger and just indulged in something, anything, besides this atrocity of a season. That Omen 3 plot line is looking like some straight up Dostoevsky at this point.
Michael Langdon is an entire mess all of his own. His entrance into the season was that of a confident, take no bullshit Antichrist who knew exactly what he was doing. That, however, was short lived because ever since we learned what happened to him after Constance bailed on him at the Murder House, he has been a young boy in a man’s body who is very easily guided into any narrative that a power hungry person paints for him. His lack of direction is painful to watch, yet he has the fortitude to go to Kinkos and get Outpost blueprints made up for The Cooperative. Perhaps his power grows with his hair? At least that would fit in with the biblical theme. Look, Cody Fern is pretty, but he cannot carry this show on his own. If he can’t even be trusted to end the world, how can we expect him to carry two entire shitty episodes on his shoulders? Only Sarah Paulson can do that and even Ms. Venable’s spine can’t stand up to the pressure of such demands.
In a single episode, Apocalypse needs to explain the identity spells, host an epic fight between Michael and Mallory, address the elite DNA brought up in the very first episode, explain how the witches survived the nuclear bombs, what Brock has been up to since murdering Coco, what exactly Coco has brought to this season at all, why Dinah only got green-lit for 13 episodes after allowing for the massacre at Miss. Robichaux’s, where Kyle has been because we all know he wouldn’t just bail on Zoe and how Mallory doing a time reversal spell doesn’t mean that we all just quite literally wasted an entire season of our lives. And one more thing: Where The Fuck is Denis O’Hare? Guess he was too smart to partake in this drivel. At least in Freakshow he was given an exceptional appendage to make up for his awful storyline. It looks as though we get to go back to Murder House one more time, but at this point, something truly spectacular needs to happen to explain what they have put the fans through this season.
The one truly interesting thing about a time reversal is what will that mean for the resulting AHS universe. If Mallory simply reverses something, then we all know that results in a domino-like effect for everything that it touches. You know, the butterfly effect, but not that Ashton Kutcher movie.
Lisa Fremont | Twitter: @lcfremont