Welcome to The End of The World
This season was called apocalypse and I would say that describes the season perfectly. Long time fansvof the show, especially the popular Coven season will bounce in their couches with joy. This season brought back the Robicheaux house and all the popular witches from the coven. The show also does a great job of tying all the seasons and includes an appearance by the one and only Jessica Lange reprising her murder house role.
In this season, the focus is on Michael Langdon and his rise as the anti-Christ. That’s straight forward enough but the layout of the show is not. The season starts on the day of the world blowing up in nuclear war. A few wealthy people, including Dame Joan Collins as a fool of herself, are whisked away to these shelters. The shelter is ran by the venerable Miss Venable (Sarah Paulson) and puts this seasons characters in difficult to wear conservative clothing, disallowing sex, and separating them by class. Greys work for the wealthy tending the shelter. However, as time goes on and communication becomes sparse, resources begin to run out. The situation reaches a fever pitch when Michael Langdon arrives to save some and let the rest die in the radiation or of starvation. However, through his manipulation and the questionable magical abilities of some people, the shelter becomes chaotic when Miss Veneble decides the best way to survive is to make sure no one else can. She decides, along with her assistant played by Kathy Bates, to murder their charges during a masked ball. Everyone falls dead and the show seems to be over until Cordelia arrives to save the day. They raise certain members of the now deceased residents and begin the fight to stop Langdon once and for all. The series starts to jump around quite a bit with time jumps and inserts of moments to show how the world came crashing down to start with. The season is weird, you see the result first and the lead up afterwards.
The series peaks when Cordelia decides that the only way to stop Langdon is to undo him entirely by sending one of her girls back through time using a special time travel spell. And, as if by magic, the whole season is undone in spectacular fashion when Langdon is struck down by a car in front of murder house and Jessica Lange leaves him in the street to die. The plan is complete and Apocalypse is avoided, at least for now.
I enjoyed the ups and downs of the season but the overall feeling just fell flat. The story telling felt contrived, anyone you cared about died by episode 4 and the rest of the season felt like it was merely catching us up on what happened after Coven. Notably, I didn’t see any references to Freak Show, Roanoke, or Cult. The show worked so hard to bring the anthology together but left out great moments from some of its most recent and popular seasons.
I will say that they did bring back some of cinematic camera work from cult that made the show so beautiful to watch and that was nice. The effects were real and not hokey or contrived. It was an unexpected ride even if I wondered why I’d taken the journey by the end. Something about the whole intricate plot to bring down the end of the world being thwarted by a single spell just didn’t feel real to me. The season is heavy on satanism and satanic symbology and even features a satanic church service. AHS always skirts the edge and this year, the show builds a house on the knife edge.
The show has wrapped up for this season and we’ll be looking forward to the next concept and what the next season holds for us. What did you think?