THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Oh my god, you guys…am I just going to keep going “THIS WAS THE BEST EPISODE YET!” until the end of this season? I sure hope so! And so far, that’s what kind of track we’re on – last night’s episode topped all four previous ones, due in no small part to the reappearance of Misty Day (Lily Rabe) and Stevie Nicks (herself)!
As usual, let’s backtrack. If you recall, last episode we saw Langdon retrieve both Queenie and Madison. Cordelia faints upon seeing them both back in the land of the living, and while incapacitated, she has a premonition – she sees the apocalyptic future, and despite Langdon’s cackling presence as she’s devoured limb from limb by zombies, she doesn’t seem to nail him as the demonic force behind the despair. She does know that something must be done to prevent the horrors, though, so she allows Langdon to perform the Seven Wonders test during the Blood Moon. (After reading other recaps today, it seems no one is clear on whether or not this was a Roanoke reference or just a mere coincidence. WE SHALL SEE.)
Most of the warlocks are overjoyed that Langdon is set to take the test, except for John Henry (Cheyenne Jackson), who is still heavily wary of the darkness Langdon seems to possess. He plans to investigate, but before he can get answers, Ms. Mead (Kathy Bates’ satanist character, mother figure to Langdon and inspiration for the robot from the first few episodes) slashes his throat and sets him on fire at a desolate gas station. Welp, there went that sliver of hope. And wouldn’t you know it, Grand Chancellor Ariel (Jon Jon Briones) was an accomplice in the murder, because he’s THAT pumped to be on top with the rest of the boys now that Langdon is poised to become the Supreme.
When the time comes, Langdon passes each test easily, but finally we arrive at Dissension, and Cordelia ups the game. She asks Langdon to retrieve Misty from the depths of hell (you know, where she got stuck dissecting frogs in her middle school science class); Cordelia suspects he’ll have no problem doing this, but she 1. wants all her homegirls back for when it comes time to fight, and 2. needs to know who exactly she’s dealing with, here. Once he makes it down there, where Misty is permanently killing and reanimating frogs, he guts Misty’s teacher, and all of the students creepily open their mouths to speak to him in some weird, indistinguishable-but-definitely-evil language. She warily asks if he’s there to rescue her, but she rightfully has the goddamn creeps, and she fully expresses this to Cordelia once she’s back.
Everyone is obviously happy to see her when she does return with ye olde dark prince, though, and to help her recover, they’ve ordered the help of none other than Stevie Motherfuckin’ Nicks! She performs “Gypsy”, and it is beautiful, and the episode was worth it for this moment alone! We also find out that Cordelia plans to send Madison to ye olde Murder House where everything began so she can get the full scoop on what they’re up against as a coven. Behold (Billy Porter’s character) overhears their chatter, and he blackmails them into letting him tag along – he has his own apprehensions about Langdon, but he wants to investigate things for himself. And so it would seem we are California-bound next episode, y’all. And YES, Jessica Lange will be back!
Overall a great episode. And I touched on it briefly last recap, but Apocalypse really deserves praise for its depiction of the dangers posed by fragile masculinity. The top ranking warlocks in this season are largely not portrayed as straight or white, sometimes neither, and they’ve never been as powerful as their female counterparts. Even so, there are undeniable parallels between our current situation – some men would prefer to see an unpredictable, malevolent leader rise to power to maintain the patriarchal status quo than to risk inferiority – and the pre-apocalyptic environment of the AHS universe.
SEE Y’ALL NEXT WEEK!