9:14pm PT by Jackie Strause
'American Horror Story' Conjures Up 'Coven' Witches for the 'Apocalypse'
[This story contains spoilers for the third episode of FX's American Horror Story season eight, "Forbidden Fruit."]
After teasing viewers for two weeks, American Horror Story conjured up the familiar Coven witches in the final moments of the third episode of Apocalypse.
Supreme witch Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson) entered the AHS: Apocalypse setting of Outpost Three, flanked by fellow witches Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) and Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy), at the tail end of Wednesday's episode of the FX horror anthology's eighth season. The trio — who are legends in the AHS universe from season three — arrived just as all the remaining survivors of a nuclear holocaust had been killed by Paulson's other character of the season, Ms. Wilhemina Venable, the leader of the outpost.
Upon their arrival, Cordelia tells Madison and Myrtle, "find our sisters," and they promptly resurrect Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt (Leslie Grossman), Dinah Stevens (Adina Porter) and Mallory (Billie Lourd) from the dead.
"Surprise bitch," Madison tells a confused Mallory. "I bet you thought you'd seen the last of me."
The line is a callback to her Coven character, who died at the end of season three. Though AHS is an anthology, Murphy has confirmed that all of the seasons exist within the same universe and AHS: Apocalypse promises the biggest Easter eggs of the series to date. The cycle has come to be known as the crossover season of the first cycle, Murder House, and Coven, season three. After two episodes of exploring Murder House lore, the highly anticipated Coven witches finally made their entrance.
The episode also provided more insight into two mysterious characters: Michael Langdon (Cody Fern), the Antichrist baby from Murder House, and Ms. Miriam Mead (Kathy Bates), who revealed herself to be a robot. "I'm programmed to be loyal to you," she told Ms. Venable, the leader of what is believed to be one of the last remaining post-apocalyptic safe houses.
Langdon has been charged with finding the seeds from which the future of mankind will blossom at the better safe house called the Sanctuary. As he continues his investigation into the remaining guests of Outpost Three, it is quickly revealed that both he and Mallory, the Hollywood assistant to socialite Coco, possess supernatural powers that neither is willing to address. The supernatural standoff sends Langdon into a fit, so he conducts a seance and appears to conjure up higher powers.
Brock (Billy Eichner) also made his return after being left in Santa Monica by lover Coco when the nuclear missile attack hit in the premiere. He disguised himself and murdered Coco as revenge. And he wasn't the only gift to emerge from the nuclear winter outside and land at the gates of Outpost Three.
Apples arrive as a gift from the Cooperative, the mysterious group in control of all the outposts and, effectively, what is left of humanity. The apples are either a misdirect or clear sign to a fan theory that Apocalypse will boil down to the biblical story of Adam and Eve, represented by Timothy Campbell (Kyle Allen) and Emily (Ash Santos), two "Purples" who were chosen for Outpost Three due to their genetic makeup.
"Everyone should savor this night as if it were their last" was the warning delivered by Ms. Venable to the remaining guests during a Victorian-themed, Eyes Wide Shut-inspired ball on Halloween night. The holiday bears significance in both Murder House and Coven, as the night is the one of the year when spirits can walk among the living. "It is a night to remember the dead," Venable says of the legend surrounding All Hollows' Eve.
After bobbing for apples during the party, however, it was revealed that Ms. Venable and Ms. Mead had poisoned the blessed fruit. The guests, including Timothy, Emily, Mallory, Dinah, Coco, Hollywood hairdresser Mr. Gallant (Evan Peters) and Dinah's son Andre (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) all drop dead from the poison, much to Ms. Venable and Ms. Mead's delight.
When informing Langdon of what they deemed a successful uprising, Landon is pleased. "You pass the test," he tells Venable. "You're perfect for the Sanctuary." When Venable instructs Mead to kill Langdon anyway, Langdon takes control of her programming and sends her gun-shooting at Venable's heart. The second episode had revealed Langdon to possess several of the Seven Wonders, an array of abilities that only the most powerful witch, the Supreme, possesses, according to Coven mythology.
"I've never been a fan of getting my hands dirty — I learned that from my father," Langdon told a confused Ms. Mead, referencing his father Tate Langdon (played by Evan Peters in Murder House). He then informed her that she was modeled after the one person who truly loved him when he was younger. Most likely, the comment was a reference to Constance Langdon, his biological grandmother and guardian played by Jessica Lange in Murder House.
That's when the witches came in, preparing to reveal to viewers how they will connect to the end-of-the-world plot. The preview for episode four sheds some light on the witches' role in the apocalypse, as both Myrtle and Cordelia tell Langdon that the world can be saved by "all of us." The trailer for the episode, titled "Could It Be ... Satan?" focuses on Langdon and the power he holds — including, perhaps, bringing the witches back from hell (another one of the Seven Wonders) and explaining their arrival. Both Madison and Myrtle, after all, were dead when season three ended. (Watch the episode four trailer below).
Co-creator and showrunner Ryan Murphy has already confirmed that all the Coven witches will return during the season, including Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga); Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe); Misty Day (Lily Rabe) and Stevie Nicks, playing herself as a witch. Though Jessica Lange appeared in Coven, she will only be reprising her Murder House role of Constance in the sixth episode.
What did you think of week three? Sound off in the comments below and bookmark THR.com/AHS for weekly show coverage as American Horror Story: Apocalypse airs Wednesdays on FX.