Scary times lie ahead as after months of waiting, American Horror Story: Apocalypse has finally returned onto our screens to give us a fright or two this week. The new season has been heavily teased for ages but the wait is finally over thankfully.
The anticipation and hype surrounding the eight installment of the hit horror anthology series has been intense as the series is bringing us not only new characters to love/hate but also bringing back some faves from previous seasons with a crossover theme this go round. Series co-creator Ryan Murphy dropped that news on fans and confirmed that the crossover would involve characters from previous cycles Murder House and Coven.
Expectations for this season are high as the characters from Murder House and Coven will be mingling with the new major players as they all deal with the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust which drives them into a nuclear winter. The nuclear event itself isn’t drawn out either; the world literally ends pretty much within the first ten minutes of the episode.
Among the survivors of the devastating event is the wannabe Instagram famous heiress Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt (Leslie Grossman), who receives an alert stating that a nuclear missile is heading to Los Angeles. Coco, thanks to her family’s private plane and secret contribution to secure four tickets to a safe place, manages to escape the destruction of Los Angeles with her assistant Mallory (Billie Lourd), her hairdresser Mr. Gallant (Evan Peters) and the latter’s grandmother, Evie (Joan Collins). The four just barely make it out alive as Coco’s husband Brock (Billy Eichner) ends up being an unfortunate casualty as he fails to make to the airport in time.
Meanwhile, an organization – the Cooperative – selects two young adults to save from the apocalypse, based on their genetic makeup, which they were able to access thanks to Ancestry.com and jail records (anyone else having second thoughts about using the database now?). Two of them – Timothy (Kyle Allen) and Emily (Ash Santos) – are sent to Outpost 3, an underground base headed by Mrs. Venable (Sarah Paulson) who explains in Outpost 3 there are two castes: purples and grays. Purples are the “elite”. They were chosen for Outpost 3 or bought their way into it. Grays are “worker ants”. There are strict rules, including no unauthorized copulation and no going outside. In addition, everyone must dress formally and attend social gatherings. The purple caste comprises of Timothy, Emily, Coco, Mr. Gallant, Evie, former talk show host Dinah Stevens (Adina Porter), Andre (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman), and Stu (Chad James Buchanan). Mallory is a gray.
Life at the Outpost is not all it is cracked up to be as the food supply begins to run low, which leads to some very suspect and terrifying behavior, notably from Miriam (Kathy Bates), Venable’s sadistic assistant, who hijacks a Geiger counter to check for contamination and ends up detecting traces of radiation on Mr. Gallant and Stu. The two are brutishly decontaminated and the Geiger counter detects no traces of radiation on Mr. Gallant afterwards; however, the counter still detects traces on Stu and Miriam shoots him in the head.
Halfway through dinner later, Andre, Stu’s former boyfriend, suspects that their meal is human and deduces that they have been eating Stu (I see what you did there, AHS). It is also later revealed that Venable and Miriam are in cahoots and care very little for the survivors and see themselves as the future.
Tension increases amongst the survivors as time passes by. Against all odds though, over the course of these months, Timothy and Emily develop a romantic relationship, limiting their affections to one kiss a week. Eighteen months later, as the situation is getting worse and worse at the Outpost, a man from the Cooperative, who reveals himself to be Michael Langdon (Cody Fern) arrives to tell Venable that the other outposts have been overrun and that there are only four left, including Outpost 3. He then announces that he will judge who deserve to be truly saved.
As far as premiere episodes go, aside from the scarily realistic first ten minutes of the episode with the shocking introduction to a doomsday scenario, the episode definitely had a slow burn feel to it overall, which is a departure from the fast-paced premiere episodes from previous seasons. Those who were expecting shock value from the get go (like myself) may find it underwhelming but in the grand scheme of things and the grand design of the show and its end game, the payoff will be there.
What did you all think of “The End”?