American Horror Story: Apocalypse Finale Recap: Not Today, Satan!

American Horror Story: Apocalypse

Wednesday marked the end of the end of the world, as FX closed the book on an American Horror Story installment eight seasons in the making — but was Apocalypse‘s conclusion worth the wait? My guess is that you still need some time to digest what the actual fudge just went down, so let’s make sure we’re all on the same page.

The first part of the episode explained Cordelia’s master plan, most of which we knew, though it was helpful to have a few remaining blanks filled: Myrtle kicked things off by waltzing into Antichrist HQ and compelling Jeff and Mutt to free up some space in Outpost 3… before putting both of those mop-topped morons out of their misery. This fatal encounter was preceded by a classic Horror Story catfight, as Venable dared question the nature of Myrtle’s glorious mane. “My hair is an eternal mystery never to be fully understood,” she replied, before looking at Venable’s outfit and scoffing, “Purple is for royalty, dear, not middle management.” You’ve got to hand it to Myrtle — she’s savage, even in the face of the apocalypse.

Next, Cordelia cast the infamous identity spell on Coco and Mallory, wiping their minds of all magical memories. In order to keep Mallory’s powers suppressed, Coco’s new personality — modeled after Madison, naturally — was intended to demean her at every turn. The two actually shared a really sweet moment before having their supernatural lobotomies, with Coco pre-apologizing for mistreating her. “Spell or no spell, I’d never let anything bad happen to you,” Mallory said. “If the world is going to end, at least we’ll be together.”

This brought us back (forward?) to before the season premiere, with Coco and Mallory arriving at Gallant’s salon for the first time. It seems Coco’s Uber driver (Madison!) was a little reckless, resulting in a wind-blown mess that would take all afternoon to fix. And wouldn’t you know it, she met a nice man named Brock while she was there. (These witches really were responsible for everything, weren’t they?)

Time jump No. 2 returned us to Mallory and Michael’s confrontation in Outpost 3, which apparently signaled Cordelia, Myrtle and Madison to rise from their years-long dirt nap. (As confirmed by Madison, the entire experienced “sucked ass.”) By the time the trio arrived at Outpost 3, the survivors had already bobbed for apples, setting the stage for Coco, Mallory and Dinah’s revivals — as well as the witches’ final showdown with Michael.

As expected, that traitorous Oprah-wannabe Dinah Stevens refused to fight by Cordelia’s side, claiming to always pick the winning team. Little did she know, Cordelia never intended to align herself with Dinah; through the magic of yet another freaking flashback, we learned that Cordelia promised to hand Dinah’s soul over to Papa Legba in exchange for the release of — you guessed it — the OG voodoo queen, Marie Laveau. (The fact that Angela Bassett’s name appeared on screen prior to her arrival totally ruined the surprise, but it was still damn good to see Marie back in action.)

At this point, it looked like smooth sailing for the witches. Marie made quick work of Dinah, Cordelia whispered a spell that blew Mead into a million little pieces, and Madison used the robot’s severed arm-gun to make bloody swiss cheese out of Michael’s torso. But just when the ladies were ready to start popping bubbly, along came Brock (ugh!!!) to gut Mallory with a cleaver and spoil her big time-travel plan. Brock was appropriately punished, burning alive at Myrtle’s hands, but it wasn’t long before the witches also dropped dead. A revived Michael beheaded Madison (“Oh, f–k, I guess it’s back to retail!”), ate Marie’s heart right out of her chest, and snapped poor Coco’s neck with a flick of his wrist. Myrtle put it best when she said, “It appears as though we’re f–d, my dear.”

But Cordelia still had one trick hidden up her sleeve. By sacrificing herself, she passed on the title of Supreme to Mallory, who came back to life, recited the time-traveling spell and hauled ass to 2015 Los Angeles. A desperate Constance had just kicked Michael out of the house for murdering a priest (“Do you have to kill every single living creature that crosses your path? Could you maybe just maim one?”), but she forgot to remind him to look both ways while crossing the street. If she had, perhaps Mallory (!) wouldn’t have run him over (!!) repeatedly (!!!) until he suffered a painful death in the middle of the damn road. (That knowing look Mallory exchanged with Constance before running him over one last time was chilling.)

With the Antichrist dead and the apocalypse thwarted, Mallory made tracks for New Orleans, where she enrolled at Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies. Zoe was still alive, working as a teacher, but because Cordelia never revived her to save the world, Myrtle was no longer among the living. Queenie was also still alive, and bragging to everyone about how she was flying to Los Angeles to see The Price is Right (“Plinko all day, ho!”), though Mallory made sure to suggest alternative lodging — after all, the Hotel Cortez is nowhere near the studio. (Wink!)

And although Mallory revealed (via voiceover) that she intended on eventually reviving Madison, the movie star ended the season still trapped in her own personal hell. Mallory did, however, use her “blazing street cred” with the denizens of hell to have Misty and Nan brought back to life — even if the latter chose to stay by Papa Legba’s side. (“I like it down there,” Nan said. “Papa lets me play!”)

That’s when things got… interesting. Mallory’s final inner monologue led her to question the effects her actions could have on the future, cuing another time jump to 2020. Here, Emily and Timothy — yes, the non-rich couple “chosen” to live in Outpost 3 — met for the first time at a protest, presumably the one where alternate-timeline Emily was arrested. Anyway, they fell in love (or at least lust) and spawned a healthy baby boy, who turned out to be — wait for it — the Antichrist. The season ended with Mead arriving at Timothy and Emily’s house, alongside the Black Pope and Not-Pepper, where the cycle of darkness would soon begin again. Or, you know, for the first time.

Also worth discussing…

* Thanks to a map in Jeff and Mutt’s office — plus this handy “pause” feature on my DVR — we know that Outpost 4, whose residents include Charlize Theron and Jennifer Lawrence, is in the Bahamas, while the far-less-desirable Outpost 2 is in West Virginia. And was Myrtle’s mention of “Louisiana swamp mud” upon her revival confirmation that Outpost 3 is in Louisiana? (Not that any of that even matters, since this entire season never really happened.)

* I mentioned this earlier, but don’t you wish the finale had saved certain guests for the closing credits, rather than spoiling them on screen at the beginning? I wish I wasn’t expecting Marie, Nan or Misty to show up.

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