Billie Lourd
Photo: FX

Three episodes into season eight, and everybody’s dead. I guess AHS did give fair warning; this is the Apocalypse season, after all. This week was all about revelations—Ms. Mead is, in fact a robot. Mallory has some kind of witchy fire power Langdon sees as a major threat (you’ve really got to scare the anti-Christ to get him to call up dad). And Billy Eichner can kind of pull off a Mad Max-esque mullet.

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It’s Halloween... apparently. It seems like being locked up in a bunker for eighteen months messes with your sense of what season it is. When Ms. Venable announces they’ll be having a Halloween party, any thoughts about how weird it would be to have a shindig in one of the least festive places on earth are quickly brushed aside by the crew as they brain storm costume ideas. The fact that they’ve been dressed like extras in a Jane Austen mini-series for their entire bunker stay means they’ll need to get even more dressed up. Luckily, what the Outpost lacks in reading materials and palatable food it really makes up for with an extensive collection of masquerade masks.

Of course the party isn’t actually being thrown to distract the gang from the ever rising body count (RIP Stu and Nana). Ms. Venable and the 100-percent robotic Ms. Mead have decided there’s only one sure way to get into the Sanctuary—kill everyone, including Langdon, and use the info on his computer to journey to the Sanctuary on their own. The plan is simple—milk the venom from the snakes that are manifested from Langdon’s calls to Satan, inject the venom into the apples that have magically appeared at their door carted by a driverless carriage, organize a game of bobbing for apples, then in a not at all suspicious manner convince every hungry, desperate, petty person they should all wait to take their first bite in unison. Obviously a year and a half away from true crime podcasts is all it takes for every suspicious instinct to leave your body.

Coco, ever the unintentional rebel, doesn’t get a chance to grab her murder weapon by the teeth, as she gets a very unexpected visitor—the boyfriend she left behind, who has managed to survive a radioactive wilderness just to get the chance to shove a knife through her skull. It’s impossible to tell though, what really drove him to kill a woman he once loved—the fact that she abandoned him to a certain death, or the fact she was offering someone else a certain special sex act she had never given to him.

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After the poor, probably scurvy-riddled fools bite into their apples and suffer from more voluminous vomiting than you’d think people living off nutritional cubes would be able to suffer, Mead and Venable step over the bodies to finish the job by shooting Langdon. Langdon, unsurprisingly, has the power to silently order Mead to shot Venable instead, leaving her dead at their feet while the walking Herbal Essence commercial explains to his robot friend he was the one who actually planned the most deadly game of bobbing for apples. He also created her as a model of the one woman who ever loved him, and thus he has a soft spot for the loyal bot. It would be a sweet moment if there weren’t so many dead bodies chilling out downstairs.

But when one Sarah Paulson falls, another must rise. Which means the witches are back! Finally the promised Coven crossover has begun with three of the stars of Coven gliding through the radioactive landscape wearing nothing for protection but some stylish flowing black outfits. This leads to some big picture questions. Are all witches naturally immune to radioactivity? Did they have to come up with a special spell for that, post-nuclear bomb? At any rate Madison (Emma Roberts), Cordelia (Sarah Paulson), and Myrtle (Frances Conroy) descend on the Halloween party and resulting corpses just in time to revive their “sisters” Coco, Mallory, and Dinah. Now the end of days is really getting interesting.

Stray observations

  • Surprise bitch! It’s the line that became a meme that’s now returning as a line still telegraphing a wink to the meme. Something that will someday be fully examined in American Horror Story: Internet Culture.
  • Ms. Mead’s childhood memories of Halloween are almost painfully apt, but the least believable moment in the entire episode might be the suburban mom not immediately recognizing mini-Mead’s spot on Rosie from The Jetsons costume.
  • Everyone in American Horror Story, across seasons, is incredibly confident about the identities of people in masks/body suits. Before you have sex or whisper your secrets to someone, as a rule, you should ask them for a peak under their head to toe black cloak.
  • Mallory compares her fire starting (or at least fire expanding) powers to X-Men’s Dark Phoenix. Could there be a hint of a franchise crossover?
  • With Nana dead at the hands of Mr. Gallant, another family feud is introduced: Andre really hates his mother. I guess it’ll be clear if the feeling was mutual depending on how long she mourns him now that she’s been resurrected.
  • Getting invested in the forbidden bunker romance might have been a serious waste of time. Though nothing on AHS has to stay dead.
  • Mr. Gallant managed a professional level Marie Antoinette-esque updo with no products or hairdryer. He might be a cold blooded murderer, but the man is talented.

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