Wednesday, October 24, 2018

REVIEW: 'American Horror Story: Apocalypse' - The Coven Strikes Back Against Those Wanting to End the World in 'Traitor'

FX's American Horror Story: Apocalypse - Episode 8.07 "Traitor"

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of FX's American Horror Story: Apocalypse.

"Traitor" was written by Adam Penn and directed by Jennifer Lynch

The crossover premise of this season was the initial draw for this story. However, the season has remained engaging because of a willingness to talk about gender and power. It has actually become quite a thrilling story to see a group of strong powerful women continue to fight against a man who only wishes to end the world. Michael Langdon exists solely to be the Antichrist and the bringer of the apocalypse. He is typically seen as nothing more than a source of power who can easily get whatever he wants. He gives the warlocks a sense of superiority. That isn't earned in the slightest. They were all fooled by his deception. Whenever they figured it out, it was too late. It appears that Ariel and Baldwin were in on it from the very start. And now, they take pride in being able to wipe out all of the witches who threaten their reign in the new world order. They don't see the world as about to end. They see a new world rising in which they on top once more. When John Henry and Behold learned the truth about their savior, they rightfully switched over to the other side. They worked with the witches and trusted Cordelia's plans for how to combat these power-hungry individuals. It's such a potent image to see her rip away Ariel and Baldwin's mouths. They suddenly find themselves without the ability to speak. They can no longer spread their hatred through the world. Their destinies end here. They are burned at the stake by a coven that only grows stronger with each passing episode. Cordelia may be dying as the Supreme. But Michael may not be the witch to replace her either. Sure, it's the expected twist that Mallory may be next in line to be the Supreme. She continues to stun the witches around her with what she is capable of doing. Here, she saves Coco from choking to death by opening up her throat. Time isn't then spent watching her complete the seven trials to determine if she holds the power to lead the coven. It's ultimately just important if she can master the last one. She succeeds in bringing John Henry back to life. He may not be delivering the information that will change things for the coven. But he can still present as a necessary ally to rid the world of those who wish to do it harm. Of course, Michael is no where to be found during all of this. The warlocks explain that he is out in the woods getting ready for what will happen next. That seems like a cover-up for something else that he has planned for this world. Something that he may be conspiring to commit with Mead. However, she is seen independent of Michael as well. She took him and gave him a sense of his true identity. She opened his eyes to his true calling in the world. And now, she is murdered. She is burned at the stake as well. The witches are able to track her down and ensure that she pays for her crimes against the coven. She dies without any fear of what will happen next. Of course, the audience may still be confused as to how all of this factors into what occurred at the start of the season. Joan Collins is seen playing a completely new character. She shows up as Bubbles McGee, an actress who is also a powerful witch able to read minds and get to a person's true essence. That's a vital skill for understanding her enemies. But it should also make the audience question what was real at the start of the season. If Bubbles, Dinah, Mallory and Coco were living false realities, then is the same true of everyone else who appeared after the apocalypse? Will Andre, Timothy, Emily and Gallant factor into things any time soon? Or were they completely expendable?