Wednesday, November 7, 2018

REVIEW: 'American Horror Story: Apocalypse' - Mallory's New Power May Be Enough to Stop Michael in 'Fire and Reign'

FX's American Horror Story: Apocalypse - Episode 8.09 "Fire and Reign"

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.

"Fire and Reign" was written by Asha Michelle Wilson and directed by Jennifer Arnold

Michael Langdon has been made such a complicated character this season. He has weighed what he is proclaimed to do while having absolutely no idea how to do it. Last week, Cordelia reached out in the hopes of discovering his humanity. He turned away. And now, he directs all of his animosity to the witches who took Mead from him. He wants revenge. It's pure and simple. They are preparing for his arrival. And yet, the show doesn't even fully establishing the rules of this protection spell before Michael is storming the building to kill all of the witches. He does so with the help of Dinah. She is yet another individual who makes a deal with the devil because she is searching for fame and appreciation. That mostly just feels like a loose end that needed to be addressed somehow. When they saw each other again after the apocalypse, it was noted that they had a history. And now, it's clear that he can provide her with what she wants when her own lord, Papa Legba, cannot. Elsewhere, it's fascinating to see which witches remain important to the narrative and which are easily killed off here. This episode features the deaths of Queenie, Zoe and Bubbles. They all fight back against the invaders to their house. But they aren't powerful enough to defeat the devil. He fails in his endeavor to kill all of the witches. And yet, that's not too bad of a setback though. He is easily pushed to the way to end the world. Mutt and Jeff are thrilled to be working with him but hate how much work they have to do to get him to take all of this seriously. They are ready for the apocalypse. They want the world to end so that it can start over again. They are the ones who pitch the idea using the Cooperative and draw up all of the plans for the bunkers. It's entirely their plan. They only get Michael onboard with all of it because they are communicating it through Mead. That shows that there are limitations to her as a robot. She is capable enough not to be killed in this conflict with the witches. She is able to become an undercover agent in the future. But she's also just a vessel for Mutt and Jeff to say whatever they want with Michael immediately accepting it. He trusts her opinion so strongly. Whatever she says, he will do it. She was always his beacon of purpose and drive in this quest to become the Antichrist. She gave him the path in which to serve his father. And now, all of this comes to fruition just in order to fulfill the prophecy that has long been told about the Antichrist bringing the end of days. Michael just has little to do with it outside of being an authoritative presence. Of course, that can still be very scary and intimidating. He does convince the world that it's time to end and that there is hope for salvation. Sure, the audience knows that is futile because of the harsh realities of the apocalypse. But all of this sends the witches into the past as well. First, it comes from them finding sanctuary in Mimi's swamp home where she is conveniently out of town traveling the world with Stevie Nicks. It's odd how Cordelia had Michael bring her back to life only to let her go far away from this fight. That mostly proved just how powerful he was. And now, the show is articulating that Mallory may be the witch powerful enough to defeat Michael. She is capable of traveling back in time. Sure, she isn't able to save Anastasia and her family. Their deaths were inevitable. But it proves that she will be more powerful than any of the Supremes who have come before her. It's enough for Cordelia to question if she is holding her back by clinging on to her remaining power. She wants to find a way to stop all of this from happening. With the introduction of time travel, this may not be the end of the world after all. It just sets up one ominous conflict as the show heads into the finale.