AHS SEASON 8 PREMIERE: Apocalypse How?
The following is a spoiler-filled review and recap of American Horror Story: Apocalypse. Don’t proceed if you don’t want spoilers!
We begin with heiress, Coco St. Pier Vanderbuilt, getting her hair done by Tate- at least I think his name is Tate- it’s probably something else, because Even Peters has been in every season and it’s hard to keep track. Mallory is Coco’s hipster assistant and is obviously abused by her employer, but it’s expensive to live in LA, so you do what you have to. Shit escalates quickly and everyone gets a warning of an incoming ballistic missile. Coco thinks it’s a joke until she gets a call from her billionaire father—awesome cameo by John Getz—telling her to get on a plane where she can be saved. Coco calls her husband Brock telling him to get to the Santa Monica airport—which if you know LA, you know getting anywhere even when there isn’t an impending apocalypse is impossible. Somehow Coco and Mallory make it to the airport because suddenly Coco can’t live without Mallory because Coco knows she’s a shitty person who can’t do anything for herself.
There’s no time to wait for presh Brock… Coco and Brock- are they kidding with these names? No? Fine. Okay so Coco is like “peace, Brock, go unilaterally fuck yourself.” Kyle shows up with his grandma wanting a spot on the plane, more chaos ensues and then it’s the end of the Los Angeles… but they all escape in the plane… and that’s just the opener. Phew.
I will say that for an American Horror Story season premiere, it wasn’t anything special. I say that because AHS is notorious for instilling some shock value into its first episode of any season. While some seasons lost steam, or the main storyline all together, this isn’t boding well. It was a bombing that ended the world. Simple, effective… but now what?
Oh, right, on top of just wealthy people being saved, there’s the trope of saving “special” people—enter Tim, who’s family is excited he just got into UCLA (and another cameo by Dina Meyer). Their excitement wanes a bit because, ya know, the world is ending and a car shows up out of nowhere to just save Tim. How fucking rude. Tim is ripped from his family and taken to an underground facility where he’s put in a cage like any rational end-of-the-world scenario, and meets Emily. Two weeks later, they’re living in Silent Hill and taken to the neo-gothic Outpost 3, their new home and probably the last place I’d want to be if I survived a global apocalypse. The one “shock” is people are being shot outside by plague doctors with a dose of surreal imagery and your first real taste of any new world order referred to as the Cooperative.
Inside this “somewhat safe” bunker is Paulson’s take on a dominatrix meets Victorian school marm, meets Bridget Neilsen in her Rocky 4 stage of life, Wilhelmina. We are also joined by Kathy Bates channeling Lea DeLaria. If it’s purposeful, it’s fabulous. Bate’s Miriam Mead is pretty savage and I’ll be interested to see her story arc.
Outpost 3 was once a boy’s school and Emily inquires “What kind of boys school is subterranean?” And that’s a question I wouldn’t want answered. There are two groups of people here, purple and gray because why not? We are a hierarchy type of species, after all.
So, Coco, Mallory, Jimmy Darling, and his grandma are all in the bunker—all are purple except poor Mallory who probably should have just stayed in LA. They are joined by Dinah Stevens, her son and his boyfriend. Everything is super weird, there’s some cannibalism, and right about here is where I started thinking I was in some sort of Anne Rice alternate reality… low and behold, as the premiere droned on to the end, Lestat wannabe Michael Langdon—the first name recognized from AHS: Murder house—appears via nuclear horse-drawn buggy and does some smirking and informs Wilhelmina that his bunker is bigger than hers.
The real star of this premiere is Nana Evie, who was repeatedly referred to as “the old lady” by people on Twitter. No, no, Evie is played by Joan Fucking Collins and she’s a goddamn gem, so learn her name if for some reason you don’t know it. She will also eat human meat and not give any fucks. She actually says “you don’t know what disappointment is until you’ve slept with Yul Brynner” like HOLY SHIT SAVAGE.
I did notice the Twitter collective wanting more immediate tie-ins from Murder House and Coven, and I am sure they’re coming, but until then just try to enjoy this for its own story. I realize this probably isn’t the best recap you’ll read, but it’s about as bat shit as I’m making it sound. While is seems a bit of a muddled mess out of the starting gate, Apocalypse has my attention… at least for now. That being said, I hope you like listening to Maureen McGovern’s the Morning After.
Author and screenwriter, Cara Vescio, lives for zombie flicks, character actors, and staying up late playing horror and sci-fi video games. She writes action, but loves horror, science fiction, and true crime. She cosplays Lady Loki, really, really misses Bill Paxton, and rolls initiative as co-owner of Natural Twenty Games in Las Vegas, Nevada.