“American Horror Story” Season 8: A Number of Thoughts

Billy Porter and Emma Roberts in "American Horror Story"

When the news was announced earlier this year that American Horror Story: Apocalypse was going to be a crossover between series favorites Murder House and Coven, fans went wild. When the season kicked off with an entirely new set of characters in a glamorous gothic underground bunker, however, fans started to express their concerns over whether this crossover was actually going to happen.

In episode four, the season shifted back in time to show the mysterious Michael Langdon rise to power. It turns out that he is an extremely powerful warlock (or so we thought), so powerful that his powers exceed that of the supreme. It wasn’t until the last scene in episode 4, however, the witches decide that the best way to find out who Michael Langdon is, is to return to the place where it all began… the Murder House.

“The Return To Murder House” unwinds so naturally, that the episode could almost be a direct sequel to the season one finale. We see Tate and Violet hopelessly struggling to be apart and Violet’s parents struggling once again with their marriage. As it turns out, their fallout this time is not over adultery, but over Vivienne and Tate’s tragic ‘lovechild’.

It is not long before it is revealed that Vivienne’s son is, in fact, Michael Langdon. The highly anticipated return of Jessica Lange illustrates through flashbacks that Michael has always been a disturbed child. He started out by pulling the legs off insects and before he’d finished primary school, he had committed his first murder.

The episode somewhat sympathetically explored Michael’s descent into evil right up until the final moments where we learn that Michael could quite possibly be the devil himself. It turns out that Tate was not the father, but it was the evil of the house that conceived baby Michael.

“The Return to Murder House” was a twofold success. On one hand, it aided the plot development of the current season by revealing more about our villain’s past. On the other hand, it added more to season one by tying up loose ends. In a touching scene, Madison even helps Violet resolve her relationship with Tate and the episode ends with them romantically reconciling in the window.

Overall, episode 6 was one of the best episodes yet and our interest is certainly piqued by now. Ryan Murphey subtly and successfully tied in the Murder House and the Coven, without anything appearing too contrived. We can’t wait to see how the rest of the season unfolds.