We had it coming.
We had it coming.
We only have ourselves to blame.
We prayed and pleaded for Ryan Murphy to bring Constance & the witches back. And when he mentioned the entire American Horror Story universe was connected, we waited with baited breath for the return of the fan-favorites.
We rejoiced as Apocalypse was announced as a crossover season, merging the worlds of Murder House and Coven. We were guaranteed The Harmons and Tate; Cordelia and them; and, the Constance Langdon bka Jessica Lange. The series hadn’t captured it’s unique magic since Lange’s departure, so we were hoping for a return to form.
Unfortunately season eight is a hyped waste. A slow start and disappointing end sandwiches fast-food nostalgia that’s tasty, but not filling. In this iteration of the anthology series, the world experiences nuclear warfare. As millions perish a select few are chosen to survive. As the story unfolds, we see this ordeal is the orchestration of Satan himself through his son Michael Langdon (Cody Fern).
How does this connect to the previous stories? Coven’s band of witches is the world’s last hope against the demon spawn of Murder House’s Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton).
Let’s focus on the positives – the performances. Fern, who we previously saw in Murphy’s ACS: The Assassination of Versace, is brilliant as Michael. The always versatile Sarah Paulson held three roles as Supreme Cordelia, flighty medium Billie Dean Howard and Apocalypse specific Ms. Venable. Venable is accompanied by Kathy Bates’ satanic devotee, Ms. Meade.
I also enjoyed the addition of the Warlocks – specifically Billy Porter and BD Wong (who deserve all the awards). The subtle #MeToo themes between the rivalry of witches and warlocks was also an interesting take.
The standout, other than Fern, was the majestic return of Jessica Lange. While she only appeared in 1.5 episodes, she delivered the much missed gravitas and drama in Constance Langdon. The mother of monsters’s fate made me wish we had never left the four walls of Murder House.
Now the bad. Other than the where-are-they-now recap on previous characters, the story was thin. A battle royale betwixt witch and warlock had potential, but we didn’t get it. Instead we muddled through boring performances and plot inconsistencies.
For instance, a large plot point is the death of a warlock lit ablaze at a gas station. Why are you filling your tank, or driving no less, when you have magic powers? I also took offense to the time we spent learning backstory when we could have just seen the final battle. And when this showdown resulted in real consequences, they were corrected in a blink of an eye. It left me questioning the nine hours of life I lost.
I hadn’t watched AHS since Hotel. And if this season’s ending is any indication of where the series is headed, I will remain out the loop.