A sojourn is defined as a temporary stay; a respite from what came before and what comes next. In Episode 8 of American Horror Story: Apocalypse, the titular "Sojourn" was arguably just the opposite for viewers — we left the comforting world of Miss Robichaux’s Academy behind, and ventured into the heart of darkness as Michael (Cody Fern) inched closer and closer to his terrible destiny.
The entire night was a showcase for the season’s bone-chilling villain, as he mourned his murdered friends, went on a Satanic bender, met the worst tech bros ever, and finally realized his terrible destiny.
Below, the four most apocalyptic moments of the night:
1. Michael Channeled His Inner Sondheim
After discovering the charred corpses of Miriam (Kathy Bates), Ariel, and Baldwin, then briefly having it out with Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) — the only other main character to appear in the episode — Michael journeyed into the woods to find the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, the slipper as pure as gold, and a sign from his father Satan.
Feeling utterly alone and defeated by the witches, Michael made a pentagram in the dirt and vowed to stay there until Satan gave him a sign. He gave up after four days, because starvation — and either God or Satan, who can ever tell — began to mess with his head; giving him visions of juicy red apples, his dead friends, and a creepy black goat. Which Michael promptly stabbed.
He then stumbled back to the streets of Los Angeles, homeless, starving, and still completely unsure of his Satanic destiny. Until...
2. Michael Met His Flock
Turns out, dear old dad was actually listening to Michael’s desperate prayers.
The sad-boy Son of Satan strolled by an upside down cross outside of a warehouse, realized this was totally his thing, and found a Satanic congregation ministered by a woman named Hannah (Sandra Bernhard). Sandra preached that her flock was failing to sin hard enough to open up the gates of Hell and usher in the End of Days, providing context on the origins of the apocalypse but also a path to one of the most utterly devastating jokes in AHS history: Sandra said that her own sin of the week was robbing a nursing home, then giving all of the money to the NRA.
Savage. Sad. Sad and savage.
Anyway, Michael sat next to a sweet older woman named Madeline (Harriet Sansom Harris), who offered him food and shelter without even knowing he was the Antichrist. Despite the hypocrisy of an avowed Satan-worshipper and actual murderer acting selflessly (would this give her brownie points, or lead to her doom? Does it even matter when your end goal is to be tortured for eternity?), Michael went with her, because dude was sorely in need of a meal and a mother figure.
Madeline offered Michael soup and bread, as well as some valuable info on her community and their goals. She, like many others, had given up her soul to Satan in exchange for earthly pleasures — in Madeline’s case, a nice home, the ability to shoot heroin without consequence, and weekly sex with Brad Pitt and Ryan Reynolds — as well as the promise of eternal damnation after the apocalypse. Michael told her that he was the Antichrist she was searching for; showing her the "666" mark behind his ear that proved it. Madeline was 100 percent sold, adding one more faithful servant to Michael’s flock after losing so many last week.
3. Michael Cut Some Throats
Some time later (how much went by between Michael’s first Mass and his second was difficult to discern), Madeline brought Michael back to Sandra’s church to show him off and kick off the whole apocalypse thing. She interrupted a sacrificial Black Mass (similar to the one we watched in the Murder House episode) that was intended for a Proud Boys-esque parishioner, claiming that it was Michael’s turn to commit ritualistic murder in an offering to Satan. You’d think he’d have earned enough brownie points in this particular category by now, but whatever.
Michael slit the throats of a social worker and a doctor working with Doctor Without Borders in one stroke, which was pretty terrible to watch despite knowing they would have died anyway in just a few short months. The congregation was thrilled, and fully embraced Michael as their leader, even though he hadn’t yet fully embraced himself. Without Miriam, whose soul Cordelia had hidden, or a clear path from his absentee father, Michael was feeling as lost as ever.
He told all of this to his number one stan Madeline, who offered to introduce him to some people within the church’s network of bartered souls who could help.
4. Billy Eichner and Evan Peters Debuted Surprise New Characters
With Mr. Gallant, Tate, and probably Brock all written out midway into the season, it was due time for Evan Peters and Billy Eichner to debut new characters. And debut them they did, in a setting that we can only assume is The Cooperative.
Madeline dropped Michael off at a super sleek high-tech office building, where Peters and Eichner worked building sex robots while snorting cocaine and wearing bowl cuts. (American Horror Story has certainly had fun with its wig budget this season.) Paulson’s Ms. Venable was there too, but while we quickly learned what the Bowl Cut Boys got out of their deals with Satan, Venable’s story remains a mystery.
By the way, their deals with Satan included them leaving their dead-end jobs at Tesla, owning a tech company of their own, Victoria's Secret models as girlfriends and weekly hangouts with Ryan Reynolds. Not a bad deal.
Michael waltzed into the Boys’ robo-lair, and proved who he was by burning their sex worker (and presumably, her soul). He told his newest followers his story of woe, so they made him his Miriam Mead-bot — with bonus Mossad agent abilities — as an offering. We still don’t know how this robotic Miriam will trigger the coming apocalypse, or how she managed to lose all of her memories before the events of "The End," but with only two weeks left of Apocalypse, we’re bound to find out soon.