“Could it be … Satan?”
This was the title of American Horror Story: Apocalypse Episode 4, and also the question that the Coven witches asked themselves soon after meeting Langdon (Cody Fern), three years before the end of the world.
The episode took place almost entirely in the past, as Langdon’s history — including his introduction to Satan worship, and the beginning of his feud with Cordelia Goode’s (Sarah Paulson) Coven — was revealed. A whole lot of insanity went down (including a moment straight from The Exorcist that nearly made us toss our protein cubes), but these were easily the 5 most apocalyptic moments of the night:
1. The Hotel Cortez Returned
Sorry, but did you think that Apocalypse was only going to be a Coven and Murder House crossover? Because it turns out Hotel is involved too, which we probably should have guessed given the series’ Los Angeles setting (in flashbacks, anyway) and the Queenie connection.
A few years before the bombs, Langdon rescued Queenie (who died in the Cortez, ICYMI) from the immortal clutches of “boring white person” James Patrick March (Evan Peters) when Cordelia couldn’t. Cordelia had mentioned earlier that the Hotel was a Hellmouth (finger snaps for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer reference, Cordy), so even the strongest witch on the planet couldn’t save Queenie from its clutches.
Obviously, Langdon proved her wrong.
2. And So Did Miss Robichaux's Academy
This episode was a gold mine for the AHS faithful, as the central locale of the Coven season, Miss Robichaux's Academy, also made a brief appearance in flashbacks.
Backing up a bit, the episode picked up right where last week’s left off, with Langdon explaining to robot Miriam Mead (Kathy Bates) how he’d modeled her after the only person he loved, and Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) calling Mallory (Billie Lourd) a bitch.
We quickly learned through the Coven witches’ quipping that Mallory and Coco (Leslie Grossman) — the weakest of the three sisters they resurrected — had had their memories wiped for their own protection before the End of Days. Dinah (Adina Porter) still had her memories, but she also practiced voodoo like Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett), and didn’t want to get involved in any of the Coven’s politics.
In flashbacks we saw that Mallory was a star pupil at Miss Robichaux’s under Zoe’s (Taissa Farmiga) tutelage, but the rest of her story (including why her memories got wiped) is yet to be revealed.
3. Kathy Bates Was Somehow Even Scarier Than She Was in Misery
While Zoe taught Mallory and the gals how to magically turn white roses blue, Langdon — still going by Michael in 2K15 — was being raised by the absolutely bananagrams woman who inspired Miriam Mead. Ms. Mead 1.0? (This means he was separated from his grandmother Constance somewhere between the final scene of Murder House and his teen years, but we’ll presumably get to that later.)
Ms. Mead 1.0 was a loud-and-proud Satan worshiper who bought goat heads at Ralph’s, prayed to the Dark Lord at the dinner table, and killed at least three ex-husbands. Michael loved her dearly, she loved him right back, and together they bonded over cute, normal things like murdering minimum wage employees and wearing black-on-black. (The AHS team made teen Michael Langdon look exactly like teen Tate Langdon down to the floppy haircut and black t-shirt, with the only notable difference being Fern’s piercing blue eyes. Nice.)
Their domestic bliss ended when Michael met a group of warlocks, which brings us to ...
4. The World Ended Because of the Patriarchy
Okay, so we don’t know for sure that it’s the baby-men running The Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men who ended things once and for all, but they definitely played a role. And it’s entirely because they were jealous of women.
Basically, a bunch of dudes (including Cheyenne Jackson’s John Henry Moore) ran their own version of Miss Robichaux's outside of Los Angeles, in what eventually became Outpost 3. Only problem is, warlocks weren’t meant to be as strong as their female counterparts, so the boys there had lesser powers. This made their schoolmasters feel emasculated and small, so they lost it when they found footage of Michael killing a man with only his mind. They were convinced that Michael was a foretold master of magic called the Alpha who would overtake the female Supreme, and got so giddy about this that they overlooked approximately 2,394,103 signs that he was actually just the Antichrist.
They invited Michael to their school, had him take their master-level test after only one month of lessons, then dragged Cordelia, Zoe, and Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) all the way out west just to show them they found a guy who was potentially stronger than them. The men asked Cordelia to administer the Seven Wonders test that killed Misty Day (Lily Rabe) back in Coven to prove Michael’s worth, but Cordelia refused because she didn’t think he could survive it.
One of the Warlocks (played by Pose standout Billy Porter) brought up Cordelia "abandoning" her girl Queenie at the Cortez (she didn’t — she tried everything she could), which led to the whole thing where Langdon brought Queenie back to life to rub it in Cordelia’s face that he could. He also visited Madison’s personal hell — working in customer service at a Bed, Bath and Beyond — and brought her back for good measure, causing Cordelia to faint on sight.
5. The Exorcist Happened
Finally, we need to quickly discuss what we just learned Michael Langdon is capable of.
Not only did Michael enter (and exit) two hells, telekinetically stab a grocery store employee to death, cause a blizzard indoors in the desert, and resist Madison’s advances, he also went full-blown Exorcist on a cop. The cop was beating on Michael in an interrogation room, so Michael — again, telekinetically — threw the dude against the wall, thrashed him about, snapped his limbs until he looked like a broken Ken doll, then exploded his freaking head. Keep in mind this was before he went to the warlock school.
This means that Langdon is capable of committing truly atrocious acts of mayhem and murder, and since we also learned that he can teleport at the drop of a dime and hang out on the ceiling, it’s looking more and more likely that he was the dude in the Rubber Man suit who had sex with Mr. Gallant and tricked him into killing Grandma Evie.
Who else is ready for next Wednesday?