American Horror Story: Apocalypse finally delivered the Murder House spectacular fans were awaiting all season Wednesday night, as Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) and Behold Chablis (Billy Porter) went back to where it all began to get the lowdown on Michael Longdon's (Cody Fern) past.
"Return to Murder House" — Sarah Paulson’s directorial debut — neatly wrapped up the stories of Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange, returning for the first time since Freak Show), Ben (Dylan McDermott), Vivien (Connie Britton), and Violet Harmon (Taissa Farmiga), Tate Langdon (Evan Peters), and Moira (Frances Conroy), while also revealing even more about the absolute nightmare that is Michael.
It was intermittently sweet, scary, sentimental, and satanic, but these were the episode’s eight most apocalyptic moments:
1. Michael Went Full-blown Satan
Before we get to the merry band of the Murder House ghosts and all of their happy endings, we have to discuss the goriest, most horrific, most apocalyptic moment of the entire season to date: "The Black Mass."
Miriam Mead (Kathy Bates) and her two friends from the Church of Satan, a man called "The Black Pope" and a woman who appeared to be Pepper (Naomi Grossman) from Asylum, kidnapped a young woman, tied her to a table, stabbed her in the heart while she was fully awake and seemingly not on a ton of Xanax, then ripped it out for Michael to eat in his first-ever Satanic ritual at the Murder House.
As he chowed down on her ventricles, the horned and cloven-hoof shadow of Satan emerged behind his human form, effectively ending the debate on whether or not Michael is the antichrist or just a great pretender. Hail Satan.
2. Constance Spilled Her Tea
Backing up a bit, a dead (but still fabulous) Constance spilled the tea on Michael’s origins; revealing the mystery behind his advanced age and her own sad demise to Madison and Behold Chablis.
As we saw at the end of Murder House, Constance found Michael grinning over the corpse of his babysitter before he’d even graduated from his car seat. Turns out, Michael began torturing flies to death in his crib as an infant, then gradually moved on to bigger and more conscious creatures within his first few years of life. Constance hated it — she built a rosebush for each wretched soul she buried — but she stayed along for the ride because she saw Michael as her second chance after royally screwing up motherhood with her own four children.
…Until Michael went from roughly age 4 to 14 literally overnight and tried to strangle her. This convinced Constance that Michael was an unfixable force of evil, so she killed herself with booze and pills in the Murder House — mostly to face an afterlife she could reasonably control, but also to avoid being killed by a man after a lifetime of no-good husbands.
This seems like a horrible ending for AHS’ original vamp, but Constance was reunited with three of her four children — Tate, Beau, and a daughter with missing eyes we never met — in the afterlife, and seemed genuinely happy to be there.
3. Ben Took Michael Under His Wing...
When Constance died in the Murder House she refused to appear to Michael, so in stepped Dr. Ben Harmon to play a parental role, and hopefully counsel the teen out of his murder habit.
He worked his CBT magic for quite some time and honestly believed that Michael could get better, but Vivien saw right through it. Viv witnessed the "Black Mass" then banished Ben as punishment for his reckless behavior, condemning him to years of crying while masturbating and having to hang out with Tate.
4. … Until Michael Brutally Murdered a Couple and Set Their Souls on Fire
So in just a few years' time, Michael stabbed a priest, his nanny, a bunch of cute and innocent cats (sob), and an innocent lesbian couple who purchased the Murder House and just wanted to start their lives in a new home.
It was this last murder that ruined his relationship with Ben, who up until that moment believed that Michael could be saved. Michael burned their souls just to prove Ben wrong, and later tried to do the same to Viv when she came after him in his sleep with a giant knife. (Viv always was the baddest damn person in the Murder House.)
When Madison and Behold pressed Viv for more information, she ominously quoted the Book of Revelations for dramatic emphasis: "I saw a beast with ten horns and seven heads rising out of the sea," she said. "All who dwell on this earth will worship him."
Vivien and Ben then mended fences, because if the world’s going to end at the hands of an evil beast you might as well get laid.
5. Madison Fixed Violet and Tate
Speaking of getting laid, if Madison weren’t so good at witchcraft and rocking a black-on-black ensemble, she’d make a total killing as a couples counselor.
She was moved by Tate’s never-ending love for Violet, and decided to intervene when she saw Violet crying alone in the hallway. After hearing everybody’s stories including Tate’s, Madison was convinced that the house used Tate as "a vessel to create something way, way worse," and that all of the bad in Tate left when Michael was born.
With Madison’s words of encouragement, Violet un-banished Tate, and the two reunited in eternal love. The episode’s final image of the Murder House was Violet and Tate embracing in the window, as Madison waltzed away satisfied that her work was done.
Guess she’s not so heartless — unlike the poor Black Mass girl — after all.
6. Michael Stole the Rubber Man Suit From His Bio-Dad
Michael and Tate didn’t share a lot of screen time in "Return to Murder House," mostly because Tate hated Michael from the moment he was born and refused to acknowledge that Michael "sprung from his nutsack." Still, we learned that Michael did indeed snatch the Rubber Man suit from Tate— a major question from the bunker portion of the season — and committed some of his first people-murders while wearing it.
7. Moira Went to Heaven
In the midst of all of this sex, sin, and chaos, sweet Moira finally got the happy ending she deserved. And strangely enough, it was all thanks to her murderer Constance.
Constance hated sharing her afterlife with Moira, so when Madison and Behold Chablis demanded the dirt on Michael, Constance agreed to talk if and only if they banished the maid forever. So the witch and warlock gathered those bones Moira protected so fiercely in the original Murder House season and kindly buried them next to Moira’s mother, in an actual cemetery.
The two women were shown reuniting in death walking hand-in-hand to heaven, presumably sparing Moira from the hells of the coming apocalypse.
8. Madison and Behold Actually Survived Murder House
Besides people thinking Madison and Behold were an actual couple—they had to convince the new real estate agent they were married—the most insane thing that happened during the episode was the fact that they went into the Murder House and came back out. Alive.
The two clearly bonded over this experience, though, and left the Murder House intent on taking down Michael. They might not succeed, but it sure will be fun watching them try.