AHS: Apocalypse EP. 3 Presents Tricky Treats & Robotic Revelations

by Ben Martin

[PLEASE NOTE: This recap of American Horror Story Season 8: Apocalypse, Episode 3: Forbidden Fruit DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS. It is assumed you have already viewed the episode. If you have not, it is recommended you do so. Episode 3: Forbidden Fruit can be seen on FX, FX+, On-Demand or via your preferred streaming service.]

All the previous seasons of American Horror Story have been promoted on that particular season’s theme and what horror could be drawn from it. However, American Horror Story: Apocalypse has taken a different tact. Yes, the overall apocalyptic idea is a clear one. But beyond that, the season seems to be a mashup of various horror genre tropes; none of which are ironed out. Instead, the hook this year is that Apocalypse will be the series first crossover season. According to co-creator Ryan Murphy, Apocalypse will be a crossover that concerns American Horror Story: Murderhouse (2011) and American Horror Story: Coven (2013). Well, this crossover kicks-off with this week’s episode and, like an Emeril Lagasse Halloween special, kicks things up a notch!
This episode begins with a montage of Michael Langdon (Cody Fern) questioning the residents of Outpost 3. Langdon gets inside of each individuals head and subtly starts to turn each of them against one another. However, things take a turn when Mallory (Billie Lourd) is questioned. When pressured by Langdon; Mallory screams at him, and it throws him across the room. A shocked Langdon retorts with a scream as his face becomes (what looks to be that of a demon). Downright scared, Mallory who then involuntarily makes the fireplace erupt in the back of the room.
Later, in what seems to be an effort to find answers to the question of where Mallory’s abilities come from; Langdon holds a private, Satanic ritual. In the nude and only lit by candles around him, Langdon cuts himself, sacrificing his blood. After that we’re treated to a series of flashbacks as Ms. Miriam Mead (Kathy Bates) fills Ms. Wilhemina Venable (Sarah Paulson) in on her tumultuous personal history with Halloween. Mead also makes it clear that she’s a robot and speaks of foggy memories of taking care of a baby boy. After this trip down Mead’s memory lane, the two ladies to murder everyone else in Outpost 3. Following that, they plan to make the journey to The Sanctuary themselves.

Far outside the walls of the compound we see that there is a small camp of nuclear fallout survivors, turned cannibal campers on a beach. A now irradiated Brock (Billy Eichner) wanders into the cannibalistic campground where he kills the two men by shooting them with his shotgun. However, Brock’s newfound food supply doesn’t remain his primary concern for long. Instead, he quickly becomes distracting by a fast-moving horse-drawn carriage; which he follows.
The carriage soon breaches the perimeter of Outpost 3. Upon investigating, Venable and Mead find the wagon has delivered them a box of fresh, completely edible apples. Seeing this delivery as an answer to their prayers, the dastardly duo decide to poison the apples and give them to everyone in the bunker. To be sure everyone will eat their apples simultaneously, they decide to throw a Halloween party. Unaware of their sealed faith, everyone’s thrilled to hear of the Halloween masquerade ball.

All dressed to the nines; both dapper and disguised, everyone enjoys the Halloween party. Thier glee grows when they get to bob for those real apples. However, Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt (Leslie Grossman) gets drawn aside by a fully-costumed gentleman, who she assumes is Langdon. Alas, once the two of them make it to Coco’s room, the man reveals his identity. It’s Brock, who wastes no time, quickly stabbing Coco squarely in the forehead and killing her.
Back at the party, everyone has had the opportunity to bob for apples. Now, it’s time to eat their treats. Without hesitation, everyone (except Venable and Mead, of course) eagerly feast. As you might imagine, the poison delivers a painful, albeit, swift death to all of them. Finally, there is only Langdon to deal death to. Much to Venable’s surprise though, Mead turns her pistol to Venable on Langdon’s command, killing her. It seems the actual trick is that Langdon is the one who controls the robotic Mead.
As Episode 3: Forbidden Fruit comes to a close, the long whispered-about AHS crossover finally comes into play. The corpses of the residents of Outpost 3 are strewn across the floor. But outside the compound, three women approach the gates. Once inside the women are revealed to be: Cordelia Goode (also played by Sarah Paulson), Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy), and Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts). The coven is once again complete and looking add more members. With the authority that only a true witch can summon, Goode says, “Find our sisters.” And with that, Mallory, Coco, and Dinah Stevens (Adina Porter) are all resurrected.
I’m happy to say that I think this episode was the shot in the arm Apocalypse needs. If you’ve been following my recaps, you know that I found the previous two episodes of this series to be a bit of a slog. Forbidden Fruit changes that by finally letting us leave that darn underground bunker for a bit. Moreover, this episode starts to expand the show’s characters a bit while laying the track for the rest of this season. Of course in doing so, it begins the crossover.

A concept which I’m a bit torn about. While I enjoyed seeing the characters from Coven again; I frankly, don’t know about this whole crossover thing. Don’t get me wrong; I understand that creative impulses change. When the path of creativity chooses to wind, you go with it. However, I’d be remiss if I did not point one thing out. The conceit of AHS is to make each season its own long-form anthology series. When the show began nearly a decade ago, its creators said that the respective season would never connect. Well, apparently that’s changed now and, I can’t help feeling that’s a result of not knowing where else to go with this series. Therefore, I don’t care for this all-new crossover conceit. But, I suppose we’ll see what happens as the remainder of Apocalypse unfolds.

Episode 4: Could It be… Satan? Will Air on Tuesday, Oct. 3 @ 10:00 PM on FX.

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