AHS: Apocalypse Brings Unnecessary ‘Fire & Reign’

by Ben Martin

[PLEASE NOTE: This recap of American Horror Story Season 8: Apocalypse, Episode 9: Fire and Reign  DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS. It is assumed you have already viewed the episode. If you have not, it is recommended you do so. Episode 9: Fire and Reign can be seen on FX, FX+, On-Demand or via your preferred streaming service.]

The end is nigh when it comes to American Horror Story: Apocalypse. No matter what interpretation of the end times you’ve seen or heard; be it predicted or depicted, the end of the world is a violent, fiery occurrence. As the penultimate episode, Episode 9: Fire and Reign brings us closer to the Apocalypse at hand. Of course, all this unfolds in AHS’ vaudevillian fashion:
This episode opens with tech geniuses, yet all around general idiots, Jeff Pfister (Evan Peters) and Mutt Nutter (Billy Eichner) doing their part to bring about the world’s destruction.
Meanwhile, destruction comes in unexpected ways for the coven in Louisiana. With the help of Dinah Stevens’ (Adina Porter) dark magic, Michael Langdon (Cody Fern) and the android, Ms. Miriam Mead (Kathy Bates) make their unwanted entry into  Cordelia Goode’s school for witchcraft. Once inside, Langdon and Mead prove to be a lethal combination. Through the use of magic and a robotic machine-gun arm, the pair massacre almost everyone at the school. However,  Cordelia Goode (Sarah Paulson), Mallory (Billie Lourd), and Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) all manage to escape the slaughter.
Langdon is understandably upset about not managing to kill all the witches. Ms. Mead, however, tries the console the young antichrist and persuade him to take another tact. At this point, it’s revealed to us that  Jeff and Mutt are responsible for everything Ms. Mead now says and does. Therefore it’s tweedle-dumb and tweedle-dumble who, through the guise of Mead persuade Langdon to come to them to help end the world. After being convinced to see them, Jeff and Mutt fill Langdon in on The Cooperative; 100 of the world’s most influential people, all of whom sold their souls to Satan. In doing so, the “Coked out nerds” also reveal that The Cooperative is just a codename for The Illuminati. Soon enough, mutually assured nuclear destruction is decided on as the proper path to the apocalypse.
Back in Louisiana, the escaped witches have taken refuge in Misty’s swamp shack. It’s here that we also find that Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt (Leslie Grossman) and Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) also managed to escape; together the remainder of the coven are attempting to present a united front. Alas, that proves difficult when Cordelia discovers that she cannot resurrect her girls; because when Langdon murdered them, he also destroyed their souls. Desperate, Cordelia decides to see if the impending Supreme, Mallory, possess the ability of Infa Infinitum (i.e., The ability to time travel.) It’s a long shot, as no witch has ever been able to do it. As a dry run, Mallory travels back in time to prevent the Bolshevik Revolution. While she fails to change history, Mallory does manage to traverse time which is a magnificent feat within itself.
Continuing to venture down a path of last resorts, Cordelia and Myrtle call on the warlocks; only to find that Langdon slit all their throats. It’s clear that for The Cooperative, sometimes business is murder and sometimes it’s just well, business. As such, Jeff and Mutt promote Ms. Wilhemina Venable (also portrayed by Sarah Paulson) to the position of Outpost Administrator. Meanwhile, Langdon has finally gone to meet his followers. In his doing so, we find that The Cooperative’s business is booming as this episode concludes with Langdon laying out the organization’s post-apocalyptic future.

I’m just going to cut to the chase here, folks. Yes, Fire and Reign was able to connect a few loose ends, and it was entertaining enough as it did so. By that same token though, I felt like this episode was entirely unnecessary! In my estimation, Episode 8: Sojourn, and the episode in recap could have been truncated and combined into a single episode. Watching Fire and Reign, I couldn’t help but feel like this was nothing more than episode which was written and produced to fulfill a TV season contract. Now, I may be wrong, and some of the information contained in this episode may be pertinent to the upcoming Season Finale. But, I suppose we shall soon see.

Episode 9: Fire and Reign can be seen on FX, FX+, On-Demand or via your preferred streaming service. Recap of THE SEASON FINALE, Episode 10: Apocalypse Then COMING SOON!

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