'AHS: Apocalypse' Episode 6 Review: Return to Murder House

As an obvious love letter to the original fans, AHS: Apocalypse’s sixth episode, titled Return to Murder House, reeled in audiences with nostalgia for seasons passed. Centering around characters Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) and Behold Chablis (Billy Porter) as they interrogated the ghostly residents of the mansion in order to get information on the true nature of Michael Langdon, the episode saw the return—for better or for worse—of many of the characters from the first season of the show, Murder House.

Madison (Roberts) and Behold (Porter) arriving at the Murder House.

The episode seemed to bring the current plot of the season to a standstill as its pertinent events were presented through backstories told by the ghosts of the house, and the rest was spent on giving closure to Murder House characters and altering the events of its original season’s finale. Additionally, audiences were brought in to this episode as it was announced to have the long-awaited return of actress Jessica Lange, who is perhaps the most venerated actor from the show, after her departure from the series in 2014.

I must say, as much as Lange’s appearance brought back echoes of the essence AHS used to have in its earlier seasons, her presence felt out of place among the show’s new inclination for camp and served as a reminder that the show is not what it used to be; the same can be said about the return of Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton. Tate Langdon’s (Evan Peters) redemption also felt out of character, given the events of the first season’s finale, and only seemed included for the fans of his relationship with Violet Harmon (Taissa Farmiga).

Jessica Lange reprising her role as Constance Langdon

Something that was also questionable was the episode’s portrayal of Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan. The misrepresentation was enough for the Church of Satan to release a statement regarding how the show failed in its inclusion of LaVey and the organization he founded. Partner that with laughable acting and dialogue, the episode would’ve done better had these scenes not been included.

The more the season progresses, the more I feel like the show is missing opportunities on what had the potential to be the most action-packed and compelling season. While it has been enjoyable and engaging, the season does not stand on its own and relies too much on the interest for the stories of prior seasons. With only four episodes left, I can’t help but wonder if AHS is going to be able to find a way to conclude this season without it being lost amongst the nostalgia that currently cradles it.