'AHS: Apocalypse' Episode 9 Review: Fire and Reign

 

What happens when the main antagonist of a story becomes the least interesting character in it? Well, let AHS: Apocalypse’s latest episode, titled Fire and Reign, show you.

After the tragedy that was the previous episode, this one—while also serving as the penultimate installment—had a lot to make up for, but it fell short on recovering the potential that has been consistently lost ever since the first half of the season. Centering around the apocalyptic plan being set into motion, the episode felt abrupt and ended just when you would think that it should expand.

Cody Fern as Michael Langdon in Fire and Reign

One thing that I personally thought was confirmed in this episode was the fact that Michael Langdon (Cody Fern) lost the allure he was introduced with in the premiere episode. Langdon, the literal antichrist, was set-up to be the uber-villain of the show, but it’s hard to fear him when he was ultimately shown to be a soft, struggling teenager whose plan to end the world just feels like a petty tantrum.

Like most of the season, the most compelling scenes were the ones that featured the witches. Right from the start, the coven suffered an attack that took away two certain sister witches and left the remaining ones with the obligation to take drastic measures. As mentioned above, the episode should have expanded on what the witches’ plan to survive the apocalypse was, but sadly viewers were left hanging due to the episode’s 37-minute runtime.

Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy), Mallory (Billie Lourd) and Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt (Leslie Grossman) watching over Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) as she astral-projects into the slain coven.

The episode was an improvement from the previous one. We finally learned more about the infamous Cooperative that was administering the outposts in the first few episodes and it seems that we’ll go back to the present for the finale. I think that it should be noted that the season seems good only when the witches are involved. Had Apocalypse been a direct sequel to Coven detailing the rise of Michael as the Antichrist and the subsequent apocalypse with the witches trying to reverse it, I think it would have worked much better. Alas, what we got was a cluster of characters just thrown together with half-thought out plotlines that is setting itself up to be a blemish in the American Horror Story canon.

With next week’s episode being the season finale, one can only hope that everything is somehow resolved in a way that is at least half-decent. I’ll try not be too brutal going into the finale, because at this point, I just want it to end.