American Horror Story: Apocalypse — Jessica Lange’s ‘Return to Murder House’ (S8, E6)

This post contains spoilers for the AHS episode “Return to Murder House.”Constance

“I’m Constance Langdon and this…is my fucking house.”

Jessica Lange, aka the Queen of American Horror Story, has returned and holy hell did she deliver the goods. We last left Madison Montgomery and Behold Chablis as they headed to the ol’ Murder House to gain intel on Michael Langdon. And intel is exactly what they got, all while the episode (directed by Sarah Paulson) churned out some serious fan service. Old characters returned to provide closure to stories from ages ago and more of the show’s stalwart ensemble (Oh, hey Naomi Grossman!) were brought back to join in the throwback. This is the episode we’ve all been waiting for, and disappoint us, it did not.

We all knew where this Michael Langdon biz was heading, but Constance and the Harmon’s were able to give Madison and Chablis the 411: Langdon is the Antichrist. The most evil big bad of the AHS ‘verse. Constance tried to care for Michael and control him, but the house’s evil that spawned him had already confirmed his predestined path. Michael murdered small animals and quickly graduated to babysitters and priests. (He also aged 10 years overnight, but that makes no sense even in a show with ghosts and apocalypses so let’s just cruise right past that.) When Constance realized her efforts were in vain (he wasn’t your “garden variety serial killer”), she feared Michael would eventually kill her, so she did what any normal sociopathic smother would do—she committed suicide inside the house so she could be with her ghost children forever. I don’t know if that’s sweet or psycho. Jury’s out.

Lange’s scenes were feisty and fiery. While AHS has done a great job moving forward without its matriarch, having Lange back even just for one episode was such a delight. Her presence commands your attention. It sucks up all of the air in the scene until we are slaves hanging on her every word. Ryan Murphy was lucky to have such talent on his show for four years, and as the audience, so were we.

I can fanboy over Lange for hours, so let’s move on to stanning Frances Conroy who pulls double duty this season as coven witch Myrtle and Murder House maid Moira. Back in Season 1, Ben Harmon built a gazebo over Moira’s body trapping her soul forever. But thanks to Constance who refused to talk to Madison and Chablis until they rid Moira from the home, Chablis dug up the maid’s bones and handed them over, freeing her from her prison. I’ve always had a soft spot for Moira. Conroy’s gentle, submissive performance made us deeply sympathize with the character’s heartbreaking fate. She’d never have a shot at peace; she was damned in turmoil, perpetually surrounded by evildoers—until now. Once freed, Moira released her guilt from having to pull the plug on her dying mother and the two walked away hand in hand, heading toward a peace rest. I am still feeling all of the feelings.

Moira wasn’t the only character to gain closure. We learn from Ben that he served as Michael’s therapist until realizing it was all for nothing. While Ben was trying to rehab Mikey, Mikey was brutally killing the two new owners of the home and burning their souls because he’s a savage MFer. Michael even started his own Facebook group fan club when the Black Pope of the Church of Satan arrived with two followers in tow—Miriam Mead (aka Big Boo Bates) and an unnamed woman played by Grossman. They ripped out the heart of a young female sacrifice and handed it to Langdon to eat. Hot damn!

Vivien reconciled with Ben because after all, they’re completely stuck with each other. Imagine being stuck in a house for the rest of eternity with a dude that cheated on you? That’s a Big Brother-esque horror story in itself. Vivien confessed she doesn’t think Ben or Tate is Michael’s father. The father is the darkness of the house and now Michael’s going to destroy the entire world. (Maybe not the answer Madison and Chablis were looking for.)

This meaty episode delivered one last bit of fan service as Madison reunited Tate and Violet on her way out. Mads told Violet that Tate saved Vivien’s soul after Michael tried to burn her up. Madison then says that Tate’s evil left the house with Michael convincing a weepy Violet to allow Tate to see her as they embrace and get all chummy. I guess we’re just tossing aside the fact that Tate shot up his school when he was alive? Although he may not be the Antichrist, he’s certainly not Opie Taylor either. This was a stretch for me, a plot point added to appease the fans of Violate. That said, when you’re a ghost stuck in a house, I guess the pickings are slim.

How the witches will battle Michael remains to be seen with just four episodes left of the season. But what a tasty episode of American Horror Story—easily a Top 10 series best.

But also:

-I’m not the biggest Emma Roberts fan but her character gets some crazy-good lines. “We look like the worst possible version of Heidi Klum and Seal.” She then called the Murder House an “Amityville reject.” She’s moving up in my ranks.

-Ben Harmon’s jerk-off joke poked fun at Season 1 a bit: “I gotta look out the window and cry while I masturbate, it’s my daily thing.”

-During the virgin sacrifice scene, one of the Satanists screams “It’s all for you, Michael!” It’s a sly little reference to The Omen, which also detailed the violent happenstances of the Devil’s son, Damien. The Omen is everything.

Until next time, old friend.

MH

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