*This post contains spoilers from this week’s AHS: Apocalypse episode “Boy Wonder.”
“Have we learned nothing from Atilla the Hun? Herod the Great? Mark Zuckerberg?!” I’m telling you, Myrtle Snow gets all the best lines.
We’re going to dive into the tricky gender politics creeping into American Horror Story, but first—sick, Zuckerburn, right!?
In the episode’s cold open, Cordelia sweeps through a dreamscape full of zombies ripping and gnawing away at her flesh, while a demon-faced Michael Langdon looks on and laughs. The post-apocalyptic future doesn’t seem like much fun, especially if you’re anyone but the son of Satan. We know the flesh-eaters are currently alive in the present timeline—we saw something munching on Langdon’s horses—so Cordelia’s vision is more than disturbing. It’s their current reality.
When The Supreme awakens, she’s comforted by the return of her former sisters Queenie and Madison. She announces that Michael will take the test of the Seven Wonders much to the shock of her fellow witches, especially Myrtle Snow. I think it’s safe to say that Myrtle is feminist af and isn’t down with nefarious men who try to conquer humanity. Can’t blame her—she’s 100% for Girl Power. While Cordelia still has lingering worries, she appeases the warlocks’ wishes for Michael to take the test anyways. She does, however, have a trick up her sleeve which is great for Misty stans, but possibly less great for, yanno, the world.
As Myrtle continues to badger Cordelia about why she would allow such a thing, Cordelia reveals that her powers are fading (they’re actually chipping away at her body like a flesh-eating virus). When a Supreme’s powers fade, it means that some new power is emerging. Cut to Mallory healing a dead deer and rewinding its life back to its fawn days. Is Cordelia placing her bets that Mallory will eventually come through as the new Supreme? What if she’s something far greater, like a beacon of pure white light that counters the darkness found in Langdon? Something higher, more powerful than a Supreme. At this point, it seems nothing can stop Young Lucifer.
Onward to the test, which makes the GREs look like a Kindergarten spelling bee. AHS lightens the mood by showing us the test campy silent-film throwback style with jumpy black-and-white picture, title cards and bold ’20s music. Michael flies through the first six: Telekineses. Mind Control. Transmutation. Divination. Pyrokinesis. Vitalum Vitalis. But when he gets to Descensum, Cordelia lobs a wrench. She wants him to descend to hell and bring Misty Day back with him.
STEVIE NICKS ALERT. Oh dear, I’ve jumped ahead.
Michael finds Misty trapped in her own hell: a high school biology class where she’s forced to dissect a frog over and over again for eternity. (These ladies have some weird variations of hell, let me tell ya.) Lily Rabe is an expert at pulling at heartstrings; even though Biology class is a hard hell to imagine, Rabe lets us feel Misty’s tortured soul. It’s an excruciating performance from a consistent performer and I’m so glad she’s back this season. Lily forever.
Michael passes the test and brings Misty back which sucks big time for humanity, but CUE THE STEVIE NICKS SCENE.
The White Witch returns to lift Misty’s mood and ease her transition back to earth. She twirls her way through Fleetwood Mac’s “Gypsy,” while Misty looks at her completely enamored. They lightly touch each other’s faces and share a tender slow dance while Stevie croons. And I totally shipped them. Stevie Nicks isn’t gay, at least to my knowledge, but can’t Fictional Stevie and Misty Day run off together after hopefully helping Cordelia save the world!? Someone write that fan fiction. Hit me up.
Cordelia used Langdon to get her girls back, while Langdon was too cocky and short-sighted to realizing that he was stacking more chess pieces on his opponents’ side. I guess if you’re pure evil, an abundance of confidence comes with the package. The impending battle will surely be massive, bloody and riveting, but at least Cordelia is doing her best to level the playing field.
Ryan Murphy and his writers are clearly using the witches vs. warlocks power struggle to shine a light on our society’s gender imbalance. Check any legitimate news site to read all about our government’s proposed legislation that could rip away women’s rights from under them as if they’re second-class citizens. Abortion, sexual assault, the pay gap—these days, we’re truly caught in our own American horror story. Yet, even witchy, supernatural art can imitate life. If only Myrtle Snow was running for Senate.
The witches do have some allies among the warlocks. Cheyenne Jackson’s John Henry Moore leaves the Outpost to travel to New Orleans and warn Cordelia, only to be sliced, diced and lit on fire by Big Boo Bates. And Behold Chablis eavesdrops on the witches who are planning to run a recon mission to the Murder House to gain Intel on Langdon’s past. We all know what that means: It is Jessica Lange-O’Clock.