IT'S PROBABLY SATAN (AMERICAN HORROR STORY RECAP)
We pick up where we left off: the three dead witches resurrected, everybody else dead in pools of their own puke, our Coven babes looking fab, and Langdon having a heart to heart with Mead the 100% robot bitch upstairs. He reveals her memories, and we are cast back to the first of many flashbacks, as nonrobotic Kathy Bates has a pleasant, Satan praising breakfast with young Langdon, before his hair got totally stupid. He’s being raised in a religious home, you see, as we learn from the morning blessing (ending in Mena, which is amen backwards because Satan likes everything to be reversed) and the pentagrams decorating the hall. Aside from all the devil worship, it seems like a lovely scene, as nonrobotic Kathy Bates tells him about all the husbands she’s killed.
We flash forward, and Langdon, after help changing into a red velvet dinner jacket, comes downstairs to confront the witches. Cordelia reveals that they’d cast identity spells on Coco and Mallory, and Dinah is like: I am not fighting in your war. All the sudden we learn that it’s witches vs. warlocks. Surprise, bitch. Everybody postures at each other, and Myrtle Snow lays down a sick fashion burn as only Myrtle Snow can do. Of all the newly resurrected witches, only Coco is ready to do battle, although she does not want to be killed again. To which I say, get used to it, bitch. If the Coven is involved, you are guaranteed at least three deaths and resurrections. Just ask Madison: she’s been killed and brought back about 1500 times. Life and death are meaningless! Just like real life!
Anyway, we flashback to three years before the bomb, when our luxe bunker was just a regular old school for budding warlocks, called Nathaniel Hawthorne’s School for Extraordinary Boys or some confusing shit like that. We meet the faculty, Behold Chablis (Billy Porter from recent Ryan Murphy joint, Pose), BD Wong (even IMDB doesn’t know his character’s name, and from all Law and Orders), John Henry Moore (Cheyenne Jackson multiple season alum of AHS, and up until now, confusingly highly billed this season), and Ariel (played by Jon Jon Briones, last seen as Andrew Cunanan's dad in Versace). Ariel is all aflutter because he’s found a super boy, and Moore is upset and has a lot of eyeliner on. They gather around a video screen and watch footage from an LAPD interrogation room. A detective beats the shit out of a slim young man, and is thrown across the room, dragged to the ceiling, has all of his arms and legs broken, falls to the ground, says “Save me” into the camera, and then suffers from a terminal case of exploding head. The man witches are smitten with this display of power, and so Ariel hightails it to the jail.
Who should be curled on a cot but young Langdon, artfully bruised and as innocent seeming as he is sleeveless. Turns out that his devil mama, nonrobotic Kathy Bates, had her religious freedom violated when the butcher wouldn’t sell her a goat head. The butcher talked nasty, and so Langdon threw ten knives at him, with his mind. Ariel writes that off to a burgeoning, uncontrolled power, but we know that, like Britney Spears before him, Langdon is not that innocent. The two leave the jail, and Ariel incapacitates a police officer. While Ariel’s back is turned, Langdon does some devil magic and snaps the police officer’s neck.
Outside, nonrobotic Kathy Bates hails her little devil boy as he rides off with the extravagantly becaped Ariel. Off to the Odd Allusion to 18th Century American Fiction School for Boys they go. Before you know it, Langdon is being asked to demonstrate his powers by performing a variety of magic tasks. Everyone is wowed, except John Henry Moore, who squints his eyeliner and suggests that the boy is a malevolent show off. Langdon is such a malevolent show off that he almost freezes all the man witches to death in his last task. As it turns out, the highest rank of man witch power is a Level Four, and none of the warlock teachers approach that level of power. They begin to suspect that Langdon is the fabled Alpha, a man witch whose power is equivalent to the female Supreme’s.
It might be helpful to dig into a little AHS: History. In the third season, Coven, we were introduced to the inhabitants of Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies in New Orleans. As it turns out, women have been witches forever, and persecuted for that reason forever as well. In each generation there is a Supreme--the witch with the most power. When a new Supreme emerges, the old Supreme begins to decline, getting old and wrinkly and sick and then dying. (I MEAN NO MISOGYNY HERE, RIGHT? WOMEN NATURALLY DRAIN THEIR POWERFUL ELDERS OF THEIR LIFEFORCE OF COURSE.) Anyway, the Supreme is able to pass the Seven Wonders test, which includes going to Hell and clawing her way back. Cordelia, the current Supreme, was beset by her mother Fiona Goode (the one, the only: Jessica Lange) the old Supreme who was not going to give up her goddamned power. In fact, Fiona killed Madison Montgomery when she thought that the spoiled bitch was the new Supreme. Don’t worry: Madison came back to life for the first time after that. Cordelia passed the test, losing one of her young witches along the way, and eventually sucked the life force out her mother. After that, she brought all witches out of the closet, inviting any powerful girls to come join her coven.
SO, that brings us to the flashback. The warlocks want to test Langdon for Alpha-ness, and that means he needs to complete the Seven Wonders. (Perhaps, dear reader, you are wondering if the Seven Wonders test has anything to do with the song “Seven Wonders” by in-universe witch, Stevie Nicks. OF COURSE IT DOES.) They summon Cordelia, Zoe (Taissa Farmiga), and Myrtle Snow to the confusingly named boys school. Among the new witch pupils at Cordelia’s school is Mallory with her hair down. She does some big time magic, wowie wow wow. Anyhoo, our three witches head to the underground boys’ school, and the warlocks make their big ask. Cordelia flatly refuses, saying she will not send the boy to his doom. The magnificently named Behold Chablis throws shade at Cordelia, telling her that she is an asshole for leaving one of her girls behind. That girl is Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), a member of the Coven trapped in the Hotel Cortez.
Gather your cloaks about you, dear reader, because you are entering CROSSOVER SEASON. As you may recall from AHS: Hotel, the Cortez is an evil hotel that traps the souls of those who die inside it, where they remain corporeal ghosts and take up murder because eternal life is boring. Queenie, a witch with the power to inflict her self-harm on others, was murdered there and trapped playing cards with my all-time favorite Evan Peters character, James March, a murder ghost who is Evan Peters doing Leo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby. Cordelia sensed that Queenie was in trouble, and hied hence to the Cortez. Many attempts to free Queenie from that place failed, Cordelia tells the assembled man witches, and that was her biggest failure as Supreme. Meanwhile, Langdon is doing a little devilish automatic writing, and draws a pretty picture of the Cortez. He hies hence and immediately gains the respect of March, my ghost/serial killer sweetheart/fellow Sagittarius for being so damned devilish. He grabs Queenie out. Then they hie hence straight to Hell, where Madison Montgomery suffers through Bed, Bath and Beyond associate nightmares as her eternal punishment. Langdon grabs Madison as well, who basically pledges her soul to him and offers a blowjob.
Cordelia seems to sense a disturbance in the Force, and when the witches go to leave, after being called bigots for suggesting that men are bad at magic, Langdon confronts her with Queenie and Madison, back from the dead. Cordelia faints dramatically. THE END.
Okay. So. I’m not sure that this particular moment in time is the correct one for spinning a tale about men being subjugated by women, and then besting them. Cordelia insists that men can never be powerful magic users, in part because testosterone is a known magic inhibitor. I don’t have time for allegorical reverse sexism. Actual regular sexism is all over the goddamned place. Of course, we must also remember that Langdon is not an innocent Alpha but is, instead, an evil Devil Boy. Maybe this story is about how dumb men are all the time. In which case: IN. TO. IT.