EPISODES 1 & 2, WE'VE BEEN BUSY OKURRR (AMERICAN HORROR STORY RECAP)
Welcome back, my little pus monsters. A new season of American Horror Story has started, and it’s the end of the world and the beginning of dressing for dinner and the soft, flattering light of bunker candles.
The vaunted eighth season of my favorite love/hate show is also being trumpeted as the crossover season, in which characters from Murder House (season 1) and Coven (season 3) will be making appearances. More on that later, although I will say that a creepy stick Devil from the Coven credits shows up in these credits. Maybe that’s the crossover. Sarah Paulson is supposed to be playing three roles, because too much is never enough.
AHS: Apocalypse Episode One “I demand to speak to your supervisor”
This season opens in Evan Peters’ salon, as Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt (played by Leslie Grossman) attempts to be an Instagram influencer with the help of her assistant, Billie Lourd. Obviously the world is terrible and deserves to be immediately destroyed.
Everyone’s phones start going apeshit and they get the word that ballistic missiles are headed towards LA. YAY! Grossman is all what’s happening, and then her dad FaceTimes her from Hong Kong, to inform her that yes, the missiles are coming and that she is to take her spot in their luxe apocalypse bunker. He mentions that the family has four spots but the rest of them won’t be able to make it. Sure enough, kaboom and the screen goes blank as Hong Kong is wiped off the map. Evan Peters and Billie Lourd have been listening closely to the instructions to head to the Santa Monica airport.
Grossman calls her husband, my personal favorite, Billy Eichner, and tells him about the plan. He’s rushing out of the building and heading her way. Meanwhile, chaos reigns on the street as everyone without a swanky apocalypse bunker lined up freaks the fuck out. Grossman and Lourd make it to the airport, and are soon joined by Evan Peters and his grandmother, Joan Collins (looking snatched for the Gawds). Eichner is not going to make it, they argue, so they might as well get the St. Pierre Vanderbilt remaining seats. Grossman agrees as angry airport workers start to rush the plane. Billy Eichner screams into the sky as the plane flies overhead and he’s left on the chaotic streets of Santa Monica. This motley crew realizes there are no pilots and then gasp as the bomb drops on LA.
Meanwhile, this super fucking boring all-American family celebrate their oldest son’s acceptance into smart, good boy school. Before they know it, their door is kicked in by some black suited operatives, here to take young Mr. Smart, Good Boy to a safe location while the rest of his family, and the West Coast, burns. Turns out, 23 and Me was just a big DNA harvesting operation, and Smart, Good Boy is on the top of their primo genes list. They rip him from his boring family and into a bunker, but not the real one. There, he meets Ms. Smart, Good Girl, also plucked from her #resistance jail cell and saved for her superior genetic makeup. Oh my, will they fall in stupid, boring, dumb love? You bet your blistered ass they will.
Two weeks pass and these two future lovebirds are HumVeed through the hellscape that is the new normal. The land is blighted and basically quite foggy. They put on rad (radiation, not rad as in radical) suits and are hustled into the luxe bunker, but not before they watch two people being summarily executed for fucking. Into the luxe bunker they go, and we are reunited with the familiar faces of some of the worst people on Earth: Grossman, Peters, Joan Fucking Collins, and Billie Lourd as Cindy Lou Who, servant edition. Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, who co-starred in one of the best RuPaul’s Drag Race acting challenges ever, The Bitchelor, is there, along with his handsome boyfriend. Adina Porter is there, apparently playing Oprah’s number one talk show competition, and the numbers are shored up with Sarah Paulson as Ms. Venable and Kathy Bates as Ms. Mead (looking much like Big Boo after a makeover.) Paulson is the head bitch in charge, and Bates is her number one. Paulson is serving austere Hunger Games, and the whole place is lit by all of the candles in the world, approximately.
Paulson fills Mr. and Ms. Smart, Good Boy/Girl in on the rules of Outpost Three, which is what this luxe bunker is called. The elites wear purple evening clothes from Liberace’s closet, and the servants wear gray and have to do their hair in a stupid manner. The majority of the elites paid $100 million dollars to secure their spot in the luxe bunker, making the check or money order out to the mysterious Cooperative, led by the best minds humanity has to offer. The Good Boy and Girl are scholarship cases, brought in for their superior genes. There is no unauthorized copulation allowed (as demonstrated by the two schmucks getting capped outside), no one can leave, and one must dress for dinner.
So here we go. There is no way in hell that some rich ass bitches capable of ponying up $100 mil a piece to get into the luxe bunker are going to put up with any of this shit. There would only be the keening wails of “I DEMAND TO SPEAK TO YOUR SUPERVISOR” echoing through the cavernous, candle lit halls of the bunker. And things get worse, as they are forced to chomp on nutrition cubes that look like fucked up jello instead of real food. Even I, as humble and precariously middle class as I am, would raise some complaints. “What the fuck,” I would say. “Why don’t you have more food in this outfit? For fuck’s sake, you have all the candles in the world but you didn’t stock up on Wolf Brand Chili? This place is bullshit and I demand to speak to your supervisor.” But instead they complain mildly and take it all.
A little later, Bates comes in with her Geiger counter, claiming contamination. She runs it over the dinner guests, and finds that Evan Peters and Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman’s boyfriend are chittering with radiation. Off to decon they go, where they are stripped naked (BUTTS) and scrubbed raw. Peters comes out clean (of course he does--he’s second billed) but poor other guy does not, so they shoot him straight in the head. Later, they serve stew, and Bowyer-Chapman is convinced that it is Stu Stew (I guess Stu is his dead boyfriend. To which I say, “Show, I demand to speak to your supervisor.”) Whether or not it was Stu Stew, only Giada knows for sure, but this certainly seems to keep everyone else in line.
Later that evening, Paulson and Bates get together in her room. Bates wears the most fantastic vampire cape I’ve ever seen, but underneath she is wearing the forbidden purple. Turns out, these two are making up their own rules as they see fit, mainly to torture these rich dicks. Into it.
In addition to the unappetizing food cubes and the uncomfortable evening clothes, the survivors are forced to listen to the same song on the shining old fashioned looking stereo. One evening, the song fades out and is replaced with “There’s Got to Be a Morning After,” which Peters takes as a good sign. Instead, we fast forward several months and learn that the Good Boy and Girl are being bad, rationing their make out sessions to one a week. Everything else is the same. But just as Grossman begins to raise some complaints, a siren wails. Apparently, the perimeter has been breached.
We follow Bates out into the hellscape, where stands an old fashioned two horse carriage. The horses are wearing gas masks (few things terrify me more than horses wearing gas masks. Imagine how I feel about WWI.) and a stranger greets Bates with a Cooperative badge. Michael Langdon, it reads. Perhaps the supervisor has finally arrived. He tells her to take care of the horses, so she leads them to a cliff and shoots them in their poor, betumored heads. At the bottom of the cliff, something (or one...spoooooky) drags a dead horse into some bushes.
Inside, we meet the newcomer, all shiny golden fancy vampire hair and statement eyeshadow. Michael Langdon (Cory Fern) is his name, and he is here to decide who will come with him to the actually safe bunker, as opposed to this easily breached bunker.
Those of you with prodigious memories for absolutely useless information might be familiar with that name. Michael Langdon was the Anti-Christ son of the Rubberman (actually school shooting murder ghost Tate) and Vivien Harmon, also known as Tami with the good hair, also known as Connie Britton, alive and then dead ghost lady from the first season of AHS: Murder House. Poor Vivien got railed by her crying husband and by a fetish suit wearing murder ghost on the same day, and much like a housecat, conceived twins with different fathers. Anyway blah blah blah all the Harmons die and decide to be a loving ghost family in the murder house, and Jessica Lange steals the living human/ghost baby to raise as her own personal Damien. So this is the same guy, inexplicably aged up and ready to create some trouble. (This show is crazy, and it always has been. That’s why I hate/love it.) CROSSOVER SEASON.
AHS: Apocalypse Episode 2 “Gay Activists of the 70s and 80s”
This episode revolves primarily around Evan Peters’ character, who is apparently named Mr. Gallant. Which is a dumb name. Anyway, we find out that Langdon (played by Cody Fern) was sent by the Cooperative, and he has bad news and good news. The bad news is that all of the North American bunkers have fallen to the masses of feral cannibals. The good news is that he is here to interview these survivors to decide who should come with him to the extra safe, well provisioned Sanctuary. The other good news is that the ones that are not picked can off themselves with Chekhov’s poison vial. Also, a whole bunch of snakes take over Ms. Smart, Good Girl’s closet, Kathy Bates chops off their heads and makes them into soup, and then the snakes come back to life and everyone screams. Nope, no Anti-Christ here!
Evan Peters volunteers to be the first interviewed, and Langdon probes him about his relationship to his grandmother. Basically, she is a horrible old crone who wanted him to be a domesticated and respectable gay man, as opposed to the radical gay activist he wants to be. After he blasts Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s classic of gay liberation, “Relax (Don’t Do It)” at her boring lunch, they have a falling out. I want to say something here. I’ve watched this show from the get-go (because I am an insane person, admittedly) and I really think that Peters is doing some great work with this character, even though the character himself doesn’t make too much sense. There is something about the way he walks into that dining room that really entranced me. Peters asks Langdon if he is gay, because he is picking up serious vibes, and Langdon languidly dismisses him.
Later, in his room, Peters is interrupted during his Rosemary’s Baby masturbation fantasy by a knock at the door. Who should be there but Rubberman, our old old friend. These two just get it on like crazy! SEXUAL CONTENT. ALSO, CROSSOVER SEASON. Joan Collins is flouncing around in her marabou robe, when she hears the very loud sounds of intercourse. She peeks in the room and sees said intercourse for herself. Because she is a poisonous old bitch, she runs to Ms. Venable to tell on her grandson for engaging in fornication, which is not allowed! Paulson has Peters whipped by Bates, but he shouts out the names of gay saints of the 70s and 80s and enjoys the whole thing too much. He’s left hanging, and Langdon comes to visit. Peters says that he’s kept his secret, and Langdon is puzzled. Why, he wouldn’t have sex with Peters if he were the last man on earth, which he almost is. That’s a pretty hurtful thing to say, especially during the actual apocalypse. Peters is puzzled.
Meanwhile, the Good Girl and Boy decide that if Peters can bang sex ghosts, they can bang each other. They also decide to do a little Nancy Drew/Hardy Boy crossover and snoop in Langdon’s room, where they find a conveniently open Macbook, conveniently with Langdon’s Cooperative email inbox open. Instead of immediately going to YouTube, like most of their generation would, they read the email and find out about Paulson making it up as she goes along. Above them hovers Rubberman, because he is a weird evil sex ghost. Probably. Or a Devil Boy. Something.
Peters confesses that he hates his shitty grandma, and she’s like, I hate you, too. She lists his crimes: rehab, wasted money, general badness, and admits that she turned him into Paulson. Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt, ever the voice of reason, asks why he begged to bring his grandmother to the bunker. Good question!
Langdon and Paulson have a little tet a tet, during which he makes her show him her scoliosis. He busts her about making up her own rules, and she like, fuck men, they’re the ones who blew up the world. After which I nod with vigor and bask in my new found sisterhood. She dismisses the whole lot of survivors: Vanderbilt is a product of inbreeding, Peters is a cowardly homosexual, Adina Porter seems cool. Langdon remarks that it will end up being just the two of them if she keeps up this way. Paulson is not opposed to this idea. Langdon shares a little anecdote about his time on THE ROAD (get it, like the Cormac McCarthy novel, huh, huh, huh?) during which a mother with a dead child and living one begged him to kill the living one because she couldn’t. Paulson is like, did you? And he’s like, fuck no, ahahahahaha!
Later, Peters is visited, again, by Rubberman, as the shiny old fashioned looking radio starts playing the dulcet tones of none other than actual, in universe Coven witch, Stevie Nicks. That is amazing. It’s “Gold Dust Woman,” the most witchy song of all. CROSSOVER SEASON! Peters is like, you coy minx, you! He gets on top and before you know it, he’s stab murdered his terrible grandma. Surprise!
The Good Girl and Boy are busted having sex, and hustled into the decon chamber, where they face execution by Kathy Bates and her literal giant friend. Good Boy calls out that he knows their rules are bullshit, and struggles for the gun, shooting Kathy Bates in the chest. Bates stumbles out of the room as the literal giant smashes Good Boy to the ground. She clutches her chest and pulls back her steampunk coat, only to find weird robot* goop and wires and shit underneath. This bitch is a robot! Surprise!
*There was a lengthy debate in my house about whether this bitch is a robot or an android. I’m writing this recap so I repeat: This bitch is a robot!