American Horror Story: Apocalypse finale review: Time to save the world

Sarah PaulsonAfter an episode chock full of twists and various shockers, the American Horror Story: Apocalypse finale put most of its focus on one thing: How one sacrifice can effectively change the whole world.

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This finale was, at its core, about Cordelia’s sacrifice. Just when it seemed as though Michael was successful in both murdering Mallory (his one true foe) and detonating the entire world, the Coven Supreme found a way within herself to completely upend everything: She stabbed herself, and with that used her remaining magic in order to bring Mallory back to life. She’s been bubbling underneath the surface as this sort of all-powerful source for good, and tonight, that came to fruition as she was able to find her way back in time a few years, following the events of Coven but before Queenie died in American Horror Story: Hotel. While there, she ran over Michael multiple times with her car outside of the Murder House, and then proceeded to join the Coven, warning Queenie in the process about the Hotel Cortez. She planted the seeds for most characters to have a better, happier future — or to at least for a little while.

No matter what happened with Mallory in the present though, the message of Apocalypse was that there is no such thing as a happily ever after — happiness and peace was brief because another threat would always rise. That’s why we saw, near the end of the finale, a baby born that will eventually be the next spawn of Satan, a killer destined to destroy the world or at least try to. The question you have to wonder now is if there are some different choices that will make this new baby’s path different than Michael’s? One way or another, the next cycle has started … but there will be some more American Horror Story seasons before we get around to that point. Ryan Murphy may not even choose to ever touch on any of that. He didn’t actually touch on every single season here, which we suppose makes some sense given that not every character needed to be involved here; also, Asylum and Freak Show are set so far in the past that there was no clear way to incorporate them.

CarterMatt Verdict

It feels like in a lot of ways that American Horror Story: Apocalypse is meant to be a culmination-of-sorts for the entire eight-season franchise to date and on that level, the finale succeeded. It may actually be one of the best finales that the series has done since rather than go big, the story went small and really focused in on what mattered the most: Mallory saving the world. Granted, this may have left some other supporting players lost in the shuffle but that’s okay.

There were times this season where the cast got a little too inflated and there was more going on than there really needed to be; yet, we do appreciate the combination of past seasons and it was great to see Jessica Lange back for a surprise appearance in the finale. This was all about closure and now, the next order of business is for this franchise to move forward and try something that’s hopefully new and a little bit different. We’d welcome something a little more similar to Roanoke, or at least the first half of that season when it was just about a small, core group of people taking on a horrifying circumstance.

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