Tuesday, September 25, 2018

American Horror Story: Apocalypse - The Morning After

Episode two of this season, titled The Morning After, included more sassy Michael, the return of Rubber Man, and one heck of a reveal. In other words, it was a crazy episode from start to finish.

With the usual reminder of spoilers lets break down what happened. 

Emily gets a scare when she hears noises while getting ready for bed. She, unwisely, decides to investigate and discovers multiple snakes in her room. Pretty sure some of them are poisonous. Her screams draw both Timothy (her Knight in Shining Armour) and Miriam (along with another of Ms Venable's staff). Miriam quips that they at least have a form of protein to eat now. Emily questions, quite reasonably, whether the snakes might be contaminated. Miriam states she doesn't see any mutations and that the snakes will be scanned first. She seems delighted to be eating the snakes (no, thank you). 

Dinner that night is, unsurprisingly, a snake stew. When there are complaints about eating snake Andre is quick to remind everyone that they ate his boyfriend. The topic of conversation at dinner is, naturally, the new arrival to the outpost. Ms Venable promises their questions will be answered after dinner and demands that everyone eat. They pull the covers off their dishes only to discover LIVE snakes slithering out of the bowls. Snakes that were totally dead and cut into pieces just a few seconds before. Again, I say no thank you to all of this.

After the excitement of dinner everyone meets up in the library so that Michael can make his very splashy entrance. Sorry, but Cody Fern is owning this season and this role. His strut, his cool gaze, and that smirk. It is all working for me. My favourite part of his entrance? Getting into Ms Venable's personal space to make her uncomfortable enough to cede the floor to him. 

He introduces himself as Langdon and tells them that the other outposts in Syracuse, NY, Beckley, WV and San Angelo, TX have been overrun. He also advises that there has not been word from the three other international outposts. He takes great pleasure in telling everyone that the people inside were massacred when asked. He tells them about the sanctuary but refuses to answer most of their questions because in Michael's words "it's classified". Classified information includes who is currently living at the sanctuary. Michael tells them that all they need to worry about is the fact that he is going to decide who gets to join them. He is going to do this using the technique developed by The Cooperative. It's called Cooperating and mainly seems to consist of an interview. Coco declares that she paid her way into this and that is all the cooperating she plans to do. Michael tells her she can decline to be questioned but that means she'll for sure die. Mr Gallant immediately volunteers to be first and Michael obliges. Michael leaves them with what he considers a bit of hope - capsules that he will give to those not chosen that put the taker into a sleep from which they won't wake from in case the 'feral cannibals' come knocking. Again, ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! He smirks as he tells them he looks forward to meeting them all. 

The group immediately beings arguing about who is going to be chosen. Coco thinks she will be (and I expect nothing less from her) but so does Evie. Coco is incredulous at this. She snarks that they want people who can repopulate the earth not bingo halls. Evie claims to only be fifty two years old which gets an eye roll from most of the group. 

We cut to Mr Gallant's 'interview' with Michael. Mr Gallant wants to know what Michael is looking for. Michael immediately starts to play mind games by saying that the things Mr Gallant expects him to want may not be what he is looking for. He also promises that if Mr Gallant isn't truthful or tries to trick him that Michael will know. The questioning starts with Michael wanting to know Mr Gallant's sexual orientation. He replies that he is gay but quickly reassures Michael that he could get a woman pregnant if needed because he had sex with one in college. Mr Gallant, obviously, is taking Coco's words to heart and trying to prove he can be useful repopulating the earth. Michael isn't interested in that though. He tells Mr Gallant that he is not needed to impregnate anyone. He then wants to know about Mr Gallant's anger, specifically when it comes to his grandmother. Michael seems to be able to see into Mr Gallant. Telling him how his grandmother shamed him in the past. He demands that Mr Gallant tell him who he really is. Mr Gallant inquires if he wants a confession. Michael muses that he is certainly no priest and doesn't even know if he believes in a god. He thinks religion is just a bunch of rules designed to keep order but there is no need for rules any longer because chaos has won. 

Mr Gallant then shares how his grandmother used to try to set him up with a bunch of boring gay guys via these stuffy dinner parties and to piss her off he would come in to these dinners and be as outlandish as possible. Dressed in leather, blasting music, and drinking his bisque out of a mask that looks a lot like a gas mask. It is highly entertaining. Mr Gallant then asks Michael if he is also gay. Michael inquires if the idea of him being gay excites Mr Gallant who replies with a very quick 'yes'. Mr Gallant inquires what Michael is going to do about that and the answer is to end the interview. 

Mr Gallant, sexually frustrated, goes back to his room to masturbate while thinking about Michael. We get flashes of Michael during the interview and performing some kind of ritual that looks a lot like the one Cordelia used to try to get pregnant in Coven. 

Is Michael a witch? Could he even be the Supreme? This would change everything we know from Coven because male witches were not really addressed in Coven. I am guessing it is because the school was a girls school but it just seemed to be more rare. Is this just his powers as the Antichrist? So many questions from just this brief tease. 

 There is a knock at the door and when Mr Gallant calls for the person to enter the Rubber Man walks in. Mr Gallant thinks it is Michael under the suit and jokingly inquires if this is round two of their interview. I am willing to bet it is not Michael though. The two immediately begin having sex which is overheard/witnessed by Evie. Oh, no! She is scandalized to see her grandson like this but immediately realizes she can use it to her advantage. Bitch is going to sell her own grandson out. She immediately goes and tells Miriam.

Timothy and Emily are tired of surviving on their one kiss a week. Emily wants to get out and suggests sneaking into Michael's room to find out where the sanctuary is. This is a bad idea. Nothing good can come from this. They sneak into Michael's room when they see him leaving. Apparently the Antichrist gets email even in a nuclear apocalypse because they find a computer with recent emails on it. Michael has been emailing the Cooperative about Ms Venable. Seems he is not happy about her breaking the rules. We get a quick glimpse of the email and it looks like he has marked Ms Venable and Gallant for something. I bet nothing good. Timothy and Emily should be careful though because the Rubber Man has seen everything they just did and I bet he's loyal to Michael. 

Next is Ms Venable's turn to be interviewed. Michael immediately tells her that he is on to her. He knows she created her own rules and that he understands how easy it would be to be seduced by the power of making this place into her image. She argues that she received all her orders from the Cooperative. Michael tells her that he drafted all of the communication about how the outposts were to be ran effectively backing her into a corner. Ms Venable tries to hurt his ego by claiming that a man like himself could not handle the fact that a woman had more information than him. She gives an impressive speech about the men who swing their dicks around and have to be 'masters of the universe' which resulted in the mess they are in because their dick swinging resulted in the earth being nuked. 

Micheal is unimpressed and tells her that she needs to be aware what is really going on outside the outpost. He tells a story of a woman and her two children who were far enough away from the blast but still not protected by the radiation. Her one child was dead and she begged Michael to kill the other one because she couldn't do it herself. Ms Venable asked if he helped the woman and Michael easily replies 'no'. 

Michael then asks who Ms Venable thinks is worthy of saving. He inquires what she thinks of Coco to which Ms Venable replies that Coco is a 'vacuous abomination of inbreeding' and the last person she would save. She calls Mr Gallant a 'cowardly homosexual' and his grandmother 'a festering pustule who just will not die'.  She admits that she doesn't know much about Dinah. It's the most fun Ms Venable has been so far and I love it.

Michael tells her that they do not need to be adversaries. Even suggesting that it might just be him and her enjoying the sanctuary. Ms Venable is intrigued by this. Michael demands she take off her dress as part of her 'cooperation' includes a physical. He wants to see her shame. He wants to see the thing that humiliates her the most. He unzips her dress and pulls it open just enough to see her back and her crooked spine. He runs his hand over it (which is very sexy) while asking if it hurts. She says it does not. He tells her that it does bring her great pain to which she agrees. I am curious if she got this spinal deformity because of the radiation or if she was born with it. It explains the cane she walks with. 

This is also where we learn that Cody Fern has chemistry with everyone. He certainly had it with Evan Peters during their scenes together and he has it with Sarah Paulson here. The almost kiss that Michael teases Ms Venable with is super sexy. She is pretty much breathless and dying for him to kiss her. The Antichrist can seduce anyone basically. This feels like it is part of Michael's plan though. It's all part of the mind games he is playing on everyone. I half expect these 'interviews' are for his own amusement. 

Ms Venable asks if she passed her test to which Michael breathily tells her:

They are interrupted by Miriam who asks to speak to Ms Venable and gives Michael a death glare. Someone is jealous! Michael just smirks back at her and once again I suspect that even this is part of his games. He takes a deep inhale after they leave almost as if he is enjoying the taste of the emotions in the air. I wonder if that is exactly what he is doing. Is this an Antichrist thing? 

Miriam fills Ms Venable in on Mr Gallant's indiscretions. Ms Venable is sure that the man in the rubber suit is Michael and that he and Mr Gallant know each other. She thinks they are plotting against her. They chain Mr Gallant up and whip him to get answers out of him but Mr Gallant stays strong. He refuses to rat out Michael and instead just yells out names of gay radicals with each lashing. Ms Venable stops the abuse when she realizes Mr Gallant is getting off on it. Of course Mr Gallant would be into S and M. They leave Mr Gallant chained up and walk out in disgust.

Michael comes into to visit Mr Gallant. Michael muses that greater man had succumbed to less. Mr Gallant tells him that he would have never have ratted him out for coming to his room. Michael tells him that he didn't go to his room and certainly didn't have sex with him. In fact, Michael goes on step further and tells Mr Gallant that:

He tells Mr Gallant that it is not because he's unattractive but because he is needy and desperate. This, obviously, hurts Mr Gallant. Michael isn't done though. He calls him pathetic and lets him know that Evie has reported him so even his grandmother is disgusted with him. Mr Gallant calls bullshit but Michael tells him to go ask her for himself. He exits the room and Mr Gallant's chains fall away (another display of Michael's powers).

Mr Gallant immediately goes to speak with his grandmother who doesn't even bother to lie. She admits she sold him out to further her chances of surviving. Mr Gallant screams in her face that she has lived but he hasn't. Evie spits back that he has packed a whole lot of screw ups into his short life. She financially backed three stints of rehab, fancy lawyers to help him evade prison time, and three bankrupt business attempts. She is ruthless in her undressing of him. Evie is such a heinous person. She is a racist and gross. Mr Gallant inquires why she couldn't just love him and she continues to be awful by telling him that it is just not in her nature. This conflict and strife is exactly that Michael must want though (and kind of the whole point of being the Antichrist, right?). 

Mr Gallant goes and silently weeps to some really sad music. Evan Peters is a really good single tear crier. Stevie Nicks comes on the radio and I immediately begin looking for the witches BUT sadly they are nowhere to be seen (for now). Instead, Mr Gallant heads back to his room where the Rubber Man is waiting. They begin to hook up again and Mr Gallant pushes him on the bed. Thinking that Rubber Man is Michael he snarks "wouldn't fuck me if I was the last man on earth" and grabs a pair of scissors and begins to stab him. Mr Gallant seems sort of in shock as the door opens to reveal Michael walking into his room. Mr Gallant looks down to see who he stabbed (since it wasn't Michael) and sees that instead of the Rubber Man dead in his bed it is his grandmother! I bet Michael is making people see things too!

Checking back in with Timothy and Emily who have discovered that the no sex rule is not mandated by the Cooperative immediately get busy having sex. Teenagers are going to be teenagers even in the apocalypse. They are caught and taken away to face their punishment. They reveal that they know Ms Venable is making her own rules and that the Cooperative doesn't care if they have sex. Ms Venable sneers that the world is falling apart and all they care about is having sex. She demands they be taken away to be shot. Once in the shower chambers where punishments are carried out Timothy decides to fight back. He manages to get a gun from one of the guards and shoots Miriam before being taken down. Miriam staggers out into the hall and inspects her wound. We discover that instead of blood there is a white substance gushing out of tubes. There are also wires instead of bones. Miriam is a freaking robot (or at least part robot)!

Thus ends our episode. I need to know more about how robots fit into this and what the heck is even happening. 

A few random thoughts while watching the episode:

- Coco and Madison meeting is going to be interesting. I bet they hate each other because they are a lot alike and probably not used to sharing the spotlight. 

- Did Micheal conjure the Rubber Man with the spell that he was doing? Is the Rubber Man not a person but an entity now?

- Did Michael also resurrect those snakes? Making it yet another Supreme power that he apparently possesses? 

See you next week where we'll hopefully get to see some witches!

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