Tuesday, November 6, 2018

American Horror Story: Apocalypse - Return To Murder House

The eighth episode of this season, titled Sojourn, was perhaps one of the craziest of the season. Michael's dealing with some daddy issues, and we learn the origins of Ms Meade.

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

We start this episode off with Michael finding out what happened to his beloved caretaker. He, as predicted, does not take it well at all.

Cordelia interrupts his grief to come and tell him that she knows exactly who he is now. His plan is over, and he's failed. Michael reminds her that he is capable of bringing Miriam back (turns out the lady has the same name as the robot). Cordelia tells him to go ahead and try. She tells him that he can certainly go to hell but he won't find her soul there. Cordelia has hid it and only she knows the location. Cordelia tells him that he is alone to which Michael says that he is not because he has his father. Cordelia questions where 'his father' is now. She offers Michael an olive branch. She sees humanity in him and tells him that he can join her instead of following his father's path. Michael does not react well to this at all.

Eeeep. I am legit worried for some of our witches now as not all of them made it to the outpost. We know that Michael is capable of making people disappear (including their souls) and I anticipate we'll see that again before this season is over (which is in two episodes).

Michael storms off and is spiraling. He needs guidance and decides that his father will be the best one to give it. He draws a big circle in the earth and beseeches his father to tell him what to do. He threatens to not leave the circle until he is told what to do. He tells his father to either tell him or let him die. Michael waits for four days but it doesn't seem like Satan is all that interested in helping out his son. Michael starts hallucinating what looks like little kids who are offering him food and drink and when he declines he starts hallucinating Miriam and Anton LaVey who offering reassuring words. Anton's praise though infuriates Michael who calls him a liar and strangles him. Anton turns into a legit angel however (complete with wings) who tells him that God loves him. Michael next sees a goat who he thinks might be his father but he kills it and snakes slither out of the corpse.

Michael is completely weakened and lost. He stumbles around until he finds a building with an upside down cross on it and approaches the door. The doorman asks if he is lost to which Michael can only kind of shrug in reply.

The building holds a church of sorts. It one where the people who attend praise Satan and are doing their best to usher in the end of the world. Hannah (Sandra Bernhard) is the priestess and is, as Michael walks in, giving an impassioned speech asking everyone what sins they have committed to help bring in the apocalypse. Their sins range from cheating on their spouses, to stealing petty cash from work which does not impress the priestess nor Michael who gets more and more devastated as he hears the sins of the group, at one point even covering his face with his hands. 

This entire church scene both offers a commentary on religion and gives us insight into Michael's head space. He is grappling with his father ignoring him. He's having a hard time living up to the expectations his father (and others) have placed on him.

He is approached by a kindly Satan worshiper named Madelyn who offers him food and a place to stay after the service. Michael tells her that is very kind of her to which she replies that nobody is perfect. This lady sure is sweet for being someone who praises the devil.

They two eat and share details about their lives. Michael reveals that his father abandoned him and that his mother tried to kill him. This is why Michael is so lost. You have to have some sympathy for this young man who is just trying to find his place in the world and is being rejected by everyone who should love him. 

Madelyn reveals that she sold her soul to the devil. The perks of this transaction apparently include a lazyboy, the ability to do all of the heroin she wants (without consequences), as well as weekly sex dates with both Brad Pitt (on Wednesdays) and Ryan Reynolds (who comes on Friday). Seems like Madelyn has it made. This does not comfort Michael though. He expresses dismay that all Satan offers is carnal pleasure. Madelyn tries to ease his mind by telling him that the son of Satan is coming and that his son will plunge them into darkness. Michael tells her that she is waiting in vain because he is the one she is waiting for. This makes Madelyn try to kill him as she views what he just said as blasphemy as she doesn't believe it. Michael shows her the '666' branding behind his ear which causes her to immediately bow in respect. 

She drags Michael back to the church so that everyone can bask in the glory of the Antichrist. The church is holding their sacrificial offering to Satan by murdering two do gooders. Michael gets to take over and complete the sacrifice as the guest of honour. It's kind of funny that everyone immediately believes Michael is the Antichrist because of his branding. 

After the sacrifice they have a pot luck (seriously, these Satan worshipers are ridiculous). Everyone is eager for Michael to like the food they brought and are crowded around him watching him eat. Madelyn chases them off. As Michael is eating she asks him what comes next. She wants to know how he intends to usher in the end times. Michael admits he doesn't know what to do. Madelyn is confused. How could he not know what to do, he is the Antichrist after all. Michael's response to being reminded of this fact is to lash out. 

Michael is, obviously, having difficulty with the pressure that is being put on him and I predict being ignored by his father isn't helping matters. Michael brings up Miriam and how he feels alone now that she is gone.This inspires Madelyn to give him a pep talk. She reminds him that there is no one and nothing that he can't have. I mean, she's not wrong. 

Michael's mood makes Madelyn decide to introduce him to some other 'true believers' who she insists will help him. She praises Michael some more during the ride and tells her that he is still the same guy she met at the church. Michael is humble here and it is the duality he showcases that makes his character work so well. They arrive and say goodbye. Madelyn asks him to put in a good word with Satan for her. He promises her that he'll see what he can do.

 This final exchange between them is perhaps my favourite of this episode:

Her exuberant 'Hail Satan' and Michael's smirk (along with cute reminder for her to keep it quiet) works for me here. Madelyn reminds me of a more stable Miriam and I think that is what Michael needs (a mother figure). 

The building she has dropped Michael off at is home to a tech business, the brains of which are Jeff (Evan Peters in a ridiculous bowl hair cut and his fourth role this season) and Mutt (Billy Eichner). These two are super rich tech designers who are working on sex robots. They also happened to be addicted to cocaine and overseen by Ms Venable. These guys are surely the Cooperative. No wonder Michael has so much high-tech stuff at his disposal. 

Ms Venable fires another assistant when she is late bringing in the newest shipment of cocaine. The assistant complains about the treatment she is receiving and threatens to go to Human Resources. Ms Venable's reply to this is everything:

Basically Ms Venable was always Ms Venable. She always loved purple and she was always a bit of a bitch. 

We learn that Jeff really likes easy listening music (including the song The Morning After which played in the outpost). It helps him focus even though Mutt hates it. Ms Venable delivers their cocaine and it is enough to distract Mutt from the blow job another assistant is giving him from under his desk. Ms Venable informs them that the dog poop they sent Mark Zuckerberg is on its way, Rihanna has confirmed that she'll be available to them all weekend, and the island they wanted has been purchased. She also tells them that the gentleman who they are expecting has arrived. They tell her to send him up the private elevator. 

Michael walks in and the guys immediately start off on the wrong foot. They are kind of insulting about his name and Michael immediately turns around to leave. They panic and call him back and apolgoize. They want proof Michael is the Antichrist is all. They are not swayed by the branding so Michael burns one of their assistants. This gets their attention and they immediately bow and offer up a 'Hail Satan'. 

They take Michael for lunch outside and tell him their story. They worked for a bunch of start up companies but never got any recognition or any advancement so they sold their souls as well. They now own a robotics company worth billions, they can do as much cocaine as they wish, and they also have weekly sex dates with Ryan Reynolds and some Victoria Secret supermodels.  They offer up their services to Michael in any capacity that he needs. Michael wants them to bring Miriam back for him. We see them building Miriam and they bicker over the details. They want her to be perfect because the son of Satan is their customer. 

They remind Michael that she won't be exactly as he remembers Miriam, not at least at first. It is going to take time. A relationship has to be built. They power her up and the first thing she does upon opening her eyes is to sit up and tell Michael how much she missed him.

See you next week where we'll probably find out exactly how the apocalypse was actually caused by Michael and why he thinks he killed all the witches. Eeeep!

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