American Horror Story: Apocalypse season 8 episode 1 review: The End


The first episode of the 8th season of American Horror Story starts viewers at the end of the world and leaves us with a lot more questions than answers.

The premiere episode of American Horror Story: Apocalypse, “The End,” throws viewers right into the action. We see a host of new character and familiar faces in just the first few minutes of the show. We see Leslie Grossman as Coco, daughter of a billionaire trying to be an Instagram influencer, getting her hair cut by Evan Peters’ new character, Mr. Gallant. An alert on all of their phones tells us that a nuclear missile is coming towards Los Angeles. The end of the world is coming.

Coco’s father calls to tell her that a plane is there to take her to a safe place. She calls her husband, Brock, played by Billy Eichner, and tells him to meet her there. While Brock is unable to make it to the plane, Coco, Mr. Gallant, his grandmother, and Coco’s assistant, Mallory, are able to make it out on the plane. On their way, they see people committing suicide and then see the nuclear blast over Los Angeles.

Next, the show brings us to some new faces. We see young Timothy with his family as he learns he has gotten into UCLA. As the family is trying to figure out what to do as the missile approaches, what looks to be government officials dressed in black burst into their house and grab Timmy, telling the family he has been selected by “The Coalition” to be saved because of his genetic makeup. He is taken to a jail-like facility where he meets Emily, who has also been saved. While talking, the nuclear blast above goes off.

Two Weeks Later

Emily and Timothy are driven to the underground fallout shelter, Outpost Three. Before entering, they see two people kneeling on the ground saying, “Please we won’t do it again. We promise,” before being shot in the head. Whatever this place they are going is, it might not be as much of a place of safety as they hoped.

Once entering the outpost, they meet Sarah Paulson’s new character, Wilhelmina Venable. The outpost used to be a boys’ school before it was turned into a fallout shelter. We learn a little more about this “The Cooperative,” which is supposedly “a collection of the dozen greatest minds mankind has to offer.”

Timothy and Emily are given private suites as “purples,” or the elite. We find out that this outpost is devoid of technology and social media, which Wilhelmina warns made people think they were all equal and made up of a strict class system. Timothy hears a strange voice warning him to be careful.

Timothy and Emily are told to get dressed for dinner, and at dinner, meet the cast of characters that escaped Los Angeles and a few new faces. They are given a cube to eat for dinner that gives them everything they need nutrition wise. Coco has a breakdown about this as she misses real food. Wilhelmina slaps her and then explains that a carrier pigeon carrying a message tells the outpost that there are no more governments, starving people, and that three outposts have been overrun. This outpost is the nearly the last of civilization as they know it. We also meet Kathy Bates’ new character, Ms. Miriam Mead.

Miriam Mead and Wilhelmina check the dinner group for radioactive contamination. Mr. Gallant and another man, Stu, are taken to the “decontamination room.” When Stu is still shown to have radiation after cleaning him off, he is shot.

We then see a private conversation between Ms. Miriam Mead and Wilhelmina where we learn that the checks for contamination were all a ruse. Stu was not contaminated at all. We also learn that these rules are not The Cooperatives, but instead rules that Ms. Miriam and Wilhelmina have come up with. Wilhelmina says, “Forget The Cooperative. It’s only us.”

The dinner group is fed a hot meal at the next dinner. Guess what the hot meal is made out of? Well, it’s human meat. The show introduces cannibalism right off the bat. After dinner, the dinner group argues about whether they were actually fed human meat.

18 Months Later

The same song has been playing on the record player for 18 months. No surprise, we find out Timothy and Emily have fallen in love. Timothy explains in a voiceover that their love has kept them from dying inside, unlike everyone else around them. We go back to the dinner group, who are told their diet is being cut back to half a cube a day. The group argues about whether they should take their chances outside, but they are interrupted by a perimeter alert.

A horse-drawn black carriage is pulled through the mists and a black figure emerges with a gas mask, showing an identification card. It is Michael Langdon. Langdon speaks to Wilhelmina and tells her of a different facility that is safer and equipped to last for years. He is there to assess who is most equipped to survive and take those deserving to this new sanctuary.

Creepy Quotes

“The house rules are simple. You may never leave the building… and no unauthorized copulation of any kind, under any circumstances. No exceptions.”

“Strangely satisfying, isn’t it? Dispensing punishment.”

“The end? No, the beginning.”

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We will just have to wait until next week to learn more about Michael Langdon and hopefully meet more of the new characters. It still remains to be seen how everything ties together this season, but we are intrigued.