American Horror Story: Apocalypse: Why is most of the season in flashbacks?


Most of this season of American Horror Story: Apocalypse has been set up in flashbacks. How will the series move forward to finish up the season?

This season of American Horror Story has featured more returning actors and actresses of the season than ever before. It’s also been full of returning characters, especially the witches from season three, Coven. Ryan Murphy promised fans that this season would be a crossover of Coven and Murder House, and we expected that many of our favorite actors would be playing multiple roles such as Sarah Paulson, who has already taken on three different characters at different times this season.

One interesting approach this season has taken is spending most of the meat of the story and plot in the past. Since episode four, the show has almost entirely been set in the past in some sort of extended flashback. This is a creative choice, yet how effective this is remains to be seen. It seems like the suspense and mystery might have been heightened and more intense if we had started with the Coven storylines and moved forward.

Since we already know that the apocalypse has happened and that Michael Langdon has at least mostly succeeded in many of his goals as the Antichrist, it’s hard to feel like there’s much at stake in the story.

On the other hand, there is a lot of interest to keep watching because of this fact. If the future is already set and we already know what’s going to happen, there must be a twist, right? Getting a glimpse into that apocalyptic future has viewers wondering how the end of the world will end up being reversed or fixed.

It’s also pretty clear that audiences and the show creators know that the Coven witches are the most interesting and likable characters here. We’ve also had more time as an audience to get connected to them, so it’s an interesting choice that three full episodes didn’t feature them at all.

The first few episodes did set up a few important details such as establishing Michael Langdon as a powerful character and introducing us to characters such as Dinah and Mallory. It does seem that this could have still been done in a more linear fashion, however. Certain characters such as Ms. Venable (played by Sarah Paulson) and the newcomers Emily and Timothy seem completely superfluous at this point, and it makes me wonder why they even bothered to include them and waste screentime with them.

Of course, the season isn’t over yet. At least some of the characters at Outpost Three might come back into the picture and might even play an important role in stopping or reversing some of the damages of the apocalypse.

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What do you think of the structure of American Horror Story: Apocalypse? Do you think the flashback narrative is effective or do you think it’s off-putting? We would love to hear your thoughts, so please share below!