American Horror Story: Apocalypse: How did the season stack up?


Now that American Horror Story: Apocalypse is over, we explore how good the season was and whether it holds up to earlier seasons.

We’ve reached the end of another season of American Horror Story, and now it’s time to take stock of the season of a whole and how it stacks up to others. As is pretty common with the series, the finale episode was a bit of a wild ride, but surprisingly more predictable than you might think.

In the end, Cordelia and the witches are able to save the world. Mallory goes back in time and kills Michael Langdon to prevent the apocalypse from ever happening. This creates a new timeline where the world never ended and many future events have changed. Cordelia, Zoe, and Queenie are still alive, and Miss Robichaux’s academy continues on. But, with one final twist, Emily and Timothy (the couple from the beginning of the season) become parents of a new Antichrist figure, suggesting that the end of the world is inevitable.

To be honest, I didn’t love this season.

Overall, it was a bit of a mess with some high points and some low points. The first three episodes seemed like mostly wasted time with characters that for the most part didn’t end up being that important.

Midseason was by far the best, especially those episodes that focused on Cordelia and our favorites from American Horror Story: Coven. Whether or not these episodes were technically good didn’t matter as much because as the audience, we were already invested in these characters. This made the episodes and storylines with Cordelia and the others enjoyable to watch.

With the last few episodes of the season leading up to and including the finale, I was let down again. Sometimes, American Horror Story actually feels scary. There really weren’t that many scary moments in this season, and the show felt even campier than normal.

Other seasons have held up well because of their commitment to a theme or aesthetic, think Hotel and Coven, but Apocalypse didn’t have unified or interesting visual imagery to hold it together. Including explanations such as the Illuminati felt rushed and ridiculous, not clever. Michael Langdon was rarely scary, and mostly just another annoying, whiny young boy with mommy issues. This is the apocalypse after all — it’s a scary event, and should come across as such on television.

As for the finale, while American Horror Story often gives relatively happy endings to certain characters, this time around the ending felt too easy. As much as I love Cordelia, the season could have ended on a bittersweet note with her death being final and Mallory becoming the next Supreme.

As is often the case with American Horror Story, there were so many threads, storylines, and characters in Apocalypse that didn’t actually matter. There were so many scenes and characters (like most of the characters at Outpost Three) that didn’t add anything to the plot, but it was harder to forgive some of these moments this time around as the season wasn’t particularly clever or thematically interesting.

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While seeing Cordelia, and some amazing cameos from other witches such as Naan and Marie Laveau, was definitely enjoyable at times, the season didn’t come together for me as a whole. By the end, I was just glad it was over.