Why AHS: Apocalypse Changed the American Horror Story Universe Forever
Season 8 of American Horror Story breaks the mold, and there is no telling what's to come next.
December 11, 2018
The television show American Horror Story created by Ryan Murphy was introduced in October of 2011. Since that time the show has run for 8 consecutive seasons each with their own storyline, unique characters, and horror aspect. Unlike past seasons, the shows 8th season titled “Apocalypse” did not start fresh like usual. Instead, it built upon pre-existing characters and concepts to create a whole new viewing experience.
Apocalypse called upon well-loved characters from arguably some of the best seasons of the show, Murder House and Coven respectively. Normally in the past, there have been small cameos from characters as previously shown in the show’s 5th season, Hotel. However, this is the first time that the characters will come back for a whole season of fun.
The season follows the storyline of a character named Michael Langdon [played by Cody Fern] who was born from season 1’s Vivien Harmon [Connie Britton] and Tate Langdon [Evan Peters]. It is quickly established that Michael is the Antichrist hellbent on eradicating the human race and it is the quest of the season 3 witches to stop him.
The season follows an unusual format of flashback-intensive story telling. Compared to past seasons where small bits of flashbacks were used for development purposes, (6/10 episodes of season 8 were purely flashback storytelling).
AHS veterans Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters have appeared in every season of the show, each time taking on a new role – however – in this season, not only did they take on new roles, but they also resumed past characters. Peters revived the roles of Tate Langdon and James Patrick March while also stepping into two new roles: Mr.Gallant and Jeff Pfister. Paulson took up the new role of Wilhemina Venable as well as also returning to the loveable characters of Billie Dean Howard and Cordelia Goode.
Not only was this a character intensive year for Paulson, but it was also her first time stepping into the director’s seat as she directed the season’s 6th episode titled “Return to Murder House”.
Now, it is not uncommon for seasons of AHS to end off on a positive development note, but the ending of season 8 wasn’t just that.
The whole season builds upon the concept of the character Michael Langdon being the antichrist distended to cleanse the human race. Each episode brings in the new backstory to his character and portrays how the world got to where it is shown in the current day (well for us, the future).
The final episode is the battle between Michael and the witches, which was being set up to happen for the entire season. When it finally arrived, the witches won and everything was back to normal. Now that’s where the story would normally end, just like in past seasons. BUT NO! After everything is wrapped up and ready to conclude, we are given scenes that resemble the start or Michael Langdons story, but with a different character. The season’s ending isn’t set up like the past season endings, it is instead set up to continue! This could very well be the first time AHS continues a story line into a second season.
This season of AHS broke the mold of what we came to expect from the show. Each season having a new setting, time period, and characters, to depict a different mood and story every time. AHS season 8 Apocalypse could truly be a huge turning point for the AHS universe, but we will just need to wait until next fall to see what happens.