Article From Elle
Warning: Contains spoilers for season 8, episode 5 of American Horror Story, “Boy Wonder.”
All hail the Alpha! Actually…not so fast.
This week’s Horror Story involved Cordelia’s (Sarah Paulson) apocalyptic vision of a scorched earth and a demonic white-faced man ruling it, which led to her decision to allow Michael Langdon (Cody Fern) to take the Trial of the Seven Wonders. Of course, not everyone is supportive of this decision.
Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) expresses concern about letting a man ascend to become Alpha. Cordelia makes it known that her powers are diminishing and that she fears denying him the opportunity to take the test might be what could bring the coven down.
Back at the Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men, John Henry (Cheyenne Jackson) was the only warlock who still had doubts about letting Langdon rise in the ranks. He revealed his intention of traveling to New Orleans to meet Cordelia, but that didn’t fly. Michael’s devil-worshipping foster mom, A.K.A. human Miriam Meade (Kathy Bates), tracked him down at a gas station and killed him. She made her way back to the school, where Michael met her and revealed his plan to achieve Alpha status so he can destroy all of the witches and warlocks from within. Worst of all, Grand Chancellor Ariel (Jon Jon Briones) was actually totally on board for that plan, just to have a man become the new Supreme.
At the trial, as if there were any doubt, Langdon passes the first six tests with flying colors. Cordelia throws a bit of a curveball by declaring that his final task is to retrieve Misty Day (Lily Rabe) from her eternal hell. Coven fans may recall that Misty was trapped in an endless loop of having to dissect a frog while she attempted to get through the trials, back in season 3. Still, Langdon isn’t even a little bit challenged by the final task and does as he was assigned. The witches are all clearly dismayed when Cordelia quickly concedes her authority as Supreme to Michael, the new Alpha.
Cordelia later explains to Myrtle and Misty that she had no intention of actually giving up her title; she just needed to assess Michael’s abilities. Misty lets them know that Langdon was communicating with the evil beings in the underworld before he brought her home (though she couldn’t understand what they were saying). They call Stevie “White Witch” Nicks in to provide a little post-trial entertainment while Cordelia sets her new plan into motion: digging up dirt on Langdon. She decides to send Madison on a little trip to find out what she can and Behold Chablis (Billy Porter) seemingly switches sides to join them on that mission. Where are they off to, you ask? Just a fun road trip to California to the Murder House (from season 1), where Michael was born. Y’know, cause he’s the demon-spawn of human Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton) and ghost Tate Langdon (Evan Peters).
Overall, this wasn’t a particularly revelatory episode. With only 10 episodes making up Apocalypse, we’re at the halfway point and presumably things are about to get wild. The witches are about to come face to face with the dark forces of Murder House—specifically Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange). We’ll finally learn Michael’s full backstory (possibly even before his birth) and the evil plot he’s attempting to carry out. Getting this info will help the Coven women figure out how to stop him. That weakness may come from his mother, Vivien, who was just an innocent pawn in the events that played out during season 1. It’s clear from his attachment to Meade that Michael longs for a maternal connection. Perhaps Misty or Mallory’s whole magical ability to bring people back from the dead might prove useful at Murder House.
What we know
Mallory (Billie Lourd) has the ability to bring dead things back to life (similar to Misty’s power).
Coco (Leslie Grossman) started attending Miss Robichaux’s Academy (the coven’s school) after discovering her ability to sense gluten. Cordelia pointed out that it can be developed into the power to detect all types of danger.
Meade warned Langdon not to tell Ariel who his father is.
Madison second-guessed betraying Langdon after he brought her back to life.
What we need to find out
Is B.D. Wong’s warlock going to continue being a blind follower of Langdon?
Is Mallory related to Misty in some way or do they just have similar powers?
Is Langdon’s father the white-faced demon?
Is Papa Legba (Coven season’s gatekeeper of the spirit world, played by Lance Reddick) going to just sit back and let people leave the underworld so easily?
Does Stevie Nicks have to perform whenever someone attempts the Trial of the Seven Wonders?
What the internet thinks
There’s a ton of speculation surrounding Mallory. It’s been suggested that she’s a fallen angel, or a Greek goddess, or a descendant of Lady Gaga’s Roanoke character, or Lilith (Adam’s first wife from the bible).
The post-apocalyptic landscape we saw in the first few episodes hasn’t actually happened yet and was just part of Cordelia’s vision.