AHS: Apocalypse off to tense start with familar faces

Natalie Schroeder | Staff Writer


The eighth season of American Horror Story premiered Wednesday, Sept. 12 with the episode titled “The End,” starting the show off with worldwide chaos. The season will have ten episodes and a long list of returning cast members including Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, Leslie Grossman and Taissa Farmiga. While rumored to have components from seasons one and three, this season has yet to include reprises from those past years explicitly.

For those of you who missed the premiere last week, this episode started off with sudden air-raid alarms and chaos.

This episode shows the plausible reactions to the end of the world as we know it. There are people who don’t hesitate to run for safety, people who accept their fate and others who choose to end their life before the missiles can. It showed that some are heartless while others are transparent in their vulnerability.

One of the main characters, Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt (Leslie Grossman), quickly mourns her family and makes it to a plane that is supposed to take her to safety, while another character, a news anchor, addresses the public and, realizing that the world is ending, says: “I’m not going to make it home. So if my children are watching this: Daddy loves you very much.” This realistically shows the fortunes and misfortunes of the general public.

As the episode continues, viewers find out that people can be protected from the end of the world, but only if they have enough money to purchase a ticket or are selected by a group called “The Cooperative” based on their DNA. This information leads us to two more main characters, Timothy and Emily. The two are captured and transported to Outpost 3, an underground base headed by Mrs. Venable (Sarah Paulson). The two are given their respective rooms and are reunited with other survivors. The characters that have found sanctuary from the bomb soon find out that life at Outpost 3 includes strict rules and severe punishments.

After the bomb, the scenes become increasingly darker with a few moments of false hope. Food becomes more and more scarce, or so it seems. Later, a character is killed and possibly fed to the rest of the people living at the outpost. As the characters figure out the origin of their rarely warm meal and refuse to eat, a perimeter breach alarm blares within the halls of the base.

Just when things are getting worse, the Antichrist that was identified as Michael Langdon (Cody Fern) in season one reappears much older and teases what is to come in the next nine episodes. After a character is introduced and killed in the first episode, anything is possible for the remaining characters and those who we have yet to meet.

The first episode of this new season of American Horror Story was given an 89 percent by viewers and critics. Cinematically, the premiere of this new season is dark, visually and contextually. There is very little light in the underground base and Mrs. Venable and Mrs. Mead (Kathy Bates) are presented as two of the most malicious characters this season.

As the season moves forward, its viewers will discover the connections between characters as well as “Murder House” and “Coven.” While this season showcases many familiar faces, Sarah Paulson is returning as Billie Dean Howard (“Murder House”), Cordelia Foxx (“Coven”) and finally this season’s Mrs. Venable. After the first episode, viewers may be skeptical of the connection and create their own conspiracy theories, as they have done since the first season of American Horror Story.

As a show that consistently pushes the limit, this season looks promising as it dives deeper into past seasons and displays the connections between characters in season one and the witches in season three. The premise of the season hits home as we’ve had many theories of how and when the world will end for years. Moreover, allowing a higher organization to choose who survives beyond the rich people who can afford a ticket is terrifying in its realistic nature.

For new episodes, tune in to FX Wednesday nights at 10 p.m.