(There are spoilers ahead for the first two episodes of “American Horror Story: Apocalypse”)
Who knew the end of the world would be this confusing? The second episode of “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” landed Wednesday, leaving viewers with even more questions than the premiere did, and no answers at all. But if you weren’t already expecting that from the latest installment in the Ryan Murphy anthology series, you clearly haven’t learned how “AHS” rolls.
TheWrap has rounded up our biggest questions from the first two episodes of Season 8 below. Here’s hoping they answer them all before the 10-episode run ends.
Is Michael Langdon messing with everybody’s brains?
A lot of seemingly supernatural things happened in the second episode — the dead snake coming back to life, Gallant stabbing what he thought was the gimp who turned out to actually be his grandma, Mead getting shot and her insides looking like she’s an android from the “Alien” movies. All of this stuff is really bizarre and there’s no normal explanation for any of it. But given the prophecy from the end of “Murder House” about Langdon (Cody Fern) growing up to become the Antichrist, we can’t help but wonder if his presence is the reason that nonsense is happening.
What’s wrong with Venable’s back?
She has some kind of…injury? Disease? Surely it’s plot-relevant, whatever it is.
Is the man in the gimp suit also Evan Peters?
It seems like the the gimp is at minimum a nod to the Rubber Man from “Murder House” — who, incidentally, was also played by Evan Peters. If this actually is the Rubber Man, then that means Evan Peters was having sex with himself. Which, hmm, okay. But what does it mean? And is he even actually real? The scene where the mysterious man turns into Gallant’s grandmother would indicate that he’s some kind of supernatural thing, and not necessarily a person here.
Making this potentially weirder — the Rubber Man was Tate Langdon, Michael’s father who impregnated his mother while a ghost. So, maybe he’s watching over Michael?
What is The Cooperative actually?
Everything in “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” is centered on a group called The Cooperative building a bunch of outposts in case of nuclear war, and also transporting people to them quickly before the bombs fall. And then they make everybody who lives in the outposts dress like it’s the 1800s or something. They also basically kidnapped some teenagers, allegedly because they have good genes or something.
So, like, what’s up with this whole thing?
What exactly led to the end of the world?
The apocalypse itself was very vague — no mention on the news about who was launching the nukes, just that they hit London, Hong Kong and Washington, D.C. before Los Angeles was wiped out. Was it a war? Or was it just one country — or organization — who pushed the button? And could The Cooperative have had something to do with it?
What does it mean that nobody was flying that plane?
The big cold open sequence in episode one ended with LA getting nuked and Billie Lourd’s character discovering that nobody was flying the plane she was on. And then, the next time we see those characters they’re in the outpost with nobody mentioning that whole “nobody was flying the plane” thing or any explanation for how they got there. This seems like an important point, and something that will have to come up later.
What are Venable and Mead doing that’s different than from what The Cooperative wants?
There’s a big conversation midway through episode one between Mead (Kathy Bates) and Venable (Sarah Paulson) in which they discuss how they plan to rule Outpost 3, and how The Cooperative won’t like what they have in store for the people they have living under their roof. Presumably, part of this plan involved murdering that one guy Stu and then cooking his remains in a stew for the other residents.
But it seems unlikely that whatever they’re up to is limited to that sort of morbid mischief. It’s gotta be something bad enough that Venable is terrified when Mr. Langdon shows up.
What happened with Langdon’s horses?
So in episode one, Langdon rides up with another person on a pair of horses, which were looking sickly from being outside in the nuclear fallout. After Langdon went into Outpost 3, the other person shot the horses and seemingly offered them up to something living in the brush — a thing that managed to actually drag the horse corpse out of site. So, uh, what?
What happened during that two week time gap — and that 18 month time gap?
There already have two time periods in which we have no idea what happened, the first being a two-week jump toward the beginning of episode one, and the other an 18-month skip in the middle. That means there are chunks of time we can’t account for in which many horrifying things probably happened. We can only assume there will be flashbacks a plenty in the coming weeks.
How will “Coven” and “Murder House” continue to play into the season?
So far our only concrete tie to Season 1 is Michael Langdon and there’s been no shoutout to Season 3 — and that’s not going to sit well with fans who have been waiting years for the big crossover season.
We also got what was at minimum a nod and possibly something more with the appearance of a figure who looks very much like the Rubber Man from “Murder House” who may or may not be a real person who is actually present in Outpost 3.
We know many of the “Coven” witches are set to reprise their roles this season including Paulson, who will be playing triple duty as Venable, Cordelia from “Coven” and Billie Dean Howard from “Murder House.”
And Season 1 stars Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott and Taissa Farmiga are returning as the Harmons (and Farmiga playing Zoe from “Coven,” too), as are Jessica Lange and Evan Peters (already playing one new character this season), as Constance and Tate Langdon, Michael’s grandmother and father, respectively.
How is Langdon going to decide who to take with him to the other outpost?
At the end of the premiere, Mr. Langdon tells Venable he’s here to save the survivors in Outpost 3 — but not necessarily all of them. He’s going to take those he deems worthy to a location where they have enough rations to last them a decade. But he needs to exam everyone to see who is coming. It could be all of them or none of them or somewhere in between. The question now is, what is the test he’s going to give them to find out who is fit to be saved?
“American Horror Story: Apocalypse” airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.