All the American Horror Story: Apocalypse promos and what they tell us


American Horror Story is on its way, set to return in just one month and FX is giving us as many vague hints as they possibly can.

It’s already been confirmed that the son of Tate Langdon and Vivian Harmon, Michael Langdon, the Antichrist and evil personified last seen at the end of season 1, will make an appearance in the upcoming season. And, chances are, he’s not there to bring world peace. The news of his return paired with the title of the season, “Apocalypse”, already gives away the theme, but it seems to only be a broad summary. American Horror Story: Apocalypse will be about the end of the world, but it’s only a single thread among the thousands uniting within a fine cloth.

AHS: Apocalypse is a crossover between season 1, Murder House, and season 3, Coven, with Jessica Lange returning as Murder House character Constance Langdon. So far, Constance and Michael Langdon are the only Murder House characters set to return with the majority of the returning cast coming from Coven. Emma Roberts, Sarah Paulson, Taissa Farmiga, Gabourey Sidibe, Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy and Stevie Nicks are all set to return. The witches are going to have a big role this season and one can only guess they’re going to help restore the world.

There have been three teaser videos released and each one is as grotesque and mind-boggling as the next. Two in particular link to the radioactive rumors that exploded on the internet months ago. Comments about a possible futuristic plot and a trademark label for the show leaking online  had fans thinking that the title of season 8 was originally going to be “Radioactive.”

Murphy announced at the Television Critics Association in January, that season 8 would jump to a distant future but remain topical. According to AHS Central, “American Horror Story: Radioactive” takes place in Arizona in 2032, right after a nuclear blast, following a group of survivors who went unaffected by the attack. These rumors swirled around in people’s minds, giving them Walking Dead fantasies, but then the real title was announced and news about the return of Tate’s son withered away all radioactive theories, but it shouldn’t have.

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Even though both involved an end of the world scenario, the radioactive rumors seemed somewhat different from the real news given just a few months later. Instead of bombs and radiation, it was the Antichrist and witches.

However, with this first promo, “Hourglass”, the rumors of a possible radioactive world might not be far-fetched. The promo starts off with some strange images, but that’s nothing new, and then it shows an explosion. Following the explosion, two people are shown laying in a hole on a barren charred Earth, one is dead but the other is alive wearing a gas mask. They survived the apocalypse, and now they have to somehow survive the aftermath.

It’s Hell on Earth

As said by Billie Dean, “a child born of human and spirit will usher in the end of times.” With that comment and the demonic infestation going on in Asylum, I’d say there is a big Biblical theme going on. Murphy might have snuck another Christian allegory in Hotel using the blood-suckers. Though they are never called vampires, The Countess and her many lovers were immortals that fed on human blood but, it’s possible that they weren’t vampires but actually Strigoi, terrifying creatures from Eastern European legends that are quite literally the anti-christ. They feed on pain and suffering and are resurrected in a tradition that mocks Christ’s.

This sounds like something Murphy would sneak in his show and it would also match the theme from season’s one and two, a portrayal of the Christian religion featuring the dark underbelly where demons, evil and sin live.

There’s a heavy presence regarding children. At least two promos show either a baby or a child’s hand reaching out. The return of the Antichrist has been confirmed, so the fetus and baby hands could be referring to him and his parentage. The black hand reaches out for the baby…will the Devil show his face to “nurture” his son. We know the Devil exists in the AHS universe from season 2, Asylum, when he possessed Sister Mary Eunice and wrecked havoc in Briarcliff Manor.

Whenever I think of Michael Langdon I can’t help but be aware of the fact that he has a dead twin brother who is forever living as a baby. Jeffrey Harmon is Michael twin/half-brother, but the two are opposites. One is grown and evil but the other will never grow out of his innocence and is forever reliant on the mercy of others. This makes them direct contrasts and gives baby Jeffrey a connection to Michael that his twisted grandmother could never have. Jeffrey will probably never reappear, especially since he’s in the care of his parents and neither Dylan McDermott nor Connie Britton have been confirmed to return, but it’d be a nice surprise to see.

The fig tree and deadly scorpions

The third promo, titled “Fig” shows a very literal message regarding AHS’s Biblical allegories. The video shows a single fig that has rotten from the inside and when split open by a black hand, releases two scorpions. The fig tree appears in the Bible as a tree whose fruit won’t feed Christ or his people. In Mark 11:12–14 and 11:20–25, Jesus was hungry and walked up to a fig tree to eat one of the fruits but because figs were not in season, all he saw were leaves. He cursed the tree, saying “May no one ever eat fruit from you again” and the tree withered away. Seems a little drastic.

Scorpions are also mentioned in the Bible numerous times and usually within the context of evil or death. The scorpions were feared in the early days of Christianity because of their habit of fighting each other and attacking humans without reason (or as people so often thought was without reason) and became a terrifying monster symbolizing cruelty. In some parts, the scorpion is considered to be as evil as the snake (and because of that smooth-talking snake from the Garden of Eden, Christianity really frowns upon the presence of snakes.)

The series has no Heaven, angels or God showing up to save the day. While the monsters bring Hell on Earth, nothing holy ever intervenes but rather leaves the world to their own devices. Is this the subtle message given by the promo? The world has been condemned like the fig tree and no one is coming to save it, it’ll be torn apart by scorpions or in this case Michael Langdon? Or because the world is already rotten, the evil has always been inside, waiting to come out? This was Tate’s opening scene from Murder House, he goes on this rant about how rotten the world is.

What we can expect from the story

The promos for AHS never give away the end, and because each one focuses so much on the apocalypse, that means the climax of the season will probably not involve the apocalypse but rather might revolve around it.

Executive producer Alexis Martin Woodall, shared some details at the Television Critics Association about the season’s plot and said that the story begins with Armageddon, instead of leading up to it. The end of the world might be similar to the radioactive theories heard early on or it could be a political dictatorship; that’s how you rule the world.

Murphy promised something big to happen in episode 5, probably the massive apocalyptic explosion we’ve seen in the teasers. Sarah Paulson is directing episode 6, right after this “something big” and I find it hard to believe that Murphy would let his close friend and “muse” if he had one, make her directorial debut in an episode that didn’t have something spectacular in it. Evan Peters is also making his directorial debut in Apocalypse but the episode number hasn’t been confirmed yet. His episode will likely be important as well, and showcase a lot of his character, who we still don’t know a lot about yet. All we know is that it’s a comedic role as a hairstylist.

Next. Will Jessica Lange star in future seasons of American Horror Story?. dark

American Horror Story: Apocalypse stars Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Katy Bates, Joan Collins, Cheyenne Jackson, Billy Eichner, Adina Porter, Billie Lourd, Emma Roberts, Jessica Lange, Cody Fern, Lily Rabe, Stevie Nicks, Frances Conroy, Gabourey Sidibe and Taissa Farmiga.

The season premieres September 12 on FX.