Name one show that's more terrifying, creative, and addictive than American Horror Story. I'll wait, but no such series exists.
Ryan Murphy's brilliant anthology has changed the way TV does horror and presented viewers with seven thrilling stories beginning with the premiere of Murder House in 2011. Speaking of Murder House, chances are you've heard the good news: Season 8 of AHS will be a crossover between two of the most popular seasons. The FX series is always a good watch, but Season 1 and Season 3 (Coven) have amassed dedicated followings. After Season 4 (Freak Show), Murphy stepped back to focus on other projects like American Crime Story and Pose, but fans will tell you there's a clear difference between seasons he was actively involved in and those he left in the hands of others. Now, Murphy's back to bring his most recent pet project to reality: American Horror Story: Apocalypse. I can hardly type the name without getting butterflies of glee (and terror, of course) because this is the content AHS fans signed up for.
Murder House concluded with so many open ends that could only be closed in a follow-up season. What happened to Vivien Harmon and Tate Langdon's baby? Is the house still standing despite the many ghosts that have taken up shop? Similarly, Coven — one of the few seasons that ended on an empowering, positive note — had such complex, well-developed characters that it warranted its very own show. What became of the witches? Were the dead really, truly gone forever? These seasons engendered a dedication to their characters and a curiosity that other seasons haven't. For these reasons and more, I'm thrilled to share what fans can expect from AHS: Apocalypse.
1. The Antichrist lives
As Murder House viewers know, Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton) experienced a night of freakiness when she slept with a man in a black latex bodysuit she thought was her husband, Ben (Dylan McDermott). In reality, that person was Tate Langdon (Evan Peters) — a misguided teen ghost who was in love with Vivien's daughter, Violet (Taissa Farmiga). Tate hoped he could get Vivien pregnant so another ghost living in the Harmon's new home, Nora Montgomery (Lily Rabe), would have a baby to care for. Remember, when Nora was alive, her child was abducted and murdered, so she roamed the house in a state of lunacy trying to find him. But what actually went down was very different from Tate's master plan: After Viven gave birth, Tate's mother, Constance (the great Jessica Lange), adopted the child as the only living member of the community. (At that point, the entire Harmon family had become ghosts themselves.) Viven and Tate's baby, Michael, looked like an angel. He was a sweet blondie with striking blue eyes and an easy smile. But underneath, he was a creation that never should have happened. Turns out, tormented ghost parts and run-of-the-mill human DNA don't mix because the toddler killed his nanny before the season ended.
AHS: Apocalypse will revolve around a grown-up Michael as he lays ruin to humanity. Michael will be portrayed by Cody Fern, who also appeared in Murphy's The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. Fern is 30 years old, which works because Apocalypse takes place in "the near-future." He is the antichrist, and the (somewhat benevolent) witches of the coven are the only beings powerful enough to save the world.
During the TCAs, executive producer Alexis Martin Woodall said Apocalypse will start off with, well, the apocalypse. "The story begins with the end of the world," he shared. "It starts in the real world. It's very tangible, and it's a familiar panic."
2. Death knows no witch
Sadly, many of the witches in AHS: Coven didn't make it to the finale. Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett), Misty Day (Rabe), Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts), and Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) all died what appeared to be final deaths. Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) was also murdered in Season 5 (Hotel). Decidedly not sad is this: Most (if not all) of the coven's witches will be alive in Season 8. Farmiga, Sidibe, Conroy, Rabe, and Roberts will join Sarah Paulson and special guest star Stevie Nicks in Apocalypse. *does happy dance*
There are several ways the season might accomplish the resurrections. Rabe's Coven character, Misty, was perhaps the most powerful of the witches, despite her fragile state of mind. She had the power to bring all creatures back to life. During the decensum challenge in the Seven Wonders test, she got distracted and failed to make it out in time. Her body turned to ash and she was absent for the rest of the season. However, I'd be surprised if even that very convincing death was the end for Misty. Every bone in her body was filled with the magical ability to rejuvenate, revive, and relive. If she was able to rebuild her physical body and come back to life, she could have brought back Madison, Myrtle, and the other witches. But the biggest implication behind the witches' resurrections is even the antichrist will have a hard time getting rid of you if you're virtually indestructible. Unless this kid finds a way to end the world, I look forward to watching the ladies of the coven kick ass.
3. Thank the antichrist, Jessica Lange is back
It took a crossover for Lange to return to the series after her Season 4 exit, and I'd like to personally thank the AHS gods for this miracle. The show hasn't been the same without her, and although she'll only appear in the season's sixth episode, it'll be a joy to see her back in action. She will reprise her role as Constance Langdon, Michael's last known guardian.
4. The uber talented Sarah Paulson will play three different characters
Paulson has played two characters at a time in one season (she played conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler in Freak Show, made appearances as both Lana Winters and psychic Billie Dean Howard in Hotel, and played both Audrey Tindall and Lana Winters in Roanoke), but in Season 8 she'll reprise two of her best and reveal one new face — Billie Dean Howard, Cordelia Foxx, and a new character named Venable. No big deal. As fans of Season 1 will recall, it was Billie Dean who predicted Michael would lead to "the end of days" when she visited Constance in Murder House.
Farmiga will also reprise two characters, Murder House's Violet Harmon and Coven's Zoe Benson.
5. Murphy has also commissioned Hotel, Roanoke, and Cult stars for Apocalypse
Kathy Bates, an AHS staple who skipped Season 7 due to schedule conflicts, will also return as a brand new character named Mrs. Meade. Naturally, Peters will return — though it's unclear what character(s) he'll be playing. Unfortunately, Bassett will not reprise her role as Marie Laveau.
It was recently revealed that Britton and McDermott will reprise their Murder House roles for episode six. Only three brand new actors have been teased so far: Kyle Allen, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, and Pose's Billy Porter.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse premieres on FX on Sept. 12, 2018.