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American Horror Story - The End - Review: "Apocalypse Now"

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It's finally happened. Ryan Murphy has converged everything together from previous seasons and destroyed it all in one fell swoop. All the good, all the bad, all the meh, it's all gone. Nothing matters anymore except what happens now in this post-apocalypse universe. What does that leave us with? A season premiere that is exciting at first, sluggish in the middle, and then at the very end we're left with the tiniest drop of intrigue to keep us coming back.

American Horror Story seasons have been pretty hit or miss since season four. The first three, in my humble opinion, were the strongest, while the others have been more of an exploration of popular lore rather than just creative independent storytelling. That process has sometimes landed gracefully while other times fell with a thud. This season, though, feels like it will be more like the first three seasons in that it's completely their own idea and characters and you have no idea where they will go with it. Now, you can't judge how a season is going to go based on the first episode, but after that ending, I think it will live up to the hype. Now, onto the apocalypse.

By far the best part of the episode was the beginning. It literally started off with a bang. Within just a couple of minutes, the world was already in meltdown mode with the threat of incoming missiles. The people we watch deal with this, AKA our main characters for the season, are one famous for being rich and famous Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt (played by stand out Leslie Grossman), her personal assistant Mallory (played by Scream Queens favorite, at least for me, Billie Lourde), her hair stylist Mr. Gallant (played by AHS veteran Evan Peters), and his Nana Evie (played by AHS newcomer Joan Collins). We also get a brief introduction to her boyfriend/husband Brock (played by BILLY EICHNER. Sorry, couldn't stop myself.) For most regular people, they don't have a chance in hell in surviving a quickly coming missile But because having lots of money = lots of resources, they get a private plane that flies them out of town right before Los Angeles blows up in front of their very eyes. Mysteriously, however, the plane isn't being flown by, well, anyone. Seemingly.

We also get introduced to a couple of other apocalypse survivors. However, they weren't saved by money, but rather genetics. They're both picked up by this group called The Cooperative, who is picking up the best and the brightest to be saved in their outposts. One is a recently college-accepted kid named Timothy (played by Kyle Allen, another AHS newbie) and the other is an activist named Emily (played by Ash Santos, our third AHS newbie). It is through their eyes we see the aftermath of the apocalypse. It's a complete wasteland. These two kids go on a not-so-excellent adventure through it to Outpost 3, headed by Wilhemina Venable (played by Sarah Paulson. Do I really need to say anymore?) and Miriam Mead (played by Kathy Bates, who makes a most welcome return to the show). Both of these ladies are as cruel as they are mean, and mean as they are cruel. Meaning, they're both pretty big jerks and enjoy hurting (and killing, and very likely eating) their guests, which include Coco and company, famous actress Dinah Stevens (played by the always wonderful Adina Porter), Stu, Andre (played by Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, AKA Jay from UnReal!!!), and newest arrivals Emily and Timothy.

So this outpost is stuck in the 19th century. They've gone full Revolution meets Steam Punk, which is to say it's basically a bunch of people dressed in period clothes that use almost no technology. The only tech they use is radiator meter and everything necessary to keep away any possible contamination. They say it is because technology is what led to the Earth's downfall, but it's probably a bunch of turtle crap given Venable and Mead's private conversation where they basically laugh about what they're doing to these people. They believe The Cooperative either doesn't exist anymore or doesn't care what they do. They later find out they are very, very wrong.

The residents of Outpost 3 are understandably upset about living in these conditions. They are not allowed to go outside, have relationships, or eat beyond what they are given, and it isn't much. Nor is it very healthy, although Stu seemed to be in pretty good shape (RIP Stu). Several characters reach their breaking points in dealing with these rules, but they don't have much of a choice. Just when Mr. Gallant decides he's going outside whether they like it or not, it looks like something else wants to come in at the same time. Here's where it starts to get interesting.

Before the season started, it was widely announced that this would be a crossover season. At the very end of this episode, we get the first glimpse of it. The intruder turns out to be either Lestat or the more likely case the anti-christ himself, Michael Langdon, born in the first season and prophesized to be the anti-christ and doom the world. When he shows up, he makes it clear he's not there for the Stu Stew. No, he's from The Cooperative, and he's there to determine who gets to leave this dying outpost and go to the new one where there are lots and lots of resources and goodies. Who gets to go? Who gets eaten next? Tune in next week to find out who will next be voted out in this season of Survivor: Apocalypse. Just kidding, I don't know what's going to happen. But I don't think that's far off.

As far as premiere episodes for AHS go, I think this one is probably in the middle of the pack in terms of interest in both plot and characters. I would have liked to have seen more as-it's-happening apocalypse stuff and less outpost, just because I feel like we're already going to be spending a lot of time there. But I am loving Coco and Nana Evie so far. The other characters I'll probably come to like more when they get more fleshed out as the season progresses and we get to know them. Out of them, the most interested I'm in is Mallory, who she is and how she is dealing with being the sole gray amongst purples. I feel like she's going to end up being the underdog.

Okay, people, how did you enjoy the premiere? Who are your favorite characters? Any favorite lines? And if you didn't have anything else to eat, (or even if you did) would you eat some Stu Stew, especially given how much Nana Evie enjoyed it? And be honest, would you be a purple or a gray, or one of "the others" outside?

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