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American Horror Story - Could It Be ... Satan? - Review: "Yer a warlock, Michael"



It's officially the season of the witches, or warlocks, depending on whose side you're on. This episode introduced us to the male equivalent of witches, warlocks. Though if you look at it from the witches' perspective, they are not equivalent at all. They believe witches are innately more powerful than warlocks. But Michael sets out to prove them wrong.

We start off the episode going back a couple of years and learning more about Michael's backstory and his relationship to the inspiration for Robot Mead. Mead's human counterpart was essentially the Mrs. Baylock to Michael's Damien. A devout Satanist, she raised him to be the best little evildoer she could, and he was more than happy to be that for her. But something happened to their relationship to break it up.

Even with how clearly evil Michael is, it is interesting to see him love someone, or love them as best as the son of the devil can. He was truly devoted to Mead. When she was insulted by the butcher during a trip to the grocery store, he got so mad at the guy that he killed him with his powers. This led to him getting arrested and thrown in jail, bringing him to the attention of the high counselor of warlocks.

The warlocks have their own school called The Collective. That's who The Collective is. It's the same thing as Miss Robichaux's Acadamy but for warlocks. They don't have any supreme over there, but they have a prophesy about a warlock alpha coming into being at some point that would be stronger than the supreme. When the high counselor gets wind of Michael's abilities, he has a strong hunch that he is the one. The warlock professors at the school agree with him, except one. Cheyenne Jackson's John Henry Moore senses that there's something wrong with this boy and they shouldn't have anything to do with him. But the high counselor, more interested in outdoing the witches than anything, won't listen.

When the high counselor meets with Michael, after Michael kills another guy by making his head blow up, Michael is nothing but sweet and innocent, claiming he doesn't want to hurt anyone. He comes off a lot like Tate here, actually. And we know what Tate was capable of. The high counselor falls to Michael's false charms and convinces Michael to leave with him so Michael can be with his own kind and learn how to be a warlock.

Very shortly into Michael's time there he shows himself to be stronger than all of the other warlocks there. Strong enough that the high counselor wants to put him to some tests to see how strong he is. He passes the tests with flying colors, but the last one he does a little too well on. He goes full Elsa and makes it snow on everyone. While the cold doesn't bother him, it bothers everyone else, nearly freezing the whole counsel to death. But he stops himself just in time, leaving him with a nosebleed that only Eleven would understand the pain of. The high counselor is all excited, believing he finally has the weapon with which to outdo the witches, so he calls a meeting with them.

Speaking of the witches, we found out that the women of Outpost 3 are actually former pupils of Cordelia. There goes the theory of them being reincarnated versions of our other witches, which makes me worry about what happened to them. These women just had identity spells placed on them to protect them, to keep them from remembering they are witches so Michael wouldn't find them. By the way, Madison and Myrtle are at the top of their sass game here. Just call me McDonald's because I'm loving it. But now the secret is out, as Michael finds them all there in the outpost. It's a Cordelia versus Michael showdown, and not their first, as we learn.

At the time when the warlocks called the meeting with the witches, we learned that Cordelia was thriving as Supreme and Zoe was thriving under her as a teacher herself with Mallory, Dinah, and Coco as her students. All of them doing well, but none as well as Mallory. Cordelia and Zoe note how good she is. Makes you wonder if it will perhaps in the end be Mallory that is Michael's ultimate opponent and not Cordelia. But I don't want to believe that because that would have to mean something happens to Cordelia, a thought I refuse to entertain. Also, somehow Myrtle is back. Yeah. I don't even care why, I'm just glad she's here. She tells Cordelia they've been summoned to a meeting with the warlocks.

At the meeting, the high counselor can barely contain a "Na-na, na-na, boo-boo" as he tells them about Michael. He demands Michael be put to the test of the seven wonders, but Cordelia refuses. It's not because she's afraid of Michael, as the high counselor insists, but because she doesn't want to put any more poor souls through it. A Misty name-check in case you needed the painful reminder that Misty is still in hell and dissecting frogs over and over again. She's not the only one in hell, by the way, but I'll get to that soon. Anyway, Sarah Paulson is once again amazing in this scene. Cordelia is more tough and confident in herself than she was in Coven. She is not about to let herself be talked down to by anyone, or have her abilities be downplayed. She is the supreme and she knows it, and no one is going to take that from her.

The council is not happy about Cordelia's refusal, but Michael is even more unhappy. He decides he's going to prove himself more powerful than Cordelia by doing something she couldn't, freeing Queenie from the Hotel Cortez. Yes, Queenie is still there as a ghost, having been killed there in the Hotel season, doomed to play cards with Mr. March for eternity. By the way, Evan Peters did a wonderful job slipping back into the Mr. March role. This was definitely one of his best roles throughout the entire series.

Anyway, Cordelia did everything she could to get her out, but she just couldn't. Michael, on the other hand, with a little help from Daddy, freed Queenie. Not only that, but he and Queenie went to rescue another Coven witch from hell. You'd think his move would be to get Misty, who Cordelia talked about regretting her death, but nope. He went with someone else, someone who was more troublesome for Cordelia; Madison.

Yes, after Kyle murdered her back in Coven, girl went straight to hell. Ha. Watching Madison in her personal hell was the highlight of the episode. It consists of Madison being stuck as a retail clerk in a Bed, Bath, and Beyond-like store, surrounded by customers who are both annoying and have no idea who she is. A double nightmare for Madison. Not only that, but she is fully aware of the fact that she is in hell and can do zilch about it. But Madison is released from her towel-folding torment when Michael shows up and offers to get her out. She's unsure about him until Queenie pops up from behind him. She is adorably excited to see Queenie despite their history and hugs her, but Queenie is having none of that. She doesn't even want Madison saved. But Michael ignores Queenie and takes them right out of hell and straight to the front doors of The Collective, where they meet up with Cordelia, Zoe, and Myrtle. As soon as she spots them, Cordelia faints. Is this her losing her supremeness to Michael or was she just overwhelmed by the evil radiating from him? I guess we'll find out.

I can't say enough about how awesome it was to see the Coven characters again. There are a lot of mixed feelings out there about the Coven season as a whole, but the characters that came out of it are some of the most memorable from the show and, in my opinion, the most entertaining to watch. And Cody Fern feels like such a natural addition to the cast, and Michael fits right in with the Coven girls. It is a joy to watch. With that being said, it also feels like the Coven theme is taking over the apocalypse theme quite a bit, possibly too much. It's shifting the tone from the first couple of episodes from one of total darkness and misery to something lighter and campier. Whether that ends up being a bad thing or not we won't know until we see the season play out. But I'm enjoying the ride so far. How about you all?

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