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American Horror Story - Sojourn - Review

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Sojourn was one small step forward for Michael, one giant leap backward for the show. Remember how I was talking before about how the first three episodes felt unnecessary? That those plotlines were just dropped? Well, this episode got back to a couple of them in the most boring way possible. We're eight episodes in with the showdown between the coven, the warlocks, and Michael just now ramping up, did we really need to bring that momentum to a screeching halt to focus on an episode about how Michael made Robot Mead with a random appearance of Venable to boot? Let's find out.

Just after the executions of Human Mead, Ariel, and Baldwin, Michael arrives on the scene and discovers what happened. He touches their burnt up corpses and gets a vision of who they were and how they died. He screams in agony. Cordelia, who's there for some reason, tells him it's over and they know who he is, and he can't bring his favorite worshipper Mead back because she hid her soul with a spell that he can't break. Considering he's literally gone into hell and brought people back from ashes, it's hard for me to imagine a simple spell would stop him from finding and resurrecting anyone. Good-natured Cordelia tries to reach out to him, but girl, no. He's the antichrist. He was literally born to be pure evil and he knows it. But before he destroys her and her coven before they can destroy him, he wants to bring back Human Mead. Okay, then. He's got his priorities in order, clearly.

Thus begins Michael's epic soulless-searching quest to get to know who he is as the antichrist and what he's supposed to do, even though I'm pretty sure it was made clear by Human Mead and those others that were with her, who are missing in action too by the way, when they found Michael. I guess he wasn't as attached to them as he was to Mead for some reason.

The one thing that bothers me about his and Mead's relationship is we didn't really see how it started and how they bonded. We just know they met and then he went to live with her. But, given what happens in the rest of the episode, I guess he just has a fondness for older ladies that take care of him.

He has a very Christlike moment where he drops in the middle of a forest and begs his father for help and guidance. He wants an answer now, or he's just going to stay and die there. He ends up staying in that exact same spot for four days, going crazy from hunger and dehydration. He hallucinates a bunch; kids, Mead, devils, angels, and a black goat and a snake that comes out of it. Is that his answer? He doesn't know.

He starts wandering the streets tired, hungry, and dazed. He finds his way to a devil-worshipping cult, led by Sandra Bernhard (one of the only two highlights of the episode). This is where the episode becomes a Christian church parody. They act the same way a priest and his or her congregation would, but with emphasis on worshiping Satan instead of God and sinning instead of being good/repenting. The way this is done this episode just comes off bland. It's just a straight up copy/mocking of Christians without any real substance.

Sandra's congregation is losing their faith, growing weak in their in their roles of the devil's disciples. She wants them to be doing really evil things, and stealing from work and sleeping with your wife's sister is not good enough. Harriet Sampson Harris (the second highlight) is one such disciple. Michael sits in the back next to her. She offers to take him back to her place for food. He says it's nice of her, and she says nobody's perfect. Because devil worshiper, remember? We're going to be reminded of that a lot.

At her place, she tries to get to know him. She talks to him all about the church, her faith in Satan, and how she sold her soul to him and is receiving blessings for her faithfulness. She thinks Satanism is the future of the world and that everybody needs to embrace their dark urges. While others in the congregation are losing hope, she isn't. She knows the antichrist is coming to fulfill Satan's plan. Michael is not affected by any of this. He's just a confused kid who has big shoes to fill but he doesn't know how to fill them. He reveals to her that he is the antichrist and she's waiting for nothing. But she doesn't see the confused mess he is, just that he's the savior.

They take this information back to the other devil worshipers, who are in the middle of sacrificing a doctor and a social worker because remember, these are evil devil worshipers. Harriet brings in Michael so he can be the one to sacrifice them. Why should he get to do it? Well, Michael reveals his 666 scar to them and tells them he's the antichrist. They bow down to him and he carelessly sacrifices the innocent people.

They feed him and marvel over him. He's not comfortable with it. Harriet wants to know what's going to happen now, but Michael has no idea. He doesn't know what to do. He's just mad that Human Mead is gone. Harriet tells him they can do something about that. She takes him to the center of some fellow devil worshipers she knows. Because she's helping him, she just wants one thing in return; for him to put a good word in with his father about her. She wants to be put her in the hottest fiery pit in hell because remember, she's an evil devil worshiper.

These fellow devil worshipers are two bowl cut-haired robot builders played by Evan Peters and Billy Eichner. Miss Venable is there too, working for them and secretly hating them because they are misogynistic coke addicts. She knows Michael is there, but she never actually gets to meet him, which upsets her.

Michael meets with the two and they mock his appearance and name. He's like, I'm out, but they apologize. They just don't know for sure he's the antichrist, so he proves it to them by showing his scar. Then for added effect, he spontaneously combusts their prostitute and shows them his demon face. That's all the proof they need.

They tell him about how they got into this, how they discovered the rich guys in Silicon Valley sold their souls and got all this stuff in return, and decided they wanted to do the same. They sold their souls and now own a robotics company and receive many other blessings. They agree to make him Robot Mead. Then they make her. The end.

I feel like this episode was a weak attempt to tie-in the first three episodes and explain how things got to be the way they are, but it feels pointless because we've gone so far away from those episodes that it feels like this is a step backward, or a step in a different direction we don't need. I honestly wish they had not even done those episodes and just started bang-on with the coven versus Michael, instead of wasting time on characters that ultimately bring nothing meaningful to the story. Another problem I have is I don't like seeing Evan Peters so underutilized with these random one episode characters. The only character that's had multiple episode screentime was Mr. Gallant, and that was like what, three episodes? And now he's dead. And not only did they needlessly touch back on those episodes, they only touched on Robot Mead. How did Venable come to power? Why were those two kids, Emily and Timothy, saved for the outpost? Why did Michael even make outposts? If we're getting answers about Mead, we should at least get answers about those as well. I'm hoping that will come once we get to the part where Michael nukes the world.

How are you all feeling about this episode and the season as a whole? And how much are you loving Cody Fern as the antichrist? In my opinion, he's been an absolute standout this season.

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