The premiere episode of American Horror Story: Apocalypse — the FX series’ much-anticipated crossover season — blew up the world with nukes and devastated mankind, save for a select few people trapped in underground bunkers. For the most part, except for the flashes of Murder House and Coven imagery in the title sequence, this first episode stayed away from the previous seasons, establishing its own story and canon instead.
But don’t worry, the last moments of the episode promised the coming crossover with the appearance of one Michael Langdon.
Langdon is the son of Murder House characters Tate Langdon (Evan Peters) and Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton), conceived when the former raped the latter and born in the finale of Murder House. He is also the product of human and ghost, a spawn that medium Billie Dean Howard (Sarah Paulson) prophesied to “usher in the end of times.”
Fitting, for an apocalypse.
Sporting a very plague doctor-esque radiation suit, the now-grown Michael descends from his ominous black horse-drawn carriage and presents his calling card. He’s sent from the Cooperative, the mysterious organization that has wrangled up “worthy candidates” to put in the apocalypse safe houses. He tells Ms. Venable (Sarah Paulson) that he has been sent to judge which of the surviving members of Outpost Three are to be truly saved and sent to the last remaining outpost. It could be all of them — or none of them.
It’s all very Judeo-Christian in how it unfolds: the final judgment, the immediate decimation of the unworthy, an all-powerful being named Michael (except this one doesn’t seem like he’s going to be the archangel that defeats the devil).
We don’t know if Michael is in charge of the Cooperative, or if he is simply a high-ranking representative sent by them. We also have very little idea of what the Cooperative is. Venable mentions that it’s a collection of the dozen greatest minds bent on saving humanity, and she seems like a devout follower until she sneaks away with Ms. Mead and laughs about how they’re not following the chain of command at all. And we still don’t know how the Murder House ghosts and the Coven witches play into all of this. Will it take magic to save the planet?
The last time Michael Langdon appeared in American Horror Story was the very last moments of Murder House, when his grandmother Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) returns home to find that he’s murdered the nanny.
“Now what am I gonna do with you?” she mutters, but then smiles and brushes his cheek.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.