HOLLYWOOD—I have to say, I thoroughly and I mean thoroughly enjoyed the seventh season of the hit FX series, “American Horror Story: Cult.” The past few seasons were either too over-the-top or quickly lost my interest, whereas “Cult” had riveting characters, a political element and just fantastic storytelling that had the viewer glued to the TV screen week after week to wonder how things would culminate.
The latest installment in the franchise, “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” takes things in a weird direction. I love how faces from previous seasons always return, but as new characters that allow them to showcase their versatility. The end of the world is near and those select few who survive are out for blood. Utter panic has erupted in Los Angeles to survive, and we have the great Joan Collins as Evie Gallant, Tate Langdon’s (Evan Peters) grandmother.
I love this character portrayed by Leslie Grossman; she’s feisty and a clear depiction of the self-absorbed A-list celebrity concerned about her wellbeing and no one else. “Apocalypse” is like a return to the past; where previous seasons are expected to collide in an epic, ‘The End’ of the world. Per expected, what so many of us think would happen if the world were to ever end, a select few, those with talent or skills superior to others are selected to survive. One of those people would be Timothy Campbell, who meets Tiffany, just before they were transported to a secluded region, somewhere I would argue is underground and away from the rest of civilization courtesy of the revered Kathy Bates, as Miriam Mead.
Wilhemina Venable (Sarah Paulson) is an interesting character to say the least; mysterious, yet interesting. This shelter might be a safe zone, but it seems more like a prison for its inhabitants. The notion of technology has seemed to vanish, the food portions are low as possible, they are eating a cube, a single cube, one that consists of all the nutrients needed for survival. Wow that slap by Wilhemina to Coco to teach her the importance of being humble was hilarious. I feel like I am watching an episode of “American Horror Story: Cult,” we’re only 30 minutes into the episode and this is absolutely crazy. Those who were contaminated with radiation were pulled from dinner table and scrubbed clean, but if you still showed any signs if radiation you die and it’s a brutal death to say the least.
Ok, we’re reaching levels of cannibalism, as our guests had a meaty dish that wasn’t what they thought it was leaving nearly all of them appalled. “Apocalypse” is setting the tone for the rest of the season, but if I have to admit, the episode was a bit slow in its kick-off. The audience meets notable characters, but we have yet to discover exactly what makes each tick or what the endgame is. In a clever play on time, the audience soon learns are survivors have been stuck in this underground tavern (if that is even accurate for close to 2 years) and they are starting to fracture. Tate loses it upon learning that food portions being cut, so much to the point he almost causes a revolution of sorts. He threatens to venture outside the compound, but that all changes with the arrival of the mysterious Michael Langdon (Cody Fern).
My interest is immediately peaked. We know nothing about this character, but he seems to challenge Wilhemina, not to mention he has another place where the survivors can venture into to ensure maximum survival. Did the premiere episode blow me out the water? No, but it dropped subtle eggs that have sutured me to keep watching. That relationship between Wilhemina and Miriam is very intriguing and I want to see where that goes. We shall see how the rest of the season transpires. “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.