American Horror Story: Could It Be Satan?
October 4, 2018 4:29 PM - Season 8, Episode 4 - Subscribe

In the time before the apocalypse, the coven faces a challenge.
posted by kittens for breakfast (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Pro: Easily the best episode of a (so far) uneven storyline.

Con: This episode takes place almost entirely in flashback -- which doesn't necessarily bode well for the rest of the season.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:32 PM on October 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

I enjoyed this episode but I can't imagine anybody who hasn't watched all the previous seasons of AHS would even slightly understand what was going on. And while I enjoy this kind of exploring-its-own-mythology stuff in a lot of shows but it's not typically what I look to AHS for. (I mean, for one thing, to do it well requires some consistency in the worldbuilding which is...let's just say, not AHS's forte.) And I suspect after the novelty wears off, all these callbacks to prior seasons are gonna start feeling like Family Guy humor - "Hey, here's a reference to a thing you like!" So while I enjoyed the episode, they can't really keep going in this vein and I'm not even faintly sure how they get back from "showdown between witches and the Antichrist" to something that actually feels like, y'know, horror.

I will also say that, a few seasons later, my fondness for AHS: Hotel has obviously increased, I was pretty excited to see the place again. It definitely snuck up the ranks of my favorite seasons of this show at some point and I don't think I realized how much until suddenly we were back there again.

(I was totally right about the architecture of the school for boys being a Coven reference though.)
posted by mstokes650 at 6:23 PM on October 4, 2018 [4 favorites]

Literally every time I see BD Wong's name come up in the credits for anything, I think of the meme about what it really means when kids use abbreviations on the internet, and how "NBD" means "No BD Wong," and, therefore, something that is inferior. And it's true: everything is better with BD Wong.

I'm not sure anyone new is really watching AHS. I do think it's sad that I'm more excited to watch March and Queenie play cards than I am to see Coco or Mallory do anything, and that does underscore how underwhelming Apocalypse has been. But this show is pretty long in the tooth. If we can still have fun with the old stuff, why not? It could definitely become a self-referential nightmare if the show lasts another five seasons, but that doesn't feel very likely. AHS: Greatest Hits is maybe an appropriate venture now.

(TBH I'm not exactly sure how the fuck the show even has a ninth season unless they hit some kind of continuity reset button. I guess everything could be set in the past from now on?)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:08 PM on October 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm glad to see Queenie back after she was rather unceremoniously killed in Hotel.

So now we have connections between Murder House/Coven/Hotel/Apocalypse. There are also connections between Asylum/Freak Show/Roanoke/Cult Pepper in both Asylum and Freak Show, and also other Asylum characters in Pepper's flashback episode in Freak Show; Lana Winters (mainly Asylum) appears towards the end of Roanoke; Twisty (mainly Freak Show) also appears in Cult.

I may be forgetting something, but I don't think there are any connections yet between those two groups of seasons. Will we see them all connected? It's not implausible that the events of Cult led to the apocalypse.

The apparent emnity between witches and warlocks seems to be at odds with Quentin being on the Witches' Council back in Coven. I don't really expect the show to explain this. But hey, maybe #NotAllWarlocks.

Agreed that this was the best episode of the season so far. Kind of both hoping and fearful that this turns into Coven Part II. Hoping because that was one of my favorite seasons and I like nearly all of the Coven characters; fearful because that suggests some of the creativity has dried up.

"Airline food for lunch when I made reservations at Galatoire's. It's just too cruel."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:34 AM on October 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

I've wondered as well whether there aren't two AHS universes. The Asylum/Freak Show/Roanoke/Cult universe would seem to be more realistic -- Cult and Freak Show are largely non-supernatural, Roanoke could could be explained away as a hoax, I guess, and Asylum is pretty normal minus the aliens. Cult and Roanoke also seem like weird fits for a world where the events of Coven's last episode took place.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:12 PM on October 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Okay well if we're saying there are no more ideas, I think it would be hilarious if the final season was just Sarah Paulson playing every freaking character. At this point I wouldn't put anything past the writers!

Honestly my love of brutalist architecture, Fritz Lang's noir films and Coven's bitchcraft-y dialogue are making this season one of my favorites. I also agree that Hotel is one of the best prior AHS seasons, both stylistically and character-wise. (Let's face it -- that season's a longform R-rated music video.)

Apocalypse hasn't yet committed the mortal sin of having something so completely off-the-wall grotesque happen that's just an unresolved plot hole at the end of the season. I'm thinking of:

- mattress demon from Hotel
- Coven's Minotaur
- the angry dead football kids from Murder House
- Asylum aliens

I thought Robot Mead might be this season's MacGuffin, but Satanist Kathy Bates in this week's flashback is one of the funniest things she's done so far.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:06 PM on October 5, 2018 [6 favorites]

I started watching AHS with hotel so I don't know any of the back story that I'm watching and still enjoying this one. (had been avoiding the show because I don't like gore and get scared easily but the Hotel was too enticing not to peak at and I got hooked)
posted by armacy at 2:04 PM on October 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also, glad to see a Bronzino painting in the boys' school (but now I can't remember which one.
posted by armacy at 3:23 PM on October 7, 2018

So great seeing March again and hearing that voice. Evan Peters should have at least been nominated for awards that season.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:59 AM on October 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

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