Not a Bad Apple in the Bunch.
Warning: Full spoilers for the episode follow…
Hah. There’s the tie-in we’ve been waiting for!
No more allusions to connective Coven tissue or whiffs of Murder House collusion, but actual Coven witches arriving on the scene. Just as Sarah Paulson’s Apocalypse character fell, her Coven role, “Supreme” Cordelia, showed up to – hopefully – answer a question or twelve.
So, yes, business picked up at the end of “Forbidden Fruit.” Things got interesting. Ah, but does interesting mean good? Not necessarily. See, one of the greatest tricks American Horror Story has pulled over the years is becoming a show so utterly overflowing with massive “WTF?” moments that it gaslights us into thinking good things are happening. Well, things are happening, surely. But that’s all. It’s just plot movement. For every one question answered, three more get raised. Miriam Mead actually being a robot is so bizarre and arbitrary that it feels like a small weird part of a fridge magnet poem where someone keeps switching the words around.
But, if we were to parse some of the goings-on in the final few minutes we’d learn that Michael is definitely the Son of Satan (not that Murder House ever portrayed him as anything else), Mead is the robot he built (possibly based on Jessica Lange’s Constance, given Michael’s affection), and Mallory, Dinah, and Coco are…witches?
Now, are there actual Coven witches trapped in these characters’ bodies? Mallory mentioned feeling like someone, something was trapped inside her. Or are these three characters just witches we’ve never met before? Witches who, for whatever reason, forgot they were witches. At least Mallory had. Coco seemingly too. Given Dinah’s chat with Michael at the top of the episode though, she seemed to know exactly who she was. And he did too.
Still, he was only semi-suspicious of Dinah. He didn’t see her as an out-and-out threat like the scenario Mallory presented to him. In fact, the way he treated Dinah, I had guessed that she was someone who’d made a pact with the devil years earlier. Perhaps to keep her show on the air or preserve her youth or something along those lines. Michael mentioned knowing her from before the world went to hell so I thought she was just known to evil forces. The way he treated her was very different from the way he freaked out over Mallory. So that needs clearing up.
Anyhow, I did wonder if these three Outpost women sort of housed the old Coven cast. As vessels, perhaps. Like, maybe Violet and Queenie were in there somewhere. But the Apocalypse reports have all the Coven stars coming back to play themselves so this theory burned out quickly. Also, how are Myrtle and Madison back? They actually died on Coven. To be fair, Madison did get to spring that “Surprise, bitch!” early-age-of-memes line on Mallory. So it was supposed to be a surprise, technically.
As for the rest of “Forbidden Fruit?” Eh. It was a lot of the same type of nonsense we’ve been watching for the past few weeks. People shuffling from room to room, plotting against each other, being snarky, getting killed – the usual. More specifically, really annoying characters getting killed by other characters who’ve built up a ton of stored anger over how annoying they are. This week it was Billy Eichner’s Brock popping up at the Outpost, as an irradiated nomad, to put down Coco via knife to the skull. It was a fun little moment, though part of me misses the idea of Eichner just being in the season for that opening scene and the great line about not wanting to die in Santa Monica.
I’ll say this: Credit where it’s due. The show did sort of clean house this week. Everyone who wasn’t a robot or the spawn of Satan got killed. On the flip side though…who cares? As they all choked and vomited (like, everywhere), all I could think was “I feel nothing.” It wasn’t scary, it wasn’t funny, it was just…a happening. The two people I might have cared for, Timothy and Emily, were disqualified this week because their whole storyline got dropped. After being such a big deal the first two weeks, they barely spoke here. More puke came out of their mouth than words.