SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Forbidden Fruit,” the third episode of “American Horror Story: Apocalypse.”
The third episode of “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” wasted no time in getting down to business and it did not let up for the full hour. Let’s get this out of the way right at the top — the “Coven” witches are back, baby! Things are about to get awesome. But first, let’s talk about the “Forbidden Fruit” bloodbath because a lot happened before the supernatural trio glided in the door like they were about to own the place.
At the top of the hour, Michael “Lestat” Langdon (Cody Fern) was still interrogating the bunker inhabitants to find out which ones would get to advance to the real safe house. He was looking for dark souls — ones that don’t just want to eat of the tree of forbidden fruit, but chop up that tree and use it for firewood.
Quickly it seemed he found just what he’s looking for in Mallory (Billie Lourd). Although it initially merely seemed like she was simply a put-upon assistant to helpless socialite Coco (Leslie Grossman), it turned out Mallory has felt like there was someone buried inside her, trying to claw her way out — and when Mallory felt threatened by Michael, this someone was unleashed, plunging the room into darkness as she threw Michael backward, with flames shooting out of the fireplace. Mallory had no idea what she just did, but she did know that Michael is not who he seems, as he revealed his demon face to her in a moment of rage.
Later, Michael begged for the devil (his father) to help him vanquish Mallory. Michael thought he had ended all of those like Mallory, but obviously at least one slipped by.
Meanwhile, Venable (Sarah Paulson) was furious that Michael wasn’t planning on taking her to the Sanctuary, so she plotted to kill everyone, Langdon included, and then use his computer to figure out where the safe house is. Miriam Mead (Kathy Bates) was totally on board, mostly because she’s a robot who is programmed to be unwaveringly loyal to Venable — or so she thought at the time of hatching the plan with Venable anyway, but more on that in a minute — and she really likes their chances of success. “You’re mean and self-involved enough to survive anything. And I’m a goddamn robot” is definitely the line of the episode.
Miriam also had a standout moment early in the episode when a little bit of her supposed backstory was revealed through flashes of various Halloween nights, including one in which she actually dressed as Rosie the Robot from “The Jetsons” to go trick-or-treating — how meta. She told Venable, in a scene not unlike Langdon’s interviews, that she wasn’t sure she was ever real and feared many of the memories were false, especially because in one of the most important ones to her, the little boy “with beautiful blond hair” she was so certain she had loved had no face.
The plan to kill everyone came together almost too easily for Venable and Miriam, as a crate of apples arrived at the outpost. They were somehow perfectly ripe, despite it being more than a year and a half after the nuclear blast, so without radiation to take out the inhabitants of the bunker, it came down to injecting the titular forbidden fruit with snake venom. Venable decided the easiest way to do this would be to throw a little party — a Victorian Halloween, naturally — and serve everyone poisoned apples like the Disney villain that she is.
Somehow in the 18 months since the nuclear blast Brock (Billy Eichner) only managed to lose some hair and some extremities. He lived through the missile attack and had been surviving (barely) ever since. When he spied the cooperative’s carriage riding by during his search for Coco, he stowed away underneath, popping up just in time for the party. Since everyone was wearing masks, Coco danced with him and divulged quite a lot more of her narcissism, assuming he was Langdon, the only male she couldn’t account for at the party. She propositioned him, but he was clearly still feeling betrayed by her leaving him, screaming on the street, behind to die. So after revealing himself to her, he stabbed her in the head.
But Coco was hardly the only casualty of the night. In fact, in a truly graphic scene involving copious amounts of vomit, no one survived the poisoned apples.
Venable and Miriam gloated their way into Langdon’s room to inform him that everyone is dead and they will be going to the Sanctuary. Venable ordered Miriam to kill Langdon, but he overode the order and forced Miriam to shoot Venable. He is the anti-christ after all, and everything being done is according to his will.
It turned out he was actually behind the poisoned apples plan — how else would a crate just have turned up at the perfect moment? And he helped develop the Mir-bot, modeling her after someone very important from his childhood, the only woman who ever loved him. That’s right, Miriam’s memory of the faceless boy was not false after all, it was just buried for her protection, according to Langdon. It seemed clear he was referring to his grandmother, Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange), because she was the one who ended up with the living Harmon twin at the end of the first season, “Murder House.” It has already been confirmed that Lange will reprise her role this season, only a few episodes from now, so it appears they are giving answers faster and more furiously than usual, and it should be fun to see if Lange and Bates have any interaction as two versions of the same woman.
But if all that weren’t enough for one episode, in the waning moments, three hooded figures arrive at the compound: “Coven’s” Cordelia Goode (Paulson), Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) and Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy). They’re there to resurrect their sisters. Yes, that’s right, Mallory wasn’t the only one who slipped by Langdon. Coco and Dinah (Adina Porter) are also singled out and given back their breath. So now the question is, if Langdon missed this, who’s really in charge?
Based on the previews for next week, it’s about to become the Cordelia-versus-Michael show, so it appears the Supreme still reigns.
“American Horror Story: Apocalypse” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.