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‘American Horror Story’ Recap: ‘Traitor’ Leans Into Mallory as the Next Supreme

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Traitor,” the seventh episode of “American Horror Story: Apocalypse.”

It was always going to be hard for “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” to top the returns of Jessica Lange, Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott last week — and this week struggled a bit to meet that level of excitement. Fortunately, they saved a couple of other fun returns for “Traitor,” plus added some satisfying deaths and leaned hard into the idea that Mallory (Billie Lourd) is the next Supreme.

After Madison (Emma Roberts) reported back to the coven about her findings at Murder House, Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) decided they needed to take any available resource in order to stop the antichrist (Cody Fern) from becoming the new Supreme. So she tracked down Dinah Stevens (Adina Porter), a voodoo practitioner who took her to see Papa Legba (Lance Reddick).

He said he could help her stop Michael, but he would need a huge sacrifice as payment — all of her girls’ souls. Legba revealed to her he already has one of them when Nan (Jamie Brewer) appeared, telling Cordelia she loves it in hell. Cordelia had no idea her own mother sacrificed Nan to Papa Legba and she couldn’t bring herself to sacrifice all of her girls.

Meanwhile, Myrtle (Frances Conroy) and Madison headed off on their own mission to infiltrate the warlocks’ coven using the powers of witch Bubbles McGee (Joan Collins), a B-movie actress who can read minds. After getting Ariel (Jon Jon Briones) and Baldwin (BD Wong) drunk, Bubbles discovered they murdered John Henry (Cheyenne Jackson) — though it wasn’t made clear that Baldwin knew anything about that — and that they planned to lay waste to the witches once Michael is Supreme.

And in what is definitely the most interesting storyline of the week, back at the Academy there was also some talk about Cordelia growing weaker, not because Michael is rising, but because Mallory is the next rising Supreme. Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) was the one who finally said it out loud after seeing Mallory perform a magical emergency tracheotomy in order to save poor dumb Coco (Leslie Grossman) after she choked on a Hostess Sno Ball.

To her credit, Cordelia seemed fine with Mallory rising because she knew this is the way things have always been done, though it remains to be seen if she’ll really accept her fate without a struggle. One imagines that would be hard for any Supreme. But for now, with whatever time Cordelia had left, she wanted to take the fight to the warlocks, so the witches went to where John Henry was killed and had Mallory use her tremendous power to bring him back from a pile of ashes.

He promptly told them that it was actually a woman who killed him and the Coven set about taking out Miriam (Kathy Bates), and then Baldwin and Ariel. They let John Henry light the fuse to burn the three of them at the stake; the two warlocks screamed in pain, but Miriam just smiled maniacally as the witches just walked away. They now also count both John Henry and Chablis (Billy Porter) as their allies, which can only add to their power as a group.

It wasn’t the most exciting hour of “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” this season, but it did lay some good groundwork for how Michael must come to strike out on his own away from the warlocks. And what in the name of Fiona Goode are Evan Peters and Billy Eichner doing in those hideous wigs in next week’s previews? Talk about an apocalypse.

“American Horror Story: Apocalypse” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

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