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‘American Horror Story’ Recap: The Son of Satan Rises in ‘Sojourn’

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

There is usually a point in every “American Horror Story” season where everything gets really weird. “Sojourn” was that point for “Apocalypse.” There were some bright spots, like Sandra Bernhard as a Satanist preacher and the volunteer All Sinners Choir’s beautiful rendition of “O Fortuna.” But the Coven’s absence was conspicuous, to say the least.

In the aftermath of the burnings in the seventh episode, Michael (Cody Fern) was horrified to see what had been done to his compatriots. He vowed to Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) to bring at least Miriam (Kathy Bates) back, but she told him her soul was hidden by a spell that even Michael could not break so there would be no bringing her back. She instead offered Michael a friendly hand, which he soundly rejected, promising he would kill every last witch for what they had done. Somehow, Michael’s shaggy-haired anger didn’t pack much of a wallop, though — probably because he looked like the lead singer of an evil boy band.

After storming angrily off into the woods to draw a pentagram and ask his father for help, Michael cooled his heels for four days and started hallucinating — children, his followers, an angel in a diaper and then finally a goat, which he slaughtered and ripped the horns off of, only to have snakes slither out of the horn holes. Well, that’s some prime nightmare fuel right there. Thanks, “American Horror Story.”

Freshly revived after his walkabout, Michael found his way into a Satanist church service and met a nice woman named Madeline (Harriet Sansom Harris) who fed him a hot meal and believed him when he said that he was the risen Antichrist they’ve all been waiting for, so he was on board with Madeline. Any port in a storm, as they say.

She took him to Black Mass and showed the congregation his mark of the beast, which earned Michael the honor of performing that week’s human sacrifice. The Satanists rejoiced about finding their leader, but Michael couldn’t be who they wanted because he was having a crisis of evil faith and didn’t really know what to do next.

So Madeline then took him to meet two sex-obsessed cokehead tech genius billionaire Satanists (played by Evan Peters and Billy Eichner, looking certifiably insane in their horrible wigs), who employ Ms. Venable (Paulson) as their executive assistant — and loved purple even then. Michael had expressed to Madeline his desire to have Miriam back, and being that these tech geniuses specialized in robotics, they got right to work creating the robot version of Miriam “Apocalypse” viewers met in the bunker. Interestingly, these two were the only ones who questioned Michael’s authority, albeit momentarily, noting that the mark of the beast he sports could just be a tattoo. He quickly proved his power by setting a woman on fire with his mind in front of them, though, and fueled by wanting to please the son of Satan, the duo made sure to make Robot Miriam better than the original, by giving her Mossad skills.

Without breaking a sweat, Frick and Frack were able to bring back Miriam for Michael and she even recognized him right away. But that’s where the episode ended, which felt like a lot was left hanging. With only two episodes left, there are still a lot of questions about the events that led directly to the bunker, as well as what purpose characters like Timothy (Kyle Allen) were supposed to serve post-apocalypse. Remember Timothy? He was pulled from his family, told he had something special for the end of the world, but then killed in the bunker and unlike those with magical abilities, not resurrected. Or so it seemed.

And speaking of the apocalypse, with the coven storming the bunker and Brock (Eichner) still on the loose inside in the present-day timeline, there has to be a showdown coming. But with only two episodes left this season, there’s a lot to cover in a short amount of time.

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

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