Major spoiler warning!! Be sure you've watched the final installment of American Horror Story: Apocalypse before reading on.
Ryan Murphy & Co. have had us guessing with American Horror Story: Apocalypse since before the theme was even revealed. Those questions just kept piling up as the season went on, too, with the interconnected AHS timeline seemingly being made irrelevant by Michael "The Arrogant Antichrist" Langdon's doomsday actions. However, as many fans predicted, "Apocalypse Then" brought some familiar faces back up to help retcon the 2019 armageddon and throw the franchise's timeline into upheaval.
Let's look at what happened in the American Horror Story: Apocalypse finale, and how it affected this series' past stories and characters.
Supreme Mallory: The Time Traveler
Admittedly, it would take a while to dig into every single thing that went down in "Apocalypse Then," which finally finished setting up all the characters in the pre-apocalypse timeline. Suffice to say, Michael was almost no match for either his witchy attackers or the returning voodoo queen Marie Laveau, whose heart Michael rips out with glee.
For what it's worth, this sequence also killed off Dinah (hatchet to the neck), Coco (broken neck), Brock (burned to death), Madison (head exploded), and Mead (robo-explosion). Things are capped off when Cordelia, seeing that Mallory's powers still aren't strong enough, has to make the ultimate sacrifice by killing herself. This gives Mallory the boost she needs to perform the time travel spell. Which takes us to...
2015-2019: The Important Changes
Mallory killed Michael. Without much hesitation, Mallory zipped back to 2015, where viewers watched Michael and Constance have a previously unseen argument about the priest Michael killed. She kicked him out out of the house, and when he ran into the street, that's when Mallory plowed into him with her car. Surely he'll live forever inside Murder House, right? Nope.
Constance denies Michael's eternity. Instead of picking Michael up and taking him into Murder House to die, which would allow him to live on as a ghost with the Harmons and others, Constance simply tells him to go to Hell. She leaves him to die all crumpled in the street, which resets the course of history that we'd just spent all season watching. presumably allowing for situations in the series' far future, such as Billie Dean Howard's interview with John Lowe in 2022 for Hotel.
Future Mallory Is Cordelia's Protégé. In a move I'd rather try not to explain, 2019 Mallory heads to Miss Robicheaux's Academy in 2015, and somehow settles into her role there. She is the only one among the witches that has the knowledge of what happened in the other timeline, and that she is responsible for changing things. This was a little much, especially on top of the semi-copout of time travel being used to retcon the season in the first place. Where the hell did Mallory even come from?
Queenie won't ever battle Ramona Royale. Within the coven, Mallory advises Gabourey Sidibe's Queenie to stay away from a certain hotel when making a trip to L.A., which presumably means that Queenie's appearance in American Horror Story: Hotel has been vanquished. (Which, like other changes, will have its own effects, meaning Ramona Royale remained suffering after feeding on diseased kids.) So, obviously, that means Queenie got to go on The Price Is Right and destroyed everyone else.
Misty was resurrected again, because obviously. Though Lily Rabe's Misty Day wasn't strong enough to help in taking Michael down for American Horror Story: Apocalypse, she was still worth resurrecting to see more from Stevie Nicks. But with the timeline adjusted, and with Mallory winning over some of Hell's minions by taking out Satan, Misty is allowed to escape the underworld. All is well again.
Madison and Nan are still in Hell though. Just because Mallory is all-powerful doesn't mean she's all-forgiving and all-ethical. She decides to leave Madison sucking it up in Hell for .just a while longer before going to retrieve her. Jamie Brewer's Nan, meanwhile, chose to remain Papa Legba's right hand ma'am by staying in Hell.
Myrtle is still dead. Even though Frances Conroy's Myrtle came back and played a pretty big role in taking down Michael and his followers, Mallory's time travel deeds meant Cordelia never needed to resurrect Myrtle. Thus, the fantastically coifed character remains one with the dead.
No peace for the Murder House ghosts. Considering Michael Langdon didn't become a threat to the world after 2015, there was no reason for Madison and Behold Chablis to head back to Murder House. Which means they aren't able to reconnect Violet and Tate, they don't get to hear about Ben's crying-while-masturbating habits, and they don't get to give Moira peace by burying her bones with her mother.
2020 And Beyond: The Important Changes
Emily and Timothy meet anew. One of American Horror Story: Apocalypse's most frustrating mysteries involved Kyle Allen's Timothy and Ashley Santos' Emily, who spawned a host of speculative theories upon being introduced. Mallory's time travel meant they didn't get killed off inside Outpost 13, but also meant they didn't meet there. Thankfully, the genetically approved couple did cross paths during a protest in 2020, proving that some connections are stronger than the show's ties that bind them.
Emily and Timothy birth a new Antichrist. Wouldn't you know it? Michael Langdon may have died five years earlier after aging ten years in a single day, but that doesn't mean he's the only one capable of doing so. In 2024, Emily and Timothy have their own Constance moment when they stumble upon their own bloodied toddler sitting in a rocking chair in front of a fresh corpse. A "helpful" Anton LaVey arrives with Kathy Bates' Ms. Mead and AHS vet Naomi Grossman's cardinal, and it's clear that the cycle is beginning once more.
Undoubtedly, there are more timey-wimey connections to be made here, as well as unintended consequences from Mallory's actions. What if Constance decided to do a bunch of other things with her life instead of kill herself? What if the Harmon family ghosts fucked up even more people's lives after that time? Will any of this mess with anyone's lives in Cult or Roanoke?
Those questions and more will likely just fade away with time. Thankfully, American Horror Story won't, since FX has already previously renewed the horror anthology through Season 9 and Season 10. Where will they go, and what time frames will they visit? Stay tuned for whatever updates Ryan Murphy feels like giving away in the next six months.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.