American Horror Story: Apocalypse: What Horrors Await at the Murder House?

This post contains spoilers for American Horror Story: Apocalypse Episode 5, “Boy Wonder.”

Who could have guessed that one of 2018s most joyous surprises would be B.D. Wong playing piano for an out-of-the-blue Stevie Nicks number on American Horror Story?

On Wednesday night, A.H.S.: Apocalype took its crossover madness to the next level, bringing back one of our last absentee Coven witches, Lily Rabes Misty Day—as well as the White Witch herself, played by Nicks. Next week it will go even further by returning to the Murder House. This seasons high-wire act of camp, glamour, and Satanic imagery could very well fall apart at any moment—but it also still holds tantalizing possibilities.

This weeks episode, “Boy Wonder,” was in flashback mode—revisiting how Michael Langdon, a prophesied Antichrist, rose to power. In Michael, the warlocks of Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men thought theyd found someone whose magic was powerful enough to rival the Supreme witchs—which would enable warlocks to seize control of a magical community traditionally ruled by women. But it looks like Michael and his surrogate mother, Kathy Batess Satan worshipper character, are simply angling to overthrow the magical community for their own nefarious purposes.

However corrupt his motivation, Michael did restore one of A.H.S.s most crucial missing ingredients by rescuing the long deceased Misty Day from her own personal hell: dissecting frogs in high school, over and over again. (Misty, as Coven fans might recall, is a very tender soul.) And thats where Stevie Nicks comes in: current Supreme Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson) summons Mistys idol, the White Witch, to sing “Gypsy” and restore her gentlest witchs spirit. B.D. Wong, who joined the series this season as a warlock named Baldwin, accompanies on piano.

Cordelia clearly sees the writing on the wall: her powers are fading, and Michael Langdon is ascending. But she says shell never name Michael the next Supreme. Instead, she orchestrates a recon mission that presumably will begin next episode: Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) along with the warlock Chablis (Billy Porter) will travel to the Murder House in Los Angeles, where Michael was born.

Even for a season all about intertwined references, this week went above and beyond when it came to fan service—but its campy tone ensured that everything landed just right. And though the season could always collapse under the weight of messy excess, the story has been relatively easy to follow thus far, with digressions kept to a minimum—relative to other A.H.S. seasons, at least. Rather than race to a messy middle, Apocalypse has built a pretty sturdy foundation, all building up to one big question: what will happen next week, with everyone heading to the Murder House?

Heres what we know for certain: Jessica Lange is set to return as Constance Langdon, next-door neighbor to the Murder House and Michaels paternal grandmother. This will be Langes first visit back to A.H.S. since Season 4, in an episode directed by Sarah Paulson. In a promo clip, Chablis can be heard saying that he and Madison will have to draw out the spirits in the Murder House. Once they do, we already know who theyre likely to meet: Charles Montgomery (Matt Ross), the mad “surgeon to the stars,” and his wife, Nora (Rabe again); Tate Langdon (Evan Peters), Michaels father and Constances son; and the Harmons, Ben (Dylan McDermott), Vivien (Connie Britton), and Violet (Taissa Farmiga, who also stars this season as Zoe Benson). Other ghosts haunt the Murder House, but its unclear if well get more of, say, Zachary Quinto as Chad Warwick.

It seems inevitable that Madison and Chablis will learn Michaels parentage—he is the spawn of Tate Langdon, dressed as the Rubber Man, and Vivien Harmon, raped by Tate—and perhaps theyll find a connection between Madison and Charles Montgomery as well. The two have long been suspected relatives, given their shared last name and Los Angeles roots. Theres also a solid possibility that our magical partners in crime will run into Billie Dean Howard, giving Paulson a third character to play this season. Howard is, after all, the medium who first predicted Michael Langdon would usher in the end times. Plus, Paulson can be seen standing in the Murder House with Madison and Chablis in the promo for next week. Its not entirely clear who she is playing, but since Cordelia sent Madison and Chablis in her stead, it seems likely Paulson is in character as the medium.

Based on the promo clip, it appears that next week will move toward a more traditional horror aesthetic, as seen in Murder House—rather than the sumptuous production and costume design of Coven. In other words, expect lots of blood, creepy-crawlies, and demonic imagery. So proceed with caution and, perhaps, a blanket to hide under.

Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Laura BradleyLaura Bradley is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.

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