‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse’ Recap ‘Return to Murder House’: Mark of the Beast

In the ‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse’ recap, Madison and Chablis travel to the infamous Murder House and visit some spirits to find out the truth about Michael Langdon…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

The last few episodes of ‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse’ have really been nothing more than a series of flashbacks and yet it’s some of the strongest work the show has done in several seasons.

Last week saw Michael Langdon undergo the test of the Seven Wonders in an attempt to usurp control of the coven from the real Supreme Cordelia Goode because he knew as the Antichrist that a group of powerful witches would be the only ones strong enough to stop him from destroying the world and remaking it in his own image.

Cordelia knew there was something off with Langdon but she went through the motions to allow him to believe he was going to ascend to the throne but she was secretly plotting against him this entire time.

The problem is the truth was still evading her about Langdon and she needed to dig into his background to find out more about this incredibly powerful yet undeniably mysterious boy with all the powers.

So to get to the bottom of his origin story, Cordelia sent one of her witches, Madison Montgomery, and a top warlock named Chablis to Los Angeles where they would go to Langdon’s birthplace to find out exactly where he came from.

That birthplace is the infamous ‘Murder House’ from the first season of ‘American Horror Story’ and that meant Madison and Chablis were going to interact with a lot of the ghosts who are trapped there for eternity.

What resulted was one gigantic fan fiction episode where everybody’s favorites from the first season of ‘American Horror Story’ returned in a glorious hour filled with the history of Michael Langdon — most of which we already knew but that really doesn’t matter considering how fun it all was in the end.

And the episode was directed by Sarah Paulson, who did a phenomenal job in her first time behind the camera (and here’s hoping to many more for the queen of ‘American Horror Story’).

With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse’ titled ‘Return to Murder House’…

The Spirits are Restless

After arriving in Los Angeles dressed as a happily married couple, Madison and Chablis talk their way into buying the ‘Murder House’ under the strictest of warnings that more than 30 people have died there so it’s buy at your own risk.

After signing the deed, witch and warlock arrive at the house and immediately Chablis notices an eerie feeling in the air with a lot of restless spirits wandering around this house.

Before long, Chablis is chanting an incantation and performing a ritual that will reveal the ghosts trapped in the house so they can begin their investigation into Michael Langdon’s origin. The spell works because almost immediately Madison is jarred when she spots a couple of the ghosts wandering around the hallways.

They walk downstairs and immediately encounter their first ghosts as Ben Harmon is locked in an intense therapy session with Tate Langdon. They’ve been at this routine for years — Tate trying to figure out a way to get back into Violet’s good graces and Ben explaining how Tate did really awful things to make her lose faith in him. When Madison and Chablis arrive, Tate is stunned because the ghosts are only supposed to be able to reveal themselves when they want to be seen.

Despite the powers possessed by the witch and warlock, Tate scoffs at the threat that they could do something in retaliation — after all what are they going to do, make them more dead?

Tate busts out of the session and Ben is not much more help because it’s time for his daily routine where he stares out the window, openly weeps and masturbates. Madison prefers not to get information from Ben, who she calls the ‘tearjerker’ but they soon find a different kind of help has arrived.

Billie Dean Howard — medium to the stars or a flea market version of Miss Cleo — shows up and she’s still very much alive and one of the only living souls that the ghosts allow to travel through this house. She warns Madison and Chablis that they are playing with fire by even being in this house but after they mention the name Michael Langdon, a cold hush washes over everybody.

That’s went the real ghost with the most makes her first appearance as Constance Langdon (the great Jessica Lange) makes her return and announces that this is her ‘fucking house’.

Mark of the Beast

Witches or not, Constance isn’t in the mood to give out any information on her grandson without a little something in return. She asks Madison and Chablis to use their power to rid the house of Moira — the maid who used to bang Constance’s husband — so she can actually rest in peace.

Rather than damning her to hell or some other weird fate, Madison and Chablis dig up her bones and ask Moira where she wants to be buried and with that they can release her soul from this house. She wants to spend eternity next to her mother and they grant her request so Moira is able to reconnect with her dearly departed mother and they walk off to heaven hand in hand.

Upon returning, Constance is ready to spill the beans on her wayward grandson.

Constance then goes into a long dialogue about Langdon’s upbringing and how she started to realize at an early age that something was off with this kid. At first, Langdon was just killing small animals and mutilating them but eventually he graduated to murdering the babysitter, which is how we left this kid at the end of the first season of ‘American Horror Story’.

Despite his murderous habits, Constance was committed to raising Langdon right so she continue to forge ahead making every attempt to correct his behavior. Sadly, a priest was eventually brought in but he was also slaughtered. Constance then got the biggest clue that her grandson was more than just a serial killer waiting to be freed when she woke up one morning and Langdon had aged a decade overnight.

That’s when she realized there was no saving this kid and Constance decided to take her own life inside the ‘Murder House’ so at least she’d be locked away for eternity with a couple of her children that she could mother from here to eternity.

After learning that his grandmother took her own life, Langdon was distraught and that’s when Ben Harmon entered the picture in an attempt to help the boy.

Ben gave him therapy and attempted to spark to life whatever good was left inside of Langdon’s decaying soul but it was a fruitless effort. Langdon entertains himself by dismembering the ghosts in the house — including a surprise return from Mena Suvari as the Black Dahlia.

When a new lesbian couple purchased the house a few years ago, they barely got their first box inside before Langdon — dressed as the Rubber Man — killed them both but then a really strange thing happened.

Rather than their ghosts join the rest of the people in the house, Langdon burned them up and sent their souls to hell. Ben knew that Langdon was not just a troubled kid on his way to serial killer status — he had some kind of power.

Enter Vivien Harmon, who finally made her return to cap off the story about Michael Langdon.

She explained that Langdon isn’t Ben’s son and he was never actually Tate’s son either — because this child was spawned from the very fires of hell.

After witnessing the kind of power that Langdon possessed, Vivien realized that he was something much more than just an evil kid. That theory was realized when a trio of Satanists led by the black pope Anton LaVey — and two of his cardinals including Ms. Mead — arrived at the house to tell Langdon about his true identity.

They perform a black mass and at the end Langdon munches on a freshly cut out heart and that helps him ascend to his place as the true son of Satan and the Antichrist. Seeing all of this happen convinces Vivien that Langdon has to die but her attempt to kill him is thwarted when he sets her soul aflame.

Thankfully, Tate intervened and saved her from peril but Langdon survived and escaped the house to spread his black plague throughout the world and bring about the apocalypse.

With that bit of information, Madison and Chablis now for certain that Langdon is evil incarnate and not the next Supreme but rather the person who will be responsible for unmaking the world. They prepare to leave but as one final gesture of good will, Madison pays a visit to a sad, sulking Violet, who is off crying in the corner of the house.

Madison exacts a spell on her that allows Violet to see Tate saving her mother from Langdon and that’s enough to convince her to give him a second chance.

As Madison and Chablis get in their car to travel back to the warlock lair and warn Cordelia about Langdon’s true nature, they see Tate and Violet kissing in the window as a sign of their eternal love being reignited.

Unfortunately given the state of the world after Langdon enacts his planned apocalypse, there may not be a murder house left for any of them to live in.

At least now Madison and Chablis have the goods on Langdon but obviously whatever they found out wasn’t enough to stop him from laying waste to the entire planet. Next week will surely reveal more as we come closer and closer to the ultimate showdown between Langdon and the witches.

‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse’ returns next Wednesday night at 10pm ET on FX.

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