American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 1 Review: The End

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The apocalypse is here, and if there is one thing to take away from this, it is that none of us are ready. 

It is starting how embedded we are in the idea of horror being a casual thing in which a moment like a missile announcement can be waved off by some and feel like a real reaction that could happen. 

During American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 1, missiles destroyed Earth, and there were only a few survivors who have to adjust to their new normal.

Some of them got this honor of staying alive because of money or connections, while others are believed to be perfect based on their genetic makeup that Ancestry or 23 and Me kindly provided the authorities before everything was in ruins. 

Ms. Wilhemina Venable - American Horror Story

"The End," written by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk, was fresh and frightening at the same time. It was the end of the world, and beyond that, there wasn't much hope. Yet, the premiere managed to standout by how easy it was to follow the worldbuilding.

There is so much left to learn, and it is interesting to have questions and to trust that the story is introducing risks, so it's very easy to get invested along the way.

American Horror Story Apocalypse Trailer: Hail Satan!

Welcome To The New Age

One of the best parts of the premiere was the way the new world was introduced; there was a concrete timeline, and it felt natural traveling through this setting.

There was no rush to shock the audience because the circumstances handled that all on their own, especially when it came to the worldbuilding.

Learning about a world unlike our own can be a difficult journey to craft so that the audience stays engaged, but the mystery surrounding just about everything could last until the finale.

There is the Outpost itself that is as sinister as it is intense, there is so much we don't know about how it is structured or who is in charge. 

Then there is the outside world; it is told to the characters and the audience that there is nothing out there but radiation and the remains of the disaster, but is that true?

Venable in Action - American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 1

Venable and Mead have already been introduced as untrustworthy narrators to those living under their rules, so trusting anything they say seems too simple and misleading.

It leads to questions about the other Outposts around the world and who survived there, something that will be touched upon soon.

Nobody is asking about the destruction itself, like how it occurred or its purpose.

Was blowing up everything to leave only a scattered select few a way to set up a new Earth? Is there going to be specific rebuilding or is it a way to test humanity?

It goes back to the advanced minds that invented this entire system, a mysterious group that has to be pure evil if they planned for this kind of apocalypse to happen. 

For now, though there are a few characters with whom to settle, most importantly Timothy and Emily.

Mr. Gallant: Missiles are coming.
Evie Gallant: So is global warming, It is probably fake news.

They come off as the purest and like they hold the key to the story being told to everyone. But they are already breaking rules by sharing one kiss a week.

Maybe more than once a week is them thinking they are risking the act of getting caught, but those looks and that touching at the table is already giving them away.

Regardless, they have to be the heart of the story, which might be necessary for a show that banks on horror and the evil of humanity.

Timothy and Emily, for now, are the best examples of promise based entirely on some algorithm that deems them pure, which means that in itself will have to get called into question because there is no way that is possible.

So for now, we wait.

Other characters in that bunker have presented themselves in this crisis. 

I don't know how to work a dishwasher or open a door.


Dinah Steven proves herself to be the bright light that many others don't have, especially eighteen months in with no sign of hope. Dinah believes in ways that place her in a specific corner of this story.

Then there is Evie Gallant, a person just happy to be along for the ride and not facing the end of the world.

In fact, everyone there is a different example of a survivor in this situation. There is even room to choose your own adventure by picking a survivor you identify with and watch how they handle things from here on out.

It is those that make too much noise that run the risk of being easy to get rid of, which just means Coco and Mr. Gallant.

Unless Mr. Gallant plays a part that he has no clue he could because there is no way Michael won't comment on the resemblance to his father, right?

American Horror Story: 19 Moments That Made Our Skin Crawl

Outpost #3: Inferno

Over the years there have been plenty of theories about how the seasons of American Horror Story might come together and if there is a plan in motion behind all of these various stories unfolding.

This may be an anthology, but it exists in the same universe, something to consider when plenty of the cast reappears over and over again.

A popular theory has been Inferno from Dante's Divine Comedy unfolding throughout each season. The poem follows Dante as he travels through Hell, which turns out to be nine concentric circles of torment located within the Earth. It is all meant to be a journey throughout which sin is recognized and rejected along the way. 

Outpost #3 - American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 1

Now it is possible that this season is the set up for the coincidental ninth season that reveals this plot twist and follows it toward its conclusion.

Or it could be that these Outposts that are created have something to do with these circles of torment, especially if there are other locations that contain characters from prior seasons.

The characters from Murder House and from Coven are expected to make an appearance, and there is room to suggest that this all is meant to be a way to torture them.

In fact, this next plan that has Michael Langdon, a placeholder for the devil, choosing who deserves to survive in the sanctuary that only he knows about is an interesting way to observe further torture of the last people on this Earth.

Wait, a pigeon? Can we eat it?!


Calling the divine beings is ridiculous when this brief peek into their lives is enough for us to understand that they are far from perfect. In fact, Emily and Timothy are the only ones that have been "confirmed" as perfect specimens based on genetic makeups. 

The others alluded to buying their place in this survivalist prison, specifically Coco and her group, they all had an explanation for why they deserved to live there, but they were shallow and small-minded reasons at that.

Something tells me that if Michael questions why they think they belong, saying you had the money or you were friends with a well-known actress isn't enough to get you into this following round.

Because now money and celebrity status is long gone, all that is left is this belief in genetics playing a part and possibly other defining traits that are worthy of starting things over again. 

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A Blast From The Past

That little kid that killed his babysitter is all grown up and running the apocalypse. 

This is where everyone pretends to be shocked since Michael was quite literally born for this.

It is a wonderful throwback in the way that it connects at least one season back to American Horror Story, and it gives some context to what happened since the original season of Murder House. 

Timothy Gets a Warning - American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 1

There is so much to be done with a character like Michael who represents everything that is pure evil about the world. 

There is space for character exploration and to build a villain in which fans are already invested, all of which happens before our favorite familiar faces show up to shake up everything.

With Michael though come even more questions, for example where he spends his time and what his grand plan is in all of this. Is he in a sense the one with the most power left on Earth?

There's no excuse for tardiness when there's nothing else to do.

Ms. Venable

Was there a way in which he could have been involved in the destruction that occurred in previous seasons or did he spend all this time planning this? 

It is safe to say that utilizing Michael this early in the season did wonders for the premiere, making it clear that the connections are there and it won't be kept from us until the last minute of the show.

And for a premiere that relied a bit too heavily on sudden revelations, all of which coincidentally was announced at the peak points in a specific scene, having a real threat allows the introduction to this season end with a bang.

It might not be said enough, but American Horror Story has struggled with seamlessly allowing the conflict to be written in early enough for the audience to be aware of it.

American Horror Story: Apocalypse demonstrated why using the simple equation of an issue being brought up and then the stakes getting higher with each twist works so well. 

What did you think of the episode? Is there anyone you are already rooting for? Is there someone from the past that you are anxious to see again? Which comedic moment stood out to you the most?

What theories do you already have forming about the Outposts, the characters, or the outside world? Did you find this to be a successful premiere for American Horror Story?

Let us know what you think below and don't forget that you can watch American Horror Story online, right here on TV Fanatic!

The End Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (46 Votes)

Yana Grebenyuk was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in April 2021.

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American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 1 Quotes

I don't know how to work a dishwasher or open a door.


Mr. Gallant: Missiles are coming.
Evie Gallant: So is global warming, It is probably fake news.