American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 5 Review: Boy Wonder

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There's always a risk of everything getting destroyed when you put a man in charge of something, more specifically the devil trying to become the next Supreme. 

The witches, including some of the Cooperatives that are meant to be on Michael's side, learn that the hard way when he begins to test out the Seven Wonders in an attempt to take over for Cordelia.

Through consistent flashbacks, Michael's rise continues to get tracked, and it ends with an infuriating tease of the Murder House. 

During American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 5, Michael came out on top when he managed to achieve the impossible by bringing Misty back. But with that attempt came more suspicion about his intentions, and more people are now starting to worry about what the future will hold if Michael is involved. 

Terrifying Dreams - American Horror Story

"Boy Wonder" written by John J. Gray set up the final wheels that when in motion let the Coven transcend back to American Horror Story Season 1: Murder House seamlessly. It flowed through Michael facing off against Cordelia, and it brought up early hints regarding the apocalypse.

It was another episode that allowed Michael to take center stage, proving that regardless of the destruction and what happened from there, the real story being told here is about the person behind these actions.

It is a surprising twist from what was assumed to be the initial story, but it might be an attempt to take what worked for the series before and enhance it. 

American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 4 Review

The Multitude of Backstory

This episode was another long-form collection of moments that explained how Michael got where he is, and probably how the apocalypse itself was pushed into happening.

But is there too much backstory?

Cordelia and Misty - American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 5

At first glance, it feels that way, mostly because for a show that is focused on the apocalypse it seems like we could honestly have ended our time there. 

It is strange because while it makes sense that from here the story would take us back to Cordelia and the others trying to take down Michael, yet there is almost more quality storytelling happening in the past itself.

It could bulk up what is happening in the present time, but it doesn't, not as much as it adds more intrigue to how Michael even came to the position that he is in.

I outrank you, I can destroy you, so I suggest you fall in line because I am still your Supreme.


And it helps that all these fan-favorite seasons are connecting, with American Horror Story Season 3: Coven molding the path to Murder House which has to then return to American Horror Story Season 8: Apocalypse

It proves that perhaps the story that the season prepared us for is not at all what will actually be explored. It is almost like finding hope after the apocalypse is a useless task that even this season isn't taking on.

Following Michael's backstory is only further proof that the world never stood a chance against him.

Obviously, there are questions about how exactly he got into the position that he is now, and why certain characters are still around. But it still comes off as more of a Michael story than one of survival.

American Horror Story: 19 Moments That Made Our Skin Crawl

Back to the Present

That all brings us back to the present, which has almost no one left and works with the idea that those people were never important in the first place.

The talk of another sanctuary and the characters involved somehow earning their place, most of them truly were just disposable. 

This was all a stepping stone to Michael factoring into all this, and the attempt to fill in the gaps about how things got this dark.

Michael Revealing His True Form - American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 5

It is a relief to know that the reason most of these characters didn't grow on us is that they were never meant to. But it also begs the question of the expectations that those that were revived serve.

They don't remember anything about their true past, but a look back there might be what they need to so they can destroy Michael.

That would have to be where this season is heading, all of this attention so that the survivors can use it against him.

I knew you for such a short time, and I’ve missed you forever.


It isn't like the Earth itself is just going to go back to how it was; now the question only lingers about where things may go from here.

Allowing Michael the control that means he will only continue to destroy everything in his path. 

He needs to be removed from the equation, but is there even a chance of that working?

It is all about exactly how much power he has in this post-apocalyptic world and what the others can try to do using past backstories to take him down. 

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Murder House Memories

It is now beginning to go full circle, with the apocalypse tracing its way back to the house where the destruction got created. Obviously, the suspense is remarkable, with expectations the highest they have ever been for this season.

The trailer alone is hinting at huge returns, such as Constance who was probably killed in that house by Michael. 

It is almost strange to consider what must have happened there for Michael to seek comfort in Mead, and to forget that Constance ever existed.

Cordelia  - American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 5

It isn't a coincidence that most of us thought that Mead was meant to be created after Constance, the similarities of a maternal figure who indulged his dark side are ridiculous. 

That last shot in American Horror Story Season 1 Episode 12 marked the assumption that Michael would rise to exactly the position that he had now. 

He got there eventually, but there must have been an epic battle for him to achieve that, and Murder House promises to provide that insight. 

Hello witches.

Stevie Nicks

It is also obvious that Tate had to have played some part in Michael's rise to power, whether encouraging it or trying to avoid the inevitable. 

The possibilities are endless, and there was no better choice of characters to bring into that loop.

It gives Madison purpose without removing her brand; snarky comments can probably serve her better trying to hunt for clues. And bringing someone who is skeptical of Michael but still more willing to trust him is a risk that might enhance the experience. 

The question then becomes, was it a successful mission in that house if in the end Michael still ended up on top? No.

You know the Alpha is a child’s tale, a lullaby impotent men tell flaccid little boys to make them believe one day, they’ll be something special. Time and time again, history has shown the hubris of men knows no bounds. Have we learned nothing from Attila the Hun? Herod the Great? Mark Zuckerberg? Men make terrible leaders.


But the witches are all still alive and in control themselves, teasing the fact that circumstances aren't dire enough that they are put into actual longlasting danger.

Now forgive me if I am wrong, but there is also the small little detail of Michael not being the Cooperative. He is an agent to the real head of operations, and that person has to make an appearance at some point.

What did you think of the episode? Are you prepared for Murder House to be revisited and even more familiar faces to make an appearance? Who are you most excited to see again? Who are you least excited to see again?

Do you think Madison heading to Michael's childhood neighborhood is a threat for him? Or will that be the final straw that allows him to gain control in the present?

What are some of your theories about where this season is going in general? Are we exploring too much backstory?

Let us know what you think below!

And don't forget that you can watch American Horror Story online, right here on TV Fanatic.

Boy Wonder Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (42 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 5 Quotes

I knew you for such a short time, and I’ve missed you forever.


I outrank you, I can destroy you, so I suggest you fall in line because I am still your Supreme.