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Voodoo Queens, Devils and Traitors? A Review of “AHS Apocalypse” Episode 7

Kathy Bates in American Horror Story (2011) Kathy Bates in American Horror Story (2011)

Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers from AHS Apocalypse Episode 7.

Director of the week, Jennifer Lynch, has really ranged in her artistic cinematic techniques ranging from picture shows to the 70’s style. This week’s episode follows the witches in their preparation for the pre-apocalyptic war as they struggle against not only Michael but also against the warlocks. Apparently, in this scenario, it is either ‘kill or be killed.’ We also learn that our beloved Cordelia (Sarah Paulson), despite being a powerful supreme, is in need of a lot of help in order to combat the Antichrist. The first helper being our voodoo queen, Dinah (Adina Porter), who begins the episode by using dark magic to gruesomely take a person’s heart. Lynch creatively displays this scene through the use of flash frames, which creates a suspense surrounding the upcoming scene.

Following on, as the rest of the witches at the academy are filled in about the situation with Michael (Cody Fern), Cordelia goes on to summon a potential helper with Dinah’s help. Welcome back, Papa Legba (Lance Reddick) and Nan (Jamie Brewer)? Last time we encountered these two characters was during Coven, and now they are both back, and are probably friends? I have to take a moment to comment on how creative Legba’s makeup is, which is complemented with the blood red eye contacts- his appearance fittingly compliments his title as being the gatekeeper of hell. Papa Legba proposes, in a very French accent, that in return for doing Cordelia a favor, he wants the souls of all the witches (Cordelia’s alone is not enough). No deal, this price is just not in Cordelia’s interest. (Smart move Cordelia… now you have to deal with the 6 billion lives at stake, including your witches). 

On the next expedition to find another helper, Lynch artistically presents the beginning of a  70’s looking show about a murderous Santa, which features Bubbles (Joan Collins) as an actress (who we later find out has magical abilities to read minds). It impresses me that in an anthology series as such, the actors successfully perform multiple characters in a convincing way, making us completely forget about the character that they previously played (literally a few days ago). Take Joan Collins, for instance, she has successfully portrayed two characters just in this season- one being a snobbish rich lady (Evie Gallant), and the other character being an arrogant, fading actress (Bubbles McGee). Ongoing, Lynch continues to explore cinematic techniques through reprising the noir picture show short from a previous episode, which now displays Mallory (Billie Lourd) taking part in the test of 7 wonders, instead of Michael.

Now, I would like to take some time to talk a little about Cordelia, who I think, aside from Michael, is one of the most interesting characters. Adam Penn has not only followed her character as a dying supreme, but has gone on to extend her backstory by giving us intel on how she almost died in an effort to bring back Myrtle (Frances Conroy) to life- which is gruesomely shown as her hands realistically burns while she casts her spell (It is clear that the AHS group has hired an amazing makeup department). Penn also goes on to display how corrupted Miriam’s (Kathy Bates) character is as she describes the idea of burning alive as ‘satisfactory’ as she claims that the ‘fire cleanses (her) and will this world.‘ Furthermore, we all got to experience some comedy whilst finding out that Coco (Leslie Grossman) is not only a gluten detector but has developed her powers into becoming a calorie detector! I think it is safe to say, that her character is becoming more likeable in contrast to her first appearance in this season.

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This week’s episode hasn’t quite reached the hype of last weeks “Return to Murder House” episode, but still succeeded in reaching a 9/10 rating on IMDb and has been equally informative and satisfying with its range of cinematic techniques and amazing acting. The only thing I will criticize about this week’s episode would be the music! I feel that in this weeks episode, music was only used to create a suspense and eerie vibe, however, there could have been so much more creativity used in regards to music and particular scenes. From the promo of the next week’s episode, we can expect that the supernatural war to truly begin, whilst finding out about Michael’s whereabouts in the last few episodes.

Featured Image via IMDb

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