This weeks episode follows Michael (Cody Fern) on his quest in starting the apocalypse. Interestingly enough, the episode is titled “Sojourn”, which defines as ‘a temporary stay’, perhaps adding emphasis on Michael’s temporary stay with the devil worshippers or his temporary stay in the wonderland styled woods.
The episode begins with Michael finding a very burnt Miriam (thanks to the witches) which leads him to being very angry and fairly lost. He goes onto search for answers in the forest from his father (being Satan), where we, also, witness him gruesomely murder a goat. In the scene, Bradley Buecker creatively shows off his skills with a variety of camera techniques ranging from aerial to track-in shots, which proved to be successfully effective. This creativity continued throughout the episode, where he included a range of sceneries including the vast forest, a highway alongside the coast and a high-tech looking building. This episode was definitely fun to watch with all the cinematic techniques and the color schemes. Specifically, the in the satanic church, the use of red and blacks and shadows were effectively eerie looking.
Question: Is Michael’s character suppose to be like Jake Lloyd’s Anikan Skywalker? Because I was definitely getting those vibes throughout the episode. From Cody Fern’s previous roles, I don’t think it’s down to bad acting, but more that maybe the script was taken too literal, resulting in some fairly cheesy acting. Then again, if you think about it, Michael aged physically within a night from being a 5-year-old to a teenager, perhaps he didn’t age mentally, which then explains his spoilt child-like personality. Talking about acting, Evan Peters plays his fourth character of the season, being a fancy tech guy, Jeff. Interestingly enough, the backstory to robot Miriam (Kathy Bates) is thanks to Jeff and his co-worker, who make Westworld styled robots, just minus the western personas.
Onto the music. I have to say that it was definitely a step up from last week! Though still not as good as the music used in Return to Murder House, we still experienced a range of eerie music that used both strings and pianos. More entertainingly, in our encounter of the satanic church, we are revisited by John Williams’ O Fortuna from Carmina Burana. Coincidentally, this piece is used for a sacrificial event in a previous episode, which made the scene just the more intense.
Overall, this episode hasn’t been the most successful of the season, reaching a rating of 7.0/10 on IMDb. Personally, I wasn’t too impressed by this episode as I found it cringe-y and more like a spoof version of a normal AHS episode. I suppose the episode was necessary, as we needed to have some backstory of Michael’s pre-apocalyptic war whereabouts, however, I think the screenplay and perhaps acting could have definitely been improved! In next week’s episode, we can be finally be expecting the apocalyptic war, alongside a completely new director (Jennifer Arnold). Plus, next week’s promo has promised the reappearance of Evan Peters’ new character, Jeff, for those of you wanting to know more about him!
Featured Image Via IMDb