(There are spoilers ahead for the premiere of “American Horror Story: Apocalypse”)
Who knew the end of the world would be this confusing? “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” debuted Wednesday, leaving viewers with more questions than answers. But if you weren’t already expecting that from the latest installment in the Ryan Murphy anthology series, you clearly haven’t learned how “AHS” rolls.
TheWrap has rounded up our biggest questions from the first episode of Season 8 below. Here’s hoping they answer them all before the 10-episode run ends.
What is The Cooperative actually?
Everything in “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” is centered on a group called The Cooperative building a bunch of outposts in case of nuclear war and also transporting people to them quickly before the bombs fall. And then they make everybody who lives in the outposts dress like it’s the 1800s or something. They also basically kidnapped some teenagers allegedly because they have good genes or something.
So, like, what’s up with this whole thing?
What exactly led to the end of the world?
The apocalypse itself was very vague — no mention on the news about who was launching the nukes, just that they hit London, Hong Kong and Washington, D.C. before hitting Los Angeles. Was it a war? Or was it just one country — or organization — who pushed the button? And could The Cooperative have had something to do with it?
What does it mean that nobody was flying that plane?
The big cold open sequence ended with LA getting nuked and Billie Lourd’s character discovering that nobody was flying the plane she was on. And then, the next time we see those characters they’re in the outpost with nobody mentioning that whole “nobody was flying the plane” thing or any explanation for how they got there. This seems like an important point, and something that will have to come up later.
What are Venable and Mead doing that’s different than from what The Cooperative wants?
There’s a big conversation midway through the episode between Mead (Kathy Bates) and Venable (Sarah Paulson) in which they discuss how they plan to rule Outpost 3, and how The Cooperative won’t like what they have in store for the people they have living under their roof. Presumably, part of this plan involved murdering that one guy Stu and then cooking his remains in a stew for the other residents.
But it seems unlikely that whatever they’re up to is limited to that sort of morbid mischief. It’s gotta be something bad enough that Venable is terrified when Mr. Langdon (Cody Fern) shows up.
What happened with Langdon’s horses?
So Langdon rides up with another person on a pair of horses, which were looking sickly from being outside in the nuclear fallout. After Langdon went into Outpost 3, the other person shot the horses and seemingly offered them up to something living in the brush — a thing that managed to actually drag the horse corpse out of site. So, uh, what?
What happened during that two week time gap — and that 18 month time gap?
There already have two time periods in which we have no idea what happened, the first being a two-week jump toward the beginning of the episode and the other an 18-month skip in the middle. That means there are chunks of time we can’t account for in which many horrifying things probably happened. We can only assume there will be flashbacks a plenty in the coming weeks.
How will “Coven” and “Murder House” continue to play into the season?
So far our only tie to Season 1 is Michael Langdon and there’s been no shoutout to Season 3 — and that’s not going to sit well with fans who have been waiting years for the big crossover season.
We know many of the “Coven” witches are set to reprise their roles this season including Paulson, who will be playing triple duty as Venable, Cordelia from “Coven” and Billie Dean Howard from “Murder House.”
And Season 1 stars Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott and Taissa Farmiga are returning as the Harmons (and Farmiga playing Zoe from “Coven,” too), as are Jessica Lange and Evan Peters (already playing one new character this season), as Constance and Tate Langdon, Michael’s grandmother and father, respectively.
How is Langdon going to decide who to take with him to the other outpost?
At the end of the premiere, Mr. Langdon tells Venable he’s here to save the survivors in Outpost 3 — but not necessarily all of them. He’s going to take those he deems worthy to a location where they have enough rations to last them a decade. But he needs to exam everyone to see who is coming. It could be all of them or none of them or somewhere in between. The question now is, what is the test he’s going to give them to find out who is fit to be saved?
“American Horror Story: Apocalypse” airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.