Going into Wednesday night’s American Horror Story: Apocalypse premiere, “The End,” it was difficult to forget this would be the very start of the Murder House and Coven crossover. Everything seemed crafted to remind viewers two of AHS’ best seasons would soon collide in inevitably weird, campy, and lovable ways. Even the first shot summons the memory of Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) before revealing viewers are actually meeting Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt (Leslie Grossman).
But the very last minute of “The End” starts to truly solidify how this crossover will work, with the end-of-episode introduction of Michael Langdon (American Crime Story alum Cody Fern), the antichrist (so, he’s officially tied up in the witchy interests of the Coven coven). But Michael is also a huge part of Murder House lore, since his parents are two standouts from the season: Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton) and Evan Peters’ first AHS character, ghost rapist Tate Langdon. The back of a recently murderous toddler-aged Michael, all blonde hair, blue eyes, and blood-spattered skin, is the last image of that season. Clearly, the child is the antichrist, as Billie Dean Howard (Sarah Paulson) predicted he would be as the product of human-spirit conception.
The moment Michael steps into Outpost 3 in all his Interview With A Vampire-esque glory, Patience And Prudence McIntyre’s 1956 version of retro song “Tonight You Belong To Me” plays. The mix of the ultra-sweet voices of the McIntyre sisters and their almost-threatening lyrics (“To-niiight you belong to me”) is chilling. The haunting track plays throughout Michael’s single premiere scene, where he explains to Wilhemina Venable (Sarah Paulson, this time chewing all the District 1-by-way-of-Victorian goth scenery) he is at the bunker to evaluate who is worthy of going to an even better bunker. Those who pass will survive; those who do not will die a gruesome death.
With that deadly announcement, and Michael’s blood-freezing stare, we hear the McIntyre sisters once more: “[You belong] just to little old me.” The entire scene is actually subtle form of torment.
You’ll remember Murder House has its own litany of torments, and two of them were also backed by Patience And Prudence’s “Tonight You Belong To Me.” In fact, the inadvertently creepy tune acts as an unofficial theme song for American Horror Story’s inaugural season. It’s the first song we ever hear in the series, as it plays when violent twins Troy (Bodhi Schulz) and Bryan (Kai Schulz) wreck the murder house and are then promptly murdered. The twins are AHS' first victims in a wildly long line of murder victims.
More importantly, the updated lullaby plays in season 1 finale “Afterbirth.” The most memorable “Tonight” detail is the fact it backs the late addition Ramos family’s hasty exit from the murder house after Violet (Taissa Farmiga), Vivien, and Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott) all haunt the new owners out of the deadly home. There’s something hilarious about how calm, cool, and collected the Harmon ghosts look watching their petrified victims flee in a panic. Vivien is even sporting a chic grey dress that has nary a wrinkle.
But the more important fact to remember about how this sequence uses “Tonight,” is that it begins right after failed teen ghost couple Tate and Violet have their final conversation. Violet kisses Tate, who raped her mother and murdered 15 high schoolers two decades prior, to stop him from killing another teenager, Gabe Ramos (Brennan Mejia). Once Gabe is free, Violet whispers, “Goodbye, Tate,” and disappears. The lilting voices of the McIntyres immediately begin singing about tonight and who belongs to whom. We never see Violet and Tate speak again in American Horror Story.
So, “Tonight You Belong To Me” was built around the murder house, which is Tate’s home, and announces the end of one of his most important relationships. Now, seven years after we first saw Murder House, the song is introducing his world-ending son.
If anything belongs to anyone tonight, and forever, it’s the creepiest song of the 1950s and the Langdon family.
Looking for more theories, recaps, and insider info on all things TV? Join our Facebook group, Binge Club. The community is a space for you to share articles, discuss last night’s episode of your favorite show, or ask questions! Join here.