Now that the American Horror Story: Apocalypse finale has aired, we can all agree 70% of this season, at minimum, was a flashback. While stumbling through all the witchy moments that led to the horrors of a post-apocalyptic Outpost Three,, the way various individuals ended up in the hellish bunker make sense. Some, made deals with the devil (looking at you Dinah Stevens). A few were placed there by Supreme Cordelia Goode (Sarah Paulson) as a world-saving long-con.
But two Outpost Three residents, Timothy Campbell (Kyle Allen) and Emily No Last Name (Ashley Santos), never fit into the war between witches, warlocks, Satanists, and the Illuminati that dominated Apocalypse. Viewers don't even see the star-crossed young lovers after their anticlimactic “Forbidden Fruit” death. Such an early departure for characters who were made to seem so important.
Well, season 8 finale “Apocalypse Then,” finally explains how AHS Hot Teens Timothy and Emily fit into the vast mythology of Apocalypse: The couple was plan B for the devil himself. Timothy and Emily were destined to birth the Antichrist 2.0, just in case anything went awry with Michael Langdon (Cody Fern). It was simply in their DNA.
We learn as much in the final minutes of “Apocalypse Then,” which signifies how crucial this information actually is. Most of the finale is dedicated to helping Mallory (Billie Lourd), the Supreme-to-be, defeat Michael and reverse the apocalypse. In the last possible second, Mallory succeeds and goes back to 2015. There, she repeatedly runs teen Michael over with an SUV. Michael dies in the middle of the street, forsaken by even his grandmother Constance (Jessica Lange, ensuring a Guest Actress Emmy nomination in 2019). The Antichrist has seemingly been defeated. So begins a new, Michael-As-Antichrist-free timeline.
Then Mallory muses in voiceover “The devil isn’t just going to give up. And in changing the past, a part of me will always wonder what it truly means for the future.” This is where Timothy and Emily come in. Flash forward to 2020, two years after when the world originally ended, and they have a very woke meet-cute in front of a coffee shop. Timothy brings up his 23andMe results, reminding us that ancestry-based DNA test is why the “Cooperative,” aka the Illuminati, went out of their way to save him and Emily in the original, apocalyptic timeline.
By 2021, Timothy and Emily are in the midst of welcoming their child, a baby boy named Devan. In 2024, the new parents finally able to go on adult dates and leave their 3-year-old with a babysitter… until they come home and realize their toddler murdered the babysitter. It’s a startling reference to Murder House’s final scene. Yet again, a tiny boy sits in a rocking chair, covered in his dead caretaker's blood, his cherubic face hiding the unquestionable malevolence lurking inside. Emily, like Constance before her, crouches in front of the apparent baby Antichrist. “What did you do?” she asks (Constance, for the record, asked, “Now what am I gonna do with you?”).
Obviously, Devan slit his babysitter’s throat in the exact same way Michael did.
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when the body double for your “antichrist son” is really just a stuffed monkey and you’re told to look deep into his eyes and ask yourself, is this my child?? @snarfmylife and I couldn’t stop laughing when we turned the corner and saw this. getting to work on #ahsapocalypse was an absolute privilege, I hope you guys enjoyed it 🖤
While Murder House ended with that final shocked line, Apocalypse takes this horrific scene a step further. Before Timothy and Emily even entered their house, we see a few Antichrist portents that Michael kicked off when he began to embrace his devilish destiny. The sky above the Campbells’ home has gone a stormy red-black, many murders of crows lurk in the sky, and the house is impossibly warm all the time. The fact that baby Devan is conjuring these kinds of signals as a mere toddler, when Michael’s signs didn’t start popping up until he was a rapidly growing teen, is terrifying.
This is how the Satanists we saw in “Return To Murder House,” — Anton LeLaVey (Carlo Rota), Miss Miriam Meade (Kathy Bates), and Samantha Crowe (Naomi Grossman) — arrive at the Campbell’s home in 2024. With a haunting smile, Miss Meade, Michael’s right hand woman in the original timeline, says the final line of Apocalypse, “We’re here to help.” While the original apocalypse has been averted, it’s now possible Mallory will have another Antichrist to fight in the future.
Maybe, “Apocalypse Then,” suggests, the end of the world is inevitable. The only question is, how long can our beloved Coven witches play whack-a-mole with the Antichrist? It’s not exactly an optimistic end to a fairly hopeful season, but it is frightening to think about.
And, it’s also an ending we probably should have seen coming. AHS attempts to confuse us with Timothy and Emily throughout the season with all of Outposts Three’s antics. There’s Miss Venable's (Sarah Paulson, again) sex ban, the never ending terrible music on repeat, and even the teen's investigation into Michael to think about. But, Horror Story shows its cards at the very beginning of the season when the Cooperative purposefully decides to save the duo and place the pair in a bunker. If the Cooperative wanted to protect them, Satan wanted to protect them. That means Satan had an undeniable plan for the pair. Finally, we know what it is.
Now, we’re left wondering if Apocalypse Jr., starring Timothy, Emily, and evil baby Devan, is right around the corner. Miss Meade certainly seems onboard.
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