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"Could It Be... Satan?" is the fourth episode of Apocalypse. It premiered on FX on October 3, 2018.[1]

Synopsis

Three years before the bombs drop, Outpost Three houses the Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men. Its inhabitants, warlocks living in the shadow of Cordelia Goode's coven, place their hopes on a new, troubled apprentice - Michael Langdon. [2]

Plot

Halloween 2021

Michael Langdon reminisces about his early life with a caretaker (a Satanist woman depicted as Miriam Mead). They dig into lunch after giving praise to Lucifer, who has a shrine in the dining room. The caretaker says that the food was good enough to predictably poison her first husband (of the three she killed). She made him feel happy and protected. He is relaying this in the present day to robot Miriam, who shares her form and memories. She is pleased to have a place by his side. He detects the resurrection of the women in the library.

Myrtle Snow and Madison Montgomery explain that Mallory and Coco had identity spells placed on them to protect them, blocking their memories of who they were because they're "special". Coco is upset at being stabbed in the head by Brock. Dinah, a Voudon, balks at the behavior of the witches; this is not her conflict and she has no desire to throw in with the coven. Cordelia Goode turns to Langdon, who wonders aloud how the world can be saved when it's already been destroyed, but Cordelia squares off against him and appears to have a plan. Langdon says that when he's done they will all wish they were still dead.

Three Years Before the Bomb (2017)[3]

In the boys' school that would become Outpost 3, three years before the bomb, the students study magic. The instructor, Mr. Chablis, calls out one tardy student. Together, they are shaping gems into a sphere.

John Henry Moore and Ariel Augustus, the Grand Chancellor, await Chablis with a video featuring a young Michael's execution of a Los Angeles Police detective during an interrogation after Langdon stabbed a man. Ariel thinks that young Michael is a warlock, but Moore thinks it is a case of demonic possession. They are operating on a prophecy about an Alpha Warlock who could supplant the Supreme Witch. Ariel visits Michael in jail, explaining that he was defending his caretaker from a callous butcher who refused to sell her a goat's head for a ritual. Ariel releases Michael from his cell, not knowing that the young man is in complete control of his magical abilities. They leave for the school, with the caretaker not far behind blessing their journey.

Arriving at the school, Ariel explains that it is underground because the original house above was destroyed by angry neighbors unhappy with the school's purpose revealed in the wake of Cordelia's "outing" the magical community in 2014. Ariel introduces him to the other students, telling them that they should make him feel as if this is his new, true home.

One month later, the instructors are evaluating Michael's power level. They hope he will rate a "level four", putting him on par with the female Supreme Witches; this would be unprecedented, as they are all level threes. He exceeds the first test by retrieving a hidden book from inside a mirror. Most are impressed, but Moore is troubled that he did not follow instructions. He similarly aces the examination by teleporting throughout the room. Producing snow inside the room upon command earns him further praise, but he nearly kills the examination board by freezing the room.

At dinner, the instructors recognize his power, but Moore is still concerned about his control. The men toast to the moment where everything will change.

At Miss Robichaux's Academy, Zoe instructs students on changing the color of a rose, explaining with a history lesson that Napoleon Bonaparte's wife, a witch, was known to do the same. Cordelia observes, and one student (Mallory) changes the rose color to blue. The petals fall to the table and reshape themselves into butterflies. Myrtle Snow enters, shaken. The Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men has called for an emergency council session, and they are obliged to attend.

Flanked by the albino bodyguards, the trio enters Hawthorne for the meeting. Ariel explains that they wish Michael to challenge for the Supremacy. While the women scoff, Ariel insists that Cordelia proctor the Seven Wonders. Cordelia refuses, saying that it would surely condemn the boy to death as it did to Misty Day. Chablis chastises her for abandoning Queenie in the Hotel Cortez, but Cordelia responds that she found Queenie in that "hell mouth", playing cards with James March. Unable to extract the ghost past the doors of the haunted hotel, Cordelia realized that it was truly a demonic portal that she was unable to overcome. Her powers suppressed by demonic influences, Cordelia regrets the failed rescue as her greatest failure as Supreme. Ariel calls her a bigot for ignoring the possibility of an Alpha. Inspired by a scrying vision, Langdon travels to the Cortez and is able to emerge with Queenie intact, to the lament (but not surprise) of March.

In what appears to be a retail customer service desk, Madison experiences her own private hell: processing returns and complaints from an eternal line of customers. She's directed to fold towels when Langdon arrives to retrieve her. He's surprised that she's self-aware to know she's in an unreal realm. Queenie asks Langdon why he rescued them, and he says he needs the two to prove a point.

Cordelia is unnerved, and the trio makes plans to return to New Orleans. The warlocks are upset, but Langdon meets them on the surface with the gift of the two returned witches in tow. Upon seeing them, Cordelia faints and Langdon gloats.

Featured Characters

William Banks

William Banks is a character in Apocalypse portrayed by Kai Caster. He is a ward at Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men.


Quotes

  • Ms. Mead to Michael Langdon: "Hail Satan."
  • Langdon to the witches: "When I'm done, you'll all wish you were still dead."
  • Zoe Benson: "Nothing is immutable when the will of a strong woman is applied."
  • Cordelia Goode to the warlocks:
    Men are simply not equal to women when it comes to magical ability.
    Myrtle Snow:
    Not to mention everything else.

Raised Questions

  • What happened to Constance?
  • Who is and what happened to Miriam Mead's original model?
  • How and when did Myrtle Snow come back to life?
  • Where are Queenie and Zoe after the Bomb?
  • Is everyone in Outpost 3 confirmed dead or will they be resurrected by the witches?
  • How will the witches save the world?
  • Why is Madison's personal hell different from the one she told during the test of Seven Wonders?

Notes

Cultural References

Gallery

References

  1. The Futon Critic - American Horror Story - Apocalypse (804) "Could It Be... Satan?"
  2. FX Networks, American Horror Story - Apocalypse
  3. Date is seen on the recording from the police.