6 Fan Theories and Unanswered Questions After ‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse’ Episode 2
[This post contains SPOILERS for the second episode of American Horror Story: Apocalypse, “The Morning After.” Read on if you dare.]
A lot happened on American Horror Story: Apocalypse last night, but most importantly: The Rubber Man returned! So, uh, does that mean Evan Peters had sex with himself? Quite possibly – this is AHS after all, so expect weirdness. That’s just one of many, many questions the latest episode left unanswered.
Two episodes in, it remains unclear exactly what this season is about, who’s who, what everyone’s motivations are, and how/when the Coven witches will enter the picture. That means we’ve got to do some extra detective work to figure out what the hell is going on. There’s dozens of theories out there, but after last night’s episode I’ve collected the most interesting ones, plus some big unanswered questions.
1. Who’s In the Rubber Man Suit?
After seven seasons away, the Rubber Man of Murder House finally returned. But who was inside the suit this time? It wasn’t Michael Langdon, so the next obvious guess is the ghost of his dad, Tate Langdon. In Season 1, Tate wore the suit, raped Vivien, and impregnated her with Michael, aka the Antichrist. We know Evan Peters’ Tate will be back in Apocalypse, so what crazier way to re-introduce him than by having one Peters character having sex with another? (Seriously, never let a person inside a latex suit in your bedroom without checking who’s underneath first.)
Peters’ Mr. Gallant assumed it was Cody Fern’s Michael in the leather suit, but it makes more sense that the Antichrist would summon a spirit to do his dirty work for him. And while I always assumed the ghosts of Season 1 were bound to the house and couldn’t leave it, Apocalypse may be breaking those rules. But why would Michael go through all that to seduce Mr. Gallant so he’d kill his own grandmother? Michael’s motivations remain unclear, but he may be using the Rubber Man as a test to determine Mr. Gallant’s fate, and it could all tie into one of the most popular fan theories.
2. Dante’s Inferno Theory
We’ve been hearing variations of this fan theory for ages now, and Murphy even winkingly acknowledged it in an Instagram post last year. You can dive into the details in ScreenCrush’s video about the theory, but the TLDR version is that every season of AHS represents a different level of hell from Dante’s Inferno. That could still be the case, but I have another idea: What if instead of the entire series depicting the epic poem, Apocalypse itself was about all nine circles? The post-apocalyptic world we’re seeing in the first two episodes may be an actual purgatory where all the characters are dead and Michael is there to decide which circle of hell to send them to for their earthly sins.
Two episodes in and Apocalypse has already hinted at Dante’s Divine Comedy more explicitly than ever before. First off, there’s the general theme of punishment with Sarah Paulson’s Venable. She’s made up her own rules at Outpost 3 where she subjects the survivors to various forms of torture for whatever acts she deems immoral. Outpost 3 is also like a giant waiting room – a purgatory, if you will – where all the survivors are sitting around waiting to find out what happens next. That’s where Michael Langdon comes in.
He claims he’s there to select those most worthy of survival by asking them a series of questions, then he’ll take the lucky ones to a safer facility elsewhere. But perhaps he’s there to decide who goes to which level of hell for their sins. His first interview with Mr. Gallant – and later on, the appearance of the Rubber Man to seduce him – is all about invoking Gallant’s rage, and wrath is of course the sin of those sent to the fifth circle of hell.
Then there’s Emily and Timothy, who have sex (AKA commit the sin of lust, the second circle of hell) after Michael leads them to his laptop, revealing Venable’s abstinence rule is bogus. Michael is like the Minos of AHS, a serpentine figure in Dante’s Inferno who guards the entrance to hell, judges the incoming souls, and decides their punishment. Minos has a snake for a tail, and all the snake imagery in Episode 2 is no coincidence. And those “canker puss monsters” lurking outside the walls of Outpost 3? Maybe those are like the Cerberus, the three-headed beasts of Inferno. It’s also no surprise that some of the satanic imagery from the opening credits sequels recalls Gustave Dore’s Inferno illustrations.
3. Biblical Allusions
About those snakes – it’s no shocker that a character who’s called the Antichrist is surrounded by snakes throughout the episode, using them to spy on the survivors and even feed them with actual snake soup! As fans have already pointed out, the episode has some obvious Biblical connections to Genesis, with Timothy and Emily representing Adam and Eve. She finds snakes in her closet in the beginning of the episode, and later the couple find an Apple computer – hint hint, an apple! – in their bedroom, which leads them to finally give into temptation and have sex. Once Venable finds out, she casts them out of the safe haven of Outpost 3, their Garden of Eden, by attempting to kill them. It’s all a little on the nose, but then again when is AHS not on the nose?
4. What About the Witches?
This is supposed to be a Coven and Murder House crossover, so where are the dang witches?! There hasn’t been an explicit reference to the world of Coven so far, but there are clues. The premiere episode made one possible reference to the third season when Venable said Outpost 3 used to be “an exclusive boys’ school.” One guess is it could have been the male counterpart to Coven‘s Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, and the set design of the safe house recalls that of the New Orleans’ witch school. Perhaps Venable was the head of the school, just as Paulson’s Cordelia is for Miss Robichaux’s. But again – where are the witches?
There’s one fan theory that they’ll arrive and turn back time to reverse the apocalypse. There isn’t a ton of evidence, but the appearance of an hourglass in the promo ads, and an image of a candle being blown out in reverse in the opening credits has led some to think the season will reverse everything we’ve seen so far. Murphy has teased something major happens in Episode 5, so perhaps that’s when the witches arrive to save everyone from the Antichrist. It could be sooner though – Episode 2 ended with Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” playing on the radio, surely a nod to Stevie Nicks’ upcoming return.
5. What the Heck is Going On With Ms. Meade?
AHS went all Westworld at the end of the second episode and revealed Kathy Bates’ Ms. Meade may be a robot. Or is she an alien? Or is she an alien robot? What’s going on in this show?!?
After getting shot by Timothy, Meade pulled up her blouse to reveal weird mechanical organs spewing a milky substance under her skin. She seemed just as shocked to discover this information as we were. Considering that she’s ex-military, could there be some sort of government conspiracy around evil robots watching over human survivors after the nuclear fallout? It could be related to that Asylum alien theory ...
6. The Asylum Alien Theory
Remember the aliens? Of course you do! It was weird and left totally unexplored. But Murphy might be returning to it. One new theory suggests the aliens who abducted Peters’ Kit in Season 2 may be involved in the apocalypse. It all comes down to Emily and Timothy, who some fans believe are related to Kit’s children from Asylum, and based on the timeline they could be his grandchildren. (Also yes, this would mean AHS just dipped its toes into incest.)
In Asylum, Alma gave birth to a girl and Grace to a boy, both after Kit was abducted, suggesting the kids could be part-extraterrestrial. The theory goes that Emily and Timothy have alien DNA, which is why they were selected by the Cooperative for their “special DNA” to join Outpost 3. Is the Cooperative working with the aliens or against them? According to Murphy, the aliens were meant to be a metaphor for God in Season 2, the angels in opposition to the Devil who possessed the Sister Mary Eunice. So maybe the aliens are actually good and trying to save humanity in Apocalypse? Honestly, I’ve got no clue! Hopefully this show starts making some sense soon.
Gallery – Every Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson AHS Character, Ranked