With only one week to go, FX finally gifted us with the full trailer for American Horror Story: Apocalypse. This was only a day after it dropped a trailer for the trailer as a little amuse-bouche to tide us over until the main course arrived Wednesday. While the teaser trailer did its job of getting us properly amped, it still didn't prepare us for all the insanity Ryan Murphy and FX managed to pack into the one-minute video, which is our first in-depth look at the highly anticipated Murder House and Coven crossover season.
Between the two videos, we've gotten A LOT of information in the past 24 hours. Read on to see every clue, spoiler and weird little tidbit that we learned from the American Horror Story: Apocalypse teaser and trailer.
Editor's note: Since so many characters remain unnamed, we will sometimes refer to a character by the actor's name. We do not believe Billy Eichner is actually a mutant. Just go with us on this journey, m'kay?
It looks like a pretty traditional apocalypse. The initial reports Season 8 would be titled Radioactive seem to have had some merit given that the trailer features shots of nuclear explosions and people in hazmat suits entering a fallout shelter. We're also shown some of the ramifications from the bombing, as charred cars and crashed helicopters litter a now desolate landscape.
Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt is a total bitch. As everyone is running for safety at the beginning of the apocalypse, the incredibly named Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt (Leslie Grossman) tells Billy Eichner's unnamed character that she has a plane waiting to whisk them away. But apparently Billy Eichner wasn't able to make it there on time and watches in horror as Coco's plane flies away overhead. "Coco, do not leave me in Santa Monica!" screeches Eichner before adding a "You bitch!" for good measure. However, the joke's on Coco, because they learn mid-flight that the plane supposedly flying them to safety was missing one important thing: a pilot. We're guessing that means Coco & Co. didn't make it too far and wherever she winds up is still in the L.A. area.
Are Evan Peters and Joan Collins related to Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt? We already knew that Joan Collins would be playing the grandmother of Evan Peters' hairdresser character, but will we be meeting more members of their family? When Leslie Grossman revealed her character was named Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt over the summer, she didn't give any indication that she'd be related to anyone else in the season, but clearly Coco is closely connected to Joan Collins and Evan Peters' unnamed character; the three of them are seen flying private together in the teaser and trailer. Could Joan Collins and Peters also be playing members of the St. Pierre Vanderbilt clan? Or is Coco just one of their equally wealthy friends?
Mallory may be the Stephanie Shepherd of Apocalypse. Billie Lourd is also spotted on the same plane, though she is dressed much more casually than Coco, Joan Collins and Evan Peters. This leads us to speculate that she is the assistant of one of the three. I can already imagine how thankless of a job that must be.
Venable runs a culty fallout shelter called Outpost 3. That super creepy character Sarah Paulson played in that lottery teaser? Yeah, apparently she runs the fallout shelter Outpost 3. But this doesn't appear to be a regular fallout shelter. First, they don't even have a generator; everything is candlelit, which just doesn't seem like the most efficient set-up. And second, this place is definitely all sorts of f---ed up. Venable's eerie outfit aside, the fact that one of the rules is "no unauthorized copulation" and that there's a weird-ass snake slithering around the closet definitely doesn't bode well for the two apparent horndogs who were admitted to Outpost 3 in the trailer. Oh, and did we mention that Venable apparently has all rule-breakers killed?!? Sex literally equals death in this fallout shelter, which just seems like a recipe for disaster.
A lot of the new characters appear to be trapped in Outpost 3. In addition to the young man (Kyle Allen) and woman whom we see Venable read the rules to, Coco, Joan Collins and Evan Peters' hairdresser character all make it to Outpost 3 after their plane crashes. Ms. Meade (Kathy Bates) and Dinah Stevens (Adina Porter) are also part of the Outpost 3 crew — all of whom are apparently forced to wear Victorian garb, because that's what Venable is into, we guess.
Outpost 3 is far from a refuge from danger. In addition to the unauthorized sex=death rule, Venable is using this apocalypse as an excuse to "remold [the world] as we see fit." Venable has clearly taken the opportunity to exploit the massive power she wields over the lives of her guests at Outpost 3, and it seems as though Ms. Meade may be her right-hand woman. While Venable delivers a line about the satisfaction found in "dispensing punishment," we're given a montage of violence that shows Ms. Meade whipping a chained up Evan Peters, Erika Ervin (aka Amazon Eve from Freak Show) beating Kyle Allen with a night stick and Venable slapping the shit out of Coco, much to Joan Collins' horror.
Michael Langdon is up to something. If you weren't completely distracted by his full-blown Devil eyes in the teaser, you might have noticed that Michael Langdon (Cody Fern) was wearing a very distinct tie in the teaser (after some Googling, we learned it's technically called a "Kentucky colonel tie"). At another point in the same video, we see Zoe (Taissa Farmiga), Myrtle (Frances Conroy) and Cordelia (Paulson) walking through Outpost 3 filled with well-dressed men — men who are all wearing the exact same tie. Is this how all men in Outpost 3 are being forced to dress by Venable and Ms. Meade? There probably aren't too many fashion options for men allowed there given the Victorian dress code, but there's always so much detail that goes into the costumes on this show we have to wonder if there's more significance to the near-identical styling of Michael and the other men.
Are those the staff uniforms? And if so, does that mean Michael is undercover as a servant? Are the other men members of his personal Satanic cult? If they are, Ms. Meade is definitely also a follower, telling Michael at one point in the trailer, "Hail Satan." Or maybe this all just a big red herring! (Other than Meade clearly loving the Devil. That much is clear.)
Rubber Man is back — but not in the Murder House. How one of the Murder House ghosts is hanging on the ceiling like it's the Season 1 poster is beyond us, but the bigger mystery, of course, is how one of the Murder House ghosts is doing anything outside of the Murder House! Rubber Man — or at least someone or something wearing the Rubber Man suit — is very clearly in Outpost 3. Does that mean the Murder House was demolished and they built Outpost 3 on the property? (Ghosts are tied to the land, not the house itself, remember.) Or did Michael Langdon steal the Rubber Man suit from the Murder House and bring it with him to Outpost 3 to murder people? (He did grow up next door, after all.)
And speaking of murdering people, the images of Rubber Man attacking Evan Peters would probably make the Harmons very happy.
Cordelia is teaming up with Madison and Myrtle. Clad in matching black cloaks, we are treated to the amazing shot in the teaser of Cordelia leading the previously deceased Myrtle and Madison (Emma Roberts) through a misty landscape. Could this be Cordelia leading the pair back from hell after resurrecting them? Who really cares at this point, because first we need to know why in god's name Cordelia would be working with Madison, who proved time and time again in Coven that she can't be trusted. We guess if she wants to fight evil with evil, there is no one better though. And based on the trailers, it looks like the Coven will need all the help they can get.
The witches are coming to Outpost 3. We see Cordelia, Madison and Myrtle arrive together at Outpost 3, clearly using some of their powers to subdue Coco, Mallory and Dinah upon their arrival. We bet Venable is just going to love them. But you know who isn't at Outpost 3, or at least not shown to be in the trailers? Any of the non-Rubber Man Murder House characters. What gives, Ryan Murphy!
Cordelia, you in danger, girl. In a glimpse of what's going on back on the surface, it appears as though the survivors of the apocalypse have been severely disfigured by the radiation and have also turned to cannibalism to survive (anyone else getting major Raspers vibes from them?). To make matters worse, the trailer shows Cordelia being torn apart as one of the knockoff Raspers' latest victims. Although, we're betting the image we see of Cordelia getting eaten is probably just a vision of the future — the same vision that likely leads her to head to Outpost 3. Of course, that might not be Cordelia and could be Billie Dean for all we know at this point. But our money is on this being a Cordelia vision right now in part because...
Michael Langdon may be out to destroy the Coven. As part of the scene in which Cordelia is being eaten by the Raspers, Michael is seen to be watching the horror from the apparent ruins of Mrs. Robichaux's Academy. If Cordelia had a vision of the apocalypse and Michael destroying the Coven/killing her, that would definitely set us up for quite the interesting showdown. This vision also raises questions about why the witches would go to Outpost 3: to seek refuge from the impending danger or to seek out Michael to kill him before he can kill them?
Poor Rasper Billy Eichner. When Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt abandoned her friend, he apparently somehow survived the apocalypse but is now hiding from some super creep-o creeps in gas masks. Sorry, Billy!
Apocalypse might span a long period of time. This is based purely on the lengths of Michael Langdon's hair, which is all over the place across the two videos! It's short, it's long, it's medium! Either his Antichrist abilities include the power to grow hair fast, or we're going to be spending a lot of time with these characters. Although it sounds kind of insane, the former option might be the most likely since Michael clearly grows at a rapid rate (remember, he was born in 2011 and Apocalypse allegedly picks up in 2019. Meaning: He should be eight years old and appears to be 30).
Is Michael Landon meeting with the Council? At one point in the trailer, Michael is shown to be demonstrating his powers — in this instance, making it snow inside — before a council of four men. Could he be meeting with some sort of warlock council? If so, this definitely does not bode well for Cordelia and our Coven crew, because clearly the more power and influence Michael has, the more danger they're in.
Misty Day is still perfect. We already knew Misty was coming back this season, and the trailer doesn't provide any new context for her return, but let's just take a moment to appreciate how perfect and amazing Misty Day remains even after all that time spent dissecting that frog in hell.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse premieres Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 10/9c on FX.