We're nearly at the end of American Horror Story: Apocalypse and there are still so many questions left unanswered, but one of the most pressing is why Mallory (Billie Lourd) is so important. Throughout the season, we've learned the seemingly unassuming assistant of Coco (Leslie Grossman) is not only a witch but an extremely powerful one with the ability to travel through time and even reverse it. With still so little known about the apparent rising Supreme, Mallory's true identity continues being dissected by fans who hope that Wednesday's season finale will reveal more about the enigmatic character, whom many theorize may not be a witch at all but something far more powerful.
So what will we learn about Mallory in the season finale? And how will she approach the impending showdown with Michael (Cody Fern)? TV Guide spoke with Billie Lourd about all this and more to find out everything to expect of the Apocalypse's conclusion.
In Wednesday's penultimate episode, Mallory pretty much saw all of her friends die and was told that if she can't reverse time, the entire world will end. How is she handling that kind of pressure?
Billie Lourd: It's intense. Mallory is super empathetic and super connected to all of the people around her, so it's been a very emotional season for her and for me. Every day, like, crying and saving the world. But it's been incredible. It's such a rewarding season to be a part of because I am literally saving the world. Mallory's saving the world. Billie Lourd's just being fine.
Mallory appears to be the rising Supreme, which means Cordelia would have to die for Mallory's powers to reach their apex. How are we going to see them grapple with this dynamic in the finale?
Lourd: Cordelia is Mallory's hero and her best friend, everything she wants to be. So it's going to be very different for Mallory and Cordelia to grapple with the fact that Cordelia probably has to die in order for Mallory to become the true Supreme.
We've gotten to see throughout the season that Michael isn't completely evil. Do you think Mallory and the witches have any empathy toward him left or any lingering desire to try and redeem him, or is it just kill or be killed at this point?
Lourd: It is kill or be killed. He has not done anything for us and we will not do anything for him. Michael is definitely the enemy, unfortunately, since he's trying to end the world and we're trying to save it.
This entire season has been building to this showdown between the witches and Michael. Is there anything you can tease about what fans can expect of this?
Lourd: Ryan [Murphy] posted a photo of Michael in a bathtub and I tend to be in bathtubs a lot, Mallory tends to be in bathtubs a lot. So that will be my one little hint. There's going to be a bathtub showdown.
Do you think Michael has any idea how powerful Mallory is?
Lourd: Not at all. I don't think Michael really knows who Mallory is. If anything, she probably tipped him off that she's powerful back in the Outpost, but I don't think he has any idea the extent of the witches powers, really. He's the Antichrist, so he thinks he's the most powerful.
The Mallory we met as Coco's assistant is very different from the Mallory we've seen in flashbacks. How much did you know about Mallory when you first signed on to the part?
Lourd: I had an inkling that she was going to become the Supreme. But they didn't tell me at all. I just assumed that she was a meek, bad assistant that was getting people green juice and wearing glasses and bad hats.
When you played pre-apocalypse Mallory versus post-apocalypse Mallory, how did you approach your performances differently?
Lourd: I try to fully separate them because -- I don't want to give anything away, but the characters are very different. Pre-apocalypse Mallory does not know anything about post-apocalypse Mallory. It gets exciting.
I've loved all your scenes with Leslie Grossman this season.
Lourd: She is a dreamboat. I love her. She's one of my best friends now. I'm so lucky I've gotten to work with her this season. We'll get to see the history of Mallory and Coco and how it has evolved. And it is very different from the [season premiere] where she was awful to her. I think people will be really satisfied. And that was really important to Leslie and I, that you really got to know their relationship before the apocalypse and why it ended up how it did.
Mallory is one of the most important characters of the season but we don't even know her last name. Will we get to learn more about Mallory's backstory in the finale?
Lourd: Sadly, no. It's Mallory, just Mallory. I said it at a [Television Critics Association] panel and people thought I was kidding, but it's Mallory, just Mallory.
So have you imagined what her family life and past is for yourself?
Lourd: Absolutely. I try to create a backstory for all my characters, but I'm probably wrong 90 percent of the time. But yeah, I assume that she had some connection with Cordelia in her past and that's how I play it. I play it like Cordelia's her hero and she's known Cordelia for a while.
There have been so many wild theories about Mallory so far and what she may or may not be. Have you followed the theories at all?
Lourd: I have, the angel, the fallen angel. What else do you know? You probably know more than me. I've just seen the angel a lot. I think it's because of that beautiful white dress I wore in the deer scene. Oh, white dress? Angel.
My favorite from the early episodes was that fans thought you were a vessel for Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga).
Lourd: Yup, I heard that. Taissa is amazing and people are obsessed with Taissa so I think that's what they were thinking.
There feels like there's still so much to wrap up, both in the flashbacks and the post-apocalypse world. Will the finale be able to answer everything or will there be some threads left dangling?
Lourd: Honestly, the finale is so satisfying. When I read it, I could not put it down and it tied everything in a perfect, tight, little witchy bow. I think people will be really excited. It really is for the fans.
A lot of fans feel there's still so much story left to tell here that they're hoping it will continue next season. What do you think of the idea of the show breaking the anthology format like that?
Lourd: I would love that. I love playing Mallory so much. She's such an empathetic, incredible, intelligent character and I would love to get to do it again. But you know this show. We'll probably be doing something different and just as amazing, I'm sure.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse's finale airs Wednesday at 10/9c on FX.