What We Learned about ‘Murder House’ in the ‘American Horror Story: Apocalypse’ Crossover Episode

     October 18, 2018


This season of American Horror Story has long been teased as a big crossover between Coven and Murder House, the show’s third and first seasons respectively, and while we’ve gotten a lot of Coven clarity throughout the course of Apocalypse, the season’s sixth episode finally gave us the Murder House update we’ve been waiting for. The crux of American Horror Story: Apocalypse revolves around the literal apocalypse, with the witches from Coven working to stop an enigmatic, satanic figure named Michael from literally ending the world. That satanic figure’s name is Michael Langdon (Cody Fern), and he’s the adult son of Murder House characters Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton) and Tate Langdon (Evan Peters).

In the big Murder House crossover episode of American Horror Story: Apocalypse, witch Madison (Emma Roberts) and warlock Behold (Bill Porter) are sent to Murder House to dig up information on Michael Langdon, who in this portion of the timeline hasn’t yet brought about the end of the world, but who has risen to the title of Supreme above Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) after completing a series of difficult supernatural tasks with ease. Madison and Behold buy the Murder House, enter its doors, and do some magic to make the house’s ghosts visible to them. Then we meet a whole cadre of familiar faces.


Image via FX

The episode reveals that after Vivien and Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott)’s deaths, neighbor Constance (Jessica Lange) took in baby Michael Langdon and raised him as her own. But in Lange’s first American Horror Story appearance since the show’s fourth season, Constance reveals that even at a young age, Michael was killing various animals and displaying them for her to see. He eventually started murdering people, starting with his babysitter, but Constance saw her role in the world as a mother to monsters having previously raised Tate, who shot up his school before committing suicide.

But Constance’s spidey sense started tingling when one day she woke up to find Michael had aged at least ten years overnight, as Cody Fern’s adult version of Michael now laid in the child’s bed. She called in a priest, who Michael swiftly murdered, then one night she awoke to find Michael on top of her, choking her, exclaiming that she doesn’t get to tell him what to do anymore.

Dismayed, Constance walked across the street to Murder House, took a bunch of pills, and committed suicide to escape the monstrosity that was Michael Langdon. As a ghost, she refused to allow a distraught Michael to see her, but another Murder House ghost did appear: Ben Harmon. You’ll recall that Ben is a psychiatrist, and in his conversation with Madison and Behold in present day, he explains that he saw himself as a father of sorts to Michael and started treating him.


Image via FX

Through Ben’s words and Michael’s expressions it’s clear there’s a dichotomy inside the child. He’s visibly upset by Constance’s suicide and seems like he genuinely wants to be good, but then shades of the monster within arise. The monster is only further fed when Tate discovers Michael in his room having found his Rubber Man suit, only for Tate to exclaim there’s no way someone as monstrous as Michael could be his son. After constantly being told he is a monster, Michael starts acting out. When a new couple arrives at the house having just purchased it, Michael dresses up in the Rubber Man suit and not only murders them, but also kills their souls so they cease to exist entirely.

Then things get real weird. One stormy night, three hooded figures show up at Murder House, claiming they were guided to the house in a manner similar to how the Three Wise Men showed up at the birth of Jesus Christ. The figures—one of which is Kathy Bates’ Miriam Meade, the woman who we saw raising Michael earlier in the Apocalypse season—identify themselves as coming from the Church of Satan. The male figure says he’s the Black Pope, while the other two women are his cardinals. The three visitors then abduct an innocent young woman, kill her, rip out her heart, and give it to Michael to eat. After he does so, we see a giant, winged creature form a shadow behind him, signaling his rise as the Antichrist.

Vivien sees this all play out and decides that allowing her son to continue a reign of terror on behalf of Satan himself is very uncool, so she attempts to murder Michael in his sleep. But Michael’s powers are so strong that he sees her coming, and he tries to kill her soul just as she approaches, only for Tate to jump in and save her life. Michael subsequently leaves Murder House and is never seen by the ghosts again. In present day, Vivien explains that Michael’s real father isn’t Tate or Ben, but is instead the evil within Murder House—which just so happens to sit on top of the portal to Hell.


Image via Kurt Iswarienko/FX

So that brings us up to speed on what happened to Michael Langdon after the Harmons’ deaths, at least as far as the Murder House ghosts saw. But this episode of American Horror Story: Apocalypse also served as a coda of sorts for the Murder House season. When Madison and Behold first arrived at Murder House, Constance was once again being annoyed by housemaid Moira (Frances Conroy), with whom she now shared eternity. You’ll recall that in the 1970s, she caught her husband trying to rape Moira, and she shot them both dead.

Constance asked the witch and warlock to remove Moira from the premises in return for information about Michael, which they do by taking Moira’s bones and burying them with her mother. Her soul gets a happy ending, reunited with her mom after all these years.

Constance, meanwhile, seemed content to live out the rest of eternity among familiar faces, including those of three of her children—Tate, the physically deformed Beauregard, and a little girl with no eyes. And Tate and Violet reconcile after Tate saves Vivien’s life, as Violet has spent most of her ghost life refusing to speak to Tate after what he did to her mother. Oh and Sarah Paulson’s medium Billie Dean Howard is still around, revealing that she’s one of the only living people that the Murder House ghosts allow to see them. She and Constance remain pals.

So there you have it. The American Horror Story: Apocalypse/Murder House crossover is complete, and we got a significant update on how all of those ghostly characters fared after we last saw them. Whether this is the end of that story or if these characters will get more screentime as the season progresses and Michael actually does enact the apocalypse remains to be seen. So stay tuned.