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October 25, 2018 at 12:08 AM EDT

So, does anyone else remember that thing that happened back when American Horror Story‘s latest season kicked off? Something about the world ending, possibly?

…Well, whatever. We’ll get back to the nuclear future eventually, no doubt — but as of this week, we’re still noodling around in the pre-apocalypse past. And that’s okay because after ignoring her for ages, it’s finally Dinah’s turn to shine. Her backstory: She’s no witch, but rather the new voodoo queen, who stays in business by helping the Real Housewives of Suburban New Orleans to keep their husbands’ wandering wieners in line. (For the second time in as many weeks, we get to see an American Horror Story cast member rip out and eat a raw human heart, so that’s fun.) Dinah receives a visit in the cold open from Cordelia, who wants a rendezvous that only Marie Laveau’s successor can arrange: a meeting with Papa Legba. Because those always end so well!

Much like last week, the Legba scene serves mostly as fan service — we get to see Lance Reddick and Jamie Brewer back in their Coven roles, and the plot of the series advances by, like, a millimeter. Cordelia has a proposition: she wants Legba to open the gates to hell so she can trap Michael Langdon inside. But Legba, greedy top hat-wearing demon that he is, wants all the witches’ souls in return. Cordelia says no, and the devil takes his leave (and takes Nan with him.) So, that’s that.

The meeting leaves Cordelia wiped, and not just because she’s bummed about the coming apocalypse. Her powers are fading, and Zoe thinks she knows why: Mallory is getting stronger, to the point of not just performing but inventing telekinetic surgery on Coco (whose powers have expanded from gluten detection to calorie count intuition. Go, Coco!). Might she be the next Supreme?

Meanwhile, out in Los Angeles, we meet Bubbles McGee (Joan Collins, in her second role this season.) She’s an aging glamazon making a horror flick about a killer in a Santa suit (who is somehow not played by Ian Mcshane, which is a ding-dang outrage), but filming is derailed by a surprise visit from Madison. “You’ve been summoned,” she says, because the appearance of the Antichrist means all the witches must reconvene. (Re-COVEN? Re…co… ehhhhhh I tried.)

Bubbles is a mind-reader, which makes her a useful asset for the coven’s next play: a dinner with the warlocks to find out what they’re planning. Michael is conveniently absent “in the wilderness” (which kinda seems like code for “we wrote ourselves into a corner with this Omnipotent Demon Spawn plotline, and anyway Cody Fern deserved a day off”), so Bubbles faces no barriers to reading Ariel’s mind. Conveniently, Ariel immediately starts thinking in the most straightforward and simplistic terms about how glad he is that they killed John Henry, and how he can’t wait to kill all the witches, too. That was easy.

Cut to Miss Robichaux’s, where the coven is at dinner — with a special guest.

“How can you witches sit around here sipping wine, when people are going to die?!” Chablis screeches. (Sidenote: if the spectacle of Billy Porter’s scenery-chewing on this season doesn’t earn him an Emmy nom, I will riot.) But Cordelia explains that she’s known for some time about the coming horror; it’s why she resurrected Myrtle Snow, and also why they’re going to resurrect John Henry from his ashy grave in a gas station parking lot. Mallory, do ya thing! (She does, inching ever closer to the Supremacy.)

But will they learn the truth in time? Back at their underground Hogwarts compound, the warlocks are plotting. Baldwin has created a poison powder with which to murder the witches — there’s even a gruesome flash-forward fantasy of Cordelia, Bubbles, and the rest of the women bleeding to death out of their eyeballs — but a fantasy is all it’ll ever be. Cordelia swans in with her entourage, erases the mouths of the men a la The Matrix, and doesn’t give them back. Damn, that’s cold. It all ends with Ariel, Baldwin, and Mead (who Coco located, somehow) being brought to the concrete gallows and burned at the stake, as you do with witches.

Mead hollers about welcoming the embrace of Satan before she goes up in flames.

The men, who still have no mouths, don’t say a word.

Which is fine, because judging by those suits, they’d probably go out shouting “Hot Topic! Men’s Wearhouse!” and it would just be embarrassing for everyone.

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An anthology series that centers on different characters and locations, including a haunted house, an insane asylum, a witch coven, a freak show and a hotel.
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seasons
7
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run date
10/17/12
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