Why ‘American Horror Story' Lost Season 8 (and How It Can Win Us Back in Season 9)

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

Joan Collins. The return of the Coven witches. Angela Bassett’s surprise reprisal of voodoo queen Marie Laveau. Kathy Bates as a motherly satanic priestess. While there were *so* many things to love about American Horror Story’s eighth season, Apocalypse, I couldn’t help but see past the bloody theatrics and feel like one of Michael’s early animal kills devoid of its guts—empty.

With all of the confusing timelines and actors like Sarah Paulson playing so many different characters (three in total), this past AHS season feels diluted and scatterbrained. I think it's clear from the recent press about the show that the finale was too predictable, the crossover elements a little disappointing, the frayed ending only half tied-up. And I have to wonder: Will season nine be able to bring its A game?

One of my biggest qualms with Apocalypse was its all-too-predictable finale. Of course Cordelia has to kill herself in order to make way for the next Supreme. Of course Michael gets killed by the witches thanks to Mallory's time traveling abilities (and by a hit-and-run, no less). And of course the apocalypse from episode one is reversed so that our favorite witches live on.

Another problem came with the crossover elements, and how they related to the story line. Because now that Mallory traveled back in time, we actually lost the happy endings that many of the Murder House occupants found solace in in the sixth episode. We lost Frances Conroy's Myrtle and Emma Roberts's Madison (although Mallory plans to bring her back from hell at some point). While it was fun to have the witches around to save the day, all the time traveling left me a bit nauseous.

And while we love a good twist ending, is the devil seriously back again? Emily and Timothy's son appears to be the next satan, which leads me to believe none of season eight mattered at all. And was that really the whole point of those two characters, anyway? They appeared in multiple teasers for the show yet had a major impact on the plot progression only in the finale. But, you know what they say: The devil finds work for idle hands.

So, with such a negative taste left in viewers' mouths after season eight, what can be expected from season nine? While there’s talk of an outer space theme (which, honestly, sounds epic), I’m hoping the thread of satanic Antichrist babies isn’t just thrown out for a completely new villain. Sure, the campy anthology approach to this show is what makes it so great, but a part of me longs for a solid through-line next season, now that we know the worlds of AHS past are all connected.

One guaranteed way to win us over again for season nine: Bring back Cody Fern, whose first go on AHS made us return each Wednesday for more. As the only character with any substantial development, Fern brought us one helluva Michael Langdon to sympathize with—even if, ya know, he's Satan and all. (Please, Ryan Murphy, pleaseeee.)

'Til then, we’ll just be refreshing our newsfeeds for more Murphy revelations (and watching the skies for circling crows, of course).

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