'American Horror Story: Apocalypse' review: The coven's Romanov time-travel trial run is the only terrifying thing about episode 8

The latest episode of the American Horror Story Apocalypse, 'Fire and Reign' had a little bit of terror — some real-life terror that we just have to talk about

'American Horror Story: Apocalypse' review: The coven's Romanov time-travel trial run is the only terrifying thing about episode 8

'American Horror Story: Apocalypse' hasn't been the most horrifying lately and the reason is plain and simple — they've overcomplicated the plot and built up too much in the beginning and now that we are nearing the end, literally, there isn't much left to tell. The meat is definitely missing from 'Apocalypse' and the hype built with this season has been an absolute letdown. However, the latest episode of the show 'Fire and Reign' had a little bit of terror — some real-life terror that we just have to talk about. 



 

'Apocalypse' is now trying time travel as the latest technique to save the world and in the middle of it, are all the coven witches — or what's left of them really.

Cordelia and Mallory are trying to perfect the time travel spell and on its test run, we see a very real piece from the past. The young up and coming Supreme travels to Russia in the early 1900 — specifically to a day in the year 1918 when a royal family was massacred ruthlessly in the worst way possible. Many rumors surround their deaths and their descendants and 'AHS's twist was also quite interesting.

As history tells us, on a fateful day in 1918, the members of the Russian imperial family, the House of Romanov, were executed by a firing squad in Yekaterinburg, Russia. It happened during the Russian Civil War and towards the end of the First World War. The soldiers were ordered to shoot them all, women and children included, and the entire family was massacred in their home. Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra, and their five children — Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei — were gunned down and also allegedly stabbed to death.

While no one knows for sure who ordered the hit, people believe the murders were connected to Vladimir Lenin. Rumor is, Anastasia escaped alive and the bloodline continues even today, although there is no concrete proof to support this theory. 

The Romanov family (Wikipedia)
The Romanov family (Wikipedia)

In its own rendition of what happened, Myrtle Snow talks about the day like she was there — the grandeur of the castle and the Tsar himself. Mark Ivanir is reimagined as the Tsar, dressed in his royal uniform talking to the guards who knocked on his door in the wee hours of the night. He is told that they've come to keep his family safe from an alleged danger and that they must gather in the basement.

Anastasia, played by Emily Aris is imagined as a girl in her teens, who is woken up by the commotion in the hall. She goes out to see her father speaking to the men and even though she senses something is wrong, she listens to her dad anyway. She collects her siblings and her prized position, a bejeweled locket and rushes to the basement. In comes the twist — it turns out Anastasia was a witch, but unfortunately not strong enough to protect them all. Mallory's first trip back in time turns out to be a failed rescue mission to save the family. 

To this day, a number of people still claim to be members of the Romanov family, often using false titles of nobility or royalty.



 

The rest of 'Fire and Reign' can be watched on fast forward. The story is taking a boring and predictable turn, not to mention completely unappalling. Gone are the days of 'Forbidden Apple' when the least you could do was expect a helpless murder which wasn't for the shock value. The murders in this episode (yes, people die) are disrespectful, to say the least — especially for the characters that were brought back with no real purpose so far. It would also be really nice if 'AHS' stopped branding the voodoo clan as the permanent snakes, please.

This episode too didn't give us any answers but just kept dabbling with what we already know. Here's hoping that they can keep their fan following intact with a kickass finale.

Watch 'American Horror Story: Apocalypse' Wednesdays on FX at 10 pm PT.