If you're a fan of American Horror Story then this season, Apocalypse, has probably left you with a lot of questions and even a little bit of confusion when it comes to the timeline of things. Centered around the world ending in a nuclear holocaust circa 2020, Apocalypse seems to have either messed with the long-running horror anthology series' timeline or created a giant plot hole.
However, according to one carefully constructed fan theory, neither is the case because the apocalypse in Apocalypse isn't the falling of the bombs. It's something else entirely.
Reddit user "agoodleatherjacket" recently posted to the American Horror Story community two timeline flowcharts outlining the events of the entire American Horror Story series as a way to explain that the timeline of the series itself isn't correct -- it's our assumptions about the information in the timeline that is. To explain this, the user split the timelines out into the events before and during Apocalypse as well as one representing Myrtle Snow's timeline as presented in this week's episode, "Traitor". The conclusion the user came to? The timeline is just fine if you consider that the "apocalypse" that Cordelia was seeking to prevent when she resurrected Myrtle in 2015 wasn’t' the nuclear bombs. It is something else, one that had to have happened long before the nukes fell.
If this theory is correct and the true apocalypse isn't the nuclear holocaust, the timeline works by placing the genuine apocalypse somewhere in 2017-2018. Events that we've already seen in Apocalypse, such as Michael's Satanic awakening and his passing of the Seven Wonders , both fall into that time frame. It's also possible that the apocalypse itself could be something coming up in episode eight or nine as both are likely to continue to unfold the backstory leading up to the nukes. In either case, the bombs falling are simply a result of the apocalypse, not the cause.
This theory also doesn't interfere with another theory regarding the series timeline and Apocalypse's place in it. Early on, one of the major questions about Apocalypse was how the world could end in nukes in 2020 with canonical events from Hotel occurring in a decidedly non-apocalyptic 2022. The current, prevailing theory is that those events remain intact as the catastrophe in Apocalypse will be undone. It's a theory that may be gaining some credibility considering that we've seen Mallory's powers have the ability to not just reverse death and injury but make it as though it had never happened at all.
What do you think the real apocalypse is this season on American Horror Story? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.