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The Best Theories About What's Going to Happen in 'American Horror Story: Apocalypse'

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This story contains spoilers for American Horror Story: Apocalypse.

Things are about to wrap up on American Horror StoryApocalypse, and we still have so many questions. After a series of flashback episodes, we're finally almost caught up to that titular apocalypse, or at the very least know how it's about to go down. In this week's penultimate episode, "Fire and Reign," we learn that antichrist Michael Langdon (Cody Fern) was convinced by two coke-fueled nuclear scientists, Mutt (Billy Eichner) and Jeff (Evan Peters), to kick off the end times. Jeff, frustrated at the state of the world, concocts the idea of having Michael lead the evil Cooperative towards the decision to blast off a bunch of nukes and end everything -- while a handful of the elite and wealthy will ride it out in underground outposts.

The identity of the Cooperative has been a big mystery all season, but it was finally revealed that it's actually a codeword for the Illuminati, and that several of the world's highest-ranking politicians are members (Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Bill Clinton). With Michael leading the charge, the nuclear holocaust looms, and the witches are well aware, and severely down in numbers.

With the help of voodoo priestess Dinah Stevens (Adina Porter), Michael and Mead (Kathy Bates) -- revived as a robot -- were able to infiltrate Miss Robichaux's Academy and shoot to death most of the coven, including Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) and Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe). Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) was able to escape, but only four other witches remain: Madison (Emma Roberts), Coco (Leslie Grossman), Myrtle (Frances Conroy), and Mallory (Billie Lourd). (Misty Day and Stevie Nicks are also still alive, but according to Myrtle, are "off galavanting.")

To make matters worse, Michael also killed all of the warlocks, so the witches are completely outnumbered and quickly running out of hope. But they do have one important wildcard up their sleeve: Mallory, whose magical abilities outpace any other living witch, and perhaps any witch ever. Let's break down why Mallory is important, what she's capable of, and how she might turn the clock around on the apocalypse. Here are some of the best speculations about what’s in store for American Horror Story: Apocalypse.

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Mallory is a powerful witch with a unique ability.

Though Mallory's true identity was obfuscated for the first several episodes -- she and Coco were "hidden" in the real world and had their memories wiped to protect them from Michael -- we eventually learned that she is a member of Cordelia's coven and was a student at Miss Robichaux's. There, she impressed her instructors with her uniquely beautiful -- and powerful -- magic. She was able to turn flower pedals into butterflies, and to resurrect a dead deer; and not just resurrect, but also de-age the creature. As Myrtle points out, this sort of magic has never been performed before, and hints at an extreme power.

We also know that Mallory is the direct descendent of a Salem witch -- the first witches to start the coven that became Miss Robichaux's -- so she certainly has the birth right to counter someone like Michael.

She's probably the next Supreme.

Cordelia seems well aware that Mallory is the next Supreme, as she can feel her own powers dwindling. The living Supreme has to die for the next to ascend, which means the two witches are in a precarious place: Cordelia wants to save the world, knowing her life is hindering Mallory's abilities, but the coven doesn't want to lose their trusted leader at such a time.  

Mallory can time-travel.

In "Fire and Reign," Myrtle and Cordelia encourage Mallory to attempt an incantation that can send her back in time. Desperate for a way to prevent the apocalypse, they figure that Mallory -- who's able to reverse aging -- might have what it takes to perform this never-performed-before spell. So as not to fuss with the present just yet, they send her to 1918 Yekaterinburg, to the night the Bolsheviks executed the Romanov family. The youngest daughter, Anastasia, was a witch, and Myrtle and Cordelia want Mallory to retrieve her.

The spell initially works, and Mallory is able to project herself from a bathtub in Misty's Louisiana shack to the turn-of-the-century Soviet Union. She finds Anastasia and attempts to save her, but their magic fails, and the Romanovs are killed anyway. Mallory springs back to consciousness in the tub, her eyes bleeding tears.

At this point, we know that the apocalypse is still two years away, which means it's certainly possible that Mallory will spend that time perfecting the enchantment. So what does that mean for Michael?

Mallory might be able to prevent Michael from ever being born.

If Mallory is able to pull off time travel, it begs the question: To what point in time will she return, and how will it prevent the apocalypse?

The most obvious answer is that she'll return to the Murder House and somehow prevent Michael from ever being born. Maybe she'll find a way to convince the Harmons to leave before Vivienne (Connie Britton) can be impregnated by Tate (Evan Peters). Or maybe she'll find a way to get in cahoots with Constance (Jessica Lange), who can find a way to tamper with her son and prevent her grandson's birth.

This scenario would technically mean that the entire first season of the series never happened, which would probably frustrate some viewers. It's also possible that, to avoid fully re-writing the series, Mallory won't travel back in time at all, but will somehow use her powers to reverse Michael's age so the witches can raise him, train him, and use his powers for good.

The Murder House is another outpost.

The events of Apocalypse play out in a bunker called Outpost 3. As Venable explains, it's one of six, all of them populated by the economically and genetically elite. Its only inhabitants are Venable, Miriam, Coco, Evie, Coco's assistant Mallory (Billie Lourd); Evie's grandson Mr. Gallant (Evan Peters); Andre (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) -- whose boyfriend is offed in Episode 1 -- two teens, Timothy (Kyle Allen) and Emily (Ashley Santos), who quickly fall for each other; and a handful of "grays," who are servants to the elite.

Eighteen months pass at Outpost 3, and we learn that three of the other bunkers have been overtaken by the mutant survivors of the nuclear blasts. Outpost 3 may be running out of time, but then Michael Langdon arrives. You might remember Michael as the offspring of Tate (Evan Peters) and Vivien (Connie Britton) in Murder House. He's also the literal Antichrist, and is now part of the Cooperative. He informs Venable of another location that's better-stocked than any other outpost and is also "impregnable" -- meaning no mutants could penetrate it. He's come to Outpost 3 to see which of its inhabitants is worthy of a transfer to this "sanctuary" outpost.

As some have speculated, this outpost might exist beneath the Murder House, which is Michael's birthplace and a literal hell mouth. It would make sense that he'd create a powerful fortress beneath it, to protect the house's unique properties and to make it so that the spirits who reside there can remain even after Armageddon. We know that Michael has a special attachment to the house outside of just being born there; the ghosts of his family -- including his beloved grandmother Constance (Jessica Lange) -- reside there, and it's where he first fully accessed his Satanic powers. We don't know what's become of the house after the apocalypse, but it seems like such a powerful, evil place might have survived.

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Timothy and Emily are Adam and Eve.

Moments before a nuclear bomb destroyed Los Angeles, we saw Timothy torn from his family, and informed by Cooperative goons that he was genetically gifted. Timothy meets Emily in an underground prison before they're transported to Outpost 3, and they bond over their similar situations; she, too, was plucked from obscurity and told she was important.

The two develop a romantic connection that they must keep secret, as copulation is forbidden in Outpost 3. They sneak kisses when no one is watching and hold hands under the dinner table, committed to each other and their mutual safety. Are they meant to be an Adam and Eve, with their unique genetics purposely curated by the Cooperative to rebuild humanity?

The two were seemingly killed by Venable’s venom serum at the end of Episode 3, and we haven’t seen them since. But we have a feeling they might be back; there was too much time given to their importance, and with the arrival of a few resurrection-capable witches, they might live to see another day.

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Emily is Lilith.

If they are brought back, another possibility is that Emily is Lilith, a figure in Jewish folklore. We see Timothy taken from his family in the Apocalypse premiere, but we meet Emily when she's already in captivity, and hear her story -- of being plucked from a jail cell, where she was being held after a political protest -- second-hand. Is she a reliable narrator, or is she also there to tempt Timothy?

In some traditions, Lilith was the real first woman, not Eve, and was Adam's first wife. She was believed to be created at the same time as Adam, instead of being forged from his ribs, and in Midrashic traditions she is portrayed as an evil demon who snatches babies and tempts men sexually, while the more subservient Eve represents an exemplary wife.

Perhaps Emily represents Lilith, and instead of being Timothy's true love, is in fact sent by the Antichrist to tempt and destroy him. Maybe she's one of those hooded figures seen in episode 9, who are helping orchestrate the end times.

Mallory is an angel.

We learn in episode 4, "Could It Be… Satan," that Coco and Mallory are actually witches who were given identity spells to make them forget who they were. Their place in Outpost 3 seems by the design of the coven, who return to revive them. Madison mentions Coco being the weakest of them all, but as we later learn, Mallory might be the strongest.

In a pre-apocalypse flashback, we see Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga) teach a witchy class at Miss Robichaux’s Academy. Mallory is one of her students, and demonstrates an ability to not just change the color of a flower -- which is the lesson -- but to turn the petals into butterflies. In a later episode, we also see Mallory bring a deer back from life and rewind its lifespan so that it’s a fawn again. Myrtle, who witnessed the act, tells Cordelia that she’s never seen magic like that.

Is Mallory the next Supreme? Maybe, but her powers seem different somehow. Remember that her powers terrified Michael, who exposed his true demonic form to her in a moment of anger. If Michael is the Antichrist, perhaps Mallory is some sort of angel, the daughter of a witch and something divine. In Christian theology, there are beings known as the Nephilim, who are the product of "the sons of god" and "the daughters of Adam." Mallory could be a godlike hybrid the way Michael -- the son of a ghost and mortal -- is a hybrid of evil. This would put them at direct ends, and could mean that Mallory is the only one who can save the world from Michael’s reign.

Her outfits might offer more clues. She’s often seen wearing a golden headband that looks like a halo, and in episode 5, when she resurrects the deer, we see her dressed in white while the other witches are in black.

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Mallory is related to Scáthach.

Another possibility is that Mallory is the descendant of Scáthach, the first Supreme who we first met in Roanoke. Both immensely powerful and destructively evil, Scáthach was a "practitioner of prehistoric Celtic religion and worshipper of Old Gods," bringing their magic to the Americas. Her branch of witchcraft eventually became the the coven that established Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies.

All Miss Robichaux witches are likely related to Scáthach in some way, but it’s possible that Mallory is her most direct descendant. We also know that her family has a direct link to the Salem witches.

Mallory will turn back time to prevent the apocalypse.

Mallory is definitely the most mysterious character this season. We know she’s incredibly powerful, but we don’t know what that means, or how capable she might be. We do know that there’s a beauty and uniqueness to her magic. That deer resurrection was lovely, but it also may have hinted at Mallory’s role in this apocalypse business.

As we learn in episode 9, "Fire and Reign," Mallory is able to travel back in time. She's still struggling to perfect the trick, but if she gets there, perhaps she'll be able to go back and prevent Michael from ever existing. That would fit with the motifs of this season's opening credits: a black-gloved hand turning an hourglass, candles igniting and reigniting, themes of reversal.

Or maybe Mallory will only turn back the clock for one person: Michael. As we learned in "Return to Murder House," Michael suddenly aged a decade overnight when he was a child. If Mallory could somehow harness her powers and erase that rapid growth, she could make him an easily vanquishable child once again. One who isn't yet aware of his evil destiny.

The witches were steering that plane.

In the premiere episode of Apocalypse, Coco, Mallory and a few companions arrive at a small airport to board a private jet. Because of Coco's wealth, her father secured her a place in one of the underground outposts. The plane takes off and those aboard witness the detonation of a nuclear bomb, which levels Los Angeles. But when they check to see who's piloting the plane, there's no one in the cockpit -- it appears to be flying itself.

How could this be? Well, given what we know now, it was likely an enchantment the surviving coven crafted. We know they finagled with Mallory and Coco's memories to protect them from Michael and assure their security in one of the bunkers, so part of the larger plan might have involved them being flown to safety on a magic plane. How can they erase the apocalypse if they aren't alive, after all?

Coco is the real supreme.

A lot of jokes have come at poor Coco's expense, mostly due to her ridiculous abilities, which amount to nothing more than being able to determine the exact calorie count of a food item and knowing whether or not something is really gluten-free. But what if all of that is just a distraction from the fact that Coco is ultimately the most powerful witch in the coven and the true Supreme?

This theory only works if Mallory is, indeed, an angel. If that's the case, her powers are different than the other witches, sort of like how Michael couldn't be the Supreme because he's actually the Antichrist. That frees up the "next Supreme" role. And if you really think about it, Coco's powers aren't really as lame as they seem; she's able to detect the chemical composition of objects, which is actually fascinating, and could be of major importance, especially with an impending nuclear holocaust.

Maybe her powers will somehow save the day, and we'll learn that she's been the fledgling Supreme this whole time. American Horror Story loves to throw its last-minute curveballs, so it wouldn't surprise us to see such a major reveal in the final episode.

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Lindsey Romain is a writer and editor living in Chicago. She covers politics for Teen Vogue and has also appeared in Vulture, Birth.Movies.Death, and more. Follow her on Twitter @lindseyromain.