Why Cordelia Might Not *Actually* Be Fading On 'AHS: Apocalypse'

Kurt Iswarienko/FX

With only three episodes left in American Horror Story Season 8, there are bound to be plenty of twists and turns still to come. Of course, some viewers think they can predict them. One AHS: Apocalypse fan theory about Cordelia speculates that the circumstances behind the decline of the current Supreme are somewhat fishy, and maybe things aren't what they appear to be with the incomparable Miss Goode.

Audiences learned in Season 3's Coven that one Supreme begins to fade whenever another starts to rise to take her place. Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) felt this decline and did anything she could to desperately cling to her power and youth, including murdering Madison Montgomery, who she thought was her successor. (Of course, it was actually her own daughter, Cordelia, who eventually usurped her position in a delicious bit of irony.) Now, in Season 8, it appears that it's Cordelia's turn to fade. She told Myrtle Snow that she could feel herself dying, and indeed, Michael Langdon soon passed the Seven Wonders, becoming the first male Supreme (aka the "Alpha") in the history of the coven.

But something feels suspicious. First of all, as Inverse pointed out, the role of Supreme is generally depicted as a generational title, and Cordelia has only been Supreme for a few years between Coven and the start of Apocalypse's extended flashbacks.

So what could be behind Cordelia's decline if not the rise of a new Supreme? Could there be something else causing the Robichaux instructor to ail? "I don't buy Cordelia fading," Reddit user ladyboysingstheblues posted after the airing of Episode 7, "Traitor." "She's at full power in the outpost in Episode 3, for one," they continued, referring to how Cordelia seemed in perfect health when she first strode into Outpost 3 to resurrect Mallory, Coco, and Dinah — before the show flashed back to a couple of years earlier, when Cordelia was supposedly fading. If she was fading before the apocalypse even started, then why does she seem fine 18 months after it occurred?

"I think Michael is weakening her just to make her think that she's fading," the Redditor goes on. And it's true that, if Michael isn't technically a warlock — and instead possesses supernatural abilities due to his nature as the son of Satan — then his rise to power would have no affect on Cordelia's condition. Then what about the theory that Mallory is the Supreme? "All the witches say they've seen nothing like Mallory's power before so I'm guessing she's not even a witch."

Like Michael, Mallory may not technically belong in the coven; some fans theorize that Coco's personal assistant isn't actually a witch, but rather an angel sent to Earth to defeat the literal devil. If neither Michael nor Mallory are witches, then Cordelia's status as the Supreme remains secure... and her "fading" could really be just a trick to get her to step aside and allow Michael to claim his position at the head of the coven.

That's good news for Sarah Paulson fans. With one of her three Apocalypse characters dead (Outpost 3 leader Wilhelmina Venable) and another unlikely to return post-Murder House side trip (psychic Billie Dean Howard), Cordelia is the Emmy winner's last remaining character this season. It would be a shame to see her fade away and for Paulson's time on Apocalyspe to end prematurely.