Michael Langdon (aka the Antichrist) remained determined to kill the witches in the “Fire and Reign” episode of American Horror Story: Apocalypse, and that influenced every decision he made. However, Cordelia came up with a plan to stop him — and change what he’s done — so will anything he did in this episode matter when the season’s over?

Spoilers for American Horror Story Season 8 Episode 9 below.

With this episode, we saw how the apocalypse came about (maybe). Tired of his Wi-Fi going down, waiting for coffee and getting stuck in traffic, Jeff (Evan Peters as a billionaire techie) decided the world needed to end. He needed to “wipe the slate clean and start over,” and Michael was just the person to do it.

However, once he learned Michael’s plan to end the world was to steal the plot of The Omen 3 and slowly rise to a position of power, Jeff and Mutt (Billy Eichner) used Robot Mead to convince him to return to them for help.

They told Michael about the Cooperative (really the Illuminati), a secret society of movers and shakers, including world leaders who could end the world with the press of a button. Everyone in the society had sold their souls to the devil, so they were essentially the Antichrist’s army. The Russian nuclear defense system was set up for mutual assured destruction, they explained. If a nuclear attack was detected, counter missiles launched automatically. He didn’t even need to use magic to end the world (and kill the witches, which was really all he cared about); he just needed the right people, and they were in the Cooperative.

Michael pitched “outposts” to the Cooperative, in which they, their families and the “worthy” could survive the apocalypse. Jeff and Mutt then promised Ms. Venable her very own outpost to run as she saw fit.

And with that, we finally get an idea about what led to those first episodes, unless someone is able to somehow change it.

That’s Cordelia’s plan.

Before Michael learned about the Cooperative, he set out to get his revenge on Cordelia for killing the real Mead. With Dinah’s help he broke through the protection spell on Miss Robichaux’s Academy. He and Robot Mead proceeded to slaughter the witches inside, including Zoe and Queenie, but not the ones he really wanted dead.

Cordelia and Myrtle were upstairs with Mallory at the time, and the three fled and regrouped with Madison and Coco in Misty’s swamp shack. After Cordelia discovered she couldn’t bring back their fallen witches, Madison revealed what she’d learned at the Murder House: Michael can erase a person’s soul so there’s nothing left.

That left only one option to save the coven: for Mallory to travel back in time and alter history. Since she was able to not only bring a deer back to life but reverse its aging, they thought she could. Her test run, to 1918 to save Anastasia Romanov, failed, and Mallory almost died.

american horror story apocalypse season 8 episode 9 fire and reign coven sarah paulson cordelia goode supreme
Sarah Paulson as Cordelia Goode in 'American Horror Story' Season 8 Episode 9 "Fire and Reign"

But Cordelia was certain the plan could work, if only Mallory had her full powers. Myrtle refused to let Cordelia die for that to happen. They just needed more time, Myrtle said, but they wouldn’t be able to get help from the warlocks. Michael had killed them already by the time they got to them.

With only one episode to go, time travel has to be part of the final showdown between Michael and Mallory, right? But will Cordelia be alive to see how that plays out? Despite how determined Myrtle is to find a way that doesn’t involved her death, they might not have a choice.

American Horror Story: Apocalypse airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

Photos via FX