American Horror Story Coven, S3E5: Burn Witch. Burn.
Original Airdate: November 6, 2013
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
Congratulations to American Horror Story for being renewed for a fourth season!
New Orleans. All Hallows’ Eve, 1833. Madame LaLaurie is hosting a party at her house. The Governor and his wife are there, and they introduce their son, Jacques. Delphine introduces her eldest daughter, Boquita, and suggests that Jacques attempt a trip through her chamber of horrors. She adds that seeing a look of horror on a young man’s face makes her feel young. Inside her parlor are a series of silver dishes. She tells Jacques to place his hand inside, and he thinks he feels peeled grapes, when in reality we see that she removed her slaves’ eyeballs. Next he thinks he feels sausages, but in fact they are the slaves’ entrails. He hurries away from the room, and she laughs that he’s not man enough for her chamber of horrors—or her daughter. Boquita looks on sadly, knowing what her mother has done.
Later, the LaLaurie daughters discuss their mother’s treatment. She’s horrible to the slaves as well as her own daughters. Boquita tosses out the idea of killing their mother, and the other girls laugh nervously but agree that it would solve problems. Of course, they’d never really do it. The conversation is cut short when Delphine walks in and tells them that they’re missing the party. She hurries out of the room and tells her feeble-minded husband to fetch Bastien, the Minotaur, as well as two very strong slaves. We never see what she does with Bastien, because we jump to a point later that night when her daughters are pulled from their beds and locked away in the attic. The tortured slaves look on as Delphine ties one daughter up and locks the other two in cages, calling them little birds. She orders Boquita’s leg broken when the girl tries to fight. This is a punishment for even thinking about killing their mother, she says.
Back in the present, we return to the end of last week’s episode when Delphine opens the door and sees her three daughters, now zombies, standing at the door. She shuts the door and tells the bewildered Luke, Nan, and Zoe that the bonfires can’t help them now. Queenie rushes down the stairs, telling everyone that there are more dead people out on the lawn. And indeed there are—the whole lawn is full of zombies.
Fiona’s night at the bar turns upside down when she hears her daughter’s screams. She pushes through the crowd to find Cordelia kneeling with her face covered. No one tries to help as Fiona attempts to pry her daughter’s hands from her face. She notes a figure in black walking away from the bar, but she can’t do anything. When Cordelia pulls her hands away, her eyes are white and her skin is melting away. In the ER, the doctor tells Fiona that they think it was sulfuric acid. It went all the way through and they couldn’t save her eyes. When she hears that her daughter is blind, Fiona attacks the doctor and then falls into her chair in shock.
Miss Robichaux’s is surrounded. Nan can’t hear their thoughts (because they’re dead) and Zoe can’t reach Cordelia on the phone. She tells everyone to shut the curtains and turn off the lights. Queenie, still weak from being attacked, collapses in a chair. Nan says she shouldn’t be out of bed. “Tell that to the army of darkness,” Queenie replies. Luke has had enough, and he storms outside to deal with the “neighborhood kids.”
Marie Laveau is flying high. Her floor is covered in dead roosters and other bits and pieces of stuff. And she’s levitating in the center of the room.
Luke tells the zombies to leave, but when he sees some real trick-or-treaters approach the dead ones, he realizes that something big is happening. Marie Laveau opens her eyes. “Begin!” she cries, and the zombies slowly come to life. They attack and eviscerate the nearest trick-or-treater. Luke tries to get away but is cut down by an axe-wielding zombie. Nan cries out for him. Zoe tells her there’s nothing they can do for him, so she calls for Spalding and tries to usher everyone upstairs. Then she sees Delphine moving toward the door. Delphine says that they’re still her daughters. Zoe herds the woman to the stairs. Spalding doesn’t like the idea of going to the attic so Zoe says they should just get upstairs. That’s when she sees that Nan is missing, and the door is open…. Outside, Nan pulls Luke to Cordelia’s car, and as soon as they’re inside, the zombies reach them and attack the car.
Cordelia is resting comfortably at the hospital. Fiona is out of medicine so she begins a hunt for the pharmacy. Oddly enough, the hospital is eerily deserted and they keep their medicines in a locked room that she gains access to rather easily. Once she has a huge stash in her purse, and after she takes several pills with an alcoholic chaser, she heads down the hallway and encounters the living dead—patients who wander aimlessly. When she sees the hooded person from the bar, a man wearing soiled diapers grabs her and says that she might as well have thrown the acid herself. Fiona hears a woman crying and enters a room where a woman has just given birth to a stillborn child. Fiona makes the woman hold the dead baby girl and talk to her, and after the mother tells her dead baby that she’s beautiful and she won’t leave her until the day she dies, the baby comes back to life. Fiona staggers out of the room.
Nan and Luke are out of time in the car as the zombies start breaking windows. Zoe bangs pots and pans together to get their focus away from the car. It works, but it works too well. They start chasing her and she has to take cover in the shed. Inside, Delphine frets over Queenie, telling her that she’s her responsibility. She orders Spalding to keep her in bed while she goes to get ice (and a Coke, yells Queenie). In the kitchen, Delphine gets ice from a tray when she sees Boquita outside in the sunroom. She opens the door and Boquita comes inside. Delphine pleads with her to remember who she is. She even manages to stroke her cheek before Boquita decides that she’d rather choke her mother to death. Queenie is getting worried about Delphine and sends Spalding to check on her, but he only gets outside the door before Queenie hears his inarticulate cries. She goes to the door and sees Boquita about to hit him with a candlestick, but Boquita decides to chase after Queenie. Queenie stabs her arm and cuts her throat, and while these slow Boquita down, they do nothing to stop her. That’s when a fire poker impales the zombie from behind. It’s Delphine. When the zombie version of her daughter falls to the ground, Delphine sinks onto the bed and sobs that “she had a monster for a mother,” and this was the nicest thing she could ever do for her. Queenie pulls Delphine into a hug and lets her cry.
Outside, Luke and Nan make a run for the house. The zombies see them and start to chase them. Luke falls to the ground and apologizes to Nan when it looks like they are done for…and that’s when Zoe and her chainsaw come to the rescue. She takes out the zombies with her chainsaw and gives Nan and Luke the chance to escape. She kills all of the zombies, except for the one that she misses. When the chainsaw gets stuck, she falls down and is about to be killed when something comes over her and she holds up her hand and utters a spell that kills the zombie. At that moment, Marie Laveau falls from the ceiling. Chantal is there to help her sit up. Marie says there is a very strong witch at the house.
At the hospital, Fiona is at Cordelia’s side when Hank arrives. He says he has been driving for hours, but Fiona says she can smell the bull shit on him. She’s glad he didn’t knock up her daughter because they would have been left with a child and a blind mother, and then he’d run away. He’s stunned to hear that his wife is blind, and he’s done listening to the biting jabs from Fiona about being poor and hanging onto Cordelia for support. A nurse comes in to break up their argument, and Fiona offers him fifteen minutes to see his wife and then leave, either on his own terms or hers. She’d prefer her terms, she teases. When he takes Cordelia’s hand in his, her eyes open and she sees a vision of what he’d been doing while he was away. Her opaque eyes are frightening.
Nan and Zoe pile the bodies of the zombies into a bonfire in the back yard as Fiona watches. Zoe asks about Luke, and Fiona says that he should stay there to recover given that his “holy roller” mother will only call the police. She sends Nan inside to check on him, and then she thanks Zoe for taking care of things while she was gone. Delphine comes outside as Zoe goes into the house. They were her daughters, she tells Fiona. She hopes that this incident can bring them closer together. But Fiona doubts that; after all, she is still the maid. Across the yard, Myrtle, Quentin and Pembroke approach.
Pembroke reads the charges against Fiona, including gross neglect. They call for her immediate abdication. “It’s not personal,” Quentin assures her quickly. But Fiona isn’t going anywhere. She accuses Myrtle of being behind this whole thing. It turns out that Fiona saw the face of the person that threw the acid on Cordelia—it was Myrtle. Myrtle denies it, pointing out that she’d never hurt Cordelia, given that she raised her more than Fiona ever did. Fiona says it was all a ploy to take her out. Indeed, she may have killed Madison. She shows the Council proof that Myrtle has been in New Orleans the whole time, checked into a hotel under an alias. She even had pictures of Fiona on the wall, crossed out with red paint. The real proof comes when Fiona peels Myrtle’s red leather gloves from her hands, revealing burns from the acid used to blind Cordelia. The only thing the Council can do is vote to put her to death. It’s unanimous. Myrtle will be burned for her crime. She says she will go willingly.
The coven leads Myrtle to the site of her death. She goes willingly to the stake and the men in suits tie her up and douse her with gas. Oddly, no one has mentioned that Myrtle was the one who brought Zoe to Miss Robichaux’s. As Myrtle delivers a speech accusing Fiona of bringing the coven to the ground, Fiona lights a cigarette. Myrtle would rather burn than be brought to a slow boil. That’s all Fiona needs—she tosses the cigarette onto the pyre and Myrtle goes up in smoke. Zoe watches in horror.
Fiona is back in her bedroom popping pills. Queenie comes to see her and wants to know if she helped to frame an innocent person. We see that during Fiona’s attack, Queenie is in the next room and she’s dipping her fingers into acid so that Myrtle’s fingers are disfigured. Fiona says that everyone is guilty in a way. Queenie is having trouble closing her eyes because she keeps seeing her burning body and smelling the foul stench. Fiona tells Queenie that she’s getting stronger and that she could possibly be the next Supreme. Queenie beams when she hears this and for now, Fiona’s secret is safe.
Spalding is dancing to old-time music on the phonograph. He’s dressed in his dainty, frilly finery and he’s spraying air freshener as he dances. He opens the toy chest to reveal Madison’s decaying (and smelly body). It looks like he wants to play with his doll, but when he tries to pull her out, her arm breaks off. Oops.
Misty Day comes upon Myrtle’s charred remains as they are being devoured by dogs. Misty takes in the sight with sadness, and she bends down and places her hands on Myrtle’s body, closing her eyes. Suddenly Myrtle’s eyes open. Looks like she isn’t dead after all.
Well, this was another roller coaster ride of an episode. I’m still trying to figure out what happened to Kyle. He’s still trick-or-treating, I guess. And hasn’t Luke’s mother noticed his absence? And since when do hospitals have flickering lights and dark hallways? I’ll never know….
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