American Horror Story Coven, S3E9: Head
Original Airdate: December 11, 2013
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
It’s 1991 and young Hank is out with his father on a hunting trip. They bond over coffee (not spiked) to celebrate Hank’s first hunting trip. At first you get a creepy feeling that there is some kind of abuse going on, but as it turns out young Hank is worried about missing his target. His father assures him that their family has been in the hunting business for a long time, and his son will be fine. Hank loads a silver bullet and cocks his gun. Dad goes to flush their target out from the bush, and there is a gunshot. A woman runs out of the bushes and begs Hank not to shoot. He levels his gun at her while his father yells at him to “put her down.” When Hank hesitates, she takes the opportunity to light the ground on fire, igniting Dad’s arm. He manages to shoot her in the head. Hank rushes into his dad’s arms, apologizing. “No mercy,” Dad tells his son.
Marie Laveau is chatting up her client when Fiona walks into the salon with Delphine’s new abode. Queenie watches from the corner. The two women go into the back to talk. Fiona eyes Delphine’s headless (and handless) body still in its cage, swatting away the flies. She wants to work out an alliance with Marie Laveau. Screw the truce. They have bigger problems to deal with. Marie laughs at the idea of forming an alliance with Fiona’s coven. When Fiona shows her the witch hunters’ bullets, Marie calls it a white woman’s problem. Fiona says they’ll come after her tribe when they finish with the coven, but Marie thinks she sees through the real issue. It has to do with Fiona’s wig. She has cancer, and she can’t protect her own coven. Being called out angers Fiona. Marie tells Queenie to burn up Delphine’s head. Queenie slowly takes the box (frankly I’m surprised Queenie didn’t have more of a problem with what Marie did to Delphine). Fiona leaves, and Marie Laveau laughs.
Cordelia is feeling her way around the kitchen. She’s going to make eggs, and she does an admirable job getting things ready until she pushes the egg carton off the counter while Myrtle watches her with interest. “Goddamnit! Can people not move things? Some of us are blind!” she shouts. Myrtle rushes in to help her. Cordelia wants to clean up her mess on her own. Myrtle seems troubled by her reaction, and she asks if Cordelia believes that Myrtle is responsible for her blindness. She recalls the first day that Cordelia arrived at Miss Robichaux’s, and young Cordelia asked Myrtle if she would be her new mother. Myrtle loved her like she was her own child. Cordelia doesn’t need to use her gift to know the truth. She knows that Myrtle would give her own eyes to her if she could.
Atlanta, Georgia. The Delphi Trust. Hank is waiting to see the CEO. The new right-hand man, David, takes him to see the big guy, who happens to be Hank’s father. Their reunion is frigid. Dad is upset at Hank’s sloppiness. He’s mad that Hank took initiative by trying to align himself with Marie Laveau, even though Hank insists that he had a plan ready to take out both groups. He points out that he took care of the redheaded fire starter in the hotel room. Dad angrily replies that two innocent people had to die to cover up that incident because Hank was careless and used his own credit card to pay for the room. The Delphi Trust may be a centuries-old organization dedicated to the elimination of witches, dating back to before Salem, but it’s also a financial institution that could be under a lot of government scrutiny should the door be opened to them. Dad understands that Hank sacrificed a lot to infiltrate the coven. He admits that they authorized the acid attack on Cordelia to ensure that she needed him more than ever (clearly they don’t know that she has a new power as a result of the attack). Dad makes sure his son knows where his place is. And Hank agrees, though he looks troubled. Perhaps his feelings for Cordelia are more real than we thought.
Myrtle is preparing for her luncheon. She marvels at the usefulness of the melon baller. Pembroke and Quentin are in fine form, complimenting Myrtle on how great she looks after her ordeal. Quentin wonders if they should be marketing the swamp mud. Myrtle says that the mud is but a metaphor for the way Misty Day operates. She’s a powerful witch in the guise of a swamp rat, and she was killed so that her swamp rat relatives could keep their evil secrets safe. But that’s not what Myrtle wanted to discuss. As Pembroke offers a toast to Myrtle, she freezes. Quentin drops his glass. Myrtle poisoned the melon balls with a drug that creates a total-body paralysis. She knows that they have both been trying for years to get rid of her, but she never thought they would try to do it. However, she didn’t bring them to this state to chastise them, rather she needs them. Picking up the melon baller, she scoops out an eye from each one of them. Upstairs, she tells Cordelia about her cat that had two different colored eyes. She pulls of Cordelia’s bandages to reveal two brand new eyes, both very oddly colored. But what difference does the color make? Cordelia can see!
Fiona returns home in time to overhear a conversation between Cordelia and Myrtle. Cordelia says she should have been given a choice. When Fiona walks in, she can’t believe that Cordelia can see. “Sweet Jesus!” she exclaims. “He gets no credit,” Myrtle replies. Fiona wonders why she didn’t give her a matching set, but Myrtle replies that the donors “wish to remain anonymous.” That’s because she chopped Pembroke and Quentin into tiny pieces and threw their body parts into acid. Fiona threatens to banish Myrtle by calling an emergency meeting of the Council, but Myrtle says they’re not taking any calls. Cordelia stops their fighting and tells them that she’s going to lie down. When the girls get home, they should say in for the night given all the dangers out there. Myrtle gives Cordelia a hug, and Cordelia realizes that her visions are gone.
Madison and Zoe go to the hospital to find Nan. Madison hates the smell of sick people and quickly lights a cigarette. Nan is outside Luke’s room but Joan won’t let her see him. They barge in and Joan threatens to call security. Nan can hear Luke and he tells her things to say to prove she’s not a fraud. It’s only when she tells Joan about a song she sang to him when he was eight that she believes her. Joan sings the song to her comatose son, and when she finishes she hugs Nan. Joan looks pretty good for a newly revived dead person, by the way.
Queenie returns to her apartment with several bags. Delphine’s head is sitting on a table in the middle of the room. She asks if Queenie brought food, but Queenie points out that she has no stomach. No, she has a plan to educate Delphine. Queenie plans to make Delphine watch Roots, and the sequel, and several other movies including her personal favorite, B.A.P.S., starring Halle Berry. Delphine asks to be burned, and as much as Queenie wants to oblige, she wants to send her off with a sense of what she did to her slaves. Queenie turns on the movie and leaves. Delphine tries to shut her eyes and sing to drown out the “jungle music.”
Hank is eating Chinese food when his hand suddenly wrenches away from the food and a gash is opened up. He is thrown across the room and stabbed by an unseen assailant. A man bursts into the room and says it’s a message from Marie Laveau. She gashes his stomach and he screams. We see her sitting back at her salon using a Voodoo doll. Hank’s phone rings and the man holds it to Hank’s ear. She tells him he must kill the witches tonight or the next hole will be in his heart. Hank agrees, his eyes wide with fear.
Cordelia and Misty Day are in the conservatory making a potion. Misty had no idea that bay leaves had magical qualities, but Cordelia tells her that they’re for protection. She mixes the concoction and reminds Misty that they should only use this in extreme emergencies. She pours some of the smelly mix into a dead plant, and Misty utters the incantation and the plant returns to life. She’s jubilant, and she tells Cordelia that she’s a great teacher. While Misty goes out to get more mud, Hank enters the conservatory. He’s surprised to see that Cordelia has regained her sight, and before she can stop him, he hugs her. She tells him to get away from her, calling him a drunk. He says he had to work up the courage to return to her, but in his heart he truly loves her. That’s when he realizes that she’s lost her visions. Misty returns, and Hank recognizes her from when he tried to kill her in the swamp. She never got a look at his face, though. When he says he won’t leave, Cordelia tells him that she will be filing for divorce and his stuff is in a box in the closet.
Hank makes his way down the hallway until he is blocked by Fiona’s new security guard, a female German Shepherd. She laughs and calls the dog off, and he’s surprised that she has a dog given that she hates all living things. Fiona says that one dog is moving out so another can take his place, and she chose a female because they are more protective of their families. She and her dog walk away as Hank makes his way out of the house. The dog goes down the hall to Zoe and Madison’s room, where Fiona discovers Kyle. “Dog,” he says as the dog licks him. Fiona rolls her eyes in exasperation with her girls, but as she tells Kyle to leave and turns away she hears a crunch.
Joan brings Nan some food as a token of her gratitude. While this whole incident has shaken Joan’s faith in God, she is certain that Nan is a miracle. Nan smiles happily. But then she tells Joan that God is judging her. Luke is telling Nan that Joan hilled Luke’s father. She had told her son his father died of anaphylactic shock, which is true, but as it turns out, Joan knew her husband was leaving her and so she planted a beehive in his car and kept him from escaping. She’d caught him with a member of her book club, and that was her revenge. Joan is practically frothing at the mouth and she yells for Nan to leave.
Hank is preparing his arsenal. He takes a long look in the mirror and he takes a deep breath. Will he actually do it?
The girls return to the school. Madison has her arm wrapped around Nan. They come in through the kitchen and find Fiona playing cards with Kyle, who smiles at them as he wins the game. Fiona says she found him and “fixed” him. He still isn’t all there, which is either the truth or an underhanded insult, but she figured they need a guard dog that can “attack on command.” He smiles at her, and then at Zoe.
Queenie returns to her apartment in time to put another movie on for Delphine. Since Delphine says she kept her eyes closed the whole time, Queenie puts on a movie that her grandma used to watch. She can’t cover her ears, after all. The sweet voice starts singing about freedom while images play of the Civil Rights marches. She leaves Delphine and hurries down to the salon, where Marie Laveau chastises her for being on time, which means late. They share a smile and Queenie sits down at the reception desk. Hank walks in, guns blazing, and he starts shooting. He shoots Queenie in the stomach. Delphine is upstairs with tears in her eyes as she watches the scenes before her on television. She has no idea what’s going on below her. Hank makes quick work of the people in the salon, and when he finds Marie Laveau he aims his gun at her. Little does he know, Queenie found one of the guns Marie’s guard dropped on the floor. She puts it in her mouth and fires before Hank can shoot Marie Laveau. He collapses to the floor, dead. Queenie can’t survive such an injury.
At the Delphi Trust, Hank’s father weeps at the pictures of the crime scene.
The breathing tube is removed from Luke’s mouth. He blames his mother for killing his father. He starts crying as she tries to console him. She tells him to go back to sleep, and then she puts a pillow over his face.
Someone is knocking on the door at the school in the middle of the night. Fiona answers it. It’s Marie Laveau. Fiona holds the door for her and she goes inside. Fiona takes a look outside, and then she closes the door, smiling.
What a roller coaster ride…. The producers teased at major character deaths around the tenth episode, but I certainly didn’t see any of this coming.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? When you have recovered from the shock, feel free to leave your comments below!