American Horror Story Coven, S3E12: Go to Hell
Original Airdate: January 22, 2014
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
“Guided by tradition, witches survive only if united under a strong, singular authority.” So begins tonight’s episode, where we see an old-time film that takes us through the Seven Wonders: Telekinesis, Concilium (mind control), Transmutation, Divination, Vitalum Vitalis (“the balancing of scales between one life force and another”), Decensum (traveling to the afterlife), and Pyrokinesis. As we reach the end of the film, we hear Fiona’s voice as she tells Queenie that attempting the Seven Wonders could lead to death. But if the young witch lives…she is the next Supreme. Queenie scoffs, telling Fiona that she knows she’s just trying to find the next Supreme so she can kill her. Queenie is more concerned with the disappearance of Marie Laveau; if the only other Black witch goes missing, she wants to know why. Fiona says that Marie has probably run off with the “half baked Beetlejuice” Papa Legba. Queenie demands that Fiona show the Voodoo deity some respect, which Fiona agrees is lacking in the house. She holds Queenie in check, telling her that come Saturday, they will all perform the Seven Wonders or die trying. When she releases Queenie, it’s clear that the exertion has taken a toll on her. She advises Queenie to take some vitamin B-12.
Cordelia seeks out Madison, and when Madison sees her she comments on how awful Cordelia looks now that her eyes are gone. Cordelia ignores the jab and explains that she’s been in Misty’s room, touching her things, and yet she can’t get any clues from her second sight. She approaches Madison, who zips out of the way before Cordelia can touch her. She’s used Transmutation, she laughs. Cordelia points out that a witch’s power spikes in times of need, and so it doesn’t mean that she’s the next Supreme. Madison finally allows Cordelia to touch her, but she does something to block Cordelia’s vision. Madison laughs and says she had nothing to do with it.
Queenie goes in search of Marie Laveau. She finds blood in the conservatory, and so she goes upstairs and consults the Voodoo book. After seeing Papa Legba’s picture, she decides to undertake Decensum, traveling to the afterlife. Her spirit self appears and takes her to Chubbie’s, the chicken place where she used to work. Her boss leaves her alone to go on break, and she goes to the counter to see that there is a line of customers wrapped around the building. Papa Legba is at the front of it. He says that this is a memory from her past, of when she was the unhappiest. Can you imagine, spending eternity in line for fried chicken? He’s impressed that she had the power to travel to the afterlife, and he suggests that she return to her body; if she stays past sunrise, she will be stuck there forever. A man tells Papa to hurry up and order, and Papa sends him to the back of the line. His punishment, he says, is to spend eternity smelling the chicken but never eating any.
Queenie wakes up in her bed and finds Papa Legba sitting across the room. He’s impressed that she made it back. They sit together and have hot chocolate (he loves marshmallows), and Queenie learns that Delphine cut Marie Laveau into little pieces and spread her all around the city. We see Delphine in the process of doing the deed, and Marie is kicking and screaming at her while Delphine reminds her that she was going to do the same to her. Queenie wants Papa to intervene, but Papa already has a deal with Marie Laveau. Queenie points out that Marie will be in breach of their deal now that she’s cut into all those pieces. Papa Legba smiles at her cunning.
Next we see the portrait of Madame LaLaurie hanging in the museum that used to be her home. A woman is leading a tour, telling the tourists that Madame LaLaurie was in fact a wonderful hostess and philanthropist. The woman turns around, and it’s Kathy Bates…I mean, it’s Delphine, only she looks just like Kathy Bates does now. Delphine tells the crowd that LaLaurie was wronged by her enemies, but she was a visionary, ahead of her time. The tourists just want to see the torture chamber, but Delphine says it’s closed for renovation. Besides, it was mainly used for storage. Outside, Queenie watches Delphine.
Once the tour has left the house, Delphine closes the door. Home sweet home. She finds Queenie sitting on the couch. Queenie knew it would be easy to find her. Delphine maintains she was just correcting the lies spread about her; she had taken the tour and listened as her crimes were recounted. She traveled through the attic and said that it was “horse shit” that 150 slaves had been killed there. After the tour finished, she claims that she left her purse upstairs and so the tour guide takes her back. There, Delphine corrects the number of people who died. It was 62—she kept track. The woman doesn’t understand, but it doesn’t matter. Delphine strikes her in the head. Now we return to the attic with Queenie, where Delphine perches on the cage holding the injured woman. Queenie tells Delphine to let her go, and she offers to take Delphine to the Urban League so that she can work to repent her sins. Delphine tells Queenie that she hadn’t cried that day because she was sorry for what she did; rather she was sorry that the world is in such a sorry state. She recalls watching television and seeing people apologizing for their “crimes” when every last one of them didn’t really mean to apologize. This world is weak, she says. The difference is that she’s not sorry about anything. Queenie has heard enough. She vows to send Delphine straight to hell, and she plunges a knife into Delphine’s heart. Delphine reminds Queenie that she’s immortal, but then she realizes that something is happening. Black blood gushes out of the wound. Delphine seems to be no more.
Fiona is having her portrait painted. Myrtle brings in a vase of flowers to fill the open space behind her so that she doesn’t appear so drawn. Myrtle even flew in the best painter from London (he’s done Margaret Thatcher, and Sting!) to do the portrait. Fiona’s nose suddenly starts bleeding, and as she wipes away the blood, she sees her reflection and thinks to herself that this is the face they will be stuck with, and she will probably be dead within two weeks.
Upstairs Cordelia walks into her mother’s room and demands to know why Queenie is performing the Seven Wonders. Fiona waves her off and stares at what her little girl has become. It’s very unsettling to look at Cordelia’s face with her haunted, empty eye sockets. Fiona tells Cordelia that self-mutilation wasn’t necessary, as the power will always be inside her and it’s nothing that she gave her daughter. Fiona is going through her jewelry and wants Cordelia to have a necklace that belonged to Fiona’s mother. Cordelia realizes that Fiona is saying goodbye, but as soon as Fiona fastens the necklace around her daughter’s neck, Cordelia has a vision. She sees the members of the coven, dead, their bodies strewn throughout the house. Lastly she sees her own body on the floor with a gunshot wound to the head. A gloved hand removes the necklace, and when we follow the hand we see that it’s Fiona. She’s still alive. Cordelia doesn’t reveal this vision to her mother, and instead asks if there was a ring to go with the necklace.
Cordelia goes to the Axeman’s apartment. He chides her about using her powers to open doors without knocking first. It’s rude. “A man shouldn’t be disturbed when he’s playing with his instrument.” He comments that she doesn’t have her mother’s features. Cordelia surprises him when she says she knows all about their relationship. But she’s there to warn him that loving her mother comes with a cost. Fiona is using him and will leave him as soon as her powers return. In fact, when Cordelia touches his hand, she sees that Fiona has a plane ticket already, but Axeman doesn’t have a passport. He doesn’t want to believe it, but Cordelia’s message slowly starts to sink in.
Cordelia continues her search for Misty Day. She has her clothes spread out on the floor of her room and she’s trying to get a message from her. Finally she sees Misty in the coffin. Cordelia enlists Queenie’s help. Queenie wants to find a maintenance man to open the crypt, but Cordelia reminds her that witches see windows when everyone else sees a wall. Queenie uses her powers to blast away the bricks and yank the coffin out. Misty appears to be dead, so Queenie breathes on her and Misty comes back to life. Vitalum Vitalis.
Myrtle stops Madison from inhaling deadly nightshade, which she has placed in her latest flower arrangement. Madison wants to know where everyone went. Myrtle informs her that Cordelia and Queenie went to rescue Misty from a tomb. Who on earth would bury the poor girl in a tomb? Madison plays dumb, but she also wonders if they found her in time given that a person will die after three days without food and water. That’s when the door opens and Zoe and Kyle waltz into the kitchen. Myrtle fears that she’s having a hallucination from her psychotropic flower arrangement. She refuses to allow Zoe back at Miss Robichaux’s, where her fate will be sealed. Zoe insists that she’s back because she’s embraced her true destiny.
We flash back to a very happy, very much in love, Zoe and Kyle. They went to Florida, where the sunshine cast out the darkness. As they sit under a tree, a homeless man approaches and tells them to leave. He wants to sleep. Zoe backs away, but Kyle isn’t ready to leave. When the man’s back is turned, Kyle hits him and knocks him to the ground. Before she can stop him, Kyle breaks his neck. Madison jumps in and taunts Zoe for not being able to control her “pit bull.” But that’s not why Zoe has returned. Zoe performed Vitalum Vitalis and brought the man back from the dead. That makes her the next Supreme. Myrtle isn’t surprised by this news at all.
Madison wants to get in a snarky response, but she’s interrupted by a snarling Misty Day, who storms into the room and tosses Madison against a wall. Misty is pissed, and at first Madison tries to play it off by teasing that Misty hits like a girl, but then Misty opens a can of swamp rat whoop ass…and the girl fight goes up a notch. Madison never has a chance. Misty is about to go in for the kill when Kyle pulls them apart…and then the doors open and a bloody Axeman stalks into the house, dripping blood, and threatens to kill them all. He walked into the wrong house, the witches agree. They use their powers to send him flying back against the stairs. Myrtle had thought Cordelia banished the Axeman back to the spirit world, but she explains that he’s human now. Misty says it isn’t his blood, so Cordelia investigates. She sniffs the blood and has a vision of her mother. The blood belongs to Fiona.
We return to the Axeman’s apartment after Cordelia’s visit. When Fiona enters, he’s leaning against the mantle, clearly rattled. She approaches him and he tells her that he wants to go fishing for catfish. When she says she doesn’t like bottom feeders, he offers to hunt a boar. He just wants to get away. Fiona laughs and tells him to unzip her dress, as we saw in Cordelia’s vision. He unzips it, but then he zips it back up right away. He reminds her of their deal, and while she gets a drink he elaborates that while it wasn’t on paper, it was a deal none the less. He digs through her purse and finds the plane ticket that Cordelia said would be there. Fiona knows she’s been caught, but she’s not about to back down. She tells him that once the next Supreme has been killed, she’ll have another thirty years of vitality in her, and so she can’t possibly waste her time with him while he spends his golden years on the porch of some backwoods cabin. Infuriated, he grabs her by the hair and throws her on the bed. He tries to remind her of the love they shared, but she won’t have anything to do with it. She gets up to pour herself a drink, and she starts to tell him about the calico cat her mother bought her when she was eight. That’s when he sinks his axe into the back of her head. It’s so violent and unexpected that it’s shocking to witness. He hits her several times. And then Fiona dies.
Cordelia pulls back from her vision. Axeman watches her warily. The other witches ask each other if they feel anything different, but they don’t. He put Fiona’s body in the swamp, so even Misty Day can’t bring her back if she’s “gator shit.” As for what to do with the Axeman, Myrtle can’t bear the thought of more blood being spilled, and besides, none of them are innocent anymore, so why does he have to die after doing them a favor? “As Cervantes said, where there is music there can be no evil.” Kyle grabs him (“Cervantes never met this asshole!”), but Madison snatches the axe and sinks it into the Axeman’s side so that blood pours out from the wound. Zoe, Misty and Queenie arm themselves with knives, and the Axeman is once again stabbed to death by the Coven.
Delphine, looking like her old self, is escorted into a cage by unseen captors. Across the room she sees her daughter, Boquita, who is also in a cage. They can’t reach each other. Marie Laveau enters and taunts Delphine, telling her that this is payback for her sins. All of the LaLaurie children are being tortured in various ways. When Boquita begs for something to drink, Marie slices open Delphine’s throat and feeds her daughter the blood. Marie goes to the stove and fetches a hot poker, its tip a brilliant orange. She asks Delphine to decide whether the poker goes through her daughter’s mouth or through her rear. Delphine begs Marie to leave her daughter alone; even when she killed the servant’s baby (fathered by her husband), she didn’t make the mother watch. Marie stops short of killing Boquita, looking around as if confused. She doesn’t know why she’s there. She doesn’t want to hurt Boquita. Papa Legba enters, and he informs Delphine that this is her punishment for being a horrible human being. Now that she has been released from her immortal body, she gets to spend eternity trapped in a cage watching her family be tortured. Delphine reminds him that they’re in her house. He laughs. No, this isn’t her house, it’s his house. Welcome to hell. As for Marie Laveau, this is her punishment for failing to meet the terms of their bargain. When Marie tries to point out that she has been protecting people, Papa Legba reminds her that she has been bringing him countless innocent babies in order to meet their terms. She’s not innocent, and now her punishment is spending eternity with him, doling out horrible punishments to Delphine and her family. “Eventually, everybody pays.” He hands the hot poker to her and tells her to get back to work. Marie plunges the poker in Boquita’s mouth.
Kyle hangs Fiona’s picture on the wall and the Coven stands back to admire it. Myrtle tells Cordelia that it’s a beautiful picture, and Cordelia agrees, saying that she can see it through everyone else. The girls offer condolences, saying that Fiona was a great Supreme, but Cordelia stops them, saying that her mother was an awful Supreme. And since she didn’t leave a successor, they will have to find the new Supreme themselves. They will all participate, and in a week a new Supreme will be crowned.
With one more episode to go, anything can happen. Tonight we lost Delphine, Marie Laveau, and the Supreme Witch herself, Fiona Goode. I had a funny feeling that Fiona wouldn’t make it to the final episode (then again, who knows what might happen….), but I certainly didn’t think that the Axeman would be the one to deliver her from the earth.
Who will be the next Supreme? It could be anyone….