AHS Freakshow is Almost Here!

Friends and Freaks–It’s almost time for the premiere of the 4th season of American Horror Story…and let me tell you, it’s a whopper.  Seriously.  A whopper.  It’s huge.

I’ve seen it already and I can’t tell you anything in advance, but this may be Sarah Paulson’s most intriguing role yet, and Kathy Bates and Jessica Lange are showstoppers.  Evan Peters is returning to his heartthrob roots this season, and I’m pretty sure he has been working out.

What have you seen/heard?  What are you looking forward to the most?

American Horror Story Coven Recap S3E13: The Seven Wonders

American Horror Story Coven, S3E13: The Seven Wonders

Original Airdate: January 29, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


A few months ago, when the Stevie Nicks rumor mill started swirling, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk hinted that we wouldn’t see the end of Stevie Nicks in episode 10.  As they talked on set, she pointed out that she sang about many of the things they were doing.  It was a match made in…well, AHS-dom.

Tonight’s season finale begins with Stevie Nicks entering the house, dressed head to toe in black, complete with shawl and top hat.  She sings Fleetwood Mac’s classic song “Seven Wonders” as she wanders through the desolate house.  In the conservatory, Misty Day is twirling madly.  Upstairs, Zoe studies her books while she and her bed hover several feet above the ground.  Madison takes a bath, and with the wave of her hands she creates bubbles in the tub and ignites the candles all around her.  A black cat strolls through the house and into Queenie’s room, where she is on the floor using her Voodoo powers to resurrect Nan.  Misty Day snips a lily blossom from a plant and then watches as her powers regenerate another bud.  She smiles broadly.  The four girls descend the stairs as Stevie wishes them good luck.  “I’ll never live to see the Seven Wonders,” she sings.

I have a feeling we’re in for a bumpy ride tonight….  And if it feels like this recap is more of a play by play, then in the spirit of the Olympics, consider this a game of life and death.

Myrtle scoops caviar with a pearl spoon.  She tells the girls that it’s probable, though never proved, that Leonardo da Vinci was a warlock, but in any case his depiction of the Last Supper included fish, so she’s using caviar.  Performing the Seven Wonders will mark the end of one of their freedom as the next Supreme assumes her new role, and it might also mark the demise of the others.  Cordelia agrees, stating that since Fiona failed to name the next Supreme, they are allowing them all to make the attempt.  She loosely quotes the Bible by saying that when they were children they spoke like children, but as women they must cast aside their childish things and accept that they are now women.  “Kick ass tomorrow,” she finishes.

The next day, they all assemble around the dining room table.  Myrtle says that they usually move from easiest task to hardest, but since they’re breaking all of the rules, they’re going out of order.  To start, they will perform Telekinesis, Myrtle’s personal favorite.  Kyle lights the candles in front of each of the girls.  Misty Day wonders if she’ll be able to do it, and Madison points out that if she fails then she can return to the swamps.  Kyle exchanges a loving look with Zoe, who smiles back.  They begin.  Misty goes first, and it appears that she has to concentrate a lot to make the candlestick cross the table.  When it does, she is joyful.  Queenie is next, and she moves it easily.  “Yup,” she says as she blows out the candle.  Madison succeeds with little effort, and Zoe makes it look easy.

The next task is Concilium, or mind control.  Misty is charged with controlling Queenie, who says that no one controls her.  Soon she’s slapping herself.  “This is fun,” Misty laughs.  Queenie gets to turn the tables on Misty, who insists that it’s no hard feelings.  Soon Misty is pulling her own hair.  Hard.  Madison is up next and she directs her attention to Kyle, who is holding drinks behind Myrtle and Cordelia.  He drops the tray and staggers over to Madison, kissing her.  Zoe starts slapping herself when she points out that Kyle isn’t part of the test.  Madison grins and makes Kyle kiss her boot, but Zoe snaps him upright and brings him over for a kiss. Clenching her fist, Madison makes Kyle strangle Zoe, and eventually Cordelia sends Kyle flying into a wall.

The next task is to undertake a journey to the Netherworld.  Myrtle warns them that if they don’t return before sunrise, they will die.  The girls are lying in a circle on the floor with their heads together.  Misty asks Zoe what she thinks it will be like.  Zoe never wanted to know.  They chant together and call out Decensum.  Queenie returns to the chicken restaurant with the same long line of customers.  She pops up from the floor and Myrtle greets her as the first to return.  Madison is next.  She looks horrified as she recounts being cast in a network musical…the Sound of Music…as Liesl.  Zoe wakes up and bursts into tears after being caught in an endless loop where Kyle kept breaking up with her and saying that he didn’t love her.  He’s quick to console her.  That leaves Misty, who lies motionless.  In her Netherworld, she’s trapped in a middle school biology class on dissection day.  She smiles when she brings her frog back to like (which is a total ET moment).  A fellow student calls for the teacher, complaining that “she did it again.”  The teacher is furious and thinks that she snuck in a live frog.  He demands that she dissect the frog.  She refuses.  He forces her to kill the frog, and then we see that she’s in a loop.  She brings the frog back, the kid tells on her, the teacher makes her kill it, she screams. Over and over again.  Back in reality, Myrtle says that Misty is stuck.  Cordelia insists that they try to help her.  The time on the hourglass runs out and Misty’s body disintegrates into nothingness.  1 down, 3 to go….

Myrtle and Cordelia want to take a moment before the next task to pay tribute to Misty Day.  Madison is over it and ready to start again.  Queenie calls her a “stone cold bitch.”  The next task is transmutation, and before they can officially begin, Zoe disappears and reappears behind Madison. “Tag you’re it,” she says.  All three girls start a rousing game of tag as they disappear and reappear all over the house.  Soon they are outside, still laughing.  Madison says that they need a break from all of the seriousness.  Zoe runs around the house, and then suddenly Kyle screams.  Somehow Zoe impaled herself on the front gate.  As she twitches helplessly, Kyle screams for help.  He carries her into the conservatory, and Cordelia tells Queenie to perform Vitalum Vitalis.  Queenie tries and tries, but it doesn’t work.  (Oddly, though, it worked on Misty Day in the cemetery…)  Queenie apologizes and says she can’t be the Supreme.  She takes Kyle back to the house while Cordelia demands that Madison try.  Madison is caught up in her own world, demanding to be crowned Supreme or they can kiss her ass.

Cordelia sits in the living room and says that she can feel the previous Supremes watching her from the gallery.  Perhaps, she muses, if Madison is to be the Supreme, then witches are meant to die out.  Myrtle was so sure it was either Misty or Zoe.  Neither can believe that Madison is the next Supreme.

Kyle sobs over Zoe’s body.  He reminds her that she promised she’d never leave him….

What really bothers Cordelia is that Fiona always said that Madison was the next Supreme.  That’s when Myrtle speaks up.  Perhaps it’s time for Cordelia to step out of the shadows.  She has royal blood in her veins.  Perhaps she is the next Supreme.

Next we see Madison, Queenie, Cordelia and Myrtle at a smaller table with a single candlestick.  Madison thinks this is just another attempt to make her finish the Seven Wonders, but Queenie tells her to shut up. Cordelia lights the flame with no trouble, and she lights the fireplace for good measure.  For once, Madison looks nervous.  Next Cordelia makes Queenie dance, and then she lifts the piano off the ground.  Then she lies on the floor to perform Decensum.

When Cordelia awakens, she’s gasping for air.  She spent her time desperately trying to get approval from her mother and getting “bitch-slapped” in return.  She disappears, only to reappear in the doorway.  Transmutation.  That’s five of seven.  Madison wants back into the competition.  Next up, Divination.

Myrtle has hidden several objects around the house.  She tells Cordelia to divine an object belonging to a specific Supreme using a handful of pebbles.  Cordelia makes an announcement, and Queenie hurries off to find the object, which she does.  When it’s Madison’s turn, Madison declares the whole thing stupid.  She tells Queenie that there’s something in the vase above the fireplace, and then in the piano.  She’s wrong.  Knowing that she’s been exposed as a fake, Madison decides that the whole experience has been like a bad episode of “Celebrity Rehab,” and she is going back to Hollywood.  She warns them to change the locks, because once she tells TMZ what they’re up to, they’re bound to come calling with “pitchforks and Molotov cocktails.”  She storms away.  “Peace out!”

Cordelia tries to bring Zoe back to life.  It seems like it’s more difficult than it has been in previous attempts.  As she works, Queenie hold Myrtle’s hand.  Upstairs, Madison starts packing, but Kyle interrupts her.  He wants to know why she let Zoe die.  Madison makes up a story about doing it so that they could be together.  “You’re not that good of an actress,” he snarls, and he chokes her to death.  As soon as she dies, though, Zoe comes back to life.  Cordelia faints.

Kyle stares at Madison’s body.  Suddenly a little hand reaches out and caresses her hair.  It’s Spalding and one of his doll hands.  He comments that it will be easier to hide her body given that she’d already started packing.  “Who the hell are you?” Kyle asks.  “The help,” he replies.

Cordelia wakes up and discovers that the whole conservatory is glowing with life.  Her eyes are healed.  Zoe, Queenie and Myrtle smile at her.  “Behold, the next true Supreme,” she says.

Time passes.  Cordelia is sitting in the living room being interviewed about their “cult” of witches.  She explains that it’s not a cult and they don’t worship anything.  Rather they are a haven for people who show the signs.  She sends a message to all of the young witches out there—you have a home in New Orleans.  Just call or email cordelia@robichauxacademy.com (kudos if you actually email her tonight…)

Cordelia’s desk is now flooded with files of young girls who have contacted her.  She puts pins on a map to track where the new witches are popping up, and by all counts it looks like witches are not dying out after all.  Myrtle walks in and congratulates Cordelia on being such a great Supreme.  Cordelia is wondering whether or not Zoe and Queenie would be good candidates for the Council.  Myrtle warns that being on the Council means making unpopular decisions, but Cordelia thinks they can handle it.  However, Myrtle was speaking of Cordelia.  She points out that she committed an egregious act when she killed Quentin and Pembroke.  She is a blemish to all of the work that Cordelia is doing now.  “You want to be burned at the stake?  Again?” Cordelia asks incredulously.  Myrtle nods.  Cordelia won’t hear of it, but eventually she realizes that it must be done.

Once again a caravan of witches walks through the quarry to the burning place.  Myrtle is dressed in red, and once again she is tied to the stake.  Once Cordelia pronounces judgment, Myrtle tells Cordelia that she’s never been more proud.  Cordelia waves her hand, and Myrtle is consumed by the flames as Cordelia weeps.

A line of girls is wrapped around Miss Robichaux’s.  They’re all dressed in black, and some are Goth and some are sweet and innocent.  A few wear hats.  Queenie and Zoe peek at them through the window and wonder where they will all live.  “We’ll buy more houses,” Cordelia announces.  She tells the girls that she’s very proud of how far they’ve come, and she wants them to be on her Council.  Queenie has her back, and Zoe is honored.  They ask if they should let the girls in, but something pings in Cordelia’s head.  She excuses herself and walks downstairs to find Fiona sitting in the chair.

As it turns out, Fiona orchestrated the whole plan.  She planted the memory of being killed in Axeman’s head.  She splattered goat’s blood all over him, and ruined a perfectly good pair of Jimmy Choos, to do it.  When the flashback ends, Fiona tells Cordelia that it worked the way she’d planned.  Cordelia dispatched the Axeman so that she wouldn’t have to.  Cordelia found the true Supreme and now Fiona can kill her.  Cordelia wonders if this is the reason that Fiona always hated her, because she knew she’d have to kill her some day.  Fiona says that Cordelia took her power the day she was born, and every day she was reminded of it when she looked into Cordelia’s “cherubic” face.  We can see an almost unrecognizable Fiona in the light; she’s near death and her face is puffy and her hair is thin.  When Fiona sees tears, Cordelia tells her mother that she’s crying for the little girl inside of her that was always trying to get approval or get away from her mother.  Fiona offers her a knife and begs her to end it; her body hurts everywhere.  Cordelia hugs her mother, and then suddenly she’s gone.  Cordelia feels the power surge through her.

Fiona wakes up in a bed, coughing.  Roosters crow in the distance.  She stumbles over to the mirror and sees that everything is covered in dust.  She steps into her high heeled shoes and then Axeman notices that she’s awake.  He brought her some catfish to cook.  She slaps them away and he rolls his eyes.  Why does she do this every morning, he muses.  Fiona’s head snaps up.  Every morning?  He explains that every morning she acts as though she doesn’t know where she is.  It’s been going on for eternity.  She pours herself a drink, and he tells her that if she “wants a stiff one, he has one” ready for her (grabbing his crotch).  She slaps him for being vulgar, and he slaps her hard enough to knock her to the ground.  Axeman tells her to “lay off the sauce” and relax.  He hugs her and tells her that they’re together, forever.  She wanders through the house and laments the knotty pine walls.  Cordelia must have sent her here, she muses.  Axeman says that isn’t so.  They’re in heaven.  He hugs her again, and then we hear Papa Legba’s laugh.  Fiona looks up to see him smiling and laughing at her.  She’s in hell.

Cordelia walks down the stairs and meets Zoe and Queenie on the landing.  “Let’s open the doors,” she says.  Kyle, resplendent in a tuxedo, plays the part of the new butler.  He opens the door and escorts the line of young women into the house and up to their rooms.  Cordelia addresses everyone, telling them that this is a new era for witches.  One of the girls raises her hand.  “What’s a Supreme?” she asks.  “You’re looking at her,” Queenie replies.  Cordelia smiles.

And that’s the end of American Horror Story Coven.

This episode could not have any more twists and turns in it.  I didn’t think Misty would be out so soon (and certainly not dead for good), and I was shocked that Queenie couldn’t bring Zoe back to life when she resurrected Misty previously.  And I don’t understand why Myrtle was so insistent upon dying.  And I sure as hell didn’t think that Fiona would die like that, “not with a bang but with a whimper.”  I’m glad she showed up in the final episode, though.  I only wish Papa Legba had more scenes…he’s awesome.

I loved the ending, though.  I love the potential of having so many new witches at the Academy.  I love that Queenie and Zoe are right beside Cordelia as her Council.

What did you think of the show tonight?  Was it a fitting end to the series?  Leave your comments below…and I look forward to seeing you next season circa 1950…..

American Horror Story Coven Recap S3E12: Go to Hell

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….

American Horror Story Coven Recap S3E11: Protect the Coven

American Horror Story Coven, S3E11: Protect the Coven

Original Airdate: January 15, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


We start out tonight back in New Orleans, circa 1830.  Madame LaLaurie is lamenting her return to New Orleans to daughter Boquita, having been ripped from Paris, the “jewel of civilization,” so that her husband can tend to his business.  Whatever will she do to fill her time?  Boquita suggests crochet.  Boquita and one of the servants chase a chicken around the yard while LaLaurie stokes a fire in the kitchen.  The cooks and the staff won’t arrive for a few days, so for now it’s up to them to tend to the house.  When Boquita manages to catch the chicken, LaLaurie orders her daughter to kill it with a cleaver.  Boquita is reluctant, and challenges her mother to do the deed.  After all, LaLaurie has always had other people do her “dirty work.”  LaLaurie chops the chicken’s head off, and as the blood seeps out she touches it, staring at it with relish.  Later, a man’s screams can be heard from the attic.  LaLaurie finds one of the servants on the ground.  He’d been stacking boxes when one of them fell.  He is bleeding heavily from his leg. At first LaLaurie bends to help him, but once she touches the blood, she changes.  Boquita asks if they should call for a doctor, but her mother assures her that she can handle it.  Her version of handling it: knocking the man out, tying the poor man up and cutting him all over his body to capture more blood.  “I think I’m going to like it here,” she says with a smile.

Now we know how her evil legacy began….

Never before can I remember the opening few minutes of American Horror Story to be as loaded as they were tonight!  The Coven is gathered in the cemetery to pay respects to Nan, who “fell in the tub.”  Fiona delivers the eulogy, and Marie finishes with a hearty “Amen!”  If only Misty were there to bring her back, Zoe comments.  Kyle is there at Zoe’s side, holding her hand.  Myrtle agrees with Zoe; of course, no one realizes that Misty is actually locked in one of the nearby tombs.  Madison distracts them all by commenting that Misty is probably off twirling somewhere.  None of the Coven is safe now, Cordelia realizes.  As the ceremony ends, a car pulls up.  It’s Queenie…and Delphine.  Delphine is on a leash with a collar around her neck.  Queenie is pissed that Marie left her for dead, and Marie is equally pissed that Queenie put Delphine back together again.  “No scars,” Kyle notes. Marie slaps Delphine.  Queenie says she has other plans for Delphine.  Delphine mouths off about not going anywhere with any of the witches, but she’s held in check by Queenie’s leash.  Before she leaves, Cordelia scans the cemetery as if she can hear poor Misty.

At Delphi Headquarters, Harrison receives word from his right-hand man that Hank’s involvement in the salon shooting will be covered up.  No one will know that he was ever there, and instead it will be blamed on a fictitious war veteran with PTSD.  Harrison takes in this information with mixed emotion, expressing that no one will be there to pay final respects to his son.  He’s certain that the witches used a spell to attack his business.  His plan: pay the witches to get the government off their backs, and once they are back to their full power, Delphi will make them pay “with their lives.”

Fiona and Marie are lounging on the chaise while Delphine gives them pedicures and pours wine into their glasses.  Fiona is on the phone with Delphi.  They’ve agreed on a meeting place, and Marie warns that they’ll really be out to kill them.  That’s what Fiona is counting on, really.  We hear Delphine’s life story as we watch her move through the day at Miss Robichaux’s School.  She had been born to noble blood, she explains.  Her mother’s maiden name was Lovable, but she didn’t inherit that trait.  She was a loner who tormented small animals to see how they were put together and how they died.  She moves to Madison and Zoe’s room to see them sharing a bed with Kyle.  She tells Madison that she didn’t flush the toilet.  “You flush my shit, bitch,” Madison sneers.  A thoughtful look appears on Delphine’s face as she looks at the toilet.  Later, she serves a soup to the Coven that Myrtle finds delightful…and its brown color suggests that it might have a few more ingredients than they suspect.  Madison declares that it pairs perfectly with the wine.  Delphine’s monologue continues to say that she married well and surprised everyone.

Later, Delphine brings the bassinet to Marie’s room.  The stolen baby is now decked out in black clothes, and Marie hands the infant to Delphine while issuing threats to her about doing the job right this time by spreading her body parts all over New Orleans.  She doesn’t react to the threats; rather she maintains that thoughtful look.  Delphine cleans the stairs and thinks about the tasks she performs at the house, such as picking up panties and the sex stained sheet.  What really troubles her is the deterioration of her mistress, Fiona, who goes out every night sans underwear, only to return in the early hours of the morning.

Myrtle once again praises Delphine’s cooking, this time for her light-as-air rolls.  Myrtle sees Cordelia whispering to the concoction in her blender; Cordelia is putting together a potion to help her regain her second sight.  James, the gardener, enters the house with a bloody hand.  He cut himself while trimming the fig trees.  Myrtle enlightens him about the joy of figs (which smell like an “Olympian’s ejaculate” in the fall) while Cordelia tends to his hand.  Delphine, who has been trying to figure out what has been missing in her life, volunteers to help poor James.  Her form of help: tying him up in Spalding’s old room with his foot propped in her lap.  She has been recounting her tale to him this whole time, and she finishes by talking about how she used to carve up small animals to sate her “scientific curiosity” when it came to watching them die.  James, an African American, is like an “old friend” from the past there to help her.  “This little piggy went to market…” she begins.  When she gets to the last one, she chops it off as poor James screams in agony.

Zoe is performing a spell in the bathroom to see what really happened to Nan.  Kyle sits and watches.  As she suspected, she sees that Fiona killed Nan.  The Marie’s image flashes in the water as well.  It was both of them.  By now, Kyle has crawled across the floor to join her, and when Madison walks in, she taunts them about partaking in a romantic bubble bath.  Zoe can’t believe that Madison doesn’t care what really happened to Nan.  Madison is more upset that she’s not sharing Kyle, and that she’s gone and fallen in love with him.  Zoe insists that isn’t true, and when Madison goes to give her boy toy a blow job in front of Zoe, Kyle pushes her away and rushes to Zoe’s arms.  Madison goes thermonuclear and starts breaking things around the room.  She sends a lamp careening into Zoe’s head, which enrages Kyle.  Myrtle comes in and demands to know what’s going on.  She sees Madison as just another young Hollywood cliché, complete with “crotchless panties.”  Madison declares that as the new Supreme, things are going to change.  “Crotchless panties for everyone!” she taunts Myrtle.

The Axeman plays his saxophone while Fiona gets dressed.  He encourages her to put her stockings on slowly.  When he finishes his song, he tells her of his grandfather’s farm in Covington, which was the “only ray of light in my dark world.”  He shows her a picture and says they could live out their days there.  She laughs at the idea of being a farmer’s wife, but he points out that she’s lived the high life and is still totally unfulfilled.  Axeman says he’ll help her kill the next Supreme, but then he wants to put away the axe and she can leave the Coven and they can spend the rest of their time together.  Fiona doesn’t seem to like the idea, but she sits on his lap and hugs him.  She agrees, but she needs him to do one little thing.

Delphine clucks at the fact that poor James was not as robust as she thought he’d be.  Of course, poor James’ innards are hanging out of his stomach.  Spalding appears in the corner with his dolls.  When she tries to explain what she’s done, he stops her.  “One does not explain art,” he praises, studying her handiwork.  She’s aghast that he can talk now.  He tells her he’s dead, that he was murdered in his own bed, and she believes him.  Spalding sees that Delphine is but an empty vessel, one that is lacking purpose.  (Delphine thought she’d recovered her “hobby” only to find that it’s not as fulfilling as it once was)  He tells her that if she kills Marie Laveau, she will be able to find her release as well.  He can provide the means to do it, but it would be up to Delphine to carry out the act.  Delphine seems to consider it.  All Spalding needs is for her to go out and get something for him.

Queenie is rifling through her closet, unable to believe that they gave her room away so quickly.  Cordelia enters, hoping to chat with Queenie, but Queenie doesn’t want to talk.  Queenie can’t believe how quickly things change around the school, what with Marie Laveau now smoking a hookah in the guest room.  And it was Hank who shot her in the stomach.  Cordelia can’t even begin to apologize for what happened.  Queenie tells Cordelia that she’s acquired some new powers, and that when she shot herself in the head, she was able to simply cough up the silver bullet.  Cordelia tries to assure Queenie that her eyes are open now, but Queenie suggests that the headmistress needs to go away and let someone else lead the school.

In the conservatory, Cordelia mixes a potion as tears stream down her face.  Once it’s complete, she spreads the mix over her eyes and hold up a pair of garden shears.  After a long pause, she gouges her eyes out and screams in agony.

Fiona rushes up the stairs to her daughter’s room.  Myrtle sits outside and greets Fiona, telling her that she gave her something to help the pain.  Fiona wants to know if it’s true, that Cordelia ripped out both eyes.  Yes, the blue and the brown, Myrtle sighs.  Her best work.  But she did it to become a hero.  She needed to regain her second sight so that the Coven can be protected.  Fiona vows to protect the Coven from the witch hunters, but it’s the internal threat that Myrtle fears.  She doesn’t keep Fiona from seeing Cordelia, but she advises Fiona to be ready for Cordelia to see who her mother really is.  Fiona swears she has nothing to hide, but she decides to get a drink before going to her daughter, to “steady her nerves.”  “See you soon,” Myrtle sighs.

Delphine has returned from her errand.  Spalding appears and is ecstatic when he opens the package to find a baby doll from the 1890s.  Delphine assures him of its authenticity—it has a certificate—and then demands to know where the potion is.  With practiced flourish, Spalding reveals a basket with an old doll inside.  Beneath the blankets is a familiar-looking pink box…Benadryl.  He cautions her from pronouncing the magical word, but insists that a few tablets in her drink will send her to Sleepytown.

Myrtle is playing the Theremin again when Zoe comes into the conservatory. Myrtle gives her a tiny box and chastises Zoe when she doesn’t pause to take in its beauty.  Inside, she says, is a necklace that is her most valuable possession.  Myrtle mixes in her trademark commentary on the person who created it.  She wants Zoe to “hawk it” and use the money to escape with Kyle.  She sees how much they love each other, and it’s only fitting for their love to survive.  Zoe refuses to abandon the Coven, but Myrtle points out that Madison could slit her throat and still sleep like a baby.  She gives her another box with her jewels and two tickets to Epcot and tells Zoe to leave at once.  Zoe hugs Myrtle.

Harrison and his team arrive at the meeting place.  He tells his people that the witches have to leave alive.  When they walk into the boardroom, they’re the first to arrive.  Soon Fiona and Marie enter, and Fiona tells them that Emeril has invited them to a tasting so they will be brief.  Harrison’s men can’t believe the witches don’t have security with them.  Fiona scoffs; Marie is immortal and they took out their whole company with as much effort as it takes to “mix a Rob Roy,” so no, she isn’t worried.  She orders a filthy martini and Marie asks for a Diet Sprite while she pulls out her phone to send a text.  Neither woman seems concerned in the least.  David, Harrison’s right-hand man, smirks as they begin the proceedings.

Harrison wants his company returned to him, and he’s willing to pay for whatever damages Marie Laveau suffered.  He points out that thousands of innocent people are being impacted by the interruption to their work.  When he gets no reaction, Harrison tells the women that their cause is a thing of the past, like trying to rid the government of communists.  He thrusts a contract in front of them that says that the Board of Directors has agreed to cease the hunting for one hundred years, long enough so that everyone who is able to die (Marie excepted) will be long dead before hostilities return between the groups.  Unbeknownst to him, the server has locked the door.  “Mmm hmm,” Marie murmurs.

Fiona sets forth their proposal—all hostilities against witches ceases for the rest of time.  Harrison can sign over his possessions to them.  Marie wants the private jet.  Harrison laughs.  Behind him, the server is removing his coat.  When Harrison balks at this offer, Fiona shrugs.  Instead, they can all die.  The server turns around with his trusty axe in hand.  The women watch as the Axeman unleashes his axe on the men, chopping off one man’s arm before he can fire the gun he was holding.  Soon only David and Harrison remain.  The Axeman uses the hand-gun (get it, hand gun!) to shoot David, and then he casually climbs onto the table to retrieve his axe from across the room, pausing to caress his woman’s cheek.  Harrison is calmly fixing himself some tea.  He walks past the Axeman with an easy smile.  “You Harvard men, charming to the end,” Fiona purrs.  “Yale,” he corrects her, and he slides into the seat next to Marie.  He tells them that killing him won’t end the war.  But it will be so much fun, Marie laughs, clinking her glass against his.  He leans back and spits on the ground.  “Go to hell, witch-bitch,” he says.  The Axeman’s eyes widen, and he tosses his axe to his gal.  She unceremoniously hacks into his neck, leaving Harrison gurgling for breath.  Marie snaps a picture of him once he’s dead, saying that killing them was easier than she thought.  “I love you more than Jazz, Babydoll,” Axeman says.  He’s covered in blood, but he pulls Fiona into his arms and kisses her anyway.

Fiona and Marie toast to their newly minted “long friendship.”  Fiona gets up to go see her man after he swung his mighty axe.  “Don’t wait up,” she drawls.  Marie is left alone with Delphine.  She praises Delphine’s ability to mix a drink, and then she retires for the night.  Delphine follows with another tray of drinks for her, and Marie dismisses her.  The Benadryl is already taking effect and Marie is more than tipsy.  Delphine says she’ll leave when she’s ready, and she pulls out a butcher knife.  She plunges the knife into Marie’s chest, and Marie screams as she pulls the knife back out.  Delphine says her fate is sealed because “the magic” is already taking effect.  She throws the packet at Marie, who laughs and says it’s only an “antihistamine.”  She chases after Delphine, but when she gets to the top of the stairs, she is hit from behind and goes tumbling down the stairs.  Spalding stands at the top of the stairs with a doll in his hand.  Marie Laveau can’t die, he informs Delphine.  He just needed to get her out of his hair.  (Pause for effect as he uses the doll’s hand to sweep the hair away from his face)  He suggests that Delphine put Marie somewhere where she can’t get out.

Back in his room, Spalding ties a baby bonnet to his head and looks at his reflection.  He goes over to the bed and picks up the stolen baby, who is dressed in a similar outfit.  He lovingly carries the baby over to the rocking chair and holds it tenderly. “Finally, a living doll of my own,” he sighs.  The record player continues to play its haunting melody as he rocks his baby.  (Creepy as it is, it’s cute to see Denis O’Hare cuddling a baby)

Zoe is packing her bag.  She tells Kyle to grab what he needs, but instead he stops and sits on the bed.  He doesn’t want to go with her, he says, because he’s afraid of hurting her or someone else.  He can’t control the thoughts in his head.  She insists that she’s not afraid of him.  “I love you, Zoe, but it’s not your decision,” he says.  She pulls him back on the bed and repeats the same quote from Keats that Myrtle said to her.  “More love, more happy happy love.”  Kyle grabs Zoe’s head and kisses her nose.  The next thing we see is the pair running through the bus station, holding hands, intent on getting away.  The reach the bus headed for Orlando and climb onboard, taking the front seat.  They smile when they realize they’ve done it.  They’ve escaped.

So ends tonight’s episode.  I can’t remember the last time there was so much action packed into one hour.  Nan died last week, but this week Queenie is back.  Misty is still out there somewhere, but now Zoe and Kyle are gone.  Cordelia may or may not have regained her Second Sight.  The witch hunters may or may not have been thwarted.  Delphine may or may not be able to find a place secure enough to contain Marie Laveau.  Kyle and Zoe may or may not be gone for good.  And Spalding has his baby.

It’s funny to think of how much this show toys with your sense of loyalty.  None of the characters are innocent, perhaps save for Cordelia and Misty Day.  Everyone has killed someone else.  Marie Laveau was going to sacrifice the baby but went along with Fiona’s idea and killed Nan instead.  Sweet Nan killed (or re-killed) Luke’s mother.  Just when you think Delphine has turned over a new leaf, she kills the gardener.  And yet we still root for them.

Who are you rooting for?  Leave your thoughts below!

American Horror Story Coven Recap S3E10: The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks

American Horror Story Coven, S3E10: The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks

Original Airdate: January 8, 2014

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Welcome to 2014!  It’s the night we’ve long anticipated, what with all of the interviews and internet speculation about the appearance of the great Stevie Nicks.  If tonight’s episode was any indication, we’re in for a roller coaster ride over the remaining few weeks of American Horror Story Coven.

Tonight we begin at Miss Robichaux’s, where Fiona has given Marie Laveau a place to stay after the attack on her salon.  Marie’s arm has been bandaged, and her expression is one of grim exhaustion.  Fiona pours some liquor into her tea and tells her that she’ll cast a spell to help Marie rest.  Marie admits that she’s ashamed to show her weakness to Fiona, namely the kindness that Fiona is showing her by taking her in.  She goes on to explain that after being alive for over 300 years, she’s relieved to find someone who is her equal.  There’s so much they need to talk about, she says.  Fiona tells her to rest, and that they’ll draw battle lines the next day.

As Marie Laveau sleeps, a shadowy creature comes into her room and wakes her.  “Your master calls,” says.  It’s the Voodoo legend, Papa Legba, and he’s there to collect his debt.  She thinks he’s relishing in her misery, but he’s more concerned about the fact that she’s sleeping in the house of her enemy.  Marie tells him that she is seeking a lasting truce between the clans.  Regardless, Papa Legba wants what’s due to him.

Marie heads to the hospital.  She goes to the maternity ward and compels the nurse to open the doors.  She selects a little baby girl that could be her own daughter, and leaves with her in her arms.  Outside, the police try to stop her from stealing the baby.  “Mama’s had a hard night,” she says, and when the cops don’t back down, she lets out a shrill cry.  Her eyes go white and her face contorts. The policemen aim their guns at each other and fire.  The baby cries as she walks away.  “Shut up,” she says.

The next morning, Fiona, Cordelia and Marie gather around the kitchen table watching news of the salon massacre.  When they see Hank’s picture from a surveillance camera, Cordelia thinks that the idea of a divorce pushed him over the edge and he sought to protect her from Marie Laveau’s clan.  However, Marie informs them that she had hired Hank to kill the coven, but his love for Cordelia made him soft.  Fiona listens to this with rage in her eyes.  She stalks across the kitchen and backhands Cordelia so hard that she flies onto the ground.  Fiona thinks that Cordelia married Hank to prove some kind of point and in doing so “invited a Viper into this sacred house.”  Marie is quick to intervene, picking Cordelia up off the floor.  What is done is done, she says.  Fiona says that witch hunters have been around as long as the witches, and they will kill witches, Black or White, no matter what.  That is what they do.  The doorbell rings, and Fiona leaves to answer it.  Before leaving the kitchen, Marie switches off the television as the news starts to do a story on the baby stolen from the hospital.

Upstairs, Misty Day stares at her reflection in the mirror.  She’s wearing a shawl and twirling around.  When Fiona enters the room, Misty stops and tells her to keep her distance.  Misty doesn’t trust Fiona and doesn’t want to have her neck cut open or be burned at the stake (again), but Fiona assures her that she’s the only one in the house “whose magic is worth a damn.”  Misty says that Cordelia warned her about becoming the Supreme.  Fiona isn’t deterred.  She explains that being the Supreme is an honor that has a number of benefits attached to it.  She leads Misty downstairs and says that soon not only will Misty know the world, but the world will want to know her.  In fact, there’s someone who has been begging to meet Misty.  She’s a White Witch.  Fiona leads Misty into the parlor and a blond woman is standing there.  “Who are you?” Misty asks.  The woman turns and introduces herself as Stevie Nicks.  Misty faints dead away, and Fiona laughs and says that Stevie owes her five bucks.

Madison, Nan, and Zoe return from their “morbid” field trip.  They were trying to find out if Queenie was really dead, but there was no information from the police.  Nan and Zoe are reluctant to go to the morgue again after the Kyle incident.  Madison proclaims her two witchy companions “squares.”  As they enter the house, the lilting notes of the song “Rhiannon” fill the air.

Stevie sits at the piano giving Fiona and Misty a private performance.  The girls gather around and watch the scene before them.  Madison tells Fiona that she’s a huge Eminem fan.  “Marshall?  You’re not his type,” Fiona drawls, “and more importantly, you’re not the next Supreme.”  As Stevie sings, Misty starts to dance.  Madison can’t believe that Misty will be able to perform the Seven Wonders, but Fiona is quite confident.  When Stevie finishes the song, Madison is pushed aside while Stevie teaches Misty how to properly twirl.  She gives Misty a shawl and bids her good luck on the Seven Wonders.

Of course, all of this attention on Misty is royally pissing off Madison, who storms into her bedroom with Zoe and Nan in tow.  She still thinks she is the next Supreme.  Nan also thinks she could be the next Supreme, which Madison thinks is funny.  Nan maintains that her powers and growing, and to prove her point she commands Madison to put her cigarette down and put it in her vagina.  Zoe stops Madison from following through, and Zoe reminds her about her heart murmur.  Madison says her brief stint with death cured her of her heart murmur, so she’s back in contention.  In fact, it may be her destiny.

Cordelia presents her research about Hank to Marie and Fiona.  Harrison Reynard is the CEO of the Delphi Trust, and her father-in-law.  Fiona reminds her that Hank didn’t have any family, but it turns out he lied.  Marie asks about the business, and Cordelia explains that the company began through their family’s early venture as carpenters back in the Colonies.  “Salem,” Fiona breathes.  Their headquarters are based in Atlanta.  Marie says they should just go there and end this, but Fiona wants to think it through a bit more before they “jump on their broomsticks.”  Given that Delphi is a multi-billion dollar corporation, Fiona wants to use their money against them so that they come begging for the witches’ mercy.

The three women prepare to cast a spell using a big maze and a series of mousetraps with stacks of cash set in a circle around the perimeter.  Cordelia is mixing herbs but Fiona orders her away.  She doesn’t want any of Cordelia’s help.  Once they’re left alone, Marie and Fiona start the spell.  White mice are bewitched and sent into the maze.  Fiona calls upon Hecate to bless them.  The mouse enters the maze and at the Delphi office a man moves through the halls looking like a nervous mouse himself. The FBI moves in and starts taking over the office.  Harrison tells his staff to get their friends on the phone.  Fiona is calling for them to be put into a weakened state so that they come begging for mercy.  Then she starts to collapse.  Marie catches her, but she faints anyway.

Nan and Zoe are riding in an elevator and Nan just can’t believe that Madison could be the Supreme.  Zoe contemplates the fact that they can’t survive on their own.  They need each other.  Nan maintains that she’d be a nice Supreme and only do nice things.  Zoe says that’s the kind of Supreme they need, and that Nan doesn’t have “a mean bone in her body.”  When they go to the reception desk, the nurse informs them that Luke died the day before, and that the mortuary came for his body already. Nan is in shock, crying that she wanted to see him to say goodbye.

Marie mixes a noxious potion to help make Fiona feel better.  She’s casting the evil spirits from the room because she isn’t done with Fiona yet, but Fiona knows that as the new Supreme rises, the cancer grows.  After all these years she’s finally found true love (the Axeman), and she has the desire to continue to live.  But Marie could help her, she says.  Marie says that she gave a vial of her tears to Madame LaLaurie, but if she did the same for Fiona, Fiona would be condemned to spend the rest of her immortality on the verge of death.  Fiona grabs Marie’s arm and asks who gave the gift to her.  Marie says she summoned Papa Legba, and when Fiona’s eyes widen, she decides to tell the tale.  Three hundred years prior, Marie thought she was “invincible” and she gave birth to a baby.  Papa Legba came to her and said she could have immortality if she gave him a gift every year.  She thought he meant sex, but when he came to her while she was with her baby, he said motherhood wasn’t in the cards for her.  He wants her baby, an innocent soul, in return for the gift of immortality he gave her.  Marie hands over her baby and he disappears.  Fiona wants to know what he wants every year, but Marie says that if you want him bad enough, he will come to you.  And you never really know what he’ll want.  She tells Fiona to get some rest, but clearly Fiona is thinking about this news.

A jazz funeral makes its way through the streets of New Orleans.  Madison and Misty trail behind the musicians eating skewered chicken.  They’ve spent the day together and Misty thanks her for lunch.  Misty is wearing her new shawl.  Madison says that as the potential new Supreme, she now owes favors to Fiona and Stevie—to Stevie for the shawl and Fiona for bringing Stevie.  Madison says that “everything is transactional” and soon people will be expecting her to return favors.  Misty can’t believe that Stevie was only there to gain favor, but “players only love you when they’re playing,” Madison reminds her.  This angers Misty.  They walk to the cemetery and Madison asks Misty to enchant the workers who are about to entomb the coffin in the above-ground crypt.  Madison wants to show her something.  Madison waves her hand and the coffin opens and the man inside rises.  He gets up and looks around, and then he walks away.   She’s as powerful as Misty, so she doesn’t need any favors.  Instead she just wants to be friends.  She tells Misty to lose the scarf.  “No way, this came straight from Stevie,” Misty replies.  Madison tries to make it seem like Misty needs to build her own image away from outside influence, and she tells Misty to throw the shawl into the coffin.  Misty considers this and holds the shawl in the air.  Madison hits her with a brick and knocks her into the coffin.  She pauses to retrieve the shawl.  Once it’s closed again, the men return to life and slide it into the tomb.  Madison dances through the cemetery while twirling in the shawl as the newly reanimated man still wanders around.

Nan and Zoe go to Joan’s house to find out where Luke’s body has been taken.  That way they can go to the mortuary and get his body, and they can be together forever.  Joan tells stories of a young Luke as she serves cupcakes to the girls.  Nan interrupts and asks where Luke’s body is.  When Zoe tries to smooth things out, Joan says that Luke is there with them.  He’s been cremated.  She pulls out the urn to prove it.  “You bitch!” Nan cries, sending Joan to her knees with her newfound powers.  Zoe tells Nan to stop but Nan sends her flying across the room.  Pulling out a bottle of bleach, Nan tells Joan that she “has to be cleansed.”  Joan downs the bottle of bleach and promptly dies.

Cordelia is in the calm sanctuary of her conservatory.  Myrtle is there as well, filling the room with the cosmic sounds from her Theremin.  “What is that thing?  It’s hideous and weird,” Cordelia says.  If you don’t know what a Theremin is, think of the score from the original Star Trek series.  And the thing that Sheldon Cooper once played on an episode of Big Bang Theory.   It seems so right to see flaming-red-haired Myrtle playing a Theremin.  “Don’t be a hater, dear,” Myrtle replies calmly.  Cordelia doesn’t know what to do now that she has no powers and no purpose.  Myrtle offers her a demi tasse de realite, telling her that she could bottle salad dressing or work on a cruise ship.  What can she do when her mother is “Hillary Clinton?”  Cordelia thinks Myrtle is trying to wound her, but she’s just pointing out the truth.  This causes Cordelia to start trashing her workshop, screaming that she’s a failure.  Myrtle returns to the soothing tones of the Theremin.

Harrison Reynard receives news that their stock has taken a major hit in just ten minutes.  The FBI is cleaning them out.  Harrison wants to talk to his friends, but his assistant says that no one will answer the phone.  There’s nothing natural about this, Harrison says.  “It’s time to deal with those witches,” he says.

Fiona prepares several lines of cocaine on a mirror.  She begins an incantation to call forth Papa Legba.  When he arrives, he samples the cocaine and tells her that she got the good stuff.  Fiona says that she doesn’t want to die.  She’s the queen of the witches, but he doesn’t give a “white donkey shit” about her title.  They get down to business.  She’ll give up her soul, and he’ll grant “freedom from death.”  She wants terms.  No aging, no sickness, immortality. He wants services once a year.  Crippling her daughter, murdering an innocent person; she agrees.  They have a deal.  “Seal it,” she says.  They kiss.  “The deal is off,” he says, breaking away.  “You have nothing to sell.  You have no soul.”  He disappears.

“Bum luck, baby.  No sale,” the Axeman sighs.  He says that they need to find the person who is taking her down.  “Haven’t you heard, I have no soul,” Fiona says.  She snorts some cocaine.  “I’ll just kill them all.”  The Axeman smiles at her callousness.

Zoe, having witnessed Nan’s new powers, says that she could be the Supreme.  She’s only ever seen Fiona do those things.  “Fiona’s a bitch.  I want to be a nice Supreme,” Nan says.  Never mind the fact that she just killed (or re-killed) the neighbor.  Nan hears something and goes to investigate.  She finds the baby that Marie stole in Marie’s closet.  She smiles at the infant and picks her up.  Marie storms in and realizes that Nan is “the clairvoyant.”  Nan says that she’s the next Supreme and she just killed the neighbor with her powers, and she’ll kill Marie too.  She knows that Marie is going to kill the baby.  Fiona comes in and commands Nan to give the baby back.  Nan leaves, saying that they both have blood on their hands.  Marie thinks Nan is dangerous.  Fiona agrees.  She wants to know who the baby belongs to.  Marie explains that Papa’s requests get worse every year, as Fiona will find out.  It has been so long that she can hardly remember her own baby’s face, so this child could almost be her own.  Fiona tells Marie that she and Papa “couldn’t come to terms,” but she suggests an alternative.

Next we see Fiona and Marie trying to drown Nan in the bathtub.  They didn’t think she’d be so strong.  “You’re not the first witch to be drowned,” Fiona tells her.  Nan struggles wildly until her movements slow and she dies.   Papa Legba materializes as soon as Nan died and says that he was clear that there would be no substitutions.  He wanted an innocent, and Fiona says she’s practically innocent (the neighbor had it coming).  “Come on, be a sport,” Marie adds.  “You two together.  Big trouble,” he sighs.  He summons Nan, who appears from behind him.  She frets about wearing the same outfit for the rest of eternity, but Papa Legba assures her that the Other Side has “lots of treats for a girl like” her.  “Anywhere is better than here,” she says, and he puts his arm around her and escorts her out.

Stevie sits at the piano and plays for Fiona, who says it’s the perfect ending to a “long day.”

As she plays, Fiona reclines in a chair and looks on despairingly.

And that was the end of the episode.  Don’t worry—Stevie will be back.

I find it interesting that this is the second time that Fiona has intervened in the life of a baby.  She saved the baby from death tonight, and she brought another baby back when Cordelia was in the hospital.  As much as she believes that she doesn’t have a soul, she certainly has a soft spot for babies.

If you’re keeping score, we didn’t see Kyle, Delphine or Spalding tonight, and we lost Nan and Joan.  And Misty is locked in a crypt.

With three episodes to go, anything can (and will) happen.  Be sure to leave your comments below, and see you next week!

American Horror Story Coven Recap S3E9: Head

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!

American Horror Story Coven Recap S3E8: The Sacred Taking

American Horror Story Coven, S3E8: The Sacred Taking

Original Airdate: December 4, 2013

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Welcome back to the Coven, boys and girls.  After a week off for Thanksgiving, we’re back again and in fine form.  If you’ve been following the news lately, Ryan Murphy mentioned in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that a hint about Season 4 of AHS will drop soon, and the setting will either be non-contemporary New Orleans or Santa Fe.  So keep your eyes peeled for foreshadowing….

Tonight’s episode starts out with Queenie walking under a freeway overpass at night.  A man starts to heckle her, and before he can harm her, she impales her hand with a board covered in nails.  When his hand starts to bleed, she takes the time to take him down the old-fashioned way—by hitting him with the board.  Suddenly she’s interrupted by Zoe and Madison, who appear out of nowhere dressed head to toe in black.  Queenie says she’s with Marie Laveau now, that the girls never liked who she was.  Madison taunts her and says that Fiona slit her throat but she’s still with the coven. Zoe says that a new Supreme is rising, and they need to work together now more than ever.  Queenie has heard the Supreme story before, from Fiona.  She gets down on her knees and plunges a knife into the man’s stomach.  Even Madison winces at the sight, while Zoe exclaims in outrage that she just murdered an innocent man.  “Shows what you know,” Queenie scoffs.  The man raped at least three girls.  Marie Laveau asked for a dark heart for her potion that will give Queenie special powers (something Fiona never did, she adds) and she’s going to provide one.  Queenie thrusts her hand into the man’s chest and pulls out his still-beating heart.  “Voodoo.  Witchcraft.  This town ain’t big enough for the two of us.  War is coming, and you’re going to lose,” Queenie says.

Fiona is in bed trying to eat.  She is thinking about the cancer that is eating away at her, and has now spread to her spine.  The food makes her sick.  She laments having to tell her own daughter the sad news of her impending death, but she knows that being with loved ones is a balm.  Cordelia’s response: She hopes Fiona dies before Thanksgiving so they can be spared the crap she calls stuffing.  In bed with the Axeman, she says she doesn’t want to be around him when her hair and teeth fall out.  He suggests that they run away to a far-off place.  He asks if she ever considers ending everything, but she won’t give anyone the satisfaction.  She tells Axeman about the rising Supreme, and as she talks we are back at the school, as she watches Nan and Zoe lead Cordelia around.  The answer lies in killing the next Supreme.

Joan is cleaning her son Luke’s axe wound. She just knows that the girls next door are witches, as where else could they get their dark magic.  Luke points out that the girls saved him.  Joan slaps him.  “Only Jesus can save you,” she says.  Luke gives her a venomous look, but he doesn’t stand up to his mother.  She says he’s “unclean, from the inside out, but we’re going to fix that.”  She goes to a cupboard and fetches enema supplies, including an industrial cleaner.  Joan orders her son to take off his pants, which he begrudgingly does, and he gets into the bathtub.  This must be something that’s happened before, because he knows this drill.  He adjusts the enema and she starts the flow.

Nan can hear Luke’s cries, and she rushes into the office, where Cordelia, Madison and Zoe have gathered.  Cordelia tells Nan to shut out everything outside of the room they’re in.  Cordelia sees Queenie’s loss as a personal failing, but as of now Queenie is dead to her.  They need to focus on the task at hand.  They need to kill Fiona, Zoe says.  Madison wants to do it, but Cordelia says she must remain hidden until the right moment. The doorbell keeps ringing, prompting Cordelia to wonder what happened to Spalding and Delphine.  Zoe quickly offers to answer it before that line of thought can go much farther.

When she opens the door, Misty Day pushes past Zoe, begging for protection.  She had to leave her house and Stevie and her garden to flee.  She recounts the story of being awakened the night before by an almost-healed Myrtle.  Myrtle says that a man with a gun is circling the shack and he almost stepped on her face.  Misty Day flees before the man with the gun bursts inside and starts shooting at her bed.  They spent the night in the swamp before making their way to Miss Robichaux’s.  Cordelia comes in and Zoe says there is a witch who needs protection.  Cordelia touches Misty’s hand and recognizes her.  She offers the protection of the Coven.  Misty asks if her friend can be protected, too.  She’s just outside in the garden.

The witches go out to the conservatory and Cordelia announces that whoever it is, she is with friends.  Myrtle turns around, red hair flaming, and agrees, so long as Fiona isn’t around.  Cordelia rushes to her, saying she thought she’d never see her again.  “Poor choice of words, dear,” Myrtle chastises gently.  Nan asks how Myrtle’s hair grew back so quickly, to which Myrtle replies that she’s “been buying in bulk from North Korea for years.”  I have no idea what that means, but it’s a great line.  Cordelia recounts the ills of the Coven that have occurred at the hands of the Supreme and admits that the Coven has fallen on hard times, but Myrtle disagrees.  Given that resurrection is one of the hardest abilities to master, and given how many people have been brought back to life recently, it would seem that Misty Day is the next Supreme.  After all, Misty has resurrected more people than Jesus did.  Cordelia’s expression captures her surprise at the announcement.

Zoe finds Kyle upstairs looking at an educational video on the laptop.  He is very happy to see her and would rather kiss her than play the games, but she says they are going to be busy and he needs to work on getting smart.  Madison walks in, reminding the startled Zoe that they’re going to share Kyle.  She kisses him and asks why she has him playing games.  Why not just let him “watch porn and jerk off” like any other guy, she asks.  Zoe says he needs to learn so he can return to being a productive member of society.  Watching Kyle’s reaction to the banter is great given that he has real-life romantic ties to both women.  Madison leaves, promising that they’ll have fun later, but all the while Kyle keeps his hand on Zoe’s knee and seems much more interested in her.  She has to go as well, so she puts headphones on him (he looks around in wonder at the new sounds) and leaves him alone.

Myrtle is downstairs with the Coven as they don red robes for the ceremony.  The ceremony is the Sacred Taking, which is supposed to help draw out the new Supreme.  Misty Day doesn’t want to be the next Supreme, and Madison pokes at Zoe for thinking that she was the next one.  Nan says that any one of them could be the next Supreme, which Madison scoffs at.  Cordelia says that being the Supreme is a burden that no one should wish for.  She explains that the Sacred Taking ceremony has been performed three times, the first of which dates back to the days of the Salem witches.  Prudence Mather suffered from tuberculosis and wouldn’t be able to survive the journey south, so the ceremony allows her to take her own life and reveal the next Supreme.  Myrtle laments that the poor Salem witches had to travel all that way without a charcuterie platter and a bidet.  Times were rough….  Madison exposes the flaw in the plan: Fiona would never kill herself for the benefit of the Coven.  “Not without a push,” Cordelia replies.

Fiona is upstairs throwing up.  She hears music, and goes into the bedroom to find Madison dancing around in a red dress. Madison loves the room, the walk-in closet, and the big bed that she can’t wait to break in (she teases that it probably hasn’t seen much action, but we know that isn’t true…).  Madison says she’s the next Supreme, so she resurrected herself.  Fiona asks if Cordelia knows, and Madison replies that everyone knows, and they also know what happened to poor Myrtle.  Fiona orders her out, but she can hardly make the door open on its own, a sign of her weakening power.  Madison is going to make this easy for her—either she burns at the stake, or she takes some pills and goes to sleep.  Either way, Fiona must die.

Fiona picks up her suitcase, but Myrtle stops her from fleeing.  Fiona asks if everyone is coming back from the dead.  Fiona wants to flee to a Greek island, but that’s not one of the options.  Die or burn.  Fiona tells Myrtle that she has finally found someone to belong to, someone who she loves.  Myrtle points out that he’ll never stay with her through the end.  She has a vision of what’s to come, when Fiona is wasting away in a hospital bed.  Axeman can’t bear being around the smells any longer, and he leaves her.

Madison walks out of Fiona’s room to find Zoe, Misty and Nan on the stairs.  She says it went well and Fiona believes her to be the next Supreme.  Nan doesn’t understand why she can’t be the next Supreme, and she runs off when Zoe doesn’t back her up.  She runs to Luke’s house, past Hank, who is waiting and watching in the car.  She uses her powers to open the door, and she wanders through the house until she hears a noise in the closet.  It’s Luke, and he’s bound and gagged.  “Oh, God,” she whispers.

Myrtle watches as Fiona prepares her body to die.  She puts a scarf over her head and sits at the dressing table.  Fiona’s hand is shaking from her meds, so she asks Myrtle to hold the mirror.  Myrtle obliges, and for a moment it seems like they’re old friends again.  Fiona reminisces about a man named Levon who was the drummer in a band.  They went to Woodstock together.  She says all the boys were crazy about her, but he was special.  Some people stay on the carousel, but others choose the thrill of the roller coasters, she adds.  After donning her fur coat, Fiona scoops up the pills from the bed and takes them.  She asks Myrtle to watch over her daughter, saying that Cordelia was her greatest failure, one that she will be haunted by forever.  As she lies down, she tells Myrtle to make sure they hang her portrait in the place she chose, and not to leave it in the basement with “the disgraced Russian witch.”  Myrtle compliments Fiona’s lipstick, commenting that she could never pull off the coral colors.  Fiona closes her eyes.  Myrtle waits a few moments before leaving, pausing to scoop up Fiona’s jewelry….

Fiona is drifting when she hears a voice.  It’s Spalding, and he’s telling her to wake up.  He has a bottle in his hand and says she needs to drink it to purge the pills from her system.  He tells Fiona that he was murdered in order to be silenced, but the young witches don’t realize that for over three hundred years his family has watched over the Coven, and at last he sees everything.  Fiona tells him that she’s trying to do the noble thing for the good of the Coven.  “Horse shit,” he replies.  They have been feeding lies to Fiona for a long time, and she swallowed them easier than she did the pills.  He holds out the bottle of Ipecac (making its second appearance in the series) and she opens her mouth.  Next we see Fiona heaving into the toilet while Spalding watches from the corner.   She tells him that he has always been her “silent sentinel” and she vows to avenge his murder, as soon as she has avenged her own.

At Marie Laveau’s salon, Delphine sits forlornly in a metal cage with barely enough room to move around.  Queenie shows up and Delphine can smell the food she brought for her.  Queenie looks puzzled when she hears that they aren’t feeding Delphine.  Delphine says they’re just bleeding her for the poultices, and the bandage around her neck serves as proof of it.  Delphine can’t understand why Queenie betrayed her.  She learned to make the pot pies and cobblers to please her; however, just as she locked her away, she can free her.  Just to stretch her legs, Delphine adds.  Marie Laveau shows up and tells Queenie to stop feeding Delphine, and that animals belong in cages.  She dismisses Queenie (who seems to be wrestling with her role in all of this.  Delphine demands water in a clean glass, trying to sound like her old self.  Marie isn’t fazed by it.  She says that she thought of all the things she could do to Delphine once she had her locked away, but so far being locked up has been very fulfilling.  Delphine knows that she can’t die, so she says that Marie should just bury her again so that she can return in a hundred years when the “natural order” of things has returned and Obama isn’t president.  Marie laughs, telling Delphine that she suffers from a lack of imagination.  She slices off Delphine’s hand while Delphine screams in agony.

Nan and Luke flee from the house.  He knows that his mother will look for them at the school first, so first they just have to get away.  Nan asks if they’ll be boyfriend and girlfriend, and when he nods, she kisses his cheek.  Then we hear Joan’s voice.  She’s on the phone with the police, telling them that she has a female intruder in the house that is armed.  Luke says it’s a lie, and he shoves his mother away.  Joan doesn’t like this, and she threatens her son.  A red dot appears on his mother’s stomach, and suddenly a gunshot rings out once, and then again.  Joan drops to the floor, dead, and when Nan moves into the line of fire, Luke pushes her out of the way and gets shot himself.  “Don’t leave me,” Nan sobs.  She’s going to be the next Supreme.

Myrtle plays Schubert’s last piece on the piano while the other women wait anxiously for the end to come.  Cordelia wants to hear something less depressing, but Myrtle insists that the piece was all about accepting death.  They ask if Misty is feeling anything yet, but she feeling nothing.  Just nerves.  Cordelia has heard it starts with her feet getting warmer, and Myrtle hear it was a feeling in “the cooch.”  “For me, it was a migraine,” comes Fiona’s voice. She pulls out a cigarette and lights it effortlessly.  She wants to meet the swamp witch, but Misty is gone.

Next door, the police are scouring the living room while Luke is wheeled out on a gurney.  Nan goes with him to the hospital.  Misty is standing near the fireplace.  Once the room has been cleared, Fiona walks in.  She sees Misty Day but she is interrupted by a police officer.  Fiona commands him to explain what happened, and after she dismisses him, she tells Misty that she can demonstrate her power with dead Joan.  Misty approaches the body and goes to work,

Outside, the girls from the school gather news about what happened at Luke’s house.  Cordelia wants to know where her mother is, and Zoe starts to lead her inside when Cordelia stops her, saying that she’s found something.  Inside, Fiona keeps the police away while Misty works.  Cordelia has a vision of the man who shot Joan, and she realizes that he was coming after them.  Misty finishes her work and passes out as Joan takes a deep breath.  Fiona rolls her eyes.

Zoe hurries to find Kyle, who is deeply involved with his computer game.  She tells him they are under attack and she has to get him to safety.  He hugs her.  “This road goes two ways,” he says slowly.  She doesn’t understand what that means.  “I love you,” he finishes.  “I love you, too,” she replies, and they hug each other.  Madison has heard this interaction from her place outside, and she starts to cry.

Fiona awakens and finds Cordelia downstairs drinking coffee.  She laments the lack of servants in the house.  Cordelia isn’t sure what kind of reaction to expect from her mother, and she’s surprised to find that Fiona is proud of her daughter and the Coven.  For once, they showed true grit, and she now has hope for the future of the Coven.  Cordelia is emotional hearing her mother say she’s proud of her.  She jokes that she would have made an attempt on Fiona’s life much sooner had she known.  Fiona notices the bullet on the table and Cordelia says she found it.  The bullet has been blessed.  Witch hunters are after the Coven.  Cordelia admits being relieved that her mother was alive when she found the bullet.  They need Fiona now more than ever.

The doorbell rings and rings, and finally Fiona goes to answer it, leaving the table and the tender moment with her daughter.  The porch is empty save for a big box.  Fiona brings it inside and Cordelia joins her at the dining room table. Inside the box is Delphine’s head.  “Help!” she cries.

So ends another amazing episode of American Horror Story Coven.  Again I’m left with the question of redemption.  After everything that Fiona has done, they need her now more than ever.  After all of the evil things Madame LaLaurie has done, she’s receiving the same treatment after making an attempt to change.  Is it possible for them to change?  Can they truly be sympathetic characters?  I’m eager to hear your thoughts.  And what is going on with the mother-son relationships this season?  First it was Alisha and Kyle, and now Joan and Luke.  Very bizarre.

As always, leave your comments and thoughts below!

American Horror Story Coven Recap S3E7: The Dead

American Horror Story Coven, S3E7: The Dead

Original Airdate: November 20, 2013

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


The band Toto is “amazeballs.”  Let’s just get that out there right now.   We start tonight’s episode in a flashback to Kyle’s human days when his fraternity is on a field trip to a tattoo parlor.  Kyle is dancing through the room singing to his favorite band while his frat brothers tease him.  One frat guy shows off his new tattoo, which is of the Chinese words for “beginning” and “end.”  Kyle points out that the chart could be wrong, and he’ll never be able to walk through a Chinese restaurant ever again.  He says his mother would flip out if she saw him with a tattoo, and one of the guys offers to “bang her” to take her mind off of it.  Kyle’s face falls for a split second (only we know about his relationship with his mother) but then he recovers and tells the guys that he plans to be an engineer someday, the kind that can actually repair the levees so that there’s never another situation like the one during Katrina (his neighborhood still hasn’t been rebuilt).  He can’t have a tattoo when he walks into the mayor’s office.  Jimmy thinks he has a noble cause and good point.  His other friend laughs and says he’ll need the luck of the Irish, pointing to his new clover tattoo on his forearm.  The guys laugh.  Returning to the present, Zombie Kyle cries out in inarticulate agony as he looks at the clover tattoo gracing his new forearm.  He also has Jimmy’s “beginning” and “end” tattoo on his new ankle.  As he sobs, Zoe approaches, hiding a gun behind her back.

Madison has gone all Wednesday Addams on us, sitting at the top of the grand staircase in a black dress with a ribbon hiding her scar and a candelabra sitting beside her.  She’s smoking a cigarette while her inner monologue talks about being a part of the Millennial Generation, a generation full of entitled kids who “get trophies just for showing up” and who post on social media “every time they fart.”  She used to do everything she could just to stop feeling things.  Sex, drugs, alcohol, you name it.  But now she’s an empty vessel incapable of feeling anything.  She raids Cordelia’s stash of unlabeled potion-making materials until she finds something that makes her look “less like Marilyn Manson.”  Whereas she used to eat every few days, now she can eat anything and everything, but nothing ever satisfies.  She holds a lighter to her hand and watches her skin burn.  She feels nothing, and now it’s time to do something.

Down in the conservatory, Zoe approaches Kyle.  She reveals the gun to him and says that there’s only one way to make this right.  He backs away from her but she kneels in front of him.  He was a nice guy, and when he died she should have let him go, but she didn’t.  And now he’s killed his mother, so he has to atone for it.  Suddenly he grabs the gun from her and she gets out of his way.  As he moves to put the barrel in his mouth, she cries out and tries to get the gun away from him.  It fires into the glass ceiling, and she tosses it away.  Zoe hugs him tightly. She still can’t let him go.

Queenie is in the kitchen in the middle of the night.  Madison has raided the fridge and all of the bowls are empty on the counter.  Delphine walks in and Queenie says there’s nothing to eat.  At first Delphine thinks she’s kidding, but then she sees the bowls and admits that it’s a shame because she was hungry, too.  So the duo heads out to an all-night burger joint, and Queenie places and order for some combo meals.  Delphine is frightened of the talking voice box, but when he asks if they want everything super-sized, Delphine agrees wholeheartedly.  They sit and eat in the parking lot.  Delphine says it’s the best food she’s ever had, which means a lot considering her age.  Now she understands Queenie’s “enormous” size.  Queenie finds it ironic that she came all the way from Detroit to be with her “sister-witches” and yet she’s in the car eating fast food with “an immortal racist.”  Delphine laughs, but she tells Queenie that the other girls will never see her as a sister.  “Because I’m fat?” Queenie asks.  “Because you’re Black,” Delphine replies.  Queenie sits back and considers this.

Cordelia’s phone rings in the middle of the night.  She fumbles around until she finds it.  It’s Hank.  He misses her.  She says it’s late and hangs up the phone.  He says he’ll see her soon, though she’s already ended the call.  His eyes are full of tears as he sits on the floor of a hotel room with all kinds of guns and rifles around him.

Cordelia walks into the hallway calling for Delphine.  Madison is across the hall but Cordelia obviously can’t see her.  Cordelia hears a noise and is about to fall down the stairs when Madison grabs her.  Grabbing her triggers a vision, and now she sees that her mother killed Madison.  “Fiona!” Cordelia growls.

Speaking of Fiona, she’s on a hot date with the Axeman, who takes her back to an apartment.  From the look of it, the apartment is straight out of the Axeman’s time, which can’t be possible given that he died almost a hundred years prior.  He regrets that the place is more fitting of a lady like she is, but she “wasn’t expecting Buckingham Palace” anyway.  She has a seat and he pours some bourbon.  They flirt a bit and then she sees pictures of a man on the wall.  “The Prince of the Ivories,” Axeman replies.  He tells her about how hard it was to be an up and coming musician back in his day.  The flirting continues until she excuses herself to the less-than-opulent bathroom where a cockroach skitters in the sink.  She looks at herself in the mirror and tidies her hair.  That’s when she sees another clump of hair in her hand.  Axeman asks if she wants another drink.  She leaves the room, failing to notice the body of the poor old “Prince of the Ivories” in the bathtub.  Now we know who the apartment belonged to….

Fiona drinks the second glass of bourbon with abandon, telling Axeman never to make assumptions about her taste in bourbon or men.  When he leans in for a kiss, she invites it, but as he caresses her hair, a clump falls out in her hand and she pushes him away, calling their evening a mistake made after running out of sleeping pills.  Axeman says that they’re meeting could be destiny, but Fiona can’t imagine that her destiny involved such a “shithole.”  The Axeman isn’t going to give up so easily.  He wants her, and she wants him.  He tells her about his magic fingers…everyone always watches the bass player but they should have been watching his fingers on the keys and his lips on his instrument.  She admits that he’s good with the lines, and when they fall into bed, their passion causes all of the light bulbs in the room to explode.

Zoe decides to unshackle Kyle so that he can learn to communicate and she can learn to trust him.  In a scene straight from ET the Extraterrestrial, she holds up a card that says “food” and Kyle slowly figures out how to say it.  The word “bed” sends him into a frenzy (for obvious reasons), and when he tries to eat, he gets frustrated and throws the bowl across the room.  “Not stupid,” he mutters.  Zoe doesn’t think he’s stupid, but she’s trying to help him become a functioning human being again.  The noise catches Madison’s attention, and she saunters into the room and flops on the bed.  She doesn’t recognize Kyle (at first) so Zoe has to explain that they brought him back to life after Madison killed him.  Madison doesn’t give any indication that she remembers this, and so she changes the subject and says that Cordelia wants to talk to Zoe.  Zoe didn’t know Cordelia knew Madison was alive, but Madison says their headmistress knows a lot more than anyone knows.  Madison offers to care for Kyle while Zoe is gone.

One they’re alone, Madison slowly approaches Kyle and peeks at the scars on his neck.  She mentions picking out the best pieces, so clearly she remembers what happened.  They were both dead, she tells him, but she didn’t see a light.  Her place was cold.  Did he see anything?  Kyle looks at her and realizes that she knows what he’s feeling.  She wonders if coming back to be in the state they’re in was worth it.  He crawls over to her and hugs her, a bleak look in his eye.

Marie Laveau’s salon is full of people.  Marie buys fish heads from one of the old men playing games at the table.  When Queenie walks in, they all know who she is, because she’s a Black witch and they knew when she arrived.  Queenie asks about the fish heads, and Marie says she’s making gumbo.  Queenie has never had gumbo before, which isn’t surprising to Marie given that Queenie has been living in “white bread land.”  Marie tells Queenie she belongs with them, where she’ll never have to feel like she’s second best.  The witches’ power came from their people, and a Voodoo doll belongs in the House of Voodoo.  The price of admission: Madame Delphine LaLaurie.  Queenie wants to know what they will do with Delphine if she brings her there, but Marie only smiles and tells her not to worry.  She sends Queenie on her way with a smile that suggests she knows exactly what she’ll do with Delphine.

Cordelia tells Zoe that your perspective changes upon leaving the hospital.  Now she’s able to see exactly what’s going on when she’d been blind to it before.  After bringing back the Axeman, Zoe has shown that she is a “hot shit witch,” which puts a big target on her back.  And if people find out, she’ll be dead.  Zoe thinks Cordelia is talking about Marie Laveau, but she’s really talking about her mother.  Fiona Goode has always looked out for Fiona Goode, and if she thinks that Zoe is the next Supreme, she’s as good as dead.  They need to kill her.  “Kill her dead,” Cordelia says.  Zoe blinks and takes the proffered flask from Cordelia; she needs a drink.  Zoe returns to her room to find Kyle having wild zombie sex with Madison against the wall.  Madison smiles at her. This just isn’t Zoe’s day.

Fiona gets dressed after her electrifying tryst with Axeman.  He asks where she’s going, and she casually tells him that the dead body in the bathroom is going to start smelling soon.  He teases her that her body has probably never given off such a light show.  Fiona is still a bit dazed, and she tells him that she’s called the police.  Axeman calls her bluff, though.  She says she doesn’t know his name and “doesn’t care to” while he says he knows “every secret” about her.  He reveals his trump card—he has known her since she was eight years old.  We flash back to when little Fiona is having breakfast with the rest of the little witches.  An older girl comes in and spills their milk, but Fiona keeps her head up and doesn’t back down.  The bully makes her hold her glass of milk over her head, but defiant Fiona tosses it on the bully instead.  The bully pushes Fiona’s chair over, and when she turns to leave, a giant shelf falls on top of her.  Back in the present, Fiona tells him that she knew she didn’t make the shelf fall.  Axeman admits that at first he had a father’s love for the “little flower” that he never had, but over time we see Fiona change from the innocent eight year old to the young woman who killed the Supreme.  This version of Fiona gets out of bed and strips naked while she dressed, and in the background we see the Axeman watching.  Fiona transforms into her present-day self, and now his love has gone from being paternal to being that of a man in love with a woman. Fiona can’t understand what he is, but he manages to kiss her before she slaps him and backs away, demanding to know why he’d tell her a story about how he’s watched her grow old while he has been unchanging for so long.  Was the night they shared just a “mercy lay?” she demands.  She tells him to go “haunt someone else” and slams the door.

Spalding is tied up in bed.  He’s wearing a silk robe.  Zoe asks how he’s doing.  “Fine.  I’m fine,” he replies, and then he realizes that he’s speaking again.  “How…?” he wonders.  Zoe tells him about finding the secret compartment in the wall.  She found a box with a severed tongue inside, but instead of being shriveled up, it was wet and alive.  Enchanted.  The box has the initials MS on it.  Myrtle Snow.  But Myrtle Snow was not capable of casting the spell to allow Spalding to speak again.  Zoe, however, could do it.  She wants to know the name of the person who killed Madison.  Spalding can’t lie, of course, and he points out that she’s alive.  Zoe doesn’t find this funny, though, and she asks again.  Despite his struggles, Fiona’s name passes through his lips.  He blesses the name of “our Supreme.”  Zoe says he’s not a part of the coven, and Fiona is just his employer, but his family has served the coven for ten generations.  “Not anymore,” Zoe says, stabbing him in the chest.  Is anyone keeping track of how many people Zoe has killed at this point?

Queenie finds Delphine in the kitchen carving a ham.  She wants to know what the worst thing Delphine ever did was, and she says that she thinks they can be true friends.  Queenie’s mother always said that true friends know the good and the bad.  Delphine genuinely seems to want to be true friends with Queenie, so she tells her the story of her one “slight” regret.  Madame LaLaurie is having dinner with her husband and their slave, Sally, is serving the food.  LaLaurie comments that she heard Sally had a baby boy with a complexion as fair as cream.  Sally smiles and nods as LaLaurie’s husband caresses Sally’s behind.  LaLaurie smiles as well, telling Sally that kitchen work is too difficult for a new mother and instead would like to help her with her nightly ablutions now that Boquita is indisposed.  Sally’s face lights up, but LaLaurie’s husband knows what will happen.  That night, Sally watches LaLaurie at her dressing table.  LaLaurie tells her to guess what the secret ingredient is.  Blood, Sally guesses, judging by the look of it.  It’s not just any blood though; LaLaurie tells her it’s from a baby boy.  “Youth begets youth,” she adds as Sally clutches her stomach.  The next day they found that Sally had thrown herself off the balcony.

Back in the present, Delphine says that they buried Sally with her baby.  “It was the right thing to do,” she adds.  Queenie doesn’t think Delphine is capable of knowing what’s right.  Delphine tries to explain that she couldn’t allow a “half-breed” running around their house, and it was a different time and a different world back then.  She’s trying to learn, and she’s grateful for having a true friend like Queenie to help guide her through this new life.

Fiona is popping pills in her bathroom when she sees another clump of hair.  She grabs a hair trimmer and is about to shave her head when she hears the sound of a saxophone.  She drops the trimmer and picks up her cigarette.  Fiona might still be in a drugged stupor, but she knows what she wants.

Zoe is taking a shower to rinse the blood from her hands.  When she’s done, she opens the shower curtain to find Madison there waiting for her.  Madison asks what she’s been up to, but she doesn’t seem to suspect that Zoe killed Spalding.  Madison is more interested in finding out what Zoe thought about seeing her doing the deed with Kyle.  Since he’s already dead, “the thing between your legs” won’t kill him, Madison points out, thought she says that being with him is the first time she’s felt anything since she’s come back, and as such she won’t be giving him up.  Zoe asks if that means they will share him.  Madison has other ideas.  She leads Zoe into the bedroom, still wrapped in her towel, and they find Kyle sitting on the bed with his shirt open.  Madison sits beside him and kisses him, and then they both offer their hands to Zoe.  She gets closer as the camera pans under the bed, where we see her towel fall to the floor.

The Axeman finishes a set in the club.  He goes to the back to put his sax away and then he sees Fiona sitting in the vestibule waiting for him.  “Can I buy you a drink?” she asks.  He doffs his hat to her and smiles broadly.

Queenie takes Delphine (who is wearing a tacky bedazzled tiger sweatshirt that rivals the yellow sweat suit that Pam wore on True Blood in Season 5) through the Ninth Ward on their way to get Delphine’s hair done.  Delphine admits being nervous about changing her hairstyle, but Queenie points out that she’s had the same bad hair for over a hundred years.  They enter the darkened salon and Delphine looks at the wigs with excitement.  “Madame Delphine LaLaurie,” comes Marie Laveau’s voice.  Delphine’s eyes widen at the sound of her voice.  Queenie is standing beside Marie Laveau.  When Delphine tells Queenie that she doesn’t know what Marie Laveau has done or is capable of, Queenie laughs.  “That’s why I brought you here, you dumb bitch.”  They lock Delphine in a coffin-shaped cage, and while she screams, Marie Laveau tells Queenie that she forgot to do her own beauty treatment.  She offers the knife to Queenie, and for a moment you wonder if Queenie will go through with it.  We never truly know, but in the final scene Marie Laveau sits in front of her mirror and brushes blood all over her face.  “Beautiful,” she says.

Tonight’s episode had a lot going on, and we’re clearly heading in a particular direction given that Queenie has switched sides, Fiona is dating a psychotic ax-wielding spirit capable of taking out her enemies, and Hank is sitting on top of a cache of weapons for use in destroying the coven.

After the end of the episode I was left thinking about the juxtaposition of Madame LaLaurie and Marie Laveau.  It is absolutely undeniable that LaLaurie committed atrocious acts of violence against innocent people, but Marie Laveau is no saint either.  Neither is Fiona, who has no qualms about killing, and neither are Zoe and Madison.  Madison never pulled any punches about murder, but now it seems like Zoe has crossed the line and isn’t looking back. She knew Spalding didn’t kill Madison but she kills him anyway.  It makes me wonder who you can root for in a show like this.  It also brings up a dilemma I’ve been pondering since last week’s episode of The Walking Dead (I won’t go into details in case you missed that episode).  Can people change?  What has to happen in order to atone for the sins of the past?  With Marie Laveau and Delphine LaLaurie you have two characters who have lived for centuries and who both have a lot of blood on their hands.  At what point can they be viewed as sympathetic characters?  I have no answers tonight, only questions.

As always, leave your comments and thoughts below!

American Horror Story Coven Recap S3E6: The Axeman Cometh

American Horror Story Coven, S3E6: The Axeman Cometh

Original Airdate: November 13, 2013

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


New Orleans, 1919.  A man with a husky voice tells the story of terrorizing New Orleans.  He’s known as the Axeman.  He sits at a typewriter and tells of the nefarious things he has done and the plans he has for the future.  He is composing a letter to the local paper telling citizens that the following Tuesday he requests that ever house has a full jazz ensemble playing.  The house that isn’t following his instructions will be at risk of being his next victim.

Miss Robichaux’s school is full of young women who are gathered in the sitting room reading the Axeman’s letter in the paper.  By next Tuesday, they wager, no band will be available.  Will the Victorola suffice?  The headmistress stands up and proclaims that the coven has yet to believe in the power they possess.  All of the girls are dressed in plain and demure dresses, fitting for proper young women.  But they are descendants of Salem, the headmistress insists, and they are also Suffragettes.  They have power and it’s time to use it to help their city.

Tuesday arrives and the Axeman finishes playing his saxophone at a local club.  One of the waitresses asks him to escort her home in fear that she might be attacked, but the Axeman assures her that she’s safe because she has “jazz in her soul.”  His axe is hidden in a secret compartment in his sax case, but she doesn’t know that.  As he walks home through the Garden District, he hears jazz all around him and it makes him smile.  When he passes Miss Robichaux’s, however, he hears opera.  This makes the house his target.  He enters the house with his axe in hand, and he goes up the grand staircase to the room where the music is playing.  There he finds the headmistress sitting in the center of the floor in a black cloak, a deck of tarot cards in front of her.  The Axeman approaches and turns the music off.  She pulls another card from the deck and it’s Death.  He raises the axe, but she blows out the candle and vanishes, reappearing behind him.  “That reading was for you,” she says, and she stabs him.  Blood spurts out and the rest of the coven hurries out from their hiding spots to stab him.  The Axeman collapses on the floor in a pool of blood, surrounded by the young witches in black cloaks.

Zoe is in Madison’s room going through her personal belongings.  She finds her sunglasses, a flask, a gun…and a small liquor bottle that rolls across the floor to the closet.  Zoe follows it and finds a secret panel behind her clothes.  Inside is a crawlspace full of dusty stuff.  Pictures, boxes, bags, and a spirit board that looks to predate the Ouija Board by fifty years.

Later on, Zoe shares the photos with Queenie and Nan.  She points out that the number of people in the pictures is declining, and that’s because witches have been dying off for a century, and now there are only three and none of the people in charge seem to be doing anything about it.  They need to watch each other’s backs.  She pulls a bottle of absinthe from the cupboard.  Nan drinks it down enthusiastically while Queenie hesitates, wondering if she can trust two sorority sisters to watch her back.  She thinks they should go to Fiona, but Zoe points out that Fiona just killed a witch.  Queenie drinks it down.

Zoe gathers the girls around the spirit board that she found.  Queenie tells Zoe that the boards work two ways, contacting and releasing spirits.  Her grandmother thought it was cool until she released a spirit who burned down her house and burned half of her face.  Zoe tells her to “witch up” so that they can find Madison.  The three girls place their fingers on the shot glass.

“Are we alone?” No.

“Did you die here?” Yes.

“Were you murdered?” Yes.

“Who killed you?” The shot glass moves around the board.  You did.

Is it Madison? No, the board says.  When asked, it spells out “Axeman.”

Queenie commands everything to stop.  She slams the shot glass on the ground and blows out the candle, warning Zoe that if she wants to survive, she needs to know who she’s talking to.

Fiona is in the hospital, but she’s the patient.  She’s receiving a chemotherapy treatment.  As she sits in the chair, she starts to hear the thoughts of people around her.  She’s never had that gift before.  A man wants to blow his sick time in Vegas.  A woman frets that she won’t live to see her daughter walk down the aisle.  Fiona can’t stand the sound of their thoughts anymore and she rips the IV from her arm.  A doctor appears and tells her that she’s not done yet.  When she tells him it’s too noisy in the quiet room, he tells her that she can have a sedative.  He leads her back to the chair and hooks her up again.  She tells him that she wants another great love affair.  Can she do that?  He assures that she can, given that his mother just met someone on eHarmony.  After he leaves her, Fiona looks across at the woman who was thinking about her daughter’s wedding.  You’re going to make it, she says, so buy a dress and “blow the bank on it.”

The trio of young witches is doing research on the Axeman.  According to one of many of his fan sites, he killed 8 people.  And an axe is a nickname for a saxophone.  Did he kill because he didn’t have enough fans?  Nan finds a picture of Miss Robichaux’s class of 1919.  Witches killed the Axeman, they realize.  Zoe wants to use the board to find out about Madison, but Queenie draws the line.  It’s too dangerous.  Nan agrees.  That leaves Zoe to find out on her own.

Zoe returns to the board and tells the Axeman’s spirit that she will grant him his release if he tells her where Madison is.  Attic is his response.  Zoe goes up to the attic and is immediately confronted by the stench.  Spalding has lit lots of incense but it’s not helping.  She looks around the room at the dolls and tea sets, and then she sees the huge chest.  When she bends down to open it, she doesn’t see Spalding standing behind her.  She opens the chest and sees Madison’s decomposing body.  She covers her mouth but doesn’t have time to react as Spalding grabs her from behind.

Cordelia returns to the school with Hank.  She has a cane and dark glasses to cover her white, blind eyes.  Fiona is also in the room turning down her bed.  Hank tells his wife that she’s supposed to be resting, and when she touches his arm she sees the redhead he’d been screwing while he was away.  “Who is the redhead?” Cordelia demands.  Hank thinks she’s high, but Fiona is glad that her daughter can finally see the truth.  In a twist of cosmic irony, Cordelia had to go blind to finally see what was going on.  She vows that her husband will pay for his betrayal.    Evidently she hasn’t seen the part where he kills the redhead.  She orders him out of the house, using her power to open and close the door when he leaves.  Fiona moves to help her change into her nightgown, telling her that the gift of sight is one of the greatest powers, and one of the hardest to live with.  As she helps her unbutton her blouse, Cordelia sees Myrtle burning at the stake.  Fiona hadn’t wanted to upset her further in the hospital, but Myrtle had to pay for what she did to Cordelia.  Fiona decides to give Cordelia some space.

Queenie announces that Fiona has left the house while Nan and Zoe finish tying Spalding to a chair.  They plan to interrogate him using Nan as the interpreter.  Zoe presses a heated spatula against his chest to drive home her point. She asks if he killed Madison, and he says yes.  When they call him sick, he says that he doesn’t have a problem with children.  It was an infatuation with Madison, and he had to have her.  He points out that there isn’t much they can do with him.  Queenie has had enough, and she takes the spatula to her own cheek and laughs as his skin burns and he passes out from the pain.  Zoe says they’re not going to kill him.  She isn’t convinced that he killed Madison, and after living with witches so long he’s probably learned a trick or two about keeping secrets.

In the bayou, Misty Day fills her watering can with swamp water for her herbs and plants…and the huge mound with a hand coming out of it.  She waters the mound, noting that it likes her swamp water.  When the hand tries to dig out, she tells it that it’s not time…yet.  She stands up and turns to see Kyle there.  He hugs her and she says he needs a bath.  Zombies don’t seem to like water, especially not Zombie Kyle, whose last memory of his mother begins with an ill-fated shower.  When Misty tries to wash his boy parts, he flips out.  She holds out the towel and it reminds him of his mother, which sends him into a naked frenzy.  Misty tells him to stop, but he’s beyond control.  He smashes a chair and several bottles, along with her prized radio.  “You broke Stevie,” Misty cries.  That’s when Zoe arrives.  Kyle runs to her and hugs her.  Zoe tells them that she’s taking them both out of there.  And she needs Misty’s help.

Marie Laveau is about to leave the salon for the day when Hank shows up.  “We have a problem,” he says, going inside.

Zoe takes Misty and Kyle to Cordelia’s conservatory.  While chaining Kyle to the wall, Misty tells her that Kyle loves her and they’re meant to be together. Not likely, given that he killed his mother, she replies.  They focus their attention on Madison’s body.  Misty offers to help dig a hole for the girl, saying she’s been dead too long.  She doesn’t even have an arm.  Zoe has the arm and can stitch it on, but Misty is not impressed with Zoe’s sewing skills and chooses to use her swamp mud.  She tries to bring Madison back but there’s too much death inside of her, so Zoe pushes on her stomach while Misty works.  Suddenly Madison starts choking, and a large bug and mouthfuls of blood come forth from her mouth.  She sits up and looks at them.  “I need a cigarette,” she says.

Marie Laveau tells Hank he took a huge risk showing up at the salon.  He tells her that Cordelia has acquired a new power of sight and she can see things.  Marie says she hired him six years ago to keep track and destroy the coven, and instead he’s there playing house.  He argues that he brought down five of the nine witches that Cordelia found.  We see a flashback of redheaded Kayley visiting with Cordelia.  The last time we saw her, Hank killed her.  Evidently, though, she had been taken to Miss Robichaux’s earlier because of her record of arson.  Through her flashback we see that she argued with her boyfriend who was leaving her because she made his friends uncomfortable and his mother warned him that bad things would happen if he stayed with her.  His mother was right—as he goes to the door, he catches on fire.  Cordelia thinks Kayley will be better off surrounded by people who can help nurture her power, but Kayley doesn’t want to be powerful.  Now we know how Hank found her.  Marie says that she hired a witch hunter and instead the witches have grown bolder, showing up on her doorstep.  Fiona killed her beloved Bastien and unearthed her enemy from her eternal slumber.  Marie Laveau is tired of playing games.  She tells Hank to bring her the heads of everyone in the coven if he wants to live.

Misty goes through the fridge while the trio of young witches figures out what to do with her.  They have to keep Madison and Kyle from Fiona for now.  Misty won’t take Kyle home with her because he’s a “tornado.”  He’s Zoe’s problem now.  After filling her bag with food, she’s ready to go home.  Zoe offers her a bed for the night, but Misty doesn’t want to sleep there.  Though she’s looking for her “tribe,” this isn’t it.  The house has some bad vibes.  The girls look at each other in concern.

Upstairs, Cordelia locks her door and finds her way to her bed.  She fishes her pills out from the drawer and takes them.  When she pulls off her robe, the camera pulls back to show the Axeman seated on her couch.  “I’ve always hated this room,” he remarks.

Zoe offers Madison some ginger ale, but it doesn’t sit well with her dead stomach and she throws it up.  They have her dressed in a sweater with a scarf to cover her neck.  She knows who she is but can’t remember how she died.  All she can remember is the color red.

The Axeman stalks Cordelia, who can see him with the second sight she has.  He wants to be released.  He had been killed in that room by a bunch of witches, and then he was forced to stay there as the decades passed and the music played on around him.  But that room was always silent.  Then a young witch comes along and promises to release him for a favor, but she lied.  Now he wants Cordelia to call the witch to her room so that he can kill her.  Cordelia screams, which alerts the other girls.  They rush to her room and quickly realize that the Axeman is inside.  Zoe hurries downstairs to the bookshelf, looking for a spell to return the Axeman to the spirit world.  She uses her powers to find the right spell book, and she opens it to the right page.  Coincidence?  I think not.  They all join hands as Zoe reads the spell.  All of the candles light up.  After the spell is finished, they hurry up to find Cordelia huddled under a table screaming.  Cordelia feels Nan’s face and realizes that she’s safe.  Outside, the Axeman walks down the walkway and out onto the sidewalk.  He’s free.

Fiona is at the bar with her friend the martini.  She runs her hand through her hair and a clump of hair falls out from the chemo.  Her hands tremble as she hides the hair from the people around her.  Just then, a man sidles up in the seat beside her.  It’s the Axeman.  They smile at each other and he asks what she’s drinking.  Could this be the love affair she was hoping for?

So ends another episode of AHS Coven.  After several episodes, Kyle has returned, Madison has been resurrected, and Myrtle is germinating.  Hank is weeding out the coven for Marie Laveau.  Spalding is willing to suffer torture to protect Fiona’s secrets.  Misty doesn’t believe that the witches at Miss Robichaux’s school are her “tribe.”  And the Axeman is loose.

There’s a lot going on this season, and if you blink you might miss something.  You also can’t watch too closely lest you start to see that there are so many things going on, some of the characters just disappear without explanation.  For example, where the hell did Kyle go, and how could Zoe just stop looking for him?

At any rate, the tension is building in New Orleans.  What did you think of tonight’s episode?  Leave your comments below!

American Horror Story Coven Recap S3E5: Burn Witch. Burn.

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….

Be sure to leave your comments below!