American Horror Story | Film and TV | Kathy Bates | Ryan Murphy | Television

'American Horror Story: Coven' Recap - 'Boy Parts' [Spoilers]


One of the most exciting elements of American Horror Story: Coven is the incredible cast. More specifically, it's the opportunity for the heavy-hitting lead females to clash in spectacularly fabulous fashion. The second episode, titled "Boy Parts," definitely delivered on that promise. 

We got to see Angela Bassett go toe-to-toe with Kathy Bates; Bates face a menacing Jessica Lange; and, most deliciously, Lange and Bassett throw epic, epic shade.

See how it all went down, AFTER THE JUMP ...

It's morning meeting time at Miss Robichaux's Academy For Exceptional Young Ladies, but new student Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) isn't exactly feeling very focused. She's troubled over all the mass murdering she and actress-turned-witch Madison (Emma Roberts) did in last week's episode. (If you missed it, catch up with our recap!) Madison tries to convince her that their victims had it coming; even Kyle (Evan Peters), who's guilty by association with his fraternity brothers.

Unfortunately, that kind of thinking is going to be a tough sell for local law enforcement who are having a hard time accepting that not only did a bus seemingly take a random tumble down the street, but then one of the survivors coincidentally died under the very same mysterious circumstances as another boy with connections to the new girl in town.

So, in walks the fuzz, and it doesn't take much for Zoe to fold faster than a greased accordion. She starts shrieking about the witches and the rape and all of the murder. But before the police can round up the lousy lot of them, Fiona Goode (Lange) appears.

"Are you in charge here?" one of the officers asks. "I'm in charge everywhere," Fiona replies, as I snap wildly on my couch because Jessica Lange is the very best.

She uses some witch trick to make the cops forget about Zoe and Madison and swiftly admonishes the girls (and she does that fun trick where she throws them into the walls, which seems like her go-to classroom management technique). Zoe tries to defend herself, claiming that the cops knew too much, but Fiona is not having it. "I couldn't toast a piece of a bread with the heat they were putting on you!" Fiona retorts.

After that lashing, Madison arranges a relaxing get away to the local morgue. You know, just a fun girls day to get some air, have some laughs, raise the dead. The usual. To thank Zoe for killing her rapist, Madison is going to bring the boy Zoe liked back to life. The only problem is that Zoe's crush, Kyle, is not exactly in one piece.

So the girls embark on the grossest Etsy project of all time and begin sewing together the best frat boy parts. Once they've completed their "perfect boyfriend," they attempt a resurrection spell. Despite all the whizbang their magic kicks up, Kyle's still a corpse. Madison heads out, and, once another car pulls up, abandons Zoe inside. Once the man from the car finds Zoe and all her magical accoutrements lying about, it appears the jig is up. Until suddenly Kyle sits up and begins beating on the man.

Apparently, he finished him off, because the next thing we see of them is Kyle stumbling all Frankenstein-y out in the man's clothes while Zoe drives them off in his car. It's not until they're well on their way home that presumed-murdered witch Misty Day (Lily Rabe) sits up from the backseat and directs them back to her home. Turns out, she's not dead. Well, at least not anymore.

AHS_0016As predicted, Misty's ability to bring the dead back to life came in awfully handy when she was killed. Since then she's been chilling out by the bayou, reanimating crocodiles so they can eat their hunters and rocking out to some Stevie Nicks. She felt Zoe summon her, and is willing to help heal up Kyle (and share in some weird sexual tension with Zoe as Rhiannon plays). He'll be good as new the next time Zoe comes to visit.

Zoe's not the only one with relationship issues, it would seem. Headmistress Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) is having fertility problems. Her husband suggests that she just wriggle her nose or whatever to use her magic hoodoo powers and conjure up a baby. Cordelia initially protests, but it's not long before their having ritualistic relations replete with spooky blackout eyes, circles of fire and writhing snakes.

When she's not busy obstructing justice, Fiona has got Madame LaLaurie (Bates) all tied up in her room. She's grilling her about how she's stayed so alive despite being very much buried in an unmarked grave for some 180 odd years. "The black devil," LaLaurie replies. You see, that mysterious vial LaLaurie so eagerly accepted from Marie Laveau (Bassett) when she showed up unannounced at her door did not poison her. Instead, it just knocked her out. When she awoke, Laveau called her outside to find her husband and daughters hanged. Then, Laveau informed her that she's been cursed with eternal life, which she will now spend in a box underground all alone.

Armed with the knowledge that it was Laveau who gave LaLaurie her everlasting life, Fiona deduces Laveau may still be around as well. Turns out she's running a small salon in the Ninth Ward. They exchange a tense tête-à-tête about the roots of the Salem witches being traced back to Tituba. However, when Fiona makes her request, Laveau laughs off the possibility of ever helping her. With that, Fiona sets a few human hair wigs ("more precious than gold") on fire and leaves with one last bon mot: "It's nice to see you're doing so well after all these years. Maybe in another century you could have two shithole salons."

While Fiona is away roasting wigs and trading barbs with Laveau, clairvoyant student Nan (Jamie Brewer) has had enough of LaLaurie's loud thoughts. She finds and frees LaLaurie, who quickly makes her escape after knocking out Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe).

Of course, missing out on the last hundred or so years has left LaLaurie ill-equipped to deal with modern society, so she doesn't get far. Fiona finds her on a bench outside her old mansion, now a museum of horrors. "I was a woman of my time," LaLaurie reasons. "That is a crock of shit," Fiona retorts. "You've got a mean streak wider than your backside, or a sickness of your mind. Either way, if ten of the hundreds of things I have read about you are true, then you deserved every minute down there under all that dirt."

The dirt might have been a better option, considering what Laveau has planned. As Fiona and LaLaurie make their way back home, Laveau unshackles her minotaur and tells him he wouldn't believe who's back.

I'm not entirely clear how LaLaurie turned a slave prisoner into a minotaur just by putting a hollowed-out bull's skull on his head without any magical powers (or, alternatively, why Laveau would use her powers to transform her lover into a minotaur). This may be revealed later, or it could be another instance of Ryan Murphy's storytelling getting a little sloppy. Also, Fiona never told Laveau that she dug up LaLaurie, so I'm not sure how Laveau knows who's back herself. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief and assume Laveau "sensed" it or used her magic to figure it out.

Next week: Patti LuPone gets in the mix!

What did you think of the second episode of American Horror Story: Coven?

(American Horror Story: Coven airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern on FX.)

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  1. And jesus Patti Lupone shows up in the scenes from next week's episode. My head is still spinning with delight.

    Posted by: Jersey | Oct 17, 2013 8:32:41 AM

  2. I read that Jessica Lange roomed with Jeri Hall and Grace Jones in Paris in their early modeling days. Can you imagine how awesome that would be?

    Posted by: Jersey | Oct 17, 2013 8:38:24 AM

  3. Patti LuPone and Jessica Lange in the same show!

    Posted by: Matt27 | Oct 17, 2013 8:47:14 AM

  4. I'm liking it, but this season seems a lot tamer and more slow than season 1. (I haven't seen season 2 yet.) Compared to season 1 there doesn't seem to be much emotion. One minute Taissa Farmiga is horrified at the dead bodies in the morgue, next she's bebopping around like a Starbucks barista at a Build-A-Bear store, helping put together her new DIY boyfriend. And it's that way with all the characters. They don't really seem to react to anything or really feel much.

    To me at least, true "horror" is an intimate thing, entirely different than being grossed out by gore. Take the Dead Boyfriend for instance. This is firmly in Frankenstein territory but AHS is skipping entirely the moral horror of reanimating the dead. In one scene of the Christopher Isherwood-penned Frankenstein the Dr.'s fiancee Elizabeth is menaced by a reanimated butterfly which had previously been mounted in a frame. It's not some super-duper butterfly that could do her any harm; she could crush it in her fist as she could do any insect. Her horror of it is all moral revulsion at what is not supposed to be, a dead thing reanimated, its natural life force replaced by something man-made. (If you get a chance, see Frankenstein: The True Story. It's awesome and has a really great gay subtext.)

    But on AHS you don't have time to be horrified by anything because it's too busy jumping to the next thing. "I know, lets sew some corpses into a really hot boyfriend!" the BOOM it's done, without any pause to think "Eww, how icky is it that I'm playing mix-and-match with dead body parts?!" much less "Uh, maybe the dead should stay dead. You know, this never works out so well in movies."

    The camp aspect is fun, but IMO this season could use some male leads who do something other than grunt or get slaughtered.

    Posted by: Caliban | Oct 17, 2013 10:12:38 AM

  5. I like everything about the show so far except two things: 1) I'm not a fan of the toxic vagina storyline 2) The Frankenboy story...ugh. On the plus, Kathy Bates has been INCREDIBLE. Jessica Lange ON FIRE. I'm VERY interested in magic used for fertility story...can't wait to see where this goes.

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 17, 2013 11:05:47 AM

  6. I got the sense that Angela was talking about Jessica being the one who's "back", since she's obviously semi-immortal herself and the grand witch who just returned to town. Could be wrong tho.

    Posted by: Joe M | Oct 17, 2013 11:57:37 AM

  7. Caliban, season two has all the relentless insanity of season one, but it's a much more interesting watch. There are actually protagonists to root for (the family from season one was *awful*).

    Posted by: Mikey | Oct 17, 2013 12:46:50 PM

  8. I'm loving it so far, but then again - I could breathe Jessica Lange and survive just fine. That said, so far Fiona seems awfully close to the character she played in Season 1; whereas Sister Jude was a horse of an entirely different color.

    The show isn't scary. And that's a shame. Really hasn't been since the early episodes of Season 2. I'm really enjoying it, but I'd also like to be frightened by, ya know, "American Horror Story."

    Posted by: Zlick | Oct 17, 2013 1:04:01 PM

  9. IMHO...BEST DAMN SHOW out there right now.

    Posted by: Mark Alexander | Oct 17, 2013 2:22:32 PM

  10. I am thoroughly enjoying the new season, but I do have to say they never would have had this issue with the police in New Orleans. First, they wouldn't have investigated the accident any further if there hadn't been any physical evidence of sabotage, and second, even if they did, they just aren't competent enough to investigate that thoroughly. Two friends of mine, in two separate instances, were murdered in NOLA after Katrina, and never have they found anything or anyone to convict. They are clueless...only about 22 percent of crimes get solved in that city. Everything else in this show I can suspend my disbelief, but this? The police coming to the school searching for murderers. NO WAY.

    Posted by: Critifur | Oct 17, 2013 2:48:13 PM

  11. @Caliban: you might want to skip this season if you're looking for relevant male leads. From what Murphy has said, it's gonna be "girl power" so the only male leads we'll have are probably Frakenfrat, minatour dude and the upcoming axeman

    Posted by: Bryan | Oct 17, 2013 5:53:29 PM

  12. I didn't think the second ep was as good as the first, and I'm a raving fanboy. Maybe because I was so impressed with the first episode's cinematography and this one wasn't quite as big on that. This is an incredibly artfully shot show and tells a lot of story and gives great subtext with visuals.

    Bates and Lange are burning up the screen. Patti LuPone looks like she's going to be absolutely amazing as well. I'm looking forward to more catharsis by witches giving fundamentalist christians their comeuppance

    Posted by: MaddM@ | Oct 17, 2013 7:12:49 PM

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