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'American Horror Story: Coven' RECAP - 'Burn, Witch. Burn!' [Spoilers]

AHS_0756

One could argue that Ryan Murphy has a lot in common with Lady Gaga. For example, both of them are better when they stick to keeping it fun and not getting wrapped up in overindulgent symbolism. Tonight's episode may have beat viewers over the head with a bit of mother-daughter drama, but it was also uncharacteristically cohesive. This season's many storylines are staying masterfully woven together. It's a problem that plagued last year's messy Asylum installment. Glad to see the creative team is keeping things tight this time around.

Catch up on all the action and learn how to rid your lawn of pesky zombies, AFTER THE JUMP ...

AHS_0723We pick up right where we left off last week. It's Halloween and Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) has unleashed the undead right onto the doorstep of Miss Robichaux's Academy. Inside, Madame LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) is whipped into a panic over the sight of her three very dead daughters. It seems they have a bit of unfinished business.

Back in the day (1833, to be exact), LaLaurie was hosting a very fancy Halloween party. In a disgusting reversal of the ol' "fill a bowl with grapes and tell 'em it's eyeballs" gag, LaLaurie filled her chafing dishes with actual slave eyeballs and entrails and all kinds of nasty gobbledygook. The only problem was that LaLaurie's festive party games were scaring away all the girls' suitors. So the girls conspired to kill their wretched mother, but before they got the chance, LaLaurie caught wise to their little scheme and treated them to a bit of her signature brand of torment.

In the present, it would seem it's the daughters' turn to torment dear old mom. What follows is a series of terrible decisions by almost all everyone inside the academy. First, hunky (but not very bright) neighbor Luke (Alexander Dreymon) goes skipping out onto the lawn thinking this is just a prank by a bunch of neighborhood kids. Once he sees one of the zombie flock tear a passerby asunder, he's more than convinced. Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) is like "Everybody upstairs!" which is for sure never a good idea in any horror story She recommends Spalding (Denis O'Hare)'s room in the attic, but he's all no, nope, nuh-uh, no need to go to my creepy doll room where Madison (Emma Roberts) continues to decompose. So they settle on hiding out in Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe)'s room.

As they disperse, LaLaurie makes her way to the door. As she's unlocking it, Zoe reminds her that this, in fact, is a terrible idea and that those rotting corpses out there are not her daughters anymore. Now, let's go barricade ourselves upstairs without any exits, come with me if you want to live, etc.

Just as they're heading upstairs, Nan (Jamie Brewer) disappears, and it's like, damnit, Zoe, you had one job. Nan is racing outside to rescue Luke, but it's not long before they're overwhelmed. While Zoe works on a distraction, one of LaLaurie's daughters makes her way inside. Of course, it's LaLaurie who manages to kill her once and for all (with a fireplace poker through the heart, not the head, like on other zombie shows). It's her way to show a little mercy as an apology for a lifetime of cruelty because SYMBOLISM.

Outside, Nan and Luke draw the attention of the zombie horde before Zoe shows up with a chainsaw and hacks them all to bits. After Nan and Luke make their escape, the chainsaw runs of out gas. But! With a wave of her hand, Zoe dispatches the last zombie and sends a levitating Laveau crashing to the floor. A supremely cool more there, Zoe.

Back at the hospital, it appears Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) is blinded after being attacked by acid. Fiona (Jessica Lange) is devastated, and spends some time wandering the halls of the hospital in a drunken haze to cope. She stumbles into a room of a woman who recently gave birth to a stillborn daughter. Fiona forces her to hold her dead baby and talk to it on and on because clearly Fiona is projecting (and Ryan Murphy is ham-fisted). The young mom repeatedly tells the baby it's beautiful and she loves it. Then Fiona breathes a little magic life in the baby because SYMBOLISM.

When Delia's cruddy husband shows up, he has a small spat with Fiona, before she leaves the two of them alone. When he touches Cordelia's hand, she has a psychometric experience and sees glimpses into his dalliance from last week's episode. It's as if now that she's blind, she can finally see the truth. (SYMBOLISM!)

AHS_0107

The next day, while Fiona, Zoe and Nan burn up the zombie bodies, there's a surprise visit from the council. Between Madison's sudden disappearance, the zombie throng and Cordelia's acid attack, they're more than concerned. Just as they are poised to seize control of the coven, Fiona turns the tables. She accuses Myrtle of plotting all along to take her down. Fiona and Spalding caught Myrtle lying about hiding in town when Madison disappeared. She was staying in a hotel full of some Beautiful Mind-esque collages adorning the walls featuring pentagrams drawn all over pictures of the Supreme. And Fiona can prove it! Under those fabulous red gloves of hers, Myrtle's fingers are burned by the same acid used to attack her daughter!

Everyone agrees, Myrtle needs to suffer the punishment for attacking a fellow witch: Burning at the stake.

Off they go to set Myrtle ablaze, and, with a final flick of Fiona's cigarette, Myrtle goes up in smoke.

We later learn that Fiona used Queenie to frame Myrtle (though it remains unclear to me if she actually saw Myrtle in the cloak at the hospital). Queenie is feeling some regret about the whole ordeal, but Fiona placates her by telling her she is going to tutor her to realize her full potential. Then she dangles a little "Maybe you're the next Supreme" to keep Queenie interested … and in line.

Don't go feeling so bad for Myrtle just yet. Misty Day (Lily Rabe) just happens to be strolling along the isolated area where they burned Myrtle at the stake and lays her life-giving powers on her little charred head. Welcome back, Myrte!

What did you think of tonight's episode? 

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

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Comments

  1. Loved it! This is the best show on TV right now. The guy who plays Luke is REALLY cute. and the story here has really heated up (ha, ha). Misty Day now has an interesting new friend in Myrtle, but considering Zoe's recent spellcasting agains the zombie's I'm no longer so sure of my bet on her as the next Supreme. I really want to see more Lange vs. Bassett awesomeness! The problem with watching this show as it airs is that I have to wait a week to find out what happens NEXT!!

    Posted by: Lucas H | Nov 7, 2013 9:32:10 AM


  2. gorriest episode this season

    guessing zoe via her manifesting another ability being the next supreme.....though wished Nan to be the supreme in waiting but she isn't physically perfect per the rule they mentioned 1 episode

    Posted by: Moz's | Nov 7, 2013 10:11:18 AM


  3. Just one of the most amazing shows on television. The story telling is top notch and the acting is inspirational.

    I can't wait for the next episode.

    Posted by: Bobby | Nov 7, 2013 1:38:45 PM


  4. I am loving this series. Fiona is so casually evil, and poor Queenie was used as a pawn in her game.
    So, who is that shadowy figure who threw the acid an now lurks in the hospital.
    Touching scene with the dead baby coming back to life. Fiona's nicer side?
    Looks like we may have a winner in the next Supreme contest.

    Posted by: Rich | Nov 7, 2013 2:33:11 PM


  5. Totally cheesy, but I don't even care that Stevie Nicks shows up anytime the story calls for someone to be resurrected. I mean, she just happened to be walking through a rock quarry? really..? Who cares!

    Posted by: Biff | Nov 7, 2013 4:17:58 PM


  6. @BIFF: I don't think she just happens by, I think she can teleport! Seriously! Like when the girls put Kyle back together in the morgue, it looked like she was travelling through some weird magical path to get there. I kinda was thinking she might be the next Supreme, unless its Zoe, considering her new power(s?).
    Also, yeah, a couple points are cheesy... I just...don't overthink it (the chainsaw-weiling warrior Zoe, for instance???)

    Posted by: Lucas H | Nov 7, 2013 5:01:28 PM


  7. I loved the first season. But it baffles me that anyone is saying Coven is any good. It's total Camp - and not well done Camp. A high school student could have edited the Zombie sequence. Nothing original, witty or unexpected. There are some nice moments and it's definitely outrageous, but there is no art or quality here. Compared to the first season, it's such schlock. IMO of course.

    Posted by: Pt | Nov 7, 2013 6:32:43 PM


  8. I had the pleasure of working on AHS:C (I'm the fellow who waltzes the lovely redhead away in the opening of the episode,) and doing the scenes at the Lalaurie party was a lot of fun. We got to work with Kathy Bates during the shoot and she was a total pro throughout the evening. The one question we continue to ask is why they didn't use the actual Lalaurie Mansion in the Vieux Carre instead of a house three blocks away. We've seen a lot of commentary on social media decrying her storyline and the gory details of her experiments. It happened. When Nicholas Cage bought the house in the 90s they found bones in the walls reset at awkward angles and deeply scarred with knife marks. In reality, Dr. & Mme. Lalaurie escaped from their mansion with their manservant Bastien and made their way to France where she finally died.

    Posted by: Vatican Lokey | Nov 7, 2013 8:15:40 PM


  9. "and not well done Camp."

    LaLaurie: “Perhaps our shared tragedy will bring us closer together."

    Fiona: “I doubt it. After all, you are the maid.”

    I thought that there was well done Camp.

    However, a show like this requires a huge suspension of disbelief, but the disbelief that was hard for me to suspend was saying the structure of an eyeball could be intact, while the optic nerve, lying deep behind the eyeball, had been burned through by acid. That's just uninformed, unresearched writing.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Nov 13, 2013 9:47:29 AM


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