Tag Archive for American Horror Story Coven

American Horror Story: Coven Recap: “Go To Hell” and “The Seven Wonders” (Season 3, Episode 12 and 13)

I went to Florida for a wedding, then found myself wrapped up in other media blitzes: the Golden Globes and subsequent Woody Allen scandal (which, sorry, I’m not touching with a 10-foot pole); the Super Bowl and the “controversial” Coke commercial; and finally, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death. In all that cray, I got woefully behind on my American Horror Story recaps. Oh well. There are far more important things.

This series always seems to flounder a bit mid-season, then speed to a feverish velocity of weird before leaping over an abrupt edge in the final episodes. Hell, up until episode 11 the writers were still introducing integral new information. In “Go to Hell,” we finally learn what the Seven Wonders entail. Before the credits roll, the episode dives headfirst into a flickering silent film behind which Chopin’s Nocturne in E flat major plays softly. (This reminded me very strongly of Waltz in A flat major, which, because it featured prominently in Welcome to the Dollhouse, added an extra layer of weirdness for me). ANYWAY. The film depicts Salem-era witches undergoing a theatrical version of the test of the Seven Wonders, thus explaining succinctly to the audience what we’re in for.

"You walked into the wrong house." Photo courtesy Michele K. Short/FX.

“You walked into the wrong house.” Photo courtesy Michele K. Short/FX.

“Go to Hell” gives Gabourey Sidibe the chance to shine (and yeah, I realize she’s hidden in the above photo – sigh); Queenie defies Fiona and gets a small comeuppance, and in her search for Marie LaVeau she gets to take care of Delphine LaLaurie once and for all. Delphine had apparently murdered the tour guide at her old home and whisked Marie into her attic torture chamber to show her who’s really boss. Delphine underestimates Queenie, of course – black people, man! – and Queenie kills her for good. Honestly, I don’t remember why Queenie was able to kill an immortal; does it matter? Unfortunately, the amazing Sidibe either gave up the ghost as a result of the terrible writing, or she’s just no match for Lange and Bassett’s scenery-chewing. At one point she mutters, “You’re Papa Legba. You live in a chicken shack?” and her deadpan voice and total lack of expression reveal she’s pretty grossed out she has to recite these lines. Read more

American Horror Story: Coven Recap: “The Sacred Taking” (Season 3, Episode 8)

I adore horror for its silliness, its ability to play in and thwart social mores, its ability to push the limits, to make us feel. So obviously I’ve been watching American Horror Story since the beginning. The first season focused on a haunted house that contained a family full of terrible people, and it dabbled in particularly grotesque sexual horror. The second season, Asylum, was…well (she says, frowning and sipping her coffee because she actually can’t think of a word), completely screwy. There were Nazis, mental patients, lesbians, aliens, important interracial relationships, oppression, hilariously reductive political and social commentary, demons, angels of death…oh right, and a pinhead. And a musical interlude:

Season three is, at the very least, more cohesive. I’ve always been a sucker for movies and TV set in New Orleans, and I love me some witches. So far this season, we’ve had possible vagina dentata, a Frankenstein’s monster boyfriend, multiple instances of necrophilia (one a Ménage à trois and maybe questionable, since the dead aren’t really dead?), incest, an axe murderer ghost dude, a woman who literally rips apart black people because they’re black, multiple witch-burnings, and an acid mutilation. And yet, it almost feels tame in comparison to last season.

Gabourey Sidibe

You ever seen voodoo, bitch?

In the opening of last night’s episode, “The Sacred Taking,” Queenie (the wonderful Gabby Sidibe) wanders through some hellhole under the highway where trolls should dwell, where homeless sleep and rats squeal. Some dude threatens to carve her up into big thick slices and pound what’s left, so she takes him out with a rusty nail stuck in a board.

Zoe (Taissa Farmiga, a returning cast member from season one) and undead movie star Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) followed Queenie. Ostensibly they’re here to beg her back to the coven after she left in favor of Marie LaVeau (Angela Bassett), who assured Queenie those white bitches aren’t your friends. When Zoe indicates she (Zoe) might be the next Supreme, Queenie retorts, “War is coming, and you’re gonna lose.” Throughout this interaction, Queenie is ripping the man’s beating heart from his chest – apparently he is a rapist, though how she knows this is anyone’s guess – and grasping it in her hand, its gentle pumps squishing between her fingers. And here we are at the credits. How do you know it’s American Horror Story? It makes you feel creepy crawly in the first two minutes. Read more