Tag Archive for American Horror Story recap

American Horror Story: Coven Recap: “Protect the Coven” (Season 3, Episode 11)

With only a few storytelling hours left to go before Coven wraps up, the writers are (as in every season, apparently) throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. Wednesday’s episode brought Queenie and Delphine back into the mix (of course); it also supposedly conquered the “Big Bad” while re-introducing a minor villain. It didn’t bother tackling Misty Day – even Myrtle and Fiona, who were pretty convinced Misty is the new Supreme, didn’t bat an eye toward the fact that she disappeared suddenly, and that known scheming trollop Madison Montgomery was the last person to see her. My notes for this episode are all over the place because the showrunners are cruising us through important scenes so quickly your head’ll spin. Further, I’m pretty sure Murphy is playing around in Greek mythology (see below). Join me for this week’s batshittery!

Kathy Bates as Delphine LaLaurie

Delphine? Shady? NEVER. Photo courtesy Michele K. Short/FX.

In the opening scene, we for some reason enter Delphine LaLaurie’s head; her narration provides the main plot thread through the episode. Aside from giving Bates more screen time (I’m in favor, obviously), there seems to be little reason for this. It’s enough to know she’s an evil, torturing racist. We don’t need the back story. Delphine, the product of “two prominent members of Parisian society,” is forced to move to New Orleans, “this shithole,” in 1830, during the halcyon years of ham-hock sleeves and black people as property. When her daughter, well, chickens out on slaughtering a chicken (sorry), a grouchy Delphine discovers she has a taste for blood. After she chops off the rooster’s head, she fingers the arterial spray lovingly, her eyes going distant. Murphy then cuts straight to an injured slave screaming in the attic, blood spurting from his knee. Delphine obviously knocks him over the head and tortures him brutally, muttering that perhaps she’ll like it here after all.

Back in the present day the witches, dressed in their best black, proceed to one of New Orleans’s gorgeous cemetaries to pay their last respects to Nan, “who fell in the tub,” Fiona says nonchalantly. “Amen,” agrees Marie with a shrug. Myrtle and Cordelia murmur about Misty’s mysterious whereabouts, and Madison assures them transparently that they shouldn’t bother. Meanwhile, Misty’s probably trapped in a tomb a few hundred feet away. The cemetary provides a brilliant backdrop to all this murderous jockeying for first place. I mean, let’s recap for all the witches present in this scene: Fiona slashed Madison’s throat, Misty brought Madison back, Madison “killed” Misty; Marie tried to kill them all, and then Marie helped Fiona kill Nan. Delphine murdered Marie’s lover, and Marie cursed and then cut off Delphine’s head and hand. Queenie put Delphine back together (her talents are indeed getting stronger, as there are no scars), and Delphine wants nothing more than to murder black people. Oh right, and Fiona murdered Myrtle (whom Misty reanimated). Am I missing anyone? Basically, shit is cray, and you all are idiots. Read more

American Horror Story: Coven Recap: “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks” (Season 3, Episode 10)

Ryan Murphy, that scamp, amped us up for Stevie Nicks’ appearance on American Horror Story: Coven before leaving us hanging over the the holidays. I know your holidays consisted of Cards Against Humanity with Mom and Dad and lively discussion of the Coven’s rising Supreme. (Fact: Mine only contained one of those things, and I’ll let you guess which.)

In Wednesday’s mid-season “premiere,” Murphy delivered on Nicks, prepped us for the finale by “killing off” a few of the coven’s members, and united our warring factions of witches. The episode was one of the most coherent, least insane this season – and on the whole this season has been pretty tame compared to last. Murphy and the writers are zoned in on the goal, and they’re not slowing down for anything. (They are, however, still popping in random new info and plotlines for funsies. It wouldn’t be AHS without that.)

Marie LaVeau

Do not fuck with Marie LaVeau. Photo courtesy Frank Ockenfels/FX.

After Hank gunned down all of the voodoo witches (including Queenie, but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her), Marie found herself on Fiona’s doorstep. As she sips a cup of tea heavily laced with Fiona’s whiskey, she admits she’s ashamed, but not about her coven’s violent deaths: “I’m over 300 years old…I taught myself long ago not to waste tears for the dead.” No, she’s ashamed she didn’t recognize their common enemy or respond to Fiona’s pleas for a truce. The writers had rollicking fun pitting the witches against one another, but as Marie tells Fiona with thinly veiled contempt, “It’s a relief to have found an equal, even if that person come in the guise of an enemy.” After Marie beds down for the night, the voodoo loa Papa Legba pays her a visit, warning her she must pay her debt. “The bargain was made long ago,” he intones. Marie climbs out of bed, grousing about how it’s been a long day, and pays a visit to a hospital nursery to steal a brown baby. In her wake she leaves an enchanted nurse and two dead officers.

In the bright morning light, Marie explains to Fiona and Cordelia the deal between her and Hank. Fiona rejects not Marie, but her daughter, sneering that she was not only blind, but willfully blind to marry a witch-hunter. Fiona knows about the “ancient order of men” who kill witches, “black or white.” The enemy is always men, always the patriarchy, in this show. It’d be perfect (and hell, let’s be honest, it’s often true – and particularly in the case of historical witchcraft) if the dialogue weren’t quite so transparent. Which begs the question: why couldn’t Fiona see through Hank? Is it, perhaps, because she’s a pretty lousy Supreme?

Lily Rabe as Misty Day with Stevie Nicks as herself.

Witches, all of them witches. Photo courtesy Michele K. Short/FX.

After she lights a cigarette to calm her nerves, Fiona visits Misty, who’s in a pretty new black dress, twirling in a shawl a la her songstress idol. She’s anxious to show Fiona she’s not stupid, she can’t be easily fooled – or killed. Tricksy Fiona tells her that the title of Supreme is “a skeleton key to anything you wish for in the world.” She then introduces Misty to an old friend. “She’s a white witch, and try as I may, I cannot get her to play in the shadows with me.” Of course, Nicks herself appears, looking every bit the older version of Lily Rabe. Misty faints dead away. “You owe me five bucks!” Fiona cries, kissing Stevie on the cheek. “I told you she was gonna do that.” 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