I was talking to a friend of mine about why he hates “American Horror Story: Coven,” given that he loved the first two seasons of “AHS.” “There’s no one to like this season,” he grumbled. “Everyone’s a jerk.” I’m not sure I completely agree with that (I can think of a few characters, like Delia and Misty, who aren’t all bad), but I get his point.
While I’m sure it was a conscious decision (eh, actually, I can never be sure of that with this show) to have the infighting amongst the witches be a far greater toxin to the coven than the coven’s sworn enemies, it has made many episodes frustrating and many more just plain ugly. Given that plenty of these gals seems to kill for reasons that are either selfish or stupid, the gore seems even more gratuitous than normal — and that’s really saying something.
This week, as we’re only one episode away from the finale, it’s all about comeuppance. Most of it is richly deserved, yes, but not much fun to watch. Even the intro — a clever rundown of exactly what those Seven Wonders really are pulled from a fictional silent film about the Salem witches — is initially cute, then pretty dull. Did no one come up with a fluid way to work this into dialogue? Guess not! Bring on the vitalum vitalis slide!
Poor Delia has blinded herself, which she thinks is a necessary evil so we can look at those weirdly swollen eyeballs (hope Sarah Paulson got a bonus this season!) until the season ends or Myrtle finds her some new donor orbs just to spare us. Alas, Delia gropes Madison, hoping her second sight will be restored, but “sees” nothing. Luckily, Fiona sets her daughter straight — she never lost her second sight, so that blinding thing? Totally unnecessary. Good going, Delia! You’d think she might have Googled that or something before she dragged out the gardening clippers, but whatever.
Thanks to Queenie, we discover that Marie is in Madame LaLaurie’s bloodthirsty grasp, which means a lot of hacking and screaming. Using her growing witchy skill set, Queenie gives Papa Legba a ring for assistance (I do love that Queenie’s version of hell is working at that fried chicken place, and the people waiting in line are also in hell, doomed to never get a drumstick).
It turns out that, even though Delphine thinks she and Marie are “blessed” with eternal life, there’s always a loophole. Queenie points out to him that Marie isn’t going to be bringing Legba innocent babies with her limbs scattered all over New Orleans, thus putting her in violation of their agreement. Papa Legba, impressed with Queenie’s insight, happily nullifies the contract — meaning both Marie and LaLaurie are no longer immortal.
I guess Queenie decides that Marie would prefer death to being a butcher shop experiment, though she may have wanted to ask a few more questions, if you ask me. Before Queenie decides to take out Madame LaLaurie, though, she tries to needle the old bag into feeling guilty, or at least repenting her sins. I’m not sure why she bothers, really, unless making a grumbling “sorry, God” mention would save Madame LaLaurie from hell. And really, would that be fair? All you need is for Madame LaLaurie to go running around heaven, hacking up angels and drinking their blood.
But our favorite serial killer is all about rewriting history and, having become a docent at her own house (and having driven a pick through the head of the woman who had been leading tours — geez, I thought a one star review on Yelp would be punishment enough), she sees herself as a woman wronged. I love that this is where we end up with this character, as it seems more apropos than her fleeting friendship with Queenie. Of course she feels she’s just misunderstood! She only killed 62 slaves, geez!
Madame LaLaurie isn’t apologizing, so Queenie gets to stabbing – – and soon both Marie and Madame LaLaurie are trapped in hell side-by-side, with Marie forced to torture LaLaurie’s daughters for all eternity while Delphine looks on in powerless horror. I’m not sure what Madame LaLaurie’s daughters did to deserve this crappy afterlife, but I’m sure Papa Legba came up with something.
I’m guessing this means we won’t be seeing Marie or Madame LaLaurie in the finale, which is a little sad (best moment this week was watching Kathy Bates lick the blood off her lips) but, I suppose, makes sense. Maybe with all the major players gone, Delia will rise to the top and the witches will come together… oh, who am I kidding? That would cancel out the infighting theme of the entire season, wouldn’t it? Never mind.
Anyway, Delia, having sorted out the whole second-sight matter (she would write “next time, do not blind self” if she could only read it later), realizes once again that Fiona is going to kill everyone, including her, in order to extend her reign as Supreme. Delia knew this, but I guess she needed to really, really know this in order to find the Ax Man and tell him the truth about dear old Mom.
Of course, the Ax Man doesn’t really believe his gal would buy him a ticket out of town — until he sees the ticket in Fiona’s purse. The final scene plays out between the Ax Man and Fiona quite beautifully, with the Ax Man pleading with Fiona to admit she loved him (hey, he got her to orgasm!) and Fiona admitting she kinda did love him, but hey, she can hang out with cool people in France now! I couldn’t help but wonder the things I always wonder during these scenes — I wonder what he thinks of iPhones? Does he have an ax budget? These aren’t things I’ll ever have to worry about again, of course, because the Ax Man will not be ignored, or left behind. Enraged, he plunges an ax right into Fiona’s head. Buh-bye, Supreme.
This isn’t the only big action in the episode, of course, even though we might (and I say might) have said farewell to Jessica Lange. As Misty points out, after learning the Ax Man fed her body to the swamp, even she can’t revive gator shit.
Speaking of Misty, we also get her back thanks to Delia and Queenie. It turns out that, if you’re Misty, you can survive in a coffin long enough for your witchy friends to find you and revive you, and she wakes up with a full awareness of who screwed her — and the catfight between Madison and Misty is all kinds of wonderful. As Queenie points out, “This is awesome!” even as Myrtle, of course, has to prattle on about it not being at all ladylike.
There’s not much time for cat fighting, as Zoe and Kyle come back from Florida. They’ve learned they make one heck of a tag team — he kills the homeless guy, she revives the homeless guy, taa daa! Anyway, Zoe had to return because she’s absolutely sure she’s the Supreme. Shut up, Zoe.
The Ax Man has to come in and ruin all the bickering, threatening to kill everyone since that’s just what he does when he’s sad. As Delia and Myrtle hug, the other witches get their kill on by group-stabbing the Ax Man a bajillion times until he’s well past dead. Hey, flashback!
As the coven solemnly hangs Fiona’s painting on the wall, which doesn’t look a thing like Jessica Lange, Delia informs the girls everyone will be performing the Seven Wonders Sunday at dawn, and by the end of the week the coven will have a new Supreme.
I’m also thinking Stevie Nicks will be dropping by, as Ryan Murphy did say she filmed two episodes and we’ve only seen one. Maybe she can perform a soulful version of “Tusk” as the little witches who aren’t the Supreme burst into flames. I would totally get that on iTunes.
Who do you think is the Supreme? Were you surprised by what happened to Fiona, Marie and Madame LaLaurie? Do you think Zoe should have returned?