‘American Horror Story’ recap: ‘The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks’

01.08.14 4 years ago 4 Comments


Oh, how I was looking forward to Stevie Nicks’ appearance on “American Horror Story: Coven.” I could just imagine what it would be like when the real thing met its earnest imitation in Misty Day. Surely there would be a storyline befitting a rock icon, a plot twist that had been cooking since the first day Murphy and Falchuk imagined a character obsessed with all things Stevie, right? Uh, not exactly. But we do get a lovely version of “Rhiannon,” so that’s okay, too.

I guess my disappointment stems from the fact that Nicks’ inclusion in the show just seemed like a hastily thrown together guest spot, something you might expect to see on a garden variety network sitcom for ratings. I’m sure that what we got is an extension of scheduling conflicts and rewrites and God knows what else that have nothing to do with the actual show we see and everything to do with what it takes to put a show like this together. I understand, but still, a little disappointing. 

Even the fact that Nicks shows up, performs, gives Misty some twirling lessons, then seemingly sits around Fiona’s living room to provide some light background music like a subway busker on retainer was both fun to watch (Hey! She’s back and playing piano again! Whoot!) and a drag (Wait, why is she still there? Yes, Fiona’s the Supreme, blah blah blah, but I’m pretty sure she’s not stupid enough to keep Stevie Nicks like a pet purse dog).

But I shouldn’t complain — Nicks’ appearance on the show was actually a very welcome relief, simply because it created a pleasant oasis in a world of batcrap crazy. These women don’t need to worry about the Delphi Trust — they’re doing a pretty great job of destroying themselves without a single competent witch hunter bothering them at all. 

First off, in the win column was Myrtle playing the theramin as musical accompaniment to Delia’s breakdown. It was one of those delightfully loony moments that makes “American Horror Story” such a hoot, It almost made up for the baby-napping for Papa Legba.

Oh, that’s right. Turns out Marie isn’t staying young and beautiful thanks to healthy eating, regular exercise and Oil of Olay. She’s actually sold her soul to Papa Legba in exchange for eternal life. Unfortunately, like victims of the subprime loan foreclosure crisis of the mid aughts, Marie did not ask for an explanation of the terms. Thus, Legba comes back in a year, demanding his innocent soul — and it just happens to be Marie’s new baby. 

It’s a horrible scene, especially knowing that Marie has had to find an innocent soul every year for Legba to… well, I don’t know. Eat? Hoard? I am not up on this aspect of voodoo culture, so I’m hoping someone explains, although I fear we’ll get the “AHS” twist on this anyway and it will probably be bloody. Anyway, Marie, now BFFs tells Fiona her secret and warns her that the price for eternal life is far too great. So what does Fiona do? Cut some fine cocaine and send Papa Legba a psychic e-mail, that’s what!

Papa Legba is happy to cut his usual deal with Fiona, but ultimately walks away from the table. Why? Fiona has no soul, that’s why! I don’t really buy that, as “AHS” seems torn between portraying Fiona as a ruthless monster and painting her as a compassionate soul who isn’t afraid to stand up for civil rights. This week, though, Fiona decides to fully embrace her inner monster. Since Legba has no soul to take, her only other shot of staying young-ish is to kill off the next Supreme. 

Fiona, being the crafty witch she is, suggests to Marie they work together to kill a little witch, as Marie has fallen for the baby she just stole and needs something else to offer to Legba. It’s a pretty priceless moment to see Fiona offering dead Nan (whom she and Marie have just drowned in the tub) as an innocent. I mean, she’s only killed that one awful neighbor! She’s… pretty innocent, by witch standards!

Oh, about that. Yes, Nan and Zoe find out Luke is dead, then go to pay their respects to Crazypants Joan next door. Alas, Joan is all about the secrets, and there’s no keeping secrets from Nan, who quickly realizes that Joan has not only killed Luke, but cremated him. No Frankenstein option, dammit! Hey, where is Kyle, anyway? Whenever he’s missing for an episode, I worry he’s wandering the streets, drinking paint. I know, I know, Fiona “fixed” him enough to play cards, but if she’s so wrapped up in Stevie Nicks, who knows if she’s fed him or anything.

Anyway, Nan flips out and compels Joan to drink bleach. It’s proof of what Nan has said all along — that she just might be the Supreme. Of course, it doesn’t matter once Papa Legba is waltzing her off into the great beyond, especially since Misty isn’t going to be available for any resurrections for a while. 

I’m not sure why everything has gone so thoroughly to hell at the League of Extraordinary Witches, but in addition to Fiona deciding to pick off the competition, the witches themselves are gunning for one another. Madison, who is also convinced she’s the next Supreme, tricks Misty into a recently-vacated coffin and steals the shawl Stevie gave her, just to be extra nasty. I’m sure Misty will just pop up somewhere else, though I don’t know if being buried in a crypt will slow her down at all. While it’s a remarkably crafty plan to take Misty down, I’m not quite sure it’s a smart one if Misty comes back. She may be sweet, but that doesn’t mean I’d cross her, either. 

All this fighting and backbiting is a little disappointing, as I was hoping for more of a girl power coming together in the assault on Delphi Trust. It was great fun watching Fiona and Marie create the ultimate mousetrap spell to bring down the competition, and while I wouldn’t want to negotiate with these guys, the witches do indeed have them right where they want them. The weird and yet wonderful bond between Fiona and Marie is so promising, I wouldn’t mind the witches put the internal fighting on the backburner so they can take down Delphi Trust once and for all. But, silly me, witches can’t play nice for long, can they?

What did you think of Stevie Nicks’ performance? Do you think anyone is actually dead, or will they turn up next week? Do you think we’ve seen the last of Joan, at least? 

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