Previously on American Horror Story, Fiona’s grip on the Supremacy began to loosen, as she was diagnosed with cancer, killed Madison and burnt Myrtle at the stake. People were always rushing to clean up her messes—Spalding had high tea with Madison’s corpse and Misty resurrected Myrtle to be her extra crispy friend—but troubles were brewing with Marie Laveau that could not be so easily dealt with. Cordelia found that even though she lost her regular sight and her regular eyes, her new marble eyes enabled her to see
dead people, through ladies’ clothes, her husband’s bullshit. And Zoe, at long, long last, finally channeled the spirit of Hermione Granger as-told-by Robert Rodriguez and killed a slew of zombies with a chain saw.
We begin this episode in the year 1919, when a sax-playing, ax-wielding killer known as The Axeman terrorized New Orleans with a string of murders. He writes a letter to The Times-Picayune promising that a. he is a demon from hottest hell. b. but, like, the fun kind. c.he will kill anyone who does not have a jazz band playing in their house next Tuesday.
The coven of 1919—where one gets the distinct impression that all the young witches were pretty gay for each other—greets this proclamation with alarm and comically flawless syntax.
Witch 1: How shall we ever manage to secure a jazz ensemble by the designated hours
Witch 2: Perhaps we could use my Victrola?
Witch 3: I’ll bring the jazz records!
Witch 4: I’ll bring the weed!
But their Supreme is made of sterner stuff.
Supreme: Ladies, that sleepover sounds awesome and I am totally down for it next weekend. But in the meantime, don’t you think we ought to use our powers to take down this fiend? After all, we are not merely gay witches, but suffragettes, and no man, not even one wielding a dreadful axe pun, can keep us from our noble goals.
So on the night in question, the witches lie in wait for the Axeman and blast opera music. When he comes to kill them, they surround him and stab him with knives five hundred thousand times.
Back in the present day, Zoe is going through a box of Madison’s personal effects and wondering where she could have gotten to.
One of Madison’s airplane bottles of grey goose rolls over to a secret passageway, where Zoe finds
boxes and boxes of vintage lesbian erotica, an old-fashioned ouija board. She assembles Nan and Queenie to tell them the time has come to take Madison’s search and rescue into their own hands, since if any more witches die there won’t be much of a coven left. Over Queenie’s objections, they down shots of absinthe and break out the ouija board.
Naturally, Madison wasn’t the only person murdered in the school, but when the ouija board spells out “Axman” Queenie hollers “NO NO NO NO” and blows out the candles, which is an altogether sensible reaction. And Queenie’s minotaur bullshit aside, I think that if all horror movie characters were as together as her, scary movies would be a lot shorter and end with everyone deciding to ditch the cabin in the woods for a Motel 6.
Frustrated by their lack of enthusiasm, Zoe contacts the Axman herself and inquires after Madison’s whereabouts, promising to set him free. He leads her to the attic, where she finds the rotting remains of Ms. Montgomery. Spalding sneaks up behind her and grabs her mouth, but we all know better than to be afraid of a squib.