“American Horror Story: Coven” recap (3.3): A New Rug


Inexplicably desperate to conceive with her lame husband, Cordelia next goes to Marie Laveau’s hair salon and requests her strongest fertility spell. Marie walks us through a voodoo spell that involves a mason jar of jizz, a red hot chip pepper, and the blood of a goat.  And frankly, I spent the whole scene wondering if this is a basically respectful depiction of a culture where dance is a part of medicine, or if it is just really, really racist. Let me know in the comments section where you fall on that particular question.


But less up for interpretation/negotiation is Queenie’s scene. Madame LaLaurie is making her dinner when they hear the sound of the Minotaur outside. Delphine is like “AAAHHH the slave that raped my daughter!” And Queenie volunteers to take care of the beast. But what she means by that is: she lures him to a barn and asks him to have sex with her. Even if this were the only problematic scene of the epode for me, it would be enough to permanently ruin it. Because even though we know that Bastien wasn’t a rapist in life, Queenie has no idea. So for her to offer her body to him—to actually beg and masturbate for him—is a gross insult to a character that should receive extra helpings of respect.

And now, more gross sex stuff! Kyle’s mom starts coming on to him again, so he beats her to death with a trophy!


All the incest/bestiality/whatever that goat blood business was aside, the real meat of this episode is what happens between Fiona and Madison. When Fiona hears of Madison’s newly-acquired gift of pyromancy, she assumes she must be the new Supreme and therefore the reason her sex appeal and overall health are failing her. So she pulls a long con, taking her for mimosas at Atchafalaya, and whiskey at Les Bon Temps Roule. When they get back home, Fiona shares the news that Madison is the new Supreme. Then she launches into a soliloquy about how she was a “shitty Supreme” who came too early into power and used it only for selfish gains. And I think all of that is actually sincere. Then she begs Madison to kill her the same way she killed her own mentor, but Madison chokes.

AHS3.3-8No, literally Madison chokes on her blood because Fiona stabs her. 

Once she is dead Fiona drolly remarks, “This coven doesn’t need a new Supreme; it needs a new rug.”

So here is my issue with this whole “fear of aging” storyline. I recognize that the terror associated with losing youthful good looks and the sexual power associated with them is very real for many women; just look at the millions of dollars made by cosmetics companies on “anti-aging” creams. But the very thing that makes witches so interesting is the fact that they exist outside that paradigm, outside the world in which a woman’s power is entirely derived from a man’s desire to fuck her. The image of the old crone is powerful for that reason. So, as much as the stories this season seem built around the changes of a woman’s life (Zoe’s is sexual awakening, Cordelia’s is the desire to have children, and Fiona’s is menopause) they seemed imposed by a man’s idea of what is important.

I know a lot of people loved this episode, so where did you fall?

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