“American Horror Story: Coven” recap (3.5): Buzzkills and Burnings


OK, let’s all take a breath and return to the hospital, shall we? Lumberjack Dave shows up and asserts his spousal rights over Cordelia, to which Fiona is appropriately disdainful. When they are alone, Dave takes Cordy’s hand, and promises to never leave her—except to go on business trips where he fucks and then kills strangers—but suddenly Cordelia’s head shoots up from the pillow. It seems that her blindness has granted her a new kind of vision, and she has a sudden insight that reveals Dave’s infidelity.

AHS5.12Even now, I am too hot for you.

The next day, Zoe, Nan, and Fiona bond over the burning corpses of their foes (for serious, they are like 30 seconds away from lighting s’mores over those suckers) when Delphine comes out and tries to get in on the sisterhood.


Delphine: Isn’t it funny how you and I both failed our daughters, and now they are horribly disfigured?

Fiona: No.

Delphine: But don’t you think it makes us kind of like friends, like those ladies on Sex and the—

Fiona: No.

In the fallout over the zombie siege, The Council shows up to demand Fiona’s immediate resignation (where were y’all last night?).

Myrtle spins a yarn about how Myrtle was the masked figure who attacked Cordelia, and it seems pretty believable, especially when she pulls of Myrtle’s red glove to reveal an acid burn. She also reveals that Myrtle was hiding out in a hotel, where she had constructed a Van der Waal-style murder collage of Fiona’s face. Based on this evidence, the council votes to burn Myrtle at the stake, to the inexplicably lighthearted tune of a Doctor John song.


After the funeral, the episode reveals its big twist, other than Zoe’s presumptive supremacy. Queenie comes to Fiona and asks her why she had to stick her hand in a jar of acid to frame Myrtle (!).  Which means that the real hooded figure is someone else, and my money is on Patti LuPone. Fiona (who is totally the Cersei to Zoe’s budding Arya) teases that Queenie might be the next Supreme, which is enough to placate her for now.

But back at the site of Myrtle’s execution, a Danaerys approaches in the form of Misty Day. Because what is Danaerys, really, but someone coming from the flank you aren’t watching, with a  moral code you don’t fully understand.

AHS5.15Also extreme foxiness.

She resurrects Myrtle, who I guess now is going to be like that one knight dude who is horribly disfigured but can’t die? Whatever, there are too many characters in those damn books.

What made this episode work for me was two things: character and pacing. In terms of character, people grew (Delphine and Zoe in particular) but no one suffered a personality transplant. And in terms of pacing,  I liked that the episode confined itself to three neatly ordered acts, with plenty of time for moments of terror to build, like the zombies silently waiting on the lawn. Give me these things, and I shall be a happy and generous recapper forevermore.

Oh and one more thing: did anyone else develop an instantaneous crush on Lily Rabe in the last 30 seconds of this episode? Her hotness is an objective truth.

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