Critics’ Roundtable: “American Horror Story: Coven”


Sarah Paulson, Jessica LangeMommie Dearest? Sarah Paulson plays Cordelia Foxx, daughter to Lange’s Fiona Goode.

After everything that’s gone done so far this season, what are you most excited to see in the 12/11 episode?

Scott Huver: With this cast of fire-and-brimstone-breathing women, it’s all about showdowns for me, whenever they may come: I’m eager to see Delphine turn the tables on Queenie and Marie and what may come of that; Madison and Zoe are due to butt heads over Kyle; and each new phase of the long-simmering confrontation between Cordelia and Fiona is what the show’s really all about.

Liane Bonin Starr: While it could easily become a bad magic trick, I’m curious to see how Madame LaLaurie fares without a body. But really, I can’t wait to see the ultimate throw down between Laveau and the witches.

Brian Juergens: I’m looking forward to seeing the voodoo and Salem witches band together to defend themselves against their common enemy. Plus, I’m dying to see some real voodoo in action, and Hank looks like he’s going to find himself at the business end of a voodoo doll. And I hope Nan keeps kicking ass and taking namesshe’s got more spirit than the other three girls combined.

Elaine Atwell: I really hope that Cordelia’s husband (I have never bothered to learn his name) dies horribly.  I fucking hate that guy.

Assuming you’ve watched all three seasons, rank them in order of preference, the first being your favorite.

Scott Huver: Season Two (Asylum), Season One (Murder House), Season 1 (Coven)

Liane Bonin Starr: Asylum, Coven, Murder House

Brian Juergens: I still have a soft spot for Murder House. It had a cleverly compact setup and a real payoff, and back then the creators were planting tons of references to classic horror movies (Tate’s whistling theme, the score from Psycho, etc.), which, as a lifetime horror nut, I absolutely adored. Though it was rough going for a few spots along the way, I thought that Asylum delivered a suitably troubling, ultimately very satisfying story rooted in very real horrors and anxieties. So it’d be a close second. This season is fun, but at this point it’s not sticking to my ribs in the same way the others did.

Elaine Atwell: I like Coven, I loathed Asylum, and I will get around to watching Murder House someday when I am not in the mood to rewatch Buffy for the thirtieth time.  So maybe never.

American Horror Story: Coven airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX. 

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