“American Horror Story: Coven” recap (3.8): You’ll be hash browns by morning

Previously on American Horror Story, Cordelia took Zoe (that week’s probable Supreme) aside and began plotting to murder Fiona, which certainly seemed like an idea whose time had come. It was kind of sad though, because Fiona had just found love in the arms of The Axeman, and given that they were both remorseless, albeit romantic killers, it seemed like they might actually have a chance. Meanwhile, Queenie gave Delphine to the Voodoo in exchange for some gumbo (note that nearly all Queenie’s scenes revolve around food in some way) and Madison and Zoe decided to “share” Kyle by kissing him and each other all at the same time, because they are young and stupid and mostly undead.

This week’s episode was written by Ryan Murphy, which I actually saw as an opportunity for him to him to prove he is better than the problems that plague his shows.  But in many ways, this episode typified those problems: bitchiness doing a  poor job standing in for cleverness, and characters unable to be consistent, even within a single scene.  For these reasons, and the fact that I have a severe case of the sniffles, this recap will be brief.

So, we open with Queenie walking under an overpass in the dead of night, which makes me nervous for her even though I know she has powers.  She is accosted by a homeless man, who threatens to kill or rape or eat her and who she swiftly dispatches with some rusty nails to the head.  While he lays there, bleeding, Madison and Zoe arrive.

Madison: What the fuck are you doing, killing innocent hobos?
Queenie: Um, actually this guy raped three school girls, so.
Zoe: That specific guy?  Because it kinda looked like you were just trolling for a homeless dude to kill.
Queenie: How did you even know I would be here?
Madison: Lazy writing.
Zoe: Magic!

They try to persuade Queenie to come back to the coven, but she has officially switched to team Voodoo, and to prove it, she cuts out the hobo’s still-beating heart.

AHS8.1

Queenie: This town ain’t big enough for the both of us.
Zoe: OK, what if we move to the North Shore?  Or Metairie?
Queenie: Girl, have some self-respect.

And with that, she runs cackling into the night.

We next catch up with Fiona, whose cancer has gotten much worse and has left her in agonizing pain.

AHS8.2Like, ecstasy hangover pain.

We briefly see Fiona tell Cordelia of her cancer, to which she responds: “Cool, then can you please die before Thanksgiving so we don’t have to eat your gross stuffing?”  (See: bitchiness in place of cleverness.)

She tries to comfort herself with the Axeman, who suggest they spend her last month of life on vacay, but she is determined to take one more shot at killing her successor.

Next door, at Patti LuPone’s House of Unconvincing Evangelism, the grande dame forces her son to strip naked while she pumps him full of Comet, ostensibly to cure him of his feelings for Nan, but really because they had to throw the guys at TheBacklot something.

AHS8.3I AM FEELING VERY OBJECTIFIED RIGHT NOW, MOTHER.

Back at Miss Robichaux’s, Cordelia is railing about her mother again when there is an urgent knock at the door. It is Misty Day, because you have to throw AfterEllen something.  She was awakened last night by the visage of Myrtle Snow, who dug herself up out of the ground to tell her that an intruder nearby. And sure enough, a moment later, a hooded figure burst through the door and fired a shotgun at Misty’s bed. It was probably Lumberjack Dave, but given that this is AHS, it would be equally plausible for it to be space aliens or the ghost of Anne Frank or who even knows what. At any rate, it scared Misty so much that she and Myrtle returned to seek refuge at the coven.

Cordelia is so thrilled to have Myrtle back, not to mention such a powerful new ally in Misty Day, that she leaps to the conclusion that Misty is the new Supreme. And don’t get me wrong, the coven does need a new leader, but that person is for sure not Misty. She is a bishop, not a queen in this game of chess.

Upstairs, Zoe hooks Kyle up to a Reader Rabbit iPad game in the hopes that by the time they are done assassinating Fiona, he will have the necessary vocabulary for a Feelings talk. Madison is less interested in his verbal skills than his oral skills, and recommends that they keep him on a strict diet of porn and Zack Snyder movies. So let’s see: this threesome lasted approximately 18 hours before dissolving into acrimony. That may actually be a new record.

Back downstairs, the remaining coven members don blooded robes and prepare to undergo a ceremony called the Sacred Taking. For a moment, I was convinced that some boy was about to come and sacredly “take” one of their virginities (see: Marley’s storyline on Glee) but no; this is all about the ascension of a new Supreme. Apparently, if the old Supreme kills herself, the new Supreme will miraculously rise.  And the mythology around this is already so confusing because:

  1. The new Supreme will rise however the old one died, whether by suicide or murder (presumably, these are the only ways Supremes ever die).
  2. The new Supreme can only be chosen by the successful performance of the Seven Wonders?
  3. The new Supreme’s power is manifest and obvious to all who behold her, and the Wonders are a mere formality?

AT ANY RATE, the coven decide to nudge Fiona towards suicide, which means this whole ceremony was just an excuse to play dress-up and hold hands.

AHS8.4Which I can relate to, so no judgement.

Their strategy for getting Fiona to kill herself is to surprise her with Madison and Myrtle, convince her that Madison resurrected them both, and that she is powerless against such a successor. They then shove a bottle of sleeping pill in her hand and tell her it’s that or burning at the stake. The Madison scene is nothing special, but Myrtle and Fiona have a special chemistry that comes from years of frenemyship. Fiona pleads that she should be allowed to live out her remaining days with her new love, but Myrtle persuades her that the Axeman will never love her in her decrepit state. And since Fiona is incapable of understanding the concept of love divorced from beauty, she believes her.

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