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Television / Recaps PopWrapped | Television

Fearful Pranks Ensue On This Week's American Horror Story: Coven

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author

PopWrapped

@PopWrapped
11/01/2013 9:31 am
PopWrapped | Television
Fearful Pranks Ensue On This Week's American Horror Story: Coven
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Rosie Clarke

Staff Writer

Halloween may have raised our expectations last night, but AHS certainly did not disappoint. We saw enough blood, disfigurement and zombie action to foot the horror bill... We also saw a young boy get chased down and hung by white supremacists, once again reminding us that history is the scariest American horror story of all. We open with that grizzly 1961 flashback: in the middle of a racially divided New Orleans,  Marie Laveau chats to a young hairdresser, Cora, about her son Henry’s first day of integrated high school. Marie: “You're taking a big chance, I fear.” Cora: “Times are changing Marie! President Kennedy is in the White House... I have faith in the future.” We cut to Cora shrieking as two men chop Henry down from a tree where he’d been hanged by a group of grown white men who cornered him on his way to school that morning. It’s a powerful moment, poignantly shot in black and white. As Cora wails over her son’s dead body, we get a completely kick-ass shot of Laveau looking mighty vengeful in the background.
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Next of all she’s getting her voodoo on: slicing up snakes, drawing chalk symbols on the floor, drinking flames from a vase and crushing rats in her hands to the beat of a bongo drum. She’s waking the dead folks, and we get a very Walking Dead visual of the child-killers being mauled to death by zombies. One dude gets his guts clawed out. Necromancy isn't all sweetness and light a la Misty Day! Laveau was likely telling the truth when she claimed voodoo mastered the art of resurrection long before Fiona’s coven... Back in the present(ish) day we’re met with a whole new level of creepiness. It turns out that while Fiona and Madison were having their *ahem* squabble down in the drawing room, Spalding was winding down for the night with a tea party surrounded by dolls. Spalding has a doll fetish: well, we asked for his backstory and his backstory we got.
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The ladies’ voices sound as Spalding creeps into the room just in time to see Fiona slit Madison’s throat. This time around it seemed much less accidental, even though Fiona still appeared rattled by the whole thing. He rolls Madison up in the rug, and pours Fiona a drink. Fiona: “Oh Spalding... I must confess, I’ve always enjoyed our little talks together. Particularly now that you’ve lost your tongue. Makes you seem wiser somehow, more thoughtful.”
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Just as we begin to see a faintly seedy smile form on Spalding’s lips, there’s a crash outside and Fiona jumps up to investigate. Spalding is left to do away with the dead body. More on that later. 
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Outside, Fiona calls for Cordelia in the greenhouse, possibly thinking she must have dropped a beaker or something? when she stumbles across a collapsed and bleeding Queenie. Queenie: “I couldn’t stop it!” Fiona: “Jesus, what happened?” Queenie: “It hurt me really badly...” Fiona: “What? What hurt you?” Queenie points to the Minotaur shaped shadow standing behind Fiona. Oh dear. Halloween suspense.
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Covered in blood and looking a little disheveled, Fiona wakes her daughter up to help Queenie who’s now lying unconscious on a bed. Fiona tells Cordelia she should be keeping a closer eye on her students, and Cordelia reminds Fiona that if she hadn’t provoked Marie Laveau they wouldn’t have had to deal with visits from the Minotaur in the first place. Fiona: “How do you know about that?” Cordelia: “Because she told me.” Fiona: “And what were you doing over on that side of town?” Cordelia: “It was a personal matter.” Fiona: “Christ, Delia! Is that where you were sneaking off to this afternoon? To the voodoos for some half-assed fertility spell?” Awkward moment for Cordelia. Her mother scolds her for showing weakness to their enemy. Delia also mixes a small amount of white potion and smudges it onto Queenie’s face. This does nothing. Queenie stops breathing. Fiona breathes into her mouth and brings her back to life. Does this mean the Supreme has the power of resurrection too?
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Stumbling back into her bedroom for a quick kip, Fiona tells Delphine to come out from her closet. Did anyone else find this quite sweet, that Delphine hid in Fiona’s closet when she thought the Minotaur was after her and was frightened? I mean, about as sweet as a sadistic freak possibly can be when they’ve become the house pet of a witch coven. Delphine: “What if he comes back?” Fiona: “He won’t come back.” Oooh what’s happened to the Minotaur? I think we know. Back in present day Marie Laveau’s salon, Cora is now an old lady and Marie refuses to let her pay for her hair treatment as she sneaks some cash onto her lap with a kindly wink. Marie might just be the good guy, folks. A box arrives... a very big cardboard box, and Marie decides to open it right there in front of everyone. Oh damn, it’s the Minotaur’s head. And it’s still moving! This is like the famous scene from The Godfather except it’s American Horror Story so it’s so much worse. I felt like the head seemed smaller in the box though... anybody else think that?
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Back in the world’s craziest retelling of Romeo + Juliet, Zoe finds monster-Kyle banging his head on the bath, covered in dried blood. He says: “No Kyle” and she tells him she’s sorry, “she never meant for this to happen”. Then she decides to go make him some food. Tuna and rat poison, yummy. Oh Zoe, if only you knew that monster-Kyle basically did the world a favour by bashing in his pedo-mum’s head. Not that I condone bashing in anybody’s head... it’s just a TV show!
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When she returns with the food though she realizes her dried-blood-covered monster-boyfriend has done a runner. Thank God it’s halloween, hey? Nobody will think twice about seeing a largely mute teenage boy covered in blood!
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We get a nice little moment when Zoe’s looking for monster-Kyle outside, and a guy drives past in full skeleton make-up... The season one references this year have been great! Thumbs up for Tate. Back at the school, Delphine is zipping up Fiona’s dress and the two quip about how pathetically un-scary halloween has become. It’s true, candy is nowhere near as serious as an end-of-harvest offering. “Who’s the baddest witch of all?” Fiona asks the full length mirror as she places a tall black witch’s hat on her head and strides out of the room, smiling. The Evil Queen thinks she’s killed Snow White. But has she? And is it wrong that we totally love the Evil Queen this year? It’s a great a theme this season, not totally knowing who the real bad guys are.
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Marie is enraged back at the salon and we get a brief flashback that reveals she and previous Supreme, Anna Lee signed a treaty to end the war between voodoo and witchcraft. This was back in the 1970s. Angela Bassett rocked a pretty foxy do. But she’s not looking to re-jig the truce any time soon, she informs a member of her voodoo crew.
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Marie: “The truce is over! If we don’t fight back we may as well lay down in our beds and wait for death because that’s what’s at stake and I don’t have time to argue with you. Either you’re with me or against me, and if it’s the latter you best stay outta my way.” In other news, Delia gets on the phone to that seemingly normal husband of hers. But he’s not really normal at all. We watch him invite a young woman into his apartment. They have weirdly aggressive sex then we find out he’s been grooming her online. She cooks him some food, and after he’s finished eating he starts playing with her hair; she tells him she really likes him and he shoots her in the head. That’s one way to end an affair. Something tells me we’ll be seeing more of this freak fairly soon.
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Queenie wakes up to Delia sweetly making her a cold compress. Delphine watches and tells Queenie she doesn’t know how to thank her for saving her life. Queenie: “I guess you’ll just have to work on that then, huh!” Yay for Queenie being alive and kicking, but what the hell actually happened to her? It’s not exactly clear whether she was beaten or raped but I don’t suppose she’s told anybody about her insane attempt to seduce the Minotaur either way... Nan interrupts with news that the school has visitors. Oh Nan, you little minx, it’s so obvious you called the council. The first council glimpse we get involves the most elaborately awesome pair of red leather gloves imaginable. Tartan-loving red-headed lady is back, bitches!
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Cordelia meets them in the dining room (there’s three council members altogether) and she hilariously digs herself a hole by telling them about Queenie’s attack and her visit to Marie Laveau. Council: “Actually, that’s not why we’re here.” Delia: “Shit.” When Fiona eventually walks in, it’s to clean up the mess... “You!” She tells Cordelia, “Stop. Talking.” Then she addresses each council member individually so we know who they are. Fiona: “Oh Murtle Snow... [AKA tartan-lover] Look at you, developing a sense of style when no-one was paying attention. Quentin, you vicious queen! ... Just remember who’s magic it was who put you there! Pembroke... *rolls eyes*.”
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As the Supreme takes her seat, Nan pipes up with why she summoned the council: “I can’t hear her anymore... I think Madison’s dead!” Oh snap, Fiona’s having a really bad day. Probably not as bad as Madison, though... We then get a random shot of Spalding hugging a scarecrow before the council launch into their investigation.
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Myrtle explains "for the record” that any witch found guilty of killing another member of the Salem coven must be sentenced to burn at the stake. Cordelia nods and tries to explain that Madison has probably been out partying all night and simply isn't home yet. Zoe is fairly non committal (which makes total sense as monster-Kyle is still on the loose), and Queenie gets back to doing what Queenie does best with her epic remark... Queenie: “Madison Montgomery is a stone cold bitch who loves hard drinking, big dicks, and trouble. If she’s dead it’s probably because she got wasted and offered the grim-reaper a hand job or something.”
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While being interrogated, Cordelia notices her rug is missing from the drawing room. No flies on that one! Bless her cotton socks. Nan reveals to the council that Madison had been displaying new powers and immediately they look to Fiona. Well, Myrtle looks to Fiona. She starts to interrogate her about why she bothered to come back to the coven when she’s shown no interest in forty years. Fiona: “What’s your point Myrt? ... I’m sorry; I’m either confused or really bored, but am I a rotten Supreme because I stayed away or because I came back?” Myrtle: “This is the second time while you were under this roof that a witch has gone missing from this place and in both instances you were the last person to see them alive.”
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We flick back to 1971, where Fiona is informing the council of Anna Lee’s disappearance. She cries a lot and they seem eager to believe Fiona’s suggestion that the voodoo witches were responsible for her presumed death. During a school assembly we see Myrtle clearly suspecting Fiona’s guilt, as the council explains the process of inducting a new Supreme into the coven. Fiona must pass “tests of the seven wonders” during the full moon to prove she’s next in line. So now we know there are seven powers a witch must possess in order to be the Supreme. Myrtle has some power “of the vernacular” which means she can cast verbal spells? A little vague... but she enchants Spalding’s tongue so that he can only tell the truth about Fiona when questioned by the council. Some screaming later, and we see that Myrtle found Fiona in the bathroom with a writhing Spalding, his tongue torn from his throat. Back in the present day, Murtle demands that Spalding write down “the name of the person responsible for severing [his] tongue”. Fiona looks anxious. Cordelia looks anxious. Myrtle reads the note and we flick back to '71, this time following Spalding the night his tongue was removed. Turns out, he overheard Myrtle telling a friend that she’d enchanted his tongue to make him speak only the truth. He ushered Fiona into the bathroom with him. Spalding: “These are my last words, Miss Fiona: I have always loved you.”
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He slices off his own tongue. It’s worthy-of-halloween gross.
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Back in the present day, Myrtle screams melodramatic perfection: “This will not stand!” And we see that Spalding’s written her name as the one responsible for the severing of his tongue. You tricky devil, Spalding.
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Myrtle to Fiona: “You killed Anna Lee because she was the old Supreme, and you killed the girl because she was the next Supreme! You got away with it! [to council] She keeps getting away with it!” Fiona smiles deliciously. Then the unexpected happens! Cordelia stands up to defend her mother. Delia: “You’re wrong. You think my mother killed Madison Montgomery so she could remain the Supreme?” Myrtle: “Yes! You’re blind to the ways of your mother, chicky, you always have been!” Delia: “Madison wasn’t the next Supreme. The hallmark of any rising Supreme is glowing, radiant health. Madison had a heart murmur. She kept it monitored. She kept it secret. So I’m sorry Myrtle; for forty years you’ve been barking up the wrong tree.” Fiona’s not looking too chuffed at this point. She killed the wrong witch. Who the heck is the next Supreme? Last week I thought it might be Nan, but now I’m thinking it could be Misty Day; after all, she certainly seems to possess glowing, radiant health!
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Amidst the "trick or treating" back at the salon, Marie Laveau is up to her old zombie tricks again, killing a snake to wake the dead.
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Meanwhile, as Delphine gets harassed by a bunch of kids nagging for more candy at the door, Zoe insists that Nan is wrong and Madison can’t be dead. Oh you poor, naive child, Zoe, if only you could follow us upstairs into Spalding’s creepy life sized doll’s house so you’d see what he’s done with her very dead body. 
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The victorian bonnet and nightdress capped off his creepy look while he pulled some kind of ancient lace wedding dress out of the closet to dress her in. Apparently feeling like they could definitely afford to leave the girls alone in that house again for another night (!!), Delia and Fiona decided to go out for a few friendly mother/daughter drinks. They each try to drunkenly wheedle out each other’s secrets. Delia wants to know if her mother really did kill Madison, and Fiona wants to know who her daughter thinks is the next Supreme. I love Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson together, theirs were some of my fave scenes last year so it’s great to see them together this year with a totally different dynamic! Interestingly, neither character learns the other one’s secret but they look like they might be getting a tad less estranged from one another. Maybe Delia could make Fiona a little bit less evil? Just as things are beginning to look up for her; she throws up in the bathroom and while looking in the mirror a hooded figure in black splashes acid in her eyes.
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Sweet Jesus that would hurt, poor Delia... I guess she’s certainly not “the baddest witch of all”. Back at the school, boy-next-door Luke pops round to bring Nan some cookies and the bodies of what appear to be Delphine’s daughters rock up at the front door. Having been buried for over 100 years I’d say they’ve aged fairly well... How long does it take for a body to completely decompose?
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So there we have it, another classic AHS episode. Witch Weekly: It’s a tough one this week as there were so many great one-liners and bitch-tastic moments. However, I was so excited to see Frances Conroy’s return that I’ll have to go with Myrtle Snow! Do we think her surname has anything to do with tonight's array of Snow White references? Maybe it’s a red herring, or maybe we’ll find out more next week. I quite like the comparison of Fiona and Spalding to the Evil Queen and the Huntsman, though. Myrtle: “On a personal note I’d like to add; I’ve got a book of matches in my pocket, Fiona and I’m just dying to light this fire.” ALSO! Anyone else thinking the show totally must have gleaned some inspiration for Myrtle from the fabulous, Grace Coddington? If you haven’t already seen The September Issue, you should watch it now.
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Grace Coddington
Sweet dreams ‘til next week, guys! (I’m already dreading the sight of Delia’s melted face... poor thing.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkBOpK3yT9k http://www.Twitter.com/PopWrapped http://www.PopWrapped.Tumblr.com/ http://www.SoundCloud.com/PopWrapped http://www.Facebook.com/PopWrapped http://www.Instagram.com/PopWrapped http://www.Pinterest.com/PopWrapped http://www.YouTube.com/PopWrapped http://www.PopWrapped.wordpress.com/ http://www.PopWrapped.com

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