AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN Recap – “Protect the Coven”

     January 15, 2014


With only two episodes left in American Horror Story: Coven, the major external threat to the witches’ sisterhood appears to have been eliminated, but internal dangers abound.  It’s anyone’s guess who the new Supreme is at this point, especially since even the current Supreme isn’t quite sure.  What’s a witch to do?  In the immortal words of Metallica: Kill ‘Em All.  We’re not quite to that point yet, as everyone under the academy’s roof is jockeying for position and shoring up their alliances, some pf which worked out better than others.  Hit the jump for my recap of “Protect the Coven” to see who’s left standing.

american-horror-story-coven-kathy-bates-protect-the-covenWell this one started off bloody and just got bloodier along the way.  I thought we were just about done with Madame Delphine LaLaurie’s story arc, but Kathy Bates brought her back in a big way tonight.  Not only do we get some background as to why LaLaurie is so obsessed with blood (along with a little Mercy channeling from Bates), but we see that her deep-seated racism has not been ameliorated one iota.  Perhaps now’s a good time to draw attention to the fact that LaLaurie had been pretty well vivisected (ironically, a preferred pasttime of hers) up until this point and is now made whole once more thanks to Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe).  Queenie herself was previously sidelined after taking one for the team and executing Hank (Josh Hamilton) with her voodoo powers.  More on Queenie’s resurrection and the race to become the new Supreme in a bit.  We have other pressing matters to attend to, namely the Delphi Trust.

The ancient line of witch hunters masquerading as a global mega-corporation was introduced as a plot point relatively recently, and was dealt with just as swiftly.  This external threat that was propped up as being severe enough to force a truce between the rival magic users (witches and voodoo practitioners) was dispatched with little more than a bloody ax and a dirty martini.  There’s a chance we’ll still see this plotline pay dividends before the season is all said and done, as Renard comments that killing him won’t put an end to things … but yeah, all those major human players appear well and truly dead.

american-horror-story-coven-jessica-lange-angela-bassett-protect-the-covenWhile Fiona and Laveau (Angela Bassett) teamed up to take on the corporation, this episode featured some other interesting teamups.  I certainly didn’t see LaLaurie and Spalding (Denis O’Hare) getting along so well, but I should have expected it; I mean it’s always the maid or the butler who did it.  They certainly had some great chemistry and got the benefit of delivering the bulk of this episode’s dark humor.  Fiona, meanwhile, is two-timing Laveau with her own illicit alliance with the Ax Man (Danny Huston), who hasn’t hung up his weapon of choice just yet.  In any event, loyalties may still change over the last two episodes, and characters who were once dead (or just buried by a racist) may find themselves alive again, and with new axes to grind.

Death and rebirth has been a constant theme this season, striding alongside the question of who will become the next Supreme.  Let’s take stock and see where everyone’s at.

  • Madison (Emma Roberts) – Killed by Fiona (Jessica Lange) but resurrected with even stronger powers, she’s seen as a threat by pretty much everyone in the coven.
  • Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) – The lame duck of the coven who began her arc as the viewer’s stand-in to introduce the magical world, she’s now running off with FrankenKyle (Evan Peters) to … Epcot, of all places?  She’s certainly the dark horse candidate if only because she’s been so tame all season.
  • Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) – Daughter of the current Supreme who has been blinded, had her eyes swapped out savagely two times, and once again appears to possess the powerful Second Sight, all as a sacrifice for the coven.  Paulson had a really strong arc last year, so perhaps it’s someone else’s turn?
  • Nan (Jamie Brewer) – You’d think that being drowned by the reigning Supreme and the immortal voodoo priestess would eliminate Nan from the competition, but if she can free her soul from Papa Legbo (Lance Reddick) then perhaps there’s still a chance.
  • american-horror-story-coven-emma-roberts-protect-the-covenQueenie – Queenie has the coolest power on the show and has now proven herself to be not only resourceful and willing to sacrifice herself, but damn near immortal as well.  She’s my frontrunner for the new Supreme since she combines both witchcraft and voodoo powers.
  • Misty (Lily Rabe) – While she’s been resurrected and had the gifts of Stevie Nicks bestowed upon her, Misty is currently entombed in a mausoleum and no one seems to care.
  • Myrtle (Frances Conroy) – Myrtle’s nuttier than a fruitcake and a foodie to boot, but she’s had her shot as leader of the council and was burned at the stake for it.  She doesn’t appear to possess any sufficient powers to make her a likely candidate for the new Supreme.

Be sure to let us know who you think the new Supreme will be, or if you think Fiona will be successful in her bid to eliminate the upstart and reclaim her throne.

Grade: A

Quotes & Miscellanea:

LaLaurie: “Why I had to leave Paris, jewel of civilization, to return to this shithole, I’ll never understand.”

LaLaurie: “How hard can it be to chop the head off a chicken?” – PETA isn’t going to like this scene, even if it’s all TV magic.

Fiona: “It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Nan … who fell in the tub.”

Kyle: “No scars.” Queenie: “If I’d have done you, you wouldn’t look like you’d gone through a blender.”

LaLaurie: “You left your dirt in the commode. Why don’t you flush it?” Madison: “You flush my shit, bitch.”

Myrtle: “Figs are mother nature’s brown diamonds.”

Myrtle: “Madison, you’re the worst kind of Hollywood cliché: a bobble-head with crotchless panties.” Madison: “And you’re a dried-up old Hot Pocket, but I don’t judge.”

american-horror-story-coven-posterLaLaurie on James: “Not very robust, were you?”

Cordelia’s eye-stabbing scene was particularly brutal.

I love that Spalding requested a vintage baby doll before he’d give LaLaurie the “magic” that would render Laveau vulnerable. And that the magic was Benadryl.

LaLaurie: “Grown man takin’ pleasure in a doll baby … unsavory.”

What was with Myrtle’s gift to Zoe, a jeweled harvester ant to pawn in case of emergency (Did I hear all that right?) Oh, crazy Aunt Myrtle, you and your bug jewelry and tickets to Epcot.

Renard: “Be ready for anything but keep the dogs at bay. These bitches have to walk out of here untouched.”

Laveau: “Listen up, White Devil…”

Fiona: “Here’s my other offer…you can all just die.”

Renard: “Go to Hell, witch bitch.”

Laveau: “You stupid rube. That ain’t magic. That’s antihistamine.”

I love that Spalding was able to out-creep himself by carrying the very live baby with him into his baby doll room.