‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Recap: Zoe Stops The Zombie Attack On Miss Robichaux's; Fiona Burns Myrtle At The Stake
American Horror Story: Coven, in part 2 of its celebration of Halloween, travels back to 1833 New Orleans where Madame LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) hosted an All Hallows’ Eve fete in grand style. Drinks are poured, songs are danced to and matches are attemptied to be made. When LaLaurie catches a young man eyeing up one of her daughters, she decides to test his mettle in her attic of atrocities.
LaLaurie shows her daughter’s would-be suitor the eyes that have been pried from the faces of slaves and intestines torn from their torsos. Downstairs, her three daughters are devising a plan to murder their mother. LaLaurie, wise to their plotting, has them caged in the attic amongst the slaves. When one of the girls cages doesn’t close properly, she has her leg broken.
Thus begins the Coven episode “Motherhood is Complicated.”
In the present, Fiona (Jessica Lange) frets over Delia’s (Sarah Paulson) face and eyes, pacing in the hospital waiting room. When the doctor comes to apprise her of her daughter’s condition, he tells her that it had been sulfuric acid that was tossed on her. The acid burned through Delia’s optic nerves and has left her blind. Unaccustomed to such horrors hitting one of her own, Fiona handles the news poorly. She’s destroyed even further when a black robed entity passes through the room to tell her: “You didn’t throw that acid, but you might as well have." And then, in perhaps what was meant to be a type of witch’s penance, she revives a stillborn in the arms of its mother.
At Miss Robichaux’s, the zombies awoken by Laveau (Angela Basset) are poised to wage their attack. The polite, pure and dutiful neighbor boy goes outside to get what he thinks are pranksters off the lawn. There is a prankster in the bunch, but he soon gets lobotomized by the very real zombies. Out of the girls at the boarding house it’s Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) who takes charge. Her first instinct is to instruct Spalding to hide everyone in his room. But of course, being that his attic apartment looks like an oversized dollhouse and reeks of Madison’s (Emma Roberts) corpse, that’s not possible. So instead she just asks him to watch over Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) and LaLaurie as Nan (Jamie Brewer) saves the neighbor boy she’s crushing on and Zoe goes out to deal with the undead.
Some of the zombies made their way into the house already, one of which is LaLaurie’s daughter Borquita. First she’s indignant, blaming her daughter’s state on Laveau, but then self-awareness hits and she realizes its all her fault. Her zombie daughter, unimpressed with the revelation of guilt, moves to strangle her. Borquita eventually makes her way upstairs, neutralizing Spalding, before coming upon Queenie. Queenie uses her human voodoo doll powers to keep her at bay until LaLaurie comes it a rams a fireplace poker through her daughter's gut.
To lead the zombies away from the house and towards the greenhouse, Zoe makes a bunch of noise clanging pots and pans together. She then arms herself with a chainsaw, cutting through the zombie army – until the chainsaw runs out of gasoline. On her back and staring up at the final undead, Zoe looks like a goner. Then, subconsciously channeling the powers she’d heretofore been unable to access, she hisses an incantation that immobilizes and falls the zombie to the grass. Simultaneously across town in the 9th Ward, Laveau crashes down from her levitation of zombie control. She realizes a new, strong power has been awoken at Robichaux’s.
At the hospital, Delia’s husband shows up, presumably after disposing of the body of his internet girlfriend–turned-post-coital murder victim. Fiona pings as soon as he enters the room, knowing full well that behind his kind veneer is the worst kind of monster. She gives him 10 minutes with his wife. While he hovers over Delia’s bed, he clasps her hands in his. At his touch, visions of his infidelity and his shooting of his redheaded mistress flash across Delia’s mind.
The following day, Fiona and LaLaurie team up to light the zombie corpses aflame and talk about their respective motherhoods. LaLaurie tried to keep her daughters too close, resulting in her sociopathic imprisonment of them. Fiona, meanwhile, couldn’t be bothered with looking after a daughter – never mind suffocating her with control – until she’d lived enough of her own hedonistic life. During their life chat, the Coven Council made their return to Robichaux’s.
At this trial, the council of three lists off the unaccounted for happenings that had plagued the coven in recent weeks – a Minotaur, zombies, missing young witches, etc. They’re dead set on stripping Fiona of her supremacy, and taking the rule of the coven amongst themselves. Not so fast. Fiona claims that the attacks upon the coven are coming from Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy), the fire-haired and bespectacled head witch of the council. After suggesting the childless Myrtle tried to become a mother figure of her own Delia, she accused her of killing Madison and throwing the acid at Delia. She provides proof that Myrtle had been in New Orleans the whole time – and then reveals that she bears the burn wounds of sulfuric acid on her right wrist. As a result, Myrtle will be burned.
Fiona, the girls and the black-suit wearing law enforcement of the coven march out into the middle of nowhere with Myrtle, dressed in white and headed to the stake. Her last words: “You’re all a bunch of little toads in a pot Fiona is slowly bringing to boil. You won’t even feel it until it’s too late. I’d rather burn than boil.” And with that, Fiona flicks her cigarette onto her gasoline-doused fellow witch.
As “Motherhood is Complicated,” came to a close, it’s revealed that Queenie used her powers to blister Myrtle’s hand at Fiona’s behest, raising the question of the burned witch’s guilt. Meanwhile, Misty walks up to Myrtle’s charred corpse, holds her head in her hands and brings her back to life.
American Horror Story: Coven airs Wednesdays on FX at 10/8c.
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