American Horror Story: Coven Finale - A Wonder-filled But Not Wonderful Ending
Ding dong, a handful of witches are dead, and a few others have completely changed their stations in life. Yes, it was the final episode in this performance-heavy season of American Horror Story, with its permeable storyline and unpolished characters. “The Seven Wonders” was by no means a perfect hour of television…and that’s it. All the ins are out now, and the Supreme has been crowned. After two previous seasons of rampant mysteries that went unanswered, I’m a little disappointed by the little black bow used to wrap this season up. It’s like I want to dig through the tissue paper to make sure I’m not missing anything.
In its first half hour or so, this finale persuaded me to think I would actually watch a reality show where people tried to prove they were witches or some other supernatural entity. Four contestants whose safety went unguaranteed as soon as they signed up to compete. Fire! Mind-controlled catfights! One giant hourglass! The anticipation just builds itself.
There wasn’t a lot of tension built up in the beginning, as it was obvious none of the witches would drop out on any of the first challenges. But it was a genuine shock and disappointment when Misty wasn’t able to rouse herself from her own personal hell, comprised of a never-ending shame party in a classroom as she is forced to cut a live frog open in front of a bunch of judgmental and laughing classmates.
Within the context of this season, I believe that Misty’s hell was the most disturbing scene to sit through. Free from gore and torture, the scene made one consider how horrible Misty’s life must have been, driving her to be a swampland hermit; and just when she thought she’d found a sisterhood of people she might call friends, she is sacrificed trying to find a leader that she hadn’t known existed until a few weeks beforehand., and she has to go through that for eternity! Plus, she turned to dust, and there are three Fleetwood Mac songs with the word “dust” in them that could have played, but none did. For shame. (If the instrumental music playing during the scene was of one of those songs, I apologize.)
In the end, Cordelia enters the Wonders test and beats them all, taking on the role of the next Supreme. Cordelia is the next Supreme! I wonder how much money I won in my office pool that I didn’t start because I didn’t give a shit who the Supreme was and also don’t work in an office. All in all, I’m glad it’s her, as she is probably the only person who had to grow up selfless enough to rule over others with kindness over spite. It sucks that we had to watch two negatively campy scenes between her and Myrtle to arrive at this discovery, and even worse that Myrtle offered herself up to avoid having Cordelia’s reign immediately sullied by “an ABSCAM or a Watergate.” But she died as she lived, screaming classy nouns; in this case, the designer Balenciaga. But did he really have to throw gasoline in her face like that?
And seriously, they play “Silver Springs” when she dies, and not Misty?
Cordelia decides to go public with the Coven’s existence, which Madison had threatened to do before Kyle strangled her to death. (Pretty lame that she didn’t use any powers, but I guess they didn’t have an intelligent way to take her out.) There were quite a few references to acceptance and equality, and I’m honestly surprised Murphy didn’t make a joke about it being the LGBT-W now. The Academy can now stand as an institution of pride again, rather than torment and Madison.
Of course, they just had to throw a last-minute wrench in the works, shoehorning in Fiona’s return, explaining her death away as a plot that she’d tricked Axeman into believing so that Fiona wouldn’t figure it all out. This final meeting between the women was obviously a passing of the torch, and gives Cordelia the feeling of finally being superior in every way to her overbearing mother. But as far as I can tell, this scene really exists as an excuse to give Jessica Lange the worst cancer baldcap I’ve ever seen. Were we really supposed to believe that she’d allow herself to look like that in front of anyone? Powers or not, Fiona is still a woman whose pride comes first. Or maybe her cigarettes do. I also didn’t really like how her eternity was “not understanding that her eternity is a meager and fish-smelling life with Axeman. “ Hardly fitting for all the trouble she caused.
This was as average an episode as this season has delivered, and the absence of Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett is felt throughout. I don’t think I’ll ever feel the need to rewatch it later in life, but I may one day search YouTube to see if somebody has compiled all the best performances into one clip. If Coven has taught us anything, it’s that you should always be aware that present-day behavior can one day come back to make you an undying disembodied head, and you should always be suspicious of a room full of creepy porcelain dolls that never seem to get dusty.
Thanks for taking this broomless journey with me, readers, and I hope you’ll come back real soon. Like later this year, when the fourth season starts. For a story that looks more at the season as a whole, check out Kelly’s overview.
Things That Will No Longer Be Stirring in the Cauldron
“If you’re gonna offer me your spit, I’ll take it straight from the spigot.” Best line of the episode.
When Stevie Nicks showed up a few weeks ago, I thought I had wanted an elaborate music video, and was overwhelmed by her intimate piano performance. Now that I’ve seen what that whole video thing would have looked like, I wish they’d have left it in the editing room. Nicks lip syncs like she’s just had plastic surgery.
I cannot believe that Zoe was never made to fuck anyone to death again. Why did they even include that from the get-go? To make her seem more chaste than Madison? Poor mentally broken butler Kyle.
Seriously, I know the writers were being alternately funny and saccharine, but Madison and Zoe’s versions of hell were pathetic. Madison is stuck as Lisel in NBC’s Sound of Music musical and Zoe keeps hearing Kyle break up with her. Oh boohoo. I suppose either or both of them could have been lying to save face and further show Kyle how much he’s loved, but it was still cheap. Why was Misty’s the only one with any emotional force behind it?
Gotta get me one of those bathroom fireplaces, or figure out a way to bring the tub into the living room. Also, gotta get me a witch to clean all that shit up.
Second best line of the episode: When Misty’s science teacher tells that tattling kid to shut up. Hell is cruel, people.
Let’s consider Cordelia’s power of sympathy for a second. When Madison is making Kyle strangle Zoe with her mind control, as up public folk call it, Cordelia could have easily stopped Kyle by mentally pulling his hands from Zoe’s neck. Instead, she sends him airborne into a wall. As well, her final decision to “help” Kyle wasn’t to make him a little smarter like Fiona did, but to give him yet another suit to dress up in as the Coven’s new butler. She wants people to respect witches, but she can’t have that until she starts respecting slow Frankenstein creatures.
Did they talk about why that one place is the only place where they burn witches? Is it the solitude? Do stakes just grow there naturally?
“She’d already started packing. That’s helpful.” That baby doll hand across Madison’s dead cheek should be my computer background.
I so wished Papa Legba would have walked out the door of Axeman’s house and the camera would follow him as he went around scooping up souls and live babies.
“Up Next: Liza Minnelli Talks About Her Hip”
Another nice job from frequent AHS directorAlfonaso Gomez-Rejon, and I hope he’ll be back next season after getting his movie career off the ground.
In the place of a “Next Week On AHS,” there was an ad for Stevie Nicks’ documentary In Your Dreams, so we will, too. Get it on Amazon.
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