It was a fairly quiet time at Miss Robichaux’s Academy this week. I mean, sure there was a zombie invasion and a witch burning, but nothing too intense. There was enough downtime for me to think, “Who is funding this school where absolutely nothing gets done by way of schooling?” I’m keen to think the U.S. Government has no idea who’s paying the property taxes on that place. Speaking of property taxes… wait, no. We’re talking about American Horror Story. Since only three things of major note happened in “Burn, Witch, Burn,” I’ll start with the ones I already mentioned.
Last week’s zombie horde, culled by Marie Laveau, went just about as successfully as you’d expect, in that no one died and all the zombies were killed off relatively easily. It took up the first half of the episode, so it was indeed loaded with gory fun and wicked humor. When Queenie referred to the swarming undead as an “Army of Darkness,” it got a smile out of me, but I r-r-roared with delight when Zoe brought out the chainsaw to take those fancy pants zombies down. Granted, she didn’t get it attached to one of her arms, but the effort is still applauded, especially when she cut that guy literally in half. This just made me all the more interested in the recent will they/won’t they back-and-forth over an Army of Darkness sequel.
I thought the entire affair could have been tighter, as it partly relied on unsmart bits, such as Nan trying to get away with the neighbor, who gets axed up yet doesn’t get eaten, and lives to tell the tale. But if one thinks of it solely as a conduit to let viewers into another chapter of Madame LaLaurie’s history, it works wonderfully. Where she was previously an unsympathetic slave torturing racist who we thought may have spent decades grieving over her daughter’s murders, she’s now an even more unsympathetic racist who also tortured her daughters, both mentally and then physically once she heard their conspiratorial conversations involving matricide. I love how they just keep making this bitch worse and worse, threatening to stuff her daughter’s mouth full of shit on Christmas morning. Dust off your Mother of the Year awards, ladies, because she’s taking them all home from now on.
What I gathered from how this segment ended, with Zoe’s “Be in your nature” non sequitur that somehow knocked Laveau out of her levitating trance, is that Zoe figured out a new power, putting her in line for Supreme. Let’s hope she’s smart enough to keep it to herself.
Fiona was certainly in danger of losing her spot as Coven leader. But, she and Spalding went all P.I. on the fire-headed Myrtle, who threw the acid in Cordelia’s face. A clumsy reveal at best, but I didn’t see it coming. So instead of gaining revenge on Fiona, Myrtle is set to burn at the stake. And later it was revealed that Queenie had a hand in setting Myrtle up by dipping her own fingers in acid during Fiona's talk with the council, disfiguring Myrtle's hand just in time for Fiona to pull the glove off.
The episode was written by Jessica Sharzer, whose last episode was Asylum’s “The Name Game,” which featured the crazy dance number to the titular song. The burning in this episode doesn’t match the surreal feeling that sequence invoked, but the stuttered editing accompanying the contrasting sounds of Dr. John’s “Right Place Wrong Time” set a bonfire of displeasure in my stomach. Of course, Friendless Misty the Necromancer took time out of swaying to the hypnotic sounds of Fleetwood Mac long enough to bring Myrtle back to life. She apparently just blindly does what she wants with her power, so where was she during Katrina?