There is a point in “The Dead” when Cordelia is truth-bombing Zoe about Fiona’s complicity in Madison’s throat slashing, and her eyebrows get stern around her milky blind eyes, and she says, “We’re going to kill my mother!” And that is a line that, even in American Horror Story, should have a hefty amount of weight behind it. Yet…
1. Fiona is probably still too powerful to be killed by her daughter, and it would take another Supreme to do it.
2. There’s obviously no way Jessica Lange would be leaving the show this early.
3. This is a show where someone raises people from the dead, and has done so to nearly every single character who has died.
Somehow AHS has gone post-horror and removed even death as a suitable threat for its characters, with “walking in on your zombie would-be lover banging your undead rival friend” being perfectly fine. The point of a thriller is generally to risk the main players’ lives in dangerous situations. But the ultimate risk is nearly absent from Coven, and I’m not sure how I feel about that in terms of storytelling.
Let’s look at another example. Last week, the Axeman came back around, and it looked like Fiona was in line for a whacking, or at least vice versa. Instead, we find out his ghost has been watching her since she was a baby, and his fatherly love has turned into something more carnal, especially when a saxophone is playing in the background. If what I expected from this series was awkward sex scenes, this episode would be tip-top. But he’s obviously not going to kill her, and she knows he’s a murderer, so maybe they’ll give romance a real shot, or chop.
And another example. The episode begins with Kyle chained up, and Zoe shows up just before the opening credits, holding a gun behind her back. When we come back to it, Kyle fights her for the gun, and then Zoe has to stop Kyle from shooting himself, thus making this whole situation pretty irrelevant. We just have to know that Zoe loves him enough to not kill him like she wanted to. That almost backfires when she finds Kyle plowing Madison, but then it turns into a threeway or something. So maybe they’re going for romance, too.
It’s already been established that Madame LaLaurie isn’t going to die, so her fate in the episode is less one with fatal ramifications and one where torture and suffering are the specials of the day, every day. This plot thrust, where Queenie gives that tiger sweatshirt-wearing LaLaurie up to Laveau, is an interesting one, even though there wasn’t any real point in Queenie visiting the hair salon in the first place. A clumsy set-up ends in the most interesting story thread. Go figure. It would have been nice not to have to deal with that confession about killing the girl’s infant, however. I understand its purpose. Just…ew. I wonder about the legitimacy of Laveau’s claim that Voodoo plus witchery will make Queenie more powerful than the Supreme.
So it’s the inherent lack of death in Coven that really struck me this week, not that it hadn’t in weeks past. (I talk about the exception, Spadling’s death, below, for those who think I’m blind or stupid.) I suppose we’re supposed to be worried about Hank and his arsenal coming to the Academy and going bullet crazy, but I seriously doubt he gets very far with it. Hopefully he and the undead Myrtle Snow show up at the same time and we get a showdown of the century. See you all in Wonder Bread Land.
Things Stirring in the Cauldron
I hate hate hate hate that Madison is back.
Why you gotta shit on a Saints logo or Wile E. Coyote for a tattoo, Kyle? Why is this guy trying to piss me off?
“I’d bang her to take her mind off of it.” The guys who are victim of incest are the ones who don’t laugh at “Yo Momma” jokes.
I gotta say, this was probably my favorite opening this show has ever given us. Not so much for the dialogue, but for transitioning these frat boys getting their tattoos to zombified Kyle seeing their tattoos on his sewed-up body and going crazy over the memory. That’s good stuff.
“When was the last time your body made a light show?” Gross.
“We buried her with her baby. It was the right thing to do.” Grosser.
Not gonna lie, I could watch a travel show where LaLaurie traveled the country Diners, Drive-Ins and Diners style eating food she never heard of.
Why does Cordelia have a rotary dial phone? What makes that weird-ass woman tick?
Things do get a little more interesting now that everyone seems to know Fiona is a murderer. Having Cordelia tell Zoe was expected and normal, but having Zoe confirm the information by giving Spalding his tongue back was fucking genius. This whole scene worked like an outtake from Liar Liar, as Spalding tries to keep the truth hidden. And his actual death, with his tongue lolled outside his mouth was priceless.
So Kyle was the one guy who didn’t date rape Madison in the first episode, yet he died anyway. Then he got to come back and have sex with her consensually. I guess nice guys do finish last. And in this case, “finish” is used sexually.
Ryan Murphy posted a picture on Instagram of Stevie Nicks on set. Misty’s nose wasn’t even in her butt. Take a peek below.