Let’s just get right into talking about the elephant in the room. Watching Stevie Nicks perform “Rhiannon” on the piano in front of Misty in the middle of Miss Robichaux’s Academy was one of the most perfect scenes I’ve ever seen on a TV series, and I say that completely subjectively. But it’s not just that I love the song and the throaty, subdued rendition Nicks gave it, but it’s the rare bit in a series where a character gets to meet the person they idolize and imbibe on their glee. I’m not sure that American Horror Story: Coven has earned this scene, as the only thing we really even know about Misty is that she loves Stevie Nicks… but it was still just so awesome, and Rabe nailed the non-fanatic fanaticism, moving closer until she was almost in Nicks’ lap.
And yes, the scene at the end where Nicks sang “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You” to Fiona was probably more meaningful on a story level, but it sort of undercuts the meaning behind the song, as no one should ever write a song about or remember Fiona as being anything other than a selfish bitch. I don’t like the way Murphy and the writers keep playing up the empathy angle when it comes to Fiona. Minutes after expressing her sorrow for only having found true love once, she tells Papa Legba that she would be willing to sacrifice all of her loved ones to get eternal life. I’m pretty sure if she could fall in love with a ghost stalker murderer, she could find a living, sane man to love in the years to follow. But now she just wants to kill everyone, which almost certainly won’t work well for her.
This season of AHS doesn’t quite seem to know which story to tether itself to the most. There’s Fiona’s fall from disgrace, having to cancerously pass the Supreme throne off to someone in the Coven, and then there’s the fight amongst the lesser witches over who will be Supreme. And then there’s the whole Witch Hunter side of things, which barely got moving tonight, though it was pretty interesting to watch the juxtaposition of rats running in a maze and federal agents running through the soon to be bankrupt Delphi Trust. I don’t really give a shit where this part of the story goes.
So late in the season, I find myself not really caring where any of this story is going, although I’m perfectly happy to sit back and watch it get there, though I know concessions must be made. I want to know what happened to the now-buried alive Misty without having to think about why Misty and Madison were following a jazz funeral. I want to enjoy Myrtle’s theremin playing without having to listen to Cordelia complain about her life and what it does or doesn’t mean. I want the Supreme to be found without all this wishy-washy mystery business, and also without Madison, who I wish would just die in a drowned heap already.
On the flip side, I don’t want to see babies getting kidnapped, but I could watch an entire series dedicated to Lance Reddick’s voodoo king Papa Legba. (Seriously, he was the most perfect character besides Madame LaLaurie this season.) He’s the kind of character that I don’t mind thinking about during a scene, pretending that he isn’t a soul-stealing devil at all, but just a homeless man who likes to mooch cocaine off of old spinsters. That scene between Fiona and Legba was the stuff of fried gold.
Equally as enjoyable was the shock value tied to the edit between Nan standing there fully alive and Nan being drowned in a Keystone Kops fashion by Fiona and Laveau. “You’re not the first witch to be drowned,” is hardly textbook soothing language. Their bargain with Legba for Nan’s half-innocent soul was probably the broadest comedy this season has employed. I both hope and assume Reddick will be returning to the role in future episodes, and I hope Nan’s evil spirit is right beside him, as she is somehow one of the strongest characters this season has going for it.
I mean, she finally killed that neighbor bitch by making her drink bleach against her will, making me think that her role was pretty non-essential within the narrative, especially now that Nan is dead. Regardless, Nan is pretty much my hero at this point.
Who is the Supreme? Is she busy screaming inside of a coffin, or is she the one who deserves to be in a coffin? Is it Cordelia? Everybody seems to be getting more powerful except for her, even to the point where raising people from the dead is old hat. I keep feeling like there should be something else to this season besides the Supreme narrative, but it’s been given too much attention to just fizzle out. Maybe Zachery Quinto can come back and be the surprise Supreme! It looks like we aren’t going to find out until the last episode anyway, as it’s titled “The Seven Wonders.”
Three episodes left, people! Keep the Coven strong!
Things Stirring in the Cauldron
A few seconds into the first shot Laveau with Fiona in the mirror, I thought it was a good shot. And then when it didn’t change, I thought, “This must be Alfonso Gomez-Rejon directing.” And it was. A lot of mirrors and crooked angles in this one, but that first shot is the best.
Laveau kidnapped that baby and made those two cops shoot each other after ululating all crazy, but that opening was most memorable because Angela Bassett told a baby to shut up.
“You know how much that bitch loves a bottomless bowl.”
Papa Legba’s shadowy entrance into each scene was very well done, particularly when paired with what my closed caption called a “gurgling whoosh.”
I was thinking that Misty meeting Nicks would be like Jerry meeting Superman on Seinfeld, and then Nan walks up wearing this weird one piece with some pirate shirt ruffles hanging off of the front. If only Fiona had referred to herself as the master of her domain.
Of course that bitch Madison had to go and fuck things up by bringing up Eminem and talking over part of “Rhiannon.”
“Your salad dressing is absolutely magical. Maybe you could bottle it.”
So, Laveau has been offering up sacrifices once a year for roughly 260 years, and they only get worse, yet Papa Legba still feels the need to tell her all the rules for the sake of the audience. That’s the kind of thing that gets on my nerves. Plus, she had to give up her own baby at one point, so what exactly got worse from there?
I admittedly had no idea where that graveyard scene was going, and I left the episode feeling so sorry for that corpse that Madison raised.
Hey, Danny Huston. Long time no…oh, he’s gone again.
What happened to Kyle in this episode? Did Fiona make him smart enough to be a pizza delivery guy?
Has anyone else noticed the all-around lack of vehicles in Coven? Except for the bus that Kyle and his frat boys flipped over in, I can’t even remember seeing any vehicles in the show, though I’m sure they’ve come up. It’s pretty weird, though refreshing, to watch a TV series that spends barely any time inside of a car.
Want more thoughts on what Nicks thought of her experience? Give this a read.