“The Axeman Cometh” is the first episode of American Horror Story this season that I watched and instead of thinking, “This is an awesome slice of television,” I was actively telling myself, “Oh, yeah, this is definitely American Horror Story.” It isn’t to say that it was a bad episode or anything, as it still featured some of the most bizarre moments in this week’s television. But there was the seemingly needless introduction of yet another real-life murderer who dies and comes back to life who comes back to life because the three witch characters bring him back through a knock-off Ouija board. This is a stupid plotline in every sense of the imagination.
But you know what? The always intense Danny Huston (who I like to call the poor-but-rich-at-heart man’s Ray Wise) plays the never identified Axeman of New Orleans, whose most famous letter to the press is utilized for this cold open, where he called for New Orleans citizens to only play jazz music from their homes, with death as a consequence. And I really like Huston in that role, as he’s menacing as fuck and he has a strong bone to pick with the woman of the Coven. But he’s brought back to life via Ouija, and he tries to strong-arm the blind-but-Sight-filled Cordelia. A boring enough proposition for the guy, especially given the sexy saxophones wailing away beneath the show’s usual score, but then he’s driven away when Zoe reads some Hebrew from a book that she only found through her powers. There’s “deus ex machine” and then there’s “God writes his own fiction,” and I think this was of the latter.
And then he’s seen again at the end, enticing Fiona, which would be a pretty interesting situation, except we’ve seen earlier in the episode that Fiona is sometimes capable of reading minds. So that just means she’ll read his mind at some point and see who he really is before vaporizing his bladed ass. But maybe it’ll be different. Like she’ll slit his throat.
Speaking of…Madison is alive again, and she wants to puff on a cigarette with her near-maggoty lips. Hawt! But then she talks about how there’s no afterlife. Not hawt! Really, there would be no “black forever” because there would be no “forever,” but that’s not quite a plot development. But what Madison’s death will reveal definitely will be.
So…Hank. He’s with Marie Laveau. He’s been murdering witches for years. But he might be in love with Cordelia, and unable to kill her. What the fuck, Hank? What do you have against witches? Alexandra Breckinridge was a witch! You killed her! Arsonists don’t deserve to die if they look like that, Hank!
All in all, it’s fairly surprising to see them together, but now that Laveau wants everyone’s heads, that just means he’s going to die next week. And I wasn’t too impressed with Angela Bassett’s overacting this week. I’d have preferred if her character was sassier in the past and more professionally bitchy these days. But she still just ssssstressssesssss out her sentencessssss , time be damned. But I’m fine with watching Hank die soon. So be it. He seems to be a tad more vigilant in eyeing victims than everyone else targeting the Coven, so this might get real.
But then when you have Misty “I’ll raise anything from the dead that ever dies ever that I come across ever” Day, then the prospect of dead bodies is never solidified. She raised Kyle, who came back to her and does NOT want to be bathed by her. She raised Madison who should at least get bathed by her in one scene that is unrated for audiences. But she also has a “Myrtle in the ground” that she buried last week, whose wrath we have yet to witness.
And we still apparently don’t know who burned Cordelia with the acid, although anyone in the show is seemingly a suspect at this point. Nobody tell anybody, but I’m pretty sure Cordelia did it to herself, just under the guise of a hooded other person. And I get a thousand points if I’m right.
Now that we know that the Fleetwood Mac White Witch herself Stevie Nicks is coming to the show (more on that here), we just don’t have to worry about anything, but it’s all groovy now and we said we want our freedom and who is Ryan Murphy to keep us down? Until next week’s stillness of remembering…
Things Stirring in the Cauldron
Was it just the actors they hired, or was everyone who lived in 1919 terrible at conveying emotion? Except Huston, of course. And now could a mere record player be heard from the street? Did one of these witches invent Bose?
But seriously, what was that shot where Huston was shown almost horizontally? The Dutch angle would be insulted.
The Axeman as a bartender in New Orleans? How is that not a series on Fox already? Granted, his stabbing scene made me giggle more than any life action show Fox has ever aired…Maybe that’s my problem.
“Cold, stiff, unyielding mold.”
This episode gets credit for showing characters drinking Absinthe without acting as if they’re on hallucinogens. Or even drunk. Learn from this, every other TV series.
”My mom met someone on eHarmony, and they just went on a cruise to Nova Scotia.”
“I’m a man of uniquely developed appetites.” Did anybody call the cops on Spalding? Because I don’t really feel like everyone knows just how depraved this guy is. And can someone ask him if he’ll be my best friend?
Walter White getting chemo > Fiona getting chemo.
A Jughead reference!
All blind people are making fun of Cordelia right now.
Did anyone else think Misty was going to murder Kyle where he stood for breaking her Fleetwood Mac radio? HE BROKE STEVIE!
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.