'American Horror Story: Coven': Can Fiona survive 'The Sacred Taking'?
Geez, talk about bad luck. The witches of Salem only had to worry about a bunch of mean-spirited Puritans, but Fiona and her coven are up against so much more. Let's see, there's Joan Ramsey next door, Marie Laveau, Hank, oh, and one another. Really, Hank doesn't have to work very hard to take down witches, as I'm sure that if he waits long enough they'll just pick each other off like so many limping quail during hunting season. I'm assuming they'll get it together, but I have to wonder if they'll see the advantage in working together just as Marie is moving in to rip out their hearts in some kind of gory voodoo ritual.
The witches gang up on Fiona... but without Queenie: I almost convinced myself that Queenie has gone all the way over to the voodoo side, but then she took a bag of fast food to Madame LaLaurie and I had to reconsider. Queenie may be able to rip a guy's heart out of his chest without flinching, but she can't erase the meaningful bond created with burger grease and cheesy fries between big chicks. Race, shmace.
Even though Queenie offers a pretty compelling warning to her former sorta-friends (you know, war is coming, prepare to die, that sort of thing), it has no impact on Zoe and company plotting to force Fiona into killing herself. Granted, with a Supreme like Fiona, you're better off not having a Supreme. But then, Fiona is just full of surprises, isn't she?
Fiona does something selfless (almost): The set-up to Fiona swallowing a fistful of pills is actually pretty beautifully done. Madison swirling about in her red dress like a hellish hallucination? Myrtle swanning around the room (shades of last season's Angel of Death) -- it all seems a bit like the ending of "All that Jazz," which is, of course, apropos for Lange. There's nothing "American Horror Story" does better than a good death, and I half expected this episode to be Fiona's swan song (how much did we love her comment about looking more like Endora than Samantha?). But we're not saying goodbye to Jessica Lange so easily, so even as she settles in for a glamorous death, complete with a fur, perfect make-up and head wrap, soon Spalding is on the case to spoon in some ipecac with a hard dose of truth. It's not Fiona's time -- as much as Myrtle (also loved the sweet moment she shared with Fiona -- right before she stole her jewelry), Delia and the others may want it.
Misty sticks around -- and so does Myrtle: It was nice to see Misty brought into the fold after (I'm assuming) Hank's attack, which didn't seem like a possibility not so long ago. I predict twirling! As well as, of course, Stevie Nicks, but we knew that already. Myrtle (Welcome back, Myrtle! Sorry about the face!) seems confident that Misty is the new Supreme, but I'm not so sure. Because we spend a great deal of time dismissing the possibility that Nan could be the one, I'm inclined to think she is (everyone doth protest too much), unless it's Delia or Zoe or, hell, who knows? Given how unpredictable "American Horror Story" can be (as we know, even dead doesn't necessarily mean dead on this show), I fully expect to be surprised.
Kyle chooses Zoe: I appreciate the fact that Zoe, who should be more riddled with guilt about Kyle's miserable life than she is, is at least making an effort to work on his communication skills. It's a fair bit better than Madison's approach to Kyle, which is essentially using him as a personal sex slave. Because this is "Frankenstein 2: Electric Boogaloo," Kyle of course falls in love with sometimes sweet Zoe. That his confession of affection causes Madison's face to crumple up like a damp Kleenex is a little surprising but not entirely so. Madison needs to fill the great emptiness in her heart, and she also needs to be the prettiest girl in the room, so while she doesn't necessarily love Kyle she needs him to love her -- or at the very least not love someone else. I'm not sure if this is a story thread that will be picked up or abandoned (again, with this show so much spaghetti is flung at the wall not all of it sticks), but it could be compelling given how Zoe isn't the wide-eyed patsy she seemed to be initially.
Joan eats it -- and Luke may be our second hot guy vegetable: Really, Hank needs to work on his marksmanship. He couldn't pick off Nan as she was tiptoeing between the houses, but has to squeeze off some shots while she's standing in between Joan and Luke? Not that I'm terribly sorry that Joan dies for a whole minute or so (with Misty on deck, I think the fatality rate is going to drop precipitously). Watching her force Luke to have a "purifying" enema suggests Luke is a lot more like Kyle than we might have guessed (hey, abuse is abuse) -- and the fact that Luke now has a massive head wound may mean we'll have a matched set of hot guys with limited functionality. I'm hoping that isn't the case, as it suggests Murphy and Falchuk are running out of ideas -- or at least ideas to borrow.
Madame LaLaurie loses her head: The minute Madame LaLaurie started hurling racist comments at Marie Laveau, we all knew that the voodoo priestess was going to dish out a punishment worse than death. Really, the only surprise was that Madame LaLaurie didn't see it coming. Maybe "Se7en" just stuck with me a little longer than it should have, but anytime I see someone carrying a mysterious box I think "um, head's in there." So, not the most shocking note on which to end the episode, and, in fact, a little disappointing. If this is how we're going to see Kathy Bates for the rest of the season -- as a magic trick carried from scene to scene -- I'm hoping that someone finds a way to put her out of her misery.
Fiona and Delia bond: Poor Delia. If she'd only tried to kill her mom earlier, she would have won her respect so much sooner! It's a weird bonding moment between mother and daughter, but one that promises a good, ugly fight ahead. I like Delia so much better now that she's gotten in touch with her inner badass (just wondering -- I guess that silver bullet didn't reveal the all-important detail that Hank is trying to kill the witches?), and Marie Laveau might finally have a few adversaries worthy of her skills. Well, maybe. The idea that Delia and Fiona have finally found a strange common ground makes me suspect that Delia might well be the next Supreme -- which would throw everything out of whack in the best possible way.
Do you think the witches will win the war? What do you think Fiona has planned? Who do you think is the next Supreme?
Follow Liane Bonin Starr on Twitter at @HitFixLiane!