Thursday, October 31, 2013

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Coven - Fearful Pranks Ensue

It's Halloween folks and for American Horror Story once again, that means acknowledging the scariest time of the year in the only manner that they can.

Written by Jennifer Salt
Directed by Michael Uppendahl

Council Arrival: The last few episodes have thrown allusions to the Council and this episode decided to actually introduce them properly. Myrtle along with Cecily (Robin Bartlett) and Quentin (Leslie Jordan) showed up at the school because of Madison's disappearance and Cordelia not only blurted out about not watching the girls properly but also about her recent encounter with Marie as well, which didn't go down too well. I do like that Myrtle can see Fiona for the murderous little madam that she is but given how easily Myrtle tends to explode, it's no wonder Fiona constantly gets away with bumping off fellow witches. Quentin and Cecily were moderately entertaining but I don't see we saw enough of them to make a real impression though. Hopefully there will be some future appearances from the Council in the season.

Mother/Daughter Bond: This episode began with both Fiona and Cordelia sniping at each other in relation to their visits to Marie but during the episode, it was actually nice to see the two of them bond a bit. Misguided as Cordelia's defense might have been, it was nice to see her defend her mother against the Council and it was also nice to have some confirmation that Madison wasn't the Supreme and that she had a heart murmur (it's looking likely to be either Zoe, Nan or Misty, isn't it?) and their bar hopping session was a lot of fun too, until Cordelia got acid chucked into her face. So who did it? I think it was either Myrtle or one of Marie's lackeys. Either way, this has kind of been a shit episode for Cordelia.

Bad Husband: Oh Hank, I actually thought you were a decent guy but not only did you cheat on Cordelia with art gal Kaylee (a wasted appearance from Alexandria Breckenridge) but then you went and shot the poor girl just because she showed some signs of affection that went beyond meaningless sex. I have to admit I am kind of disappointed that they made Hank into such a bastard so quickly but I guess it now justifies Fiona's hatred for the bloke (though she's one to talk really). Hank, you utter bastard. At least Kyle (even in his zombie form) and Luke (given that he brought Nan cookies) are flying the flag for decent blokes on the show at the moment. We're in short supply of them at the moment.

Tea Party, Anyone?: I was wondering when we'd learn something about Spalding and this episode was something of an info dump in relation to the guy. If you're like me and you kind of found Drusilla's tea parties with her dollies in Buffy The Vampire Slayer utterly creepy, then Spalding outdoes that crazy vampire lady by having them with Madison's corpse and dressing up. Even in death, Madison can't seem to catch a break and Spalding's devotion to Fiona even extended to a bit of self mutilation as well back in the day. Denis O'Hare with the limited dialogue he's been given is playing a blinder with the role and I certainly liked that we learned about Spalding as a character, even if it mainly creeped me out though.

Truce Is Over: I've not been the most sympathetic towards Marie in the last two episodes, probably because her vindictive side has overridden her character but with this episode, I actually was on her side. While it was her fault that Bastian attacked poor Queenie, I did feel bad for her when his head was returned to her the very next day. Marie's ability to use zombies to attack the house and cause LaLaurie some personal distress was an interesting end to this episode (and I loved that she used the same method in 1961 to avenge her friend Cora's son's death against some racist bastards). Basically this episode did a lot to make Marie a lot more layered as a character. Aside from the Marie stuff, I did like that Nan was concerned for Madison's safety, even if Zoe and Queenie couldn't be bothered. Overall, this was a better Halloween episode than the previous season's one.

Next week it really does look like the zombie attack from hell and someone's getting burned on the stake as well.

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