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American Horror Story recap: Coven' recap: 'The Sacred Taking'

The Coven tries to take down their own Supreme. As usual, somebody dies.

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AHS Coven 308

American Horror Story

TV Show
run date:
Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters
Current Status:
In Season

A homeless fellow with a hammer tried to attack Queenie. She grabbed a board with a nail in it and used her human-voodoo-dolls to take him down. Out of the shadows came Zoe and Madison, her former sister witches. Maybe it was just the Coven-free Thanksgiving week, but it felt like some time had passed. Zoe knew Queenie was changing sides. She preached a new era in Miss Robichaux’s. “We know our Coven’s a s—show right now,” she said, an understatement considering that it only took seven episodes for most of the Coven to die at least once. “But things are changing. A new Supreme is rising.” Queenie heard that line before. She had a new family now. Marie Laveau sent her out to find a dark heart — and the homeless man was a serial rapist. So Temple of Doomed him, holding his still-beating heart up in the air. “War is coming,” she told her former allies. “And you’re gonna lose.”

The master-arc of Coven keeps on pointing us to a showdown between Marie Laveau’s Voodoo crew and Fiona’s Salem branch. But the episode that followed Queenie’s pronouncement was more focused on the internal struggle at Miss Robichaux’s. After a season that has mostly sent its characters spiraling outwards in several different directions, it was an opportunity to bring together most of the cast — living and dying and dead and undead, headless and otherwise. It was also a showcase for Fiona — and recurring director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, the idiosyncratic visualist who spent half the episode pointing the camera at mirrors. (It may have been an homage to the Evil Queen in Snow White, with her cruel magic mirror. Or it may have been an homage to how cool mirrors look onscreen.)

Fiona having a rough time. Meningeal carcinomatosis is consuming her. “I used to think I understood pain,” she said, as we saw images of her writhing in pure agony. And there were the other effects, more shallow but also more relentlessly visible: “I’m less Samantha, more Endora every day.” There was a joyful side note: The cancer was driving her into the Axeman’s arms. We saw the two of them lounging in bed, like a pair of teenagers. Fiona only had a month left? The Axeman fully intended to spend that month with her. And Fiona still had her own plans. One of the witches under her care was coming into her own power as Supreme. With each passing day, that witch was taking power away from Fiona. Perhaps, if she could strike against them…

But Fiona didn’t know that the Coven was assembling for their own strike. They were led by Delia, milquetoast intellectual turned terse blind seer. Neo-Delia doesn’t have time to worry about past mistakes. Queenie joined the enemy? “She’s dead to me.” She assembled her remaining students. She had a plan: Kill Mom.

And there were witches aplenty converging on Miss Robichaux’s. Mere days after Misty opted not to join the Salem crew, she came running back for sanctuary. She woke up earlier in the day to see the resurrected Myrtle inside her shack. She assured Myrtle that she was safe. Myrtle said that, quite the contrary, a man with a gun had just stepped on her face. Then the man attacked. We didn’t see his face: He could be one of the anti-witch swampsters who burned Misty to near-death, or he could be a certain double-agent fake-hubby witch hunter. But Delia welcomed Misty to the Coven.

And Misty had not come alone. Myrtle was in the garden. Her skin was corpsey, but her hair was perfect: “I’ve been buying in bulk from North Korea for yeeeears,” she trilled. And Myrtle was preaching a new gospel. She had seen the face of the Supreme, and it was Misty Day, whose power of Resurrection is apparently much more difficult than any of the “Seven Wonders” a Supreme usually has to demonstrate. Or, in the words of Myrtle, “She’s brought back more people from the dead than Jesus Christ.” (ASIDE: Part of the reason I like American Horror Story is that it throws out ambient bits of mythology without really caring about continuity — it’s got the everything-at-the-wall vibe of a first-season sitcom or a ’40s comic book. At this point in the season, resurrection is either the most powerful thing anyone can do or something that pretty much anyone can do. That’s also why — even though it’s an obvious talking point — I don’t really care about the “Who Will Be The Next Supreme” guessing game. It could be anybody, or everybody; or it could be Stevie Nicks. END OF ASIDE.)

Upstairs, Zoe set up FrankenKyle with a grade-school vocabulary app. He tried kissing her, but she wasn’t in the mood. In came Madison, who sat down next to the reanimated boytoy and tonguekissed him, promising premium-cable debauchery later in the night. They were shot on either shoulder, like the cartoon angel and the devil. Zoe talked about teaching Kyle how to talk, so he could rejoin society. Madison wondered why he wasn’t watching porn, like every other good American boy.

Speaking of Good American Boys, neighbor boy Luke was trying to explain to his mom why she should be more understanding about those nice girls next door. They didn’t hurt him. They saved him. “Only Jesus can save you,” she said. When that line came out, you probably thought we were being set up for a full-scale Carrie’s Mom Christian-Horror freakout…and you were right! Joan ranted about being unclean, brought her son into the bathroom, and told him to take off his pants. Crazy music twirled on the soundtrack as she set up an enema. Between Luke and Kyle, this has not been a good season of American Horror Story to be a human male with a mother.

NEXT: The Sacred Taking


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