American Horror Story: Coven
“Go to Hell”
January 22, 2014
We finally learn what the seven wonders actually are via a very Smashing Pumpkins video-esque silent film that is presumably used in other witch schools that actually teach witchcraft. The seven wonders are: Telekinesis, Concilium (mind control), Transmutation, Divination, Vitalum Vitalis (to bring someone back from the dead), Descensum (to descend into the afterlife), and Pyrokinesis. Also, performing the Seven Wonders is often fatal. Why? For reasons, that’s why.
Fiona explains all of this to an incredulous Queenie, who is like, “whatever, old lady, you just want us to perform the Seven Wonders so that you can figure out which of us is the next Supreme and kill us. NOT FALLING FOR IT.” Queenie has more important things on her mind, like where Marie Laveau disappeared to, and Fiona’s all, “Who cares? With that Rob Zombie guy somewhere? Anyway, you’re doing the Seven Wonders on Saturday. OK goodbye.”
So Queenie investigates Marie Laveau’s disappearance on her own, only to find a bloody mess in Delia’s greenhouse, and Marie Laveau’s disembodied voice promising revenge against Mme. LaLaurie. Which is weird? Like, not even her head is there? But sure. “I’ll get you my pretty,” and all that.
Queenie consults her voodoo spellbook, which I suppose came with her other textbooks that remained unopened all semester, performs a little spell and finds herself transported back to her Detroit fried chicken shack, alone behind the counter, facing an endless line of customers and one Papa Legba. Papa informs her that she’s in Hell, her own personal Hell in fact, and is impressed that Queenie has mastered descensum — the real trick will be if she can get herself back to the land of the living. Queenie explains that she came down there to look for Marie Laveau, and Papa reminds her that Marie Laveau is immortal, so she doesn’t exactly spend a lot of time in the Afterlife by definition.
Queenie returns from Fried Chicken Hell to find Papa waiting for her in her bedroom. Having proved herself powerful enough to go to Hell and back, Queenie demands that he show her what, exactly, happened to Marie Laveau, and he gives her a vision of Mme. LaLaurie doing to Marie Laveau what Marie Laveau had promised to do to Mme. LaLaurie: chop her into pieces, scatter her around town. Queenie wonders if there is any way to kill Mme. LaLaurie, and Papa explains that as long as Marie Laveau remains alive, so does Mme. LaLaurie. And the reason Marie Laveau stays alive is because she has a deal with Papa. Soooooo, if Marie Laveau were to be unable to fulfil her end of their bargain, by default she would lose her immortality, and, therefore, ipso facto, QED, so would Mme. LaLaurie! Papa Legba, impressed by Queenie’s mastery of contract law, calls her one crafty witch. Indeed.
Next item on Queenie’s to-do list: find Mme. LaLaurie, try to talk some fool sense into her head. It does not take Queenie long to track Mme. LaLaurie down at her former home, rocking a sassy new haircut. Seems Mme. LaLaurie, displeased with the tour guide’s take on her life, what with the comparisons to Jack the Ripper and Jeffrey Dahmer (neither of whom Mme. LaLaurie presumably would have heard of, right?), and the claims that she tortured 150 slaves in the attic, decided to make some staffing changes. She lured the tour guide up to the attic where she promptly attacked her with a handax. (And it was 62 slaves, let the record reflect.) Mme. LaLaurie then took over tour duties, and, in charge of her own legacy, she now explains to the tour groups that Mme. LaLaurie was a brilliant hostess, pretty good equestrian, a woman of her time, a visionary and most certainly not a monster.
Queenie offers Mme. LaLaurie one last shot at redemption — Mme. LaLaurie should let this poor, not yet dead tour guide go, and make amends for all of her previous awfulness by volunteering or something. NOPE, says Mme. LaLaurie, pointing out that she’s seen how redemption works in this century (CUT TO: Paula Deen, Anthony Weiner, because of course Paula Deen and Anthony Weiner. Paula Deen = racist = Mme. LaLaurie. Definitely. Absolutely. Completely morally equivalent.): you shed a few tears and say you’re sorry, but you’re only really sorry you got caught. WELL, MME. LALAURIE IS NO WEEPY HYPOCRITE. In fact, she can’t believe the state of this world, where “colored” men are told they are equal to white men. And with that one last racist comment, Queenie has had enough and stabs Mme. LaLaurie to death. Stab stab stab. Off to Fried Chicken Hell with you, crazy racist
Or, rather, Mme. LaLaurie’s version of Hell: Attic Hell. There, she and one of her daughters are trapped in cages, being tortured by her old friend, Marie Laveau. At some point between slicing Mme. LaLaurie’s throat and offering the blood to Daughter to drink, and offering Daughter a hot poker in the orifice of her choosing, Marie Laveau wakes up and wonders how she got there: she doesn’t have anything against this girl, why on Earth is she torturing her? GOOD QUESTION, replies Daughter before Papa Legba appears and explains to the ladies that this is their eternal punishment for their respective crimes. Marie Laveau protests that she was good! She protected people! Yeah, not all those innocent babies I demanded from you, though, what about them? Papa Legaba responds, before leaving Marie Laveau to her work. “And what, exactly, did I do to arrive here?” Daughter wonders as Marie Laveau shoves a hot poker down her throat.
Queenie isn’t the only witch on a hunt: Blind Delia is also looking for someone — Misty Day. Delia struggles with a reluctant Undead Madison Montgomery who transmutates her way out of Delia’s all-knowing hands. Unfortunately for Misty Day, however, Blind Delia’s hands pick a bad time to go on the fritz.
Downstairs, Fiona takes a break from having her portrait painted to visit with Blind Delia, and give her a necklace that belonged to her mother. Fiona assures Delia that she didn’t have to mutilate herself to restore her power, the power was always within her; it was never something that Fiona gave to her. As Fiona places the necklace around Delia’s neck, Blind Delia receives a vision of the entire coven slaughtered — in rather fanciful ways, I might add — and Fiona snatching grandma’s necklace off of dead Delia’s neck. OH SO THAT’S HOW IT’S GONNA BE, MOM?
So Delia pays a visit to Fiona’s axe-murdering ghostfriend, and gives him the heads up that after he and her mother carry out their whole “Axe Everyone in the Coven in the Face” plan, Fiona is on the next flight to Anywhere but a Farm in Covington. Axeman has a skeptical, so Delia shows him Fiona’s passport and an airline ticket, and assures him that as soon as she regains her power, Fiona isn’t going to waste her time on a “halfway decent musician in a $12 suit.”
That bit of business taken care of, Delia gets back to her first task: FIND MISTY DAY. So she spreads a bunch of Misty Day’s shawls and Birkenstocks out on the floor and smells them or something, and eventually she has a vision of Misty Day singing “Landslide” to herself in a coffin. Delia brings Queenie with her to the cemetery and encourages her to use telekinesis to bust through the bricks locking Misty Day inside her tomb. Alas, Misty Day has used her last oxygen to sing “Go Your Own Way” to herself, and is very, very dead. But that never stops anyone on this show, so utilizing her newfound power of Vitalum Vitalis, Queenie brings Misty Day back to life.
Back at the house, Myrtle is telling Undead Madison Montgomery that Delia is digging up her little extracurricular project right this moment when in walks Zoe and FrankenKyle back from Florida. Seems FrankenKyle got a little killy with a hobo, and Zoe brought him back to life, which made her realize that being the Supreme is TOTALLY her destiny. Myrtle is disappoint. But there’s no time to worry about that, because in walks Misty Day fresh from the tomb and momma is MAAAAAD at Undead Madison Montgomery. So mad! Very mad. Witchfight witchfight witchfight, and that’s when a blood-covered Axeman busts into the living room screaming about the witches having to pay for what they’ve done. The witches fling him against the stairs, because, oh, honey, no, and Delia sees that the blood he is covered in is her mother’s.
It seems that Delia’s visit to Axeman struck a chord, and when Fiona paid her last visit to Axeman’s apartment, he found the airplane ticket tucked in her purse. When confronted, Fiona is like, “I mean, let’s be realistic, once the new Supreme is dead, I’ll have a good 30 years before some new witch comes along, and I’m going to spend those years on a farm in Covington?” Axeman pouts that she’s betrayed true love, and Fiona explains that she’s never been one much for love. Fiona then begins a soliloquy about a calico cat her mother once gav–when Axeman begins hacking her in the back! Axe axe axe axe, and that’s how Fiona Goode, backstabber extraordinare, died: in the most befitting of manners.
Delia, who sees this whole scenario through her magic hands, realizes that her mom is, once and for all, dead. Fed to the gators, in fact, and there is no coming back from gator merde, according to Misty Day. (And Sean McNamara and Christian Troy.)
As for Axeman, FrankenKyle, as the coven guard dog, offers to finish him off once and for all. But Misty Day reminds FrankenKyle that they don’t need a man to protect them, and with that, the coven descends on the ghost with knives — even though he is a ghost so what, exactly, are they even stabbing (and, for that matter, what was Fiona even sexing?) — and remurder him just like their predecesors before them did in the 20s.
And so, with Fiona’s portrait in its rightful spot on the wall, it’s time to pick a new Supreme. Sunday at dawn, everyone performs the Seven Wonders, and we’ll finally settle this once and for all. (And probably die. So many are going to die. It’s American Horror Story, after all, we’ll be lucky if any of them survive.)
Marie Laveau and Mme. LaLaurie are locked away together in eternal torment, the Axeman is dead, again, and Fiona is fed to the gators, which means we have two remaining bits of business to take care of: Who is the New Supreme, and What is Rat’s Nest Doing with that Baby? I assume only one of these two issues will be dealt with, and it’s not the baby.
So let’s handicap our remaining candidates’ chances for Supremacy:
Queenie: Since the shooting at Marie Laveau’s, Queenie’s superpowers have increased. In this episode alone, she demonstrated Telekinesis, Vitalum Vitalis and Descensum. Queenie, as the only black witch, served to unite the Salem coven with the Voodoo witches. Additionally, she is the descendant of Tituba, connecting the Salem coven to its African roots. Disadvantages: That all said, now that Marie Laveau is out of the picture, the connection to the Voodoo witches is no longer as important as it once was. Additionally, she was already at the coven when Fiona began losing her powers, suggesting that it she wasn’t draining Fiona. Chances of becoming the Supreme: 1-4.
Undead Madison Montgomery: Undead Madison Montgomery was our original front-runner, having demonstrated both Telekinesis, Transmutation and Pyrokinesis. And I’m not sure if Delia’s inability to read Undead Madison Montgomery was Undead Madison Montgomery demonstrating Concilium or if it was just the writers being lazy. Additionally, Undead Madison Montgomery is a mini-Fiona in looks and behavior, and her previous disqualification, her heart condition, has been resolved with the whole dying business. Disadvantages: Dead (although that might not count against a witch — narratively speaking, it probably should); already in the coven when Fiona’s powers began diminshing and she is frightfully unpleasant. Frankly, it is doubtful the writers would saddle the coven with another selfish, disinterested Supreme. Chances of becoming the Supreme: 1-30.
Zoe: Strictly based on the narrative, Zoe is our most likely candidate. Zoe’s powers manifested at the same time Fiona’s began failing, and it is her journey to the coven that begins the entire story. Zoe has demonstrated Telekinesis and Vitalum Vitalis. Zoe has also demonstrated leadership skills and a willingness to defend the coven during the zombie attack. Disadvantages: UGH. SO BORING. SHE IS THE BORINGEST. Also, two out of seven powers isn’t much to write home about. Chances of becoming the Supreme: 2-1.
Undead Misty Day: Undead Misty Day’s burning at the stake is the event that lures Fiona back to the coven in the first place. Undead Misty Day has demonstrated Telekinesis and Vitalum Vitalis. Additionally, there is something narratively satisfying about Undead Misty Day finally finding her true place in the Coven after living a lonely existence. Disadvantages: Dead; and her powers seem to have been something that she understood and worked with for some time, suggetsing that they did not manifest when Fiona’s began slipping. Chances of becoming the Supreme: 1-3.
Delia: The daughter of Fiona, Delia is a powerful witch in her own right who has been trapped in her mother’s shadow. From a story-telling perspective, it would be satisfying for Delia to assume her mother’s throne. Additionally, Delia has the power of Divination. Disadvantages: Supremes are perfect physical specimens, something that Delia no longer is following her self-blinding. Additionally, there is no evidence she developed any new powers before being blinded. Chances of becoming the Supreme: 1-50.
Myrtle: Like Delia, it’s possible that Myrtle’s time has finally come with the passing of Fiona. Disadvantages: She is of Fiona’s generation, she’s dead, and has demonstrated no real powers. Chances of becoming the Supreme: 1-75.
FrankenKyle: Disadvantages: Dead. Not a witch. Chances of becoming the Supreme: 0.
Rat’s Nest: Disadvantages: Dead. Weirdo. Not a witch. Chances of becoming the Supreme: 0.
Fiona: It’s a wild card, but it’s possible that Fiona and Axeman faked her death — after all, we didn’t have any sort of afterlife denouement for her the way we did for Marie Laveau and Mme. LaLaurie. There’s a small chance that we can’t dismiss outright that Delia actually did see an accurate depiction of the future, that she did not change their destiny, and that Fiona will return to go through with her original plan to kill everyone in the coven and resume her power. Fiona is, after all, the baddest witch in town, and none of these baby witches compare — why shouldn’t she keep her power for a while longer? Disadvantages: For starters, the question driving this story has always been, “Who is the next Supreme?” So it would be something of a cheat if the answer ends up being, “Trick question! There is no ‘next’ Supreme. Fiona now, Fiona forever!” Fiona is the baddest witch in town, but she’s a terrible coven leader and much of this season has been demonstrating why she needs to step down — it would be pretty anticlimactic if she doesn’t stay down for the count. Furthermore, if Axeman and Fiona faked her death and managed to pull one over on Delia, why would Axeman walk into the coven and sacrifice himself that way? Chances of becoming the Supreme: 1-100
Alright witches, next week we learn our coven’s fate and, sadly, close the door on Miss Robichaux’s Academy. See you then!
American Horror Story: Coven airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on FX.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.