EPISODE: Protect the Coven
THE FOLLOWING MAY CONTAIN MINOR TO MAJOR SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS EPISODE, IT MIGHT BE BEST TO STOP READING HERE!
THE SCOOP: As Cordelia makes the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the coven, Fiona and Marie Laveau finally showdown with the witch-hunting Corporation. Things are finally coming to a head!
THE SKINNY: Whoa now...get out the mop and bucket, there was a whole lot of motherf*ckin blood in "Protect the Coven" - the 11th episode of "American Horror Story: Coven"! With only two more episodes after tonight's, the series continues to steer two dueling narratives. One got addressed more than the other this week - the inevitable clash between Robichaux and The Corporation of witch-hunters (more on that in a sec). The other driving storyline - of who will assume the new mantle of Supreme - while once again toyed with, was hardly solved this time out. I will say I was glad to see my half-assed prediction last week of Zoe becoming the new head-witch was sullied (for now), and even more impressed to see Queenie now in the running with her whole new bullet-catching abilities (or whatever that was). And wow, what about my dude the Axe-Man...this guy went bat-shite bonkers inside that boardroom, showing more goddamn skill with the blade than a 40-year Benihana maestro!
We opened this week in 1830, Louisiana. Delphine is back in the life of servitude, we see how damaged and depraved she was even back then. She sacrifices a chicken by lopping its head off, strings up a black captive, torturing him, stringing him up, confessing her penchant for collecting human body parts. She even snips off homey's big toe as a souvenir. Bitch has BEEN bad for centuries! So bad that even in the present day, when Spalding tells her to kill Marie Laveau (she must die!), Delphine tries to do so without even batting an eye. He tricked her though, for Marie is immortal. He tricked her by saying he could saying she could Marie some magic potion that would reverse the immortality, but it was just Benadryl he gave her. Delphine goes through with it and stabs Marie in the heart with a large butcher knife. Spalding confesses he was just joshing and suggests burying Marie alive would suit best. I'm not sure what this sort of ruse was used for, but I guess we'll see next week if Delphine took it there!
Meanwhile, also in the present day, the witch-gang attends Nan's funeral. Guess she wasn't Supreme material after-all. But is Maddy? She's been domineering as of late, talking all kinds of shite to Delphine (literally). Myrtle is still trying to manipulate the outcome. She gives Zoe her prized gem-piece (Sapphire and Opal or some such) and implores her and Kyle to run away from the coven and never look back. F*ck being the new Supreme. In the end, Zoe listens and they do just that, two unrequited lovers fleeing the night. But will they be summoned back? Can they really evade the darkness? My guess is we'll hear from them again before the series ends. Perhaps a better question, will Cordelia's eyesight be coming back? Goddamn! My girl, in a major plot point, took a pair of pruning shears to her own eyeballs, a flood of blood spewing out all over the room. She did this in order to "protect the coven," though I'm not sure if that will ultimately turn out to be the case, especially given what would follow suit between the witches and their prey at their official conference.
Speaking of, the other major showdown this week involved Fiona, Marie and the Corporation. At a sit-down between the two girls and the board of directors - negotiations don't go so well. The board offers a 100-year truce, but the gals have other plans. Cue the badass Axe-man, who obliterates the room to gory shreds with his trusty blade and gat. My man hacks, slashes, shoots, sprays, cuts, dices, slices and explodes the room into a messy mass of unrecognizable flesh. That shite rocked! But was that the right move for the Academy? Surely the war between the witches and the hunters will persist now for eons. That cannot end too well for Fiona and Marie, right? Right? Ah, who the hell knows, this shite's more confusing than Kafka to a six year-old. On acid!
All in all, I thought this episode played well to the show's strenghts. With only two more hours of the Coven, we're definitely getting closer to the end-game regarding not just the war between the withes and hunters - but also who will rise up as the new Supreme witch. The former storyline got driven pretty far this week, culminating in probably my favorite sequence with the Axe-Man butchering that entire room. That was the tits! I also really dug the overall amount of carnage and onscreen gore this week, shite got hectic! But even more than that, and something I've been lauding when present and calling for when not - is the bizarre, the outlandish, the utterly perverted. Look no further this week than Spalding in that damn baby-doll costume, rocking a baby back in forth in the dark (that broken lullaby in the background). Or Delphine serving Maddy's feces to Myrtle as a gourmet dish, and Myrtle taking delight in it, despite not knowing. Yup, the more off-putting the better in my opinion, let's just hope the final two episodes really deliver before the show is put off the air for a good 8 months or so. You think it will or what?
KILL OF THE WEEK: Definitely when Fiona, inspired by her new boyfriend, strikes the axe-blade plum in the jugular of the Corporation head. Dude bled out like a stuck pig!
BLOOD & GORE: A chicken gets its head cut off. A bloody, ball-gagged dude gets bound and tortured. A big-toe gets lopped off.. Two eyeballs gouged to a bloody pulp with gardening shears. A butcher knife to the chest. The Axe-Man slaughters an entire boardroom - with blade and firearm. Axe to the jugular. A lot of splatter!
WTF CHARACTER MOMENT: Has got to be when Cordelia smears human blood under eyes, warpaint style, then breaking into tears, before jousting a pair of gardening shears into both of her eyeballs. Blood geyers!
MOST BIZARRE SCENE: I've said it a thousand times, the more bizarre AHS is, the better. Case in point this week: when Spalding dresses up as a human doll, sits in a rocking chair in a dark corner, and rocks that baby back and forth. My lord!
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