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EPISODE: The Dead
THE SCOOP: A purgatorial three-way goes down. Queenie is slowly becoming indoctrinated by Marie Laveau, while Fiona and The Axeman reveal an interesting interpersonal past.
The Following May Contain Minor-To-Major Spoilers. If You've Not Seen This Episode, It Might be Wisest To Stop Reading Here!
THE SKINNY: My my, things got awfully kinky in the academy this week, ay?! But before we get into the weird zombie ménage-a-trois that most will be buzzing about, let's discuss the overall direction of the episode, shall we. Dubbed "The Dead," the 7th entry of AHS: Coven is what you might expect during the dog-days of a 13 week run. Instead of being more focused on a single storyline or two, a lot of spinning wheels and clicking cogs are in motion in order to setup things down the road. As a result, there's way too much confusion, discontinuity, and overwrought exposition. Those are the worst qualities of the show as a whole. When it's at its best, it's clear, concise, genuinely creepy and overtly perverted. This episode felt spread too thin, and despite its suggested threesome, served as more of a credit-builder than a powerful payoff. No problem with that, as long as the show cashes in big-time in the weeks to come.
The first example of this discontinuity I speak of, is that we don't pick up where we left off last week until 15 minutes into the episode. In previous ones, we resumed immediately. But in "The Dead," instead of following Fiona and the Axeman home from the speakeasy, we get a flashback of healthy frat-boy Kyle, and a long-lament about the purgatorial numbness Madison's experiencing. Okay, but when we do finally get back to the Fiona/Axeman tryst, we soon learn they aren't one-night standers after-all. Nope, they've known each other for eons. At least, he's known her, serving as a sort of guardian devil of hers since she was a wicked-witch in training. In fact, when some older teacher was giving her shit one day as a kid, Axeman showed up in spirit and stone dropped a chalkboard on the bitch's dome. Confessing this, Fiona drops her panties and has another roll in the sack...this despite her hair falling out from cancer. It's personally this storyline, in the dingy roach-infested motel they languish in, that I enjoyed most this week. Lange always kills it, and Danny Huston is a welcome challenger.
Other goings on at Robichauxthis week include Queenie getting chummier and chummier with Madame LaLaurie. These two hit the drive-thru, talk shit, eat burgers, laugh it up, good times all around. That is, until Marie Laveau (whatever jackoff that came up with those two similar names, I hate you) continues to indoctrinate Queenie into believing the Academy deems her an inferior race. Queenie's starting to buy the hype, and by episode's end, she lures LaLarue into Marie Laveau's voodoo dungeon. Yup...it's Kathy Bates at the hands of Angela Bassett, which, if the former survived, should make for some fun future episodes. Remember, the final shot this week was of Marie Laveau savagely painting her face with LaLaurie's freshly drained blood. Should make for some interesting answers soon to come!
Now let's get back to this silly undead threesome. Zoe's been acting weird as hell this week, has she not? First off, she came quite aggressively at Kyle to start the show, violent intentions clearly at the fore. Then she cut off Spalding's tongue, reattached it, then plunged a dagger into his heart with no remorse. Not enough? She seriously entertains the notion of killing Fiona at Cordelia's behest. Still not enough? After witnessing Kyle give the hard-hog to Madison in her bedroom, it isn't long before she's engaging in some girl-on-ghost-on-ghost action. I mean, wow. I realize logic has long been thrown out the window in this show, but you'll recall both Kyle and Madison have returned from the dead, right. In a weird state of purgatorial witchery. Now here comes Zoe with her own bag of problems and whamo...ghost jizz!!! I just wish it was more sordid onscreen than it sounds. There was absolutely nothing to see, just suggestion...which reinforces the lack of consistent luridness I spoke of earlier. When the show is tame and confusing, it sucks. When it's focused and foul, it rocks. That said, shite's bonkers at the Robichaux academy right now, with no doubt dimmer and devilish days ahead!
KILL OF THE WEEK: Zoe stabs Spalding in the heart with a stone dagger. Significant moving forward, as Spaulding is a key character of the Academy dating back to its inception. Of course, if LaLaurie actually got sacrificed this week (we don't know for sure yet), that would be just as monumental.
BLOOD & GORE: A severed tongue gets reattached. A large dagger to the heart. A chalkboard is dropped on an evil witch. A hacked up body lays in a bathtub of blood. A woman is thrown off a balcony in cold blood. Human blood is face-painted with.
WTF CHARACTER MOMENT: Since I already illustrated the strange behavior of Zoe, I must say Queenie taking LaLaurie to Marie Laveau was a bit perplexing. I mean, surely Queenie knew that Marie was using her to get to the Madame all along, feeding her any and everything she wanted to hear to make that happen. The fact Queenie and LaLaurie were becoming BFFs the last couple weeks makes the move all the more dubious.
MOST BIZARRE SCENE: I think the most bizarre and effective scene this week was the final shot of Marie Laveau brushing LaLaurie's blood across her throat, face and forehead...direct address to the camera in medium close-up. So simple, so eerie, so damn right!
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