American Horror Story /Coven: Episode Four

American-Horror-Story-CovenWe begin with scene of a young African American male child, barely in his teens riding a bike on a nice, residential street in New Orleans.

So????

This was New Orleans in 1961 and based on the racial issues that existed back the , the reasons why this was a scene destined to end horribly are as clear as black is black and white is white. He’s pursued by a truck full of white men, obviously racists, who are hell bent on keeping this lad from riding his bike in what appears to be a white, middle class neighborhood. A couple of the fellows look like inbred rednecks, the other is a Jack Ruby Fedora wearing clone. The teen takes an unfamiliar sidewalk In an attempt to lose Whitey, but finds himself trapped by a dead end.

The next scene is in black and white and it’s a large tree in some field. Anyone with any knowledge of America’s more tragic history knows as sure as a Jim Crow flies, this is a lynching. The large noose confirms it.

His mother runs to the body of her boy and in the crowd stands a very angry Marie Laveaud. Apparently, the child’s mom works for her at her Ninth ward hair salon. This lynching has just been made even more personal.

An angry voodoo queen is a dangerous voodoo queen. Marie goes to the back of her shop, and starts drawing on the floor (we now know that means something bad is about go down) she starts convicting a potion, then sets it on fire in this lovely Horchow urn. She slices and dices up a few snakes, chants as drummers drum and the next thing we know, corpses reanimate from their graves and respond to her revenge spell. They find the lynch mob and kill them all in gruesome ways. And the best part about these AHS zombies??? They’re armed. In fact, they rose from their graves with weapons AND murderous intent. There are zombie farmers with pitchforks, confederate soldiers with muskets, an unscrupulous accountant with a Ponzi scheme.

Well apparently, this starts a ten year war between voodoo witches and the members of the coven, who are all, in some way, direct linear descendants of the original witches who lived in Salem circa 1692.

Then, we go back to last week when Fiona murdered Madison, but this time, we sit unfold from Spaulding, the mute butler, who minutes earlier dropped the needle on his Victrola, so he and his massive doll collection could enjoy tea with background music. He hears a noise, heads downstairs and witnesses Fiona turning Madison into a human Pez dispenser. As he roles up the young witch’s body in a area rug, Fiona hears a noise and goes into the backyard to investigate. It is a very injured Queenie lying in the grass with a bloody, gasping stomach wound. I’m thinking she was gored in the gut by the rutting Minotaur she tried to seduce last week. While still lucid, Queenie rats out her attacker as his silhouette rises out of the ground with ample backlighting and Fiona seems to know what it is and what to do with it without even looking in its direction. She knows it’s Sebastien, Delphine Lalaurie’s slave/houseboy who she killed for bumping stinkies with her horny daughter two centuries ago and Sebastian just happened to be Laveaud’s boyfriend. The Voodoo Witch sent him to the school where Delphine has been staying, working as a maid, in order to exact revenge.

raggedy ann and andyThen there’s a knock on the door and in a hat tip to bewitched, in walks a odd looking trio that comprise The Witches’ Council. They only assemble when there’s trouble brewing in the coven. The council is lead by Mert, played by whacky fashionFrancesConroy_Sml designer, Betsey Johnson. The hair is a chili powder red, rarely seen outside the Raggedy family. It’s actually the actress known as Francis whose last name is something Irish sounding, who portrayed Moira the Older in season one and the black winged Angel of Death last year.

We learn that the council isn’t happy with Fiona in her role as Witch Supreme. She’s a drunk, flakey, vain, self centered and lousy at her job. They believe she had something to so with Madison’s disappearance, just as she did with the missing Supreme she replaced (nice way of saying murdered) in 1971.velma

As it turns out, I believe I am to assume that based on camera dissolves between past and present, Mert and Fiona were classmates at Miss Robicheaux’s school back in 1971. Back then, Mert was mousy, bookish and homely, not unlike Velma, from “Scooby Doo”. She and Fiona don’t like each other and that’s made crystal clear when it’s announced that the old Supreme is missing and presumed dead, Fiona will assume the throne, providing she can pass seven special tests, based on each power a Supreme is supposed to have. At dinner with a menu no doubt consisting of braised bat wings, tangy toad tandoori and eye of newt, young Mert tells a fellow witch seated to her right that she hates the way Spaulding dotes on Fiona and feels sure he knows that Fiona is involved in some way with the former Supreme’s disappearance. So after dinner Mert goes to her room and recites Latin on coins and ultimately, places a spell on Spaulding’s tongue, rendering it incapable of uttering a lie. This will help Mert in her pursuit of the truth since the next morning, the butler is supposed to testify in front of the Witches’ Council investigating the formers Supreme’s whereabouts.

Spaulding overhears this and later that night, summons Fiona to the bathroom where he tells her, his last words will be that he loves her. He grabs a straight razor and cuts out his tongue. There, problem solved. A tongue can’t lie when it ‘s no longer intact. Now we know why he never speaks and why he seems so mindlessly devoted to Fiona.

We also find out what Fiona did with the Minotaur. She cut off it’s head and sends it, a la Don Corleone, to Marie Laveaud. She opens the box, and screams , especially when the the bloody, severed bovine head winks at her. This gets her crazy mad and once again, she goes to the back room and starts drawing on the floor, chanting, slicing snakes and in the end, sends a well- armed militia of zombies to stand and sway ominously in the front yard outside Miss Robicheaux’s school holding everyone inside captive.

At least I think the blinking cow head was the Minotaur….or it was Elsie, perhaps????    Not sure.

Episode four ends back in Spaulding’s room, an audience of dolls witness him in drag, wearing an antique peignoir and night cap. He goes to his closet and pulls out a very old wedding dress that Vera Wang would HATE, and takes it over to the corner where Madison, in a very advanced state of rigor mortis, is seated in a chair, holding a team up.

What comes next? I’ve nary a clue.

A FEW THINGS OF NOTE:

1) Cordelia’s husband is out of town on business. He picks up a chick who he meets on Craigslist, they have sex, he howls upon climax and then in the middle of a post coital of vending machine soup, he shoots her in the head with a very shiny gun. He’d did tell her that he went as a monster last

ahs spaulding

Halloween. Perhaps he’s reprising that role this year. Not all monsters have gills, tentacles, sharp fangs and eight clawed hands. Not sure what any of that was all about.

2) Spaulding was in the front yard decorating for Halloween. He was assembling what looked like an homage to the Burning Man bonfire mascot. He hugged it after adding the arms, and well, call me a romantic, but I thought that was how he took care of either Madison’s body or that of the Minotaur. Well, in the end we found out that it wan’t Madison under all that burlap.

3) After getting pissed drunk on Maker’s Mark at a local bar with mummy, Cordelia excuses herself and goes into the bathroom to yak. As she’s washing her hands, a very short Druid in the next stall exists with a glass in hand but it contains acid, which is thrown in Cordelia’s face. Huh?????? A voodoo warning of disfigurement????

3) But before the acid attack turns her face into a Dali painting, Cordelia tells her mother and the Witches’ Council that Madison might be missing, but it’s not because she’s the next Witch Supreme. Apparently, the new head witch has to be in perfect health which Madison ain’t. Madison had a heart murmur she mentioned to no one. So, who is the next Supreme? Don’t count out Queenie. Remember when she was in bed, bloody and gored and Cordelia lost her pulse? Fiona breathed life back into her and felt very weak afterwords. The big deal about the transition between Supremes is that the old one feels her power weakening. Keep an eye on Queenie in upcoming episodes. Nan, (Addie from season one), as well. Cordelia could be the right full heir to the throne. Spaulding too.

4)  Zooey goes back to Incest Manor and finds Kyle the Human Quilt still bloody and zombie eyed from kill his mother lover last week, so he’s banging his head against the toilet.    She decides that’s a fine time to go in the kitchen and make him tuna salad.   Just as she’s adding enough Hellman’s to make it nummy, she looks up and spies a big ol’ box of rat poison.    She will kill the very thing she helped bewitch and stitch together.   When she brings him a bowl of the tainted tuna, he’s gone.  She runs to the front porch and sees nothing, just a bunch of people   in costumes.   It is Halloween, after all.    Kyle will just fit in with everybody else.

5) And lastly, why were the members of the Coven dressed in various shades of black and white throughout the entire episode? Was this to stress the age old concept of good (white) versus evil (black) and that each member can at any given time, possess their share of both traits???

See ya next Wednesday for episode five. As previews indicate, there’s a lot at stake for one witch….literally. She’s tied to one and Cordelia looks poised to light it, with a cigarette. Please oh please, let the ciggie be a Salem.

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