This episode was chock full of WTF moments. Some were amazing like a lot of magic, the epic kicking of Madison Montgomery’s ass, and the final revelation of the seven wonders. However, some random choices of the episode felt flat and unsatisfying. A lot of storylines were tidied up but at the expense of narrative satisfaction. We’re feeling blue and not in a way Cymbalta is going to fix.
What-TF are the Seven Wonders?
Concilium (Mind Control)
Transmutation (Teleportation) - It’s worth mentioning that in every other incidence of magic and in real world science transmutation means transformation. Historically, transmutation was the ability to turn lead into gold which was the basis of all modern chemistry
Vitalum Vitalis (Resurgence or Life Balance) It’s unclear as to whether this is the power to bring people back from the dead or to balance someone’s life force. So far Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange), Zoe (Taissa Farmiga), and Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) used this ability to breathe a little life into people. However, everyone has said Misty Day (Lily Rabe) has the power as resurgence not Vitalum Vitalis and apparently she and Maddison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) can do it without saying a spell.
Descensum (Afterlife travel)
What-TF are these Awesome Moments?
The episode begins with a really great silent movie style reveal of The Seven Wonders. Finally, after wanting to know all season, we find out at the beginning of the episode.
Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson) finally has a vision with her latent abilities and it’s a haunting premonition. All the girls are dead in various ways and Cordelia has been shot in the head.
Queenie has a new magic makeover that's pretty awesome. She uses a whole mess of new powers. She also takes on Papa Legba (Lance Reddick) and rightfully points out that Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) no longer has a contract with him because if she is chopped up into pieces, she can’t fulfill their bargain.
Misty kicks Madison’s ass in a knock down drag out fight we’ve been waiting all season for.
All the witches unite to kill the Axeman (Danny Houston). Although thematically it would have been more satisfying for the person they group kill to be Fiona (because she has been trying to kill them), Marie (because she gave Nan’s soul to Papa Legba), or Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) (because she sucks).
The end of the Delphine/Marie storyline is pretty satisfying. Delphine gets trapped in a hell where she and her daughter must be brutalized forever. Marie is trapped to stay in Delphine’s hell torturing her for all eternity.
The ending leaves us excited for the reveal of the next Supreme because all the girls are primed for the test. However, given how sloppily they wrote the season they probably will just reveal that Fiona was never really dead.
Why-TF Did They Do That?
Why would Queenie want to find Marie Laveau if she left her for dead? Queenie goes on a trip to Hell using the ability of Descensum and ends up at a chicken place? Why are they revisiting the chicken place when it was racist enough the first time? To add insult to injury it's one guy’s hell to never get chicken. #racist
Why did Delphine LaLaurie survive this long? Her entire existence on this show made no sense. She wasn’t a witch, she was just a famous New Orleans killer. After finally cutting up Marie Laveau she goes back to her own house to give tours dressed like a ratchet First Lady?
Why did the Axeman kill Fiona? Allegedly, according to a vision by Cordelia, the Axeman killed Fiona after he found a plane ticket she was hiding in her purse.
What was the point to Marie Laveau? She had no clear motivation. She was immortal but spent her life, at the expense of many babies’ lives, running a haircutting place in the ghetto?
Why are all the girls’ powers growing, but Cordelia is still useless?
Why would Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) pay to have an expert painter do Fiona’s portrait if she hates her?
Why were so many extraneous characters introduced like The Axeman, the witch hunters, and Joan Ramsey (Patti LuPone) if neither they nor the core characters got any character development? We honestly don’t know much more about any of our main characters that are still alive because so many people were on the show. There are only some surface superficial things but no one is any more or less likable than they were when they were first introduced.
Why don’t we know what Cordelia or Myrtle’s powers are? Why haven’t they helped by doing anything magical?
Finally, why haven’t the makers of this show figured out how to avoid so many plot holes? Isn’t it someone’s job to keep track of story elements on the show and to Google things like transmutation?
Who-TF is the Next Supreme?
So far, Madison has manifested the most wonders – telekinesis, pyrokinesis, transmutation, vitus vitalis and technically her flawless resurrection could be considered Descensum. So she is the obvious front runner and therefore a red herring.
However, Queenie and Zoe are the only witches whose abilities are not one of the seven wonders. Queenie’s voodoo doll powers and Zoe’s killer vagina might be a sign one of them is the next Supreme. Also, Zoe undid Marie’s spell earlier in the season. So far no witch has been able to do that.
Ultimately, there’s no reason to believe that Fiona is not the next supreme because it looks like the girls may accidentally or purposefully kill each other through the trial and Fiona will shoot her daughter right through the eyes according to Cordelia’s vision.
The challenge to American Horror Story is where do you draw the line between giving sufficient exposition and drawing out a mystery? Oftentimes, the writers leave a character’s origin and motivations for the eleventh episode hour. Like they did last season. The season is nearly over, so do we really need a gratuitous trip down memory lane with America’s least favorite racist Paula Deen Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates)? What is the origin of one of history’s most vile serial murderers? She killed a chicken and developed a case of bloodlust and decided to murder a bunch of slaves. Is that meant to be super racist? It seems so.
Nan (Jamie Brewer) is dead. She was the most interesting potential supreme. It would have made a surprising yet entertaining choice. In the very least, we could have seen her do some more magic first. How a clairvoyant can be so easily killed is beyond me. The group gathers for her funeral in festive black. Who crashes the party? Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe)! She is back from the dead complete with Delphine on a leash. So apparently, Delphine is not just in the flashbacks. She’s back and Bates is giving some Emmy worthy voiceover and character work. It appears Delphine is mad as hell and she’s not going to take it anymore. So what does she do? Kill the gardener. Guess that’s productive? Meanwhile, Queenie gives Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson) a verbal lashing for being unable to protect anyone. She has a point ... Cordelia is the worst headmistress in history. Miss Hannigan from Annie might have been a better choice. We could have had some Hard Knock Witches!
Cordelia seems to be unholy ruler of wilted flowers. She's constantly crying and has no real powers to speak of. But somehow, without even having one lesson, all the other girls can perform wonders left and right. Since her failed pregnancy snake spell, Cordelia hasn’t really exhibited any special effects magic. She does a whole bunch of plant mumbo-jumbo then stabs her own eyes to get her second sight back. Meanwhile, Queenie survived a blessed bullet and reanimated Delphine. Maybe she's a squib.
Meanwhile, the Shady Sisters of Witchtown are as thick as thieves. Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) and Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) are acting as if nothing bad has ever happened between them. Teen murder must really bond you as sisters. They unite to take down the witch hunters. Apparently, Mr. Head Witchhunter (Michael Cristofer) is fully willing to schedule a meet because he wants them to break their financial spell. But what leverage does he even have without money? This whole subplot is a waste of valuable time that could be better spent focused on Diana Ross and the Supremes. The Axeman (Danny Houston) helps kill all the witchhunters.
The Axeman ... why is he even in this story? He is a ghost that was dead for over 50 years but still has an apartment in New Orleans. No one has bothered to explain how he has become reanimated or where his resources have come from. Equally improbable is the sudden reappearance of Spaulding (Dennis O’Hare). He decides to ally himself with Delphine to kill Marie in exchange for a doll. They are able to subdue her and while Delphine is getting ready to go all creepy serial murdery on her Spaulding delights in taking her baby as his living doll.
Meanwhile, Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) tells Zoe and Kyle (Evan Peters) to leave to save their love. Apparently, the threesome is over and Maddison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) is a lot less lovable. Their relationship was feeling very Tate and Violet. There also was a lot of flashbacks to season one. Rather than feeling stylistic they felt a little cheap. The Spaulding baby caper felt like Lily Rabe’s story from Season 1 as well. Maybe we will all be surprised and the new Supreme will be Connie Britton or better yet Zachary Quinto.
Best Lines from the Episode
Madison, you are the worst kind of Hollywood cliché, a bobble-head with crotchless panties. - Myrtle to Madison
Welcome to the revolution, Carrot Top. As the next Supreme, I’m going to drag this coven out of the dark ages. Crotchless panties for everyone. - Madison
Chere, I took down your entire company with about as much effort as it takes for me to mix myself a Rob Roy. - Fiona to the Witchhunters
Top Story: Schwarzenegger Must Repay Campaign Loans
Superior Court Judge Loren McMaster ruled Monday that by borrowing more than $4.5 million to finance his run for governor in last October's recall election, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had broken a state law restricting candidates from accepting personal loans of more than $100,000 for their campaigns and would therefore have to repay the money. According to Reuters, an upbeat Schwarzenegger said Tuesday that he would pay $4.5 million on top of the $5 million he already spent to be elected. "The $4.5 million we got loaned from the bank, I always intended to pay that back myself, so it was a great decision," Schwarzenegger said. "We never wanted to raise the money to pay it back. I myself pay for that." When campaigning last fall, the Republican governor rallied against special-interest donations and attacked his opponents, including his Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, for taking donations from unions and Indian tribes with casino interests. At the time, Schwarzenegger argued he would not have to depend on outside money to finance his campaign because he was independently wealthy.
Halle Berry OK After Set Accident
Halle Berry, who broke her arm last year while shooting Gothika in Montreal and injured her eye on the set of the James Bond actioner Die Another Day, was injured once again on the set, this time while working shooting a scene for her the comic book adventure pic Catwoman. Production spokesman Joe Everett told The Associated Press Tuesday that Berry was taken to a hospital after colliding with a piece of set equipment while filming a running scene, but is now back at work. "She had to maneuver past a piece of equipment, a set piece and she didn't quite run past it, but she's just fine," he said. "She was taken to hospital Saturday night, treated and released and was at work again Monday morning."
Faith Evans and Husband Arrested
R&B singer Faith Evans and her husband, record executive Todd Russaw, were arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana and booked at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, the AP reports, but a spokeswoman at the Hapeville Police Department would give no details Wednesday morning. The 30-year-old singer received a Grammy nod for her duet "Can't Believe" with Carl Thomas from her 2001 album, Faithfully and has worked with Whitney Houston and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, who signed Evans to his Bad Boy label and produced her first album. Evans was previously married to Christopher Wallace, aka Notorious B.I.G., who was killed in a drive-by shooting in March 1997.
Swept Away Lawsuit Surges Forward
A lawsuit in which self-described singer, songwriter, director and actor Vincent D'Onofrio (not the actor of the same name from NBC's Law & Order: Criminal Intent) accuses Madonna and her husband, director Guy Ritchie, of stealing the idea for 2002's Swept Away remake will go to court May 4, the AP reports. D'Onofrio sued Madonna, Ritchie and Sony Pictures in Superior Court in October 2002, claiming he pitched the idea for a remake of the 1975 Italian comedy to Madonna in April 1997 and had several meetings with her and Ritchie--who then cut him out of the credits and compensation. Attorneys for the couple have said D'Onofrio has no proof of a contract with Madonna or Sony. D'Onofrio is seeking$10 million in damages.
Kelly Osbourne Gets ABC Pilot
Kelly Osbourne is going from reality TV to scripted fare with ABC's drama pilot Doing It. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series, based on British author Melvin Burgess' controversial young-adult novel of the same name, centers on the sexual antics of three 16-year-old Seattle boys: Dino (Sean Farris), Jonathan (Chris Lowell) and Ben (Jon Foster). Osbourne will play Jonathan's love interest. Osbourne and her father, Ozzy, recently topped the U.K. singles chart with a cover of Changes, a single Ozzy originally recorded with Black Sabbath. The third season of the MTV reality series The Osbournes premiered Tuesday night.
Mandy Moore Nixes Reality Show
While some in Hollywood embrace the concept of having their private lives broadcast on TV, others refuse to warm up to the idea, including singer/actress Mandy Moore. "I love watching reality shows, but I would never want to be in or on a reality show," Moore told AP Radio. Moore, who is dating tennis star Andy Roddick, says her life just isn't exciting enough for people to tune in. She also added that a behind-the-scenes show about Roddick would also never happen. "It was supposed to be like a documentary or something at first, and then someone kind of took that and ran with it and it kind of snowballed out of context," Moore said, adding that if someone close to her were in such a show, she wouldn't stick around long enough to be in it.
Nick Lachey Joins ABC
MTV's other reality series, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, seems to have also launched the careers of pop stars Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey into network territory. Lachey, formerly of boy band 98 Degrees, has sealed a six-figure deal with ABC, following in the footsteps of Simpson, who is already developing a sitcom with the network. Under the deal, Lachey will be placed in one of ABC's sitcom pilots as well as in a music or variety special, Variety reports. Network insiders said it's possible ABC may even pair the Simpson and Lachey projects back-to-back, perhaps as part of the "TGIF" franchise. ABC recently announced plans for the newlyweds to host a modern-day Sonny and Cher-style variety show sometime this spring.
Bobby Garfield (David Morse) returns to his small hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend and remembers the fateful summer in 1960 when his whole world changed. The story flashes back to when 11-year-old Bobby (Anton Yelchin) and his best friends Carol (Mika Boorem) and Sully-John (Will Rothhaar) capture the pure joy of youthfulness. When a mysterious stranger named Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) moves upstairs and starts to pay attention to Bobby the boy suddenly realizes what's truly missing from his life--the love of a parent. Bobby's mother Liz (Hope Davis) is embittered by the death of Bobby's father and shows little compassion for her son's growing needs. Ted fills a void with the boy opening his eyes to the world around him and helps Bobby come to terms with his real feelings for Carol--and his mother. But Ted also has some deep dark secrets of his own and Bobby tries hard to stop danger from reaching the old man.
The performances make the film especially in the genuine camaraderie of the kids. Yelchin Boorem and Rothhaar never deliver a false move with an easiness that makes us believe we are simply watching three 11-year-old children grow up together. Yelchin in particular is able to get right to the heart of this young boy who misses his father and clings to the only adult who will listen. And his scenes with Boorem simply break your heart. (Davis) does an admirable job playing a part none too sympathetic. She manages to show a woman whose been beaten down but who does truly love her son in her own way. Morse too is one of those character actors you can plug in any movie and get a performance worth noting. In Hearts you want to see more of him. Of course the film shines brightest when Hopkins is on the screen. It may not be an Oscar-caliber performance but the actor is unparalleled in bringing a character to life--showing the subtleties of an old man looking for some peace in his life.
If you are expecting the Stephen King novel you may be disappointed. Screenwriter William Goldman and director Scott Hicks (Shine) deftly extracted the King formula of telling a story through a child's eye and explaining how the relationships formed as a child shaped the adult later. Hicks did an amazing job with his young actors especially Yelchin and Boorem. But where the novel continued into a supernatural theme explaining Brautigan's fear of being captured by "low men in yellow coats" (a reference to King's The Dark Tower series) the movie downplayed the mystical elements instead giving real explanations for Brautigan's man-on-the-run. That was the one problem with Hearts--we needed more danger. Introducing men from another dimension may not have been the way to go but had there been more tension the film would have resonated more especially when Bobby risked his own safety to save Ted.