‘AHS: Coven’ Recap: Witch, Please! (Season 3, Episode 6)

American Horror Story CovenFX

Ok, no lie, but whoever manages stories for American Horror Story is becoming a real son of a witch. Last season’s unnecessary alien, mutant, and Nazi doctor storylines are pretty unforgivable. Not providing a sufficient pay-off to said sub-plots is actually unforgivable. In this episode, we are getting precariously close to too many storylines. 

It’s 1919, New Orleans is in the grips of a string of murders by The Axeman (Danny Huston). He gets cocky and threatens the entire city that whoever doesn’t play jazz will get the blunt end of a bad axe pun. Well this doesn’t sit well with Witch #3 (Grace Gummer). Not only does she hate jazz and love women’s suffrage but she is also the daughter of The Grand High Witch, Meryl Streep, and not to be trifled with. Coincidentally, Huston’s sister, Anjelica Huston, played The Grand High Witch in the popular children’s classic, The Witches. That piece of trivia is more entertaining than some of the derrivative “reveals” this episode. 

Meanwhile, back in the present, Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) has Supreme powers developing at a very passive aggressive rate. One minute, she can knock Poetic Justice Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) on her ass and the next she is stumbling on random stockpiles of antiques. She finds a gun, Tate Kyle (Evan Peters) having a naked grunting meltdown, and a spirit board. She has a really crappy séance with a shot glass.  She taunts the Axeman out of limbo and then continues making poor choices by having Misty Day (Lily Rabe) resurrect Madison (Emma Roberts).

Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) is dealing with her new contacts second sight and is bitching everyone out about her psychic flashes. Fiona realizes she has secrets to keep so she focuses on her nonexistant love life. Hank Foxx (Josh Hamilton) goes to Marie LaVeau because Cordelia might find out that…wait for it…he is working for Miss Hair Show 1998 Marie Laveau to kill witches. Remember, that girl he bang-banged then shot her down? It wasn’t Nancy Sinatra. It was a witch. And the M. Night Shyamalan Award for most gratuitous reveal goes to…

Then in an even more disgustingly unoriginal fashion Predator Marie Laveau calls for the head of all the witches. The Axeman gets corporealized instead of exorcised and the attempt to ignore character and plot development continues.

The “Witch, Please” Moments of the Episode

How can Bassett allow an immortal super voodoo priestess and historical figure be portrayed as a ratchet hairdresser? Her character in Boyz ‘N The Hood seemed more worldly and compelling…and she was in the movie for five minutes.

The Axeman? Really? We already have the mysterious acid thrower, Marie Laveau, Fiona’s cancer, two zombies, a witch hunter, a soon to be ressurected Myrtle, and all of humanity. Do we really need a serial killer that wants to kill the witches?

Let me get this straight. In a school that has housed witches for hundreds of years, having played host to the murder of The Supreme (Christine Ebersole), the most vengeful ghost in the place is a jazz-loving serial killer?

The character development is really lacking. Zoe went from an extra to the leader of the crew. Misty Day dances to Stevie Nicks and resurrects people with no real motivation, explanation, or backstory.  Marie Laveau without her horrible racial stereotypes is really a flat character with no explanation for her beef with the witches.

Fiona getting chemo? Seriously, cancer seems like a cheap shot. It makes sense that the old Supreme dies as the new one develops. But did they have to give her cancer? It seems cheap. And for someone who would get monkey DNA injected in episode one why wouldn’t she have decided to have chemo earlier?