‘AHS: Coven’ Finale Recap: Which Witch is Which?

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Despite the plot getting a little convoluted for a while, this season finale was very satisfying and entertaining. It made up for a lot of past missteps and brought back the amazing Stevie Nicks. She begins the episode lip-synching singing the Fleetwood Mac hit “Seven Wonders.” This opening scene is shot like every Nicks fan’s wet dream of a music video. The girls are practicing for the Pepsi Challenge selection of the Supreme, finally doing actual magic and wearing shawls.

The test begins. If you’re keeping track, Madison Montgomery is the witch who has performed most of the seven wonders this season. They breeze through telekinesis and concilium. Then the girls travel to hell. This is where it gets dicey because everyone returns but Misty Day. She gets trapped in a biology class resurrecting a frog, then dissecting it forever and her body gets turned to ash. Way to bring the room down, writers! Misty is such an amazing and beautiful character; having her die is a let down since she’s had so little screen time all season.

The three surviving girls move onto transmutation (which continues to be incorrectly used in place of teleportation). They play tag while teleporting all around the estate, until Zoe lands on a fence and becomes Britney Speared. Rule #1 of teleportation is look where you’re going. Coincidentally, Rule #2 is don’t teleport with scissors. Queenie tries to perform vitum vitalis to revive her but fails. This makes no sense since Queenie had no trouble last episode. Madison refuses to revive Zoe in hopes she’ll get crowned Supreme. It looks like she’s primed to be another Fiona Bad Goode.

While Zoe is decomposing, Myrtle convinces Cordelia to perform the wonders for herself. Finally, the huge twist we’ve been waiting for. Of course she passes with flying colors, and then in the test of divination, Cordelia beats out Madison. Here’s where it gets interesting. Kyle, mad with grief, kills Madison while Cordelia is reviving Zoe. Zoe rises and Cordelia awakens with her eyes healed, the picture of “glowing radiant health.” Now, like the end of Total Recall, we will never know if Madison was the supreme or if it was Cordelia all along. Since Madison is dead, does Cordelia’s royal blood make her the next Queen Bee? Or was she the Supreme all along? This is the kind of writing the show should be focusing on rather than molestery mothers and a graphically violent trip through slavery. It also seemed for a while that even the writers didn’t know who the next Supreme was going to be. It seems strange since Zoe and Queenie are the only witches with unique powers.

Cordelia channels Barack Obama by instituting an Affordable Care Act inspiring change. She tells the Muggle world about witches. She gives an interview with a nice little nod to feminism and gay rights. It’s sweet but doesn’t quite make up for the racism-adjacent choices for storylines this season. She elects Zoe and Queenie as her Council. Myrtle proves to be more than a theremin-playing loon by volunteering to be burned at the stake for committing murder. She wants to force Cordelia to stand on her own and to uphold their laws. This is such a great scene despite the fact that these two characters have history but have had so few scenes together.

The balance is restored…almost. Jessica Lange returns for a nice and satisfying goodbye scene worthy of her Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. A dying Fiona returns in one last futile attempt to become the Supreme. She begs for Cordelia to kill her but she flatly refuses and they each get a stirring monologue. When they share a hug the balance is restored. Cordelia gets her mother’s powers and Fiona is banished to white trash hell for all her poor choices. There’s really great symmetry. Denis O’Hare returns for a brief moment to pass on his mantle of butler to Kyle. Cordelia channels Professor X and becomes headmistress of a school that finally has students.