“American Horror Story: Coven” Recap: A Little Club Soda Will Get That Out


In 1830, Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) arrives in Nawlins from Paris and bemoans the conditions of her new home, including the demeanor of her house slaves: “They have no inner light!” Yes, well – they are slaves. Cut them a little f*cking slack, how ’bout. From the look of her dress she is also either auditioning to play Popeye or smuggling smoked hams in her sleeves. Seriously, WTF?! When her daughter (Bon Qui Qui?) balks at the thought of killing her own chicken, Delphine does it herself and something seems to stir within her as the blood flows from its neck…

Upstairs, she comes across a slave who has cut himself in the attic, and she wastes little time knocking him out, stringing him up, and bleeding him to death, remarking, “I think I’m gonna like it here.” And she hasn’t even been told yet that the swimming pool is to the left, and the tennis courts are in the rear!


At Nan’s sad little funeral, Fiona (Jessica Lange) says she “fell in the tub” and Marie Motherf*cking Laveau (Angela Bassett) clearly would rather be playing Solitaire on her iPad. But all of a sudden a black car pulls up and… it’s Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe)! Good to see you, girl. She has with her a reassembled Delphine, on a leash. Turns out Queenie’s powers have also grown – not only did she survive the gunshot to the brain, she is now a whiz at human jigsaw puzzles!

Back at the Hair Club for Men, the Guy from Smash and his pal discuss how Hank will be neither mourned nor missed, and the only people who can help them recover their company are the witches. Who just took it all away. Wait, and these guys were businessmen?

We then have a montage detailing Delphine’s reentry into Hogwarts, which includes all kinds of indignities like giving pedicures and pouring champagne and flushing Madison’s zombie shits for her. As Delphine recounts her youth as a budding psychopath, we see that she is feeding the witches the offending poo in a soup that resident Gael Greene emulist Myrtle Snow praises for its mulligatawniness. Marie makes Delphine care for the black baby she stole and tells Delphine her days are numbered, but when a black gardener named James comes in looking for help after having cut himself on a fig tree (did Myrtle just say that figs smell like “a Nubian’s ejaculate”?! UPDATE: No, she said “Olympian’s ejaculate,” which is far more proper, no? No.), she takes him up into the attic, ties him up, and cuts his toes off. I guess the point of all this is that old habits die hard? Is this How Delphy Got Her Groove Back?


In the bathroom, Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) does a spell on the tub while Kyle (Evan Peters) watches, just happy to be onscreen at all) and learns that Fiona and Marie drowned Nan together. Madison (Emma Roberts) barges in and tries to blow Kyle to make Zoe jealous, but Kyle throws her off. Mads gets even by going all Carrie White and flying a lamp into the back of Zoe’s head. Myrtle tut-tuts them, and Madison says she’s going to modernize the coven, “crotchless panties for everyone.” I would take the time to explain this but it’s not worth it and we are only about 10 minuted into the episode, at this point. Lots more to cover.

The Axeman (Danny Huston) plays a sexy saxophone solo for Fiona. Ugh. There’s some sultry mumbling, shots through a ceiling fan, and mention of gin rickeys. Okay, maybe this coven could use a little updating, after all. They decide to kill the new Supreme, retire from being evil, and go live on a farm somewhere. But first she needs a favor.

Spaulding (Denis O’Hare) appears to Delphine in the attic and in a charming bit of Upstairs Downstairs (or Upstairs Upstairs, I guess), the staff reconnects. He helps her clean up James’ gutted body and tells her he knows a spell that will make Marie weak enough for Delphine to be able to kill her, and he will tell her for a price.


Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) visits Queenie, who is upset that they gave her room to a “dirty hippie” and is not particularly accepting of Cordy or her seemingly genuine apology. She also reveals that she not only survived a gunshot, she survived a silver bullet to the brain – so clearly her powers are growing. Frustrated at the loss of her second sight, Cordy goes to the greenhouse, rubs some balm on her face, and PUTS HER OWN EYES OUT WITH A GARDEN SHEAR.

When Fiona comes home to see her newly-mutilated daughter, Myrtle points out to her, “your girl has become something you’ll never understand: a hero.” Realizing that Cordy may now be able to read her mind again, Fiona turns heel and decides to visit later. Wearing yellow rubber dish-washing gloves (Hazmat Realness), Myrtle chirps, “she’s got your number, slim!”

Delphine had to sell the silver for the money to buy Spaulding what he wants: another creepy vintage baby doll. She finds his hobby “unsavory.” But true to his word, Spaulding reveals the secret ingredient that will allow Delphine to weaken Marie and take her down: Benadryl. Okay, that’s so stupid that it’s actually funny.

In the greenhouse, Myrtle is playing theremin and pauses to give Zoe some expensive brooch so that she can hawk it when she and Kyle are on the run – oh, because she’s making them leave, BTW. And wait, did she just give them tickets to Epcot, of all places?! I must have heard that wrong. I love this batty broad, but I have the damnedest time understanding half of what she says…


Fiona and Marie meet with the Delphi men and it goes as expected: with the help of Kenny G. and his trusty axe, the ladies slaughter the witch hunters. At least it’s gory, and it’s nice to see Fiona deliver the killing blow to the big cheese herself. I think they missed a real Smash reference opportunity by not having Fiona throw her drink in his face first, but Fiona never was one to waste a perfectly good martini.

Back at the school, Fiona and Marie toast one another’s subtlety with French 75s before Fiona totters off to thank her undead serial killer boyfriend for his efforts. Marie stumbles upstairs and slaps Delphine on the rump as she gets into bed, and Delphine turns around and stabs her in the heart with a huge knife. Marie pulls it out, laughs, and notices the Benadryl, cackling, “Stupid cow – that ain’t magic, that’s a antihistamine!” Well, if you’ve ever had your eyeball swell up to the size of a marshmallow after cuddling with a barn cat, you would know just how magic that antihistamine can be, sissy!

Delphine makes a run for it but Spaulding is there for the assist, knocking Marie out with his new doll and sending her tumbling down the stairs. She’s not dead, but he thinks they can still bury her alive.


Later, we see Spaulding – in his best bonnet – cradling the kidnapped baby upstairs in his doll parlor. He is seriously gross, y’all. “A living doll, all my own!”

Downstairs, Zoe tells Kyle to pack his toothbrush, and he says he’s not leaving with her because he’s afraid of losing control. She says she’s not scared of him, and then they are running through a bus station and just catch the bus… to Orlando.

Oh my God – they really ARE going to Epcot?! Scariest thing this whole season.


Notably Dead: Guy from Smash, Mike Colter, and other assorted witch-hunter suits, James the Gardener, a slave guy, a chicken, my appetite for mulligatawny

Notably Undead: Queenie

Notably Absent: Misty Day (UNACCEPTABLE)

Shriek of the Week

Cordelia Goode-Fox, you have our congratulations.

Witchslap of the Week

I have to give this week’s witchslap to Delphine for thinking that anything in a pink cardboard box would be able to take down Marie Motherf*cking Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. Also for being a racist psychopath.

Blood – 10/10

This episode was all over the place, but at least so was the red stuff.

Beasts – 5/10

That poor chicken!

Buns – 0/10

Considering our only remaining options are a grizzled babydoll fetishist and an undead victim of sexual abuse, I’m starting to think maybe this is a good thing.

Constance Comment of the Week

I hate to say it, but Fiona’s quips have been falling flat for me lately. Maybe it’s just because three consecutive seasons of icy archness is a lot to ask anyone to try to pull off, or maybe the lines just haven’t been good lately. Either way, I’m giving this week’s award to Marie for hissing, “Negotiation? Now listen, white devil…” over a Diet Sprite.


I did get a kick out of the fact that Fiona ordered her martini “filthy”.

Last week Marie is yodeling and making cops shoot one another and this week she’s felled by a pervert with a Cabbage Patch Kid? I call foul.

Cordelia remains the only person on the entire show that I have the remotest bit of sympathy for (aside for Kyle, but he’s already dead). While I’m on the subject, anyone else think she might actually be pregnant from that fertility ritual and her baby is the new Supreme? Just a thought.

Anyway, this was a jam-packed episode that at least eliminated some of the more extraneous subplots (the witch-hunters, Delphine and Queenie’s foray into the Voodoo clan), but that doesn’t mean it felt like a cohesive hour of television. What do you think is in store for the last two episodes, aside from watching the girls do the Seven Wonders? Is Delphine the Big Bad, at this point? And is anyone having flashbacks to Season 1, where the meddling ghosts were conveniently always around to provide complications at a moment’s notice?

In 2003, Brian launched the world's first website devoted to horror film from a gay perspective (CampBlood.org), mining an untapped (and occasionally unintentional) source of entertainment and bringing together a huge and colorful population of gay horror fans and filmmakers. When he's not pulling skeletons out of closets, Brian writes reviews for horror megasite Bloody-Disgusting.com, general film site Freezedriedmovies.com, and can be found on the ever-informative RottenTomatoes.com. Brian is also a filmmaker, having produced, written, and directed two shorts (the dark romantic comedy An Apple a Day and the eerie suspense piece Two Story House) that have played at film festivals worldwide and left audiences generally uneasy. A born-and-bred Midwesterner, Brian studied Mass Media and Film at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (I know – crazy, right?) before fleeing the district for the warm and occasionally stinky shores of NYC. Brian is a proud member of the Online Film Critics Society, loving husband to illustrator Andy Swist, and benevolent overlord of their two cats.