If the rest of the season of AHS:Coven is going to be as thrilling as this 2nd episode, I am going to need a heart defibrillator. Jessica Lange’s breathy delivery of Fiona’s wicked scenes with her signature blink-less death glares is nothing short of brilliantly terrifying. Collectively these 3 women of a certain age, Bassett, Bates, & Lange, are serving up some juicy jaw dropping scenes, and I wouldn’t mind it if we only saw them for the rest of the season spitting out acerbic barbs at each other while trying to one up each other. There were heart racing moments of horror & dark comedy, as well as frightful & campy phrases that will become part of everyone’s pop culture lexicon…. To me the only weak point in the show involves the FrankenKyle storyline even though I expect it will mesh with the other stories in due time…. And I have to give honorable mentions to the writers for paying homage to Stevie Nicks’ reluctant “white witch” status by integrating her style & songs that I know delighted us all #HippieGoddess.
“Boy Parts” starts in a vivid green swamp with two poachers on a boat firing a single shot to an alligators head that cues the distinctive musical riff of “The Edge of Seventeen/Just Like the White Winged Dove”. As they bring the fresh carcass to the land’s edge they notice Misty Day, who could pass for Stevie Nicks’ doppelgänger, in their camp which is littered with other killed gators. She vocalizes her dismay & questions them for killing God’s creatures. Unsure of who she is, one of the poachers aims his gun at her. Then almost in a trance like state she takes a brief sigh and resurrects life into the dead alligators, and they attack and kill their poachers. Obviously Misty Day was able to revive & rise up from her fiery death last week.
It’s time for the morning gathering at Miss Robichaux’s Academy as the Head Mistress Cordelia knocks on all the young witches’ doors to summon them downstairs. Zoe is looking at online news reports of Kyle’s death, and is defending him to Madison. Madison thinks Kyle would have taken his turn raping her if he had the chance. Though he tried to help her, Madison doesn’t care that he died at her hands because he was guilty of association with his gang raping fraternity brothers. She insincerely apologizes for killing Zoe’s “boy candy”, and justifies his death by telling her “Given your black widow status he was living on borrowed time anyway”.
Cordelia also knocks on her mother’s door. Fiona opens the door and tells her she’s busy right now. Instantly Cordelia questions Fiona about the pungent stench that swiftly drifted out of her room. Fiona’s explains that she is boiling some Chinese herbs, and that she will be available in a few minutes. Then we see the source of the big stink. It’s Madame Delphine LaLaurie…. I can only imagine that maybe she smelled funky nasty with the accumulation of 180 years of seeped in urine from Mardi Gras revelers while entombed in the French Quarter. Haven’t we all drunkenly pissed on the streets in the Quarter?…. She is gagged and tied to a chair, wide eyed with confusion & fear. Fiona calls her Miss Pittypat (which is reference to a character from Gone with the Wind) and with her with a finger aimed at her face that if she screams she will put her right back into the ground where she was found. Instantly as Fiona removes the gag Madame LaLaurie screams and gets the holy bitch slapped out of her by the Supreme Witch Fiona. Fiona is in her face with intense curiosity as to how she is still alive and not a rotting corpse. Her phone rings, and that foreign sound to the pre-Civil War socialite cause her to shriek in fear again. Fiona re-gags her and growls at her to shut up. That it’s only a cell phone. As Fiona is leaving to go downstairs she warns Delphine when she gets back she better have some answers for her.
During the morning gathering with Cordelia & the young witches, Queenie shares some of her back story. It’s a flashback scene from one year ago, and she is working behind the cramped counter of a fried chicken place. She is dealing with a disgruntled customer who insists she shorted him one piece of chicken, and he wants his damn chicken. She refuses, and he calls her a stupid fat ass. Without hesitation Queenie uses her voodoo doll powers and sticks her own arm, elbow deep, into the sizzling oil in the deep fryer. The customer is now screaming in blistering skin peeling pain that she is burning his arm as onlookers gasp in horror. She tells the group that she evaded arrest because even though there were witnesses, no one actually saw her throw hot oil on the man. The incident made the news in the local paper, and that’s how Cordelia found out about Queenie and brought her to the Academy. Queenie grew up watching shows where all the witches are white. She did not even realize that black witches existed. She reveals that she found out that she is an heir to Tituba, who was a house slave in Salem, and she was the first to be accused of witchcraft. So technically she is part of the same tribe as the white witches from Salem…. *** (Side bar: Tituba has significant historical relevance. She was a real figure during the Salem witch trials of 1692. Also Tituba has been fictionalized in novels, plays (The Crucible), and films, as well as shows like AHS: Coven. Google/Wikipedia her if you care to learn more.)***….Madison cracks a joke, and Queenie lunges at her and yells, “Bitch I will eat you!” Cordelia tells them they should not be fighting, but should be taking care of each other because they have plenty of enemies outside.
Two detectives escorted by Spaulding, the mute and tongue-less butler, interrupt Cordelia in mid-sentence. They want to speak to Zoe & Madison about the bus flipping that killed the fraternity brothers. The detective tells Madison that she was seen going into a back room with the guys from the party bus. They could be suspects, and that maybe she had a motive to sabotage the brakes or the steering column of the bus because of something upsetting that happened in the back room. Madison denies that anything bad happened. She told them the guys wanted to get high with her, but she refused and left. That’s it. No motive exists to harm them. Then the detective directs questioning to Zoe because she was seen at the hospital, and that one of the victims mysteriously died immediately after her visit. Zoe is wide eyed in fear of the truth about her murdering vagina coming out. Then the detective also tells her that he checked into her background, and he knows that another guy died the same way back home before she came to the Academy.
Zoe breaks under the pressure to the police, and naively confesses EVERYTHING as if she was reading from a laundry list: that they are all witches with powers, about the gang rape, Madison’s telekinetic powers, that they killed the people on the bus, that she killed the survivor at the hospital, everything. Madison denies all of it, and tells them that she doesn’t know what Zoe is talking about. Cordelia tells the detective that Zoe is obviously suffering some sort of a mental break while Zoe begs to not be sent to jail. Just then, Fiona enters the room. She says that no one is going to jail. Fiona instructs the two girls to leave the room.
The officer asks her if she is in charge. She chuckles and introduces herself, “I am Fiona Goode. I am in charge everywhere”. The officers tell her that they need to bring Madison and Zoe in for questioning as Fiona pours both officers a glass of water and spits into each glass….and as this scene progresses, it proves to be the scariest gore free moment while showcasing Jessica Lange’s terrifying acting skills. By using her mind control power on one of the detectives, he drinks the spit tainted glass of water. The 2nd officer tries to resist Fiona’s powers of persuasion, and he is clearly in physical distress as his insides burn. He is trembling, his nostrils flaring with blood starting to drip out of his nose, sweat forming on his brow, and one of his eyes appeared ready to explode out of its socket. Fiona, while steely faced, warns him, “I’m barely trying you know. In about 10 seconds I’m going to turn the heat up in that chubby melon of yours, and I’m gonna turn you brain into scrambled eggs. It’s been a hard morning and I’d rather not work up a sweat. Drink the damn water.” Cordelia tries to stop her, but Fiona warns her that she will spit in a third glass. Finally, he caves and drinks from the glass. Now that they are under her spell, she tells them that they are going to turn over all the information that they have on the girls and to never speak about it again to anyone.
In another room, Zoe is still freaking out after confessing. She is sure that they are all going to prison for “multiple murders”. Madison tells her that she can’t believe that she said anything. She says that she is supposed to be cleaning up her act, and that when this information gets out, she is going to be screwed. She demands to know what Zoe did to the boy in the hospital. Before Zoe can say anything, the door swings open and Fiona storms in like a flash of lightning. She is furious as hell, calls them idiots and with a swipe of her forearm she telekinetically sends them flying in opposite directions against the wall. She says that she forgave them for their involvement in the bus incident due to their youthful exuberance, but if they are too stupid to know that when strangers come asking questions that they are supposed to close ranks. Then she fears that their lives are truly at an end. She criticizes Zoe that she is soft and emotional. She sternly says while pointing that scary witchy finger of hers that if there is one thing they will learn before leaving the Academy is that “We (witches), even the weakest among us, are better than the best of them.” Zoe is still afraid about being arrested. Fiona declares “In this wide wicked world, the only thing you have to be afraid of is ME”….Time for me to put on some fresh #DEPENDS because Fiona is scurring the piss out of me.
After Fiona’s lesson on being witchy bff’s, Madison takes Zoe to the morgue where Kyle’s corpse is. Madison uses some breaking & entering skills she learned from a cat-burglar movie that she was cast in but never got made. Madison wants to payback Zoe for pussy killing her rapist at the hospital. She stole a resurrection spell from Cordelia’s “stash” and tells her she is going to bring her boyfriend back to life. The morgue “meat locker” is filled with body bags stuffed with body parts. She unzips a bag, and there is Kyle’s severed head and dismembered limbs. Why is he like that? From a bus flip? It’s so weird. No one gets chopped like that for an autopsy do they? Zoe is horrified and wants to get out of there. Madison admires all the various severed boy parts and wants to use the resurrection spell by crudely stitching together Kyle’s head with the best boy parts available. They perform the ritual of the spell while “FrankenKyle” is lying on a steel table. The scene is very stupid & devilish with bloody pentagrams and black magic chants in Latin. FrankenKyle is still dead with no signs of life. Madison dismisses their failure as just not being powerful enough. Madison is leaving and Zoe tells her she’ll be right out. Madison lights up a joint while waiting outside. A car pulls up behind Madison and she high tails out of there, “tough luck bitch”, and leaves Zoe at the morgue. I tuned out the sappy talk Zoe said to FrankenKyle. Then she kisses him. A morgue worker walks in sees FrankenKyle on the table and finds Zoe crouching on the floor nearby. Suddenly FrankenKyle arose and started beating the worker. To me the visual effects of a FrankenKyle are very similar to a darkly comedic naked blonde Edward Scissorhands. #CORNY….Meanwhile back at the swamp Misty Day seems to be sensing the resurrection spell that just had been cast and is using her witchy GPS powers to find FrankenKyle & Zoe.
Cordelia & her husband are at the fertility doctor. They desperately want to have a baby and have been unsuccessful. She is considering IVF treatment. Her husband will support her decision no matter what it is. He reminds her that it would be easier for her to use her magic to get pregnant. She says NO. She doesn’t want to use magic to fulfill her every whim like Fiona. She explains “This magic is dark. This is about life & death, and I don’t want to play God”. Her husband asks her, “So you are going to let the doctor play God instead?”
Back at the Academy Fiona brings a plate of fried chicken to her bedroom where a stinky ass Madame LaLaurie is till gagged & tied to a chair. Fiona teases her with the smell, “I imagine you are peckish after spending 180 years buried in a hole, but then you probably don’t need to eat being immortal.” Madame LaLaurie responds but she is mumbling with the rag stuffed in her mouth. Fiona removes it and she asks “What did you just say? How long?” LaLaurie is visibly shocked and utters “That bitch” referring to Marie Laveau.
Madame Delphine LaLaurie begins to recount her tale of being tricked to drink the love potion by that Black Devil in a flashback scene in 1834. LaLaurie wakes up after drinking the potion. She calls out for her husband. Outside in the night Marie Laveau is with a mob of people carrying torches for light and she is shouting for Madame LaLaurie to “show yourself”. She defiantly comes outside and calls Laveau a “nigger witch” and tells her she failed at trying to poison her. “If I wanted you dead you will be” declares Marie. Madame LaLaurie asks “Where is my family?” Marie points up to the side of the LaLaurie’s mansion and says, “They never left.” Her husband and three daughters have been hung to death from the roof of her house. Delphine LaLaurie is grief stricken at the site of her murdered family and falls to the ground. Marie tells her “Don’t think they didn’t suffer because they did greatly.” Marie taunts LaLaurie that she has something much worse in store for her. She purrs “Life everlasting, immortality.” The mob starts shouting and they rustle her like a piece of livestock into her wooden planked coffin…. Marie stares into her eyes- “For your sins, Madame LaLaurie, you are damned to live forever. To never know the release of sweet death. To never reunite with loved ones in the realm beyond. But instead to be alone, sealed in your unmarked grave for all eternity, listening to the world go on around you even until that world is no more.” Then the coffin is shut with Delphine in it. Angela Bassett perfectly delivered this poetry sounding like a vengeful & rageful Maya Angelou…..Back to present time Delphine’s cheeks are streaked with tears as Fiona coldly says she is sorry for her loss while she takes a bite of a fried chicken leg.
Fiona is in a 9th ward beauty salon getting her hair done, but she is there for an ulterior motive. The racial divide is obvious because of the presence of this uppity white woman in a black neighborhood salon. Angela Bassett as a modern day Marie Laveau sashays in all #GHETTOFABULOUS. She is wearing a gold leopard-print jumpsuit underneath a bright red jacket and sporting the thickest “Marley Twist” style hair that cascaded straight down to below her waist. In a Cajun accent she tells a patron, “You look good mamma.” She then dismisses the stylist working on Fiona, “So I can work on her myself.” The rest of this scene is filled with complex history as they bantered passive aggressively back and forth. It is important to understand it because it is the driving force of AHS:Coven.
Fiona asks “So have you owned this place long?” even though she knows the answer. “What do you think?” replies Marie knowing damn well that Fiona knows the answer too. “I think when they say good black don’t crack, they’re not wrong. What’s your secret?” Marie Laveau sassily quizzes her in a believable hood influenced Cajun-Caribbean accent “What’s yours? Your manicure costs more than my rent. Woman like you wipes her ass with diamonds. She don’t end up walking in her looking for hair extensions.”… Fiona tells her that she is very perceptive. Marie has had enough of the verbal games, “You know exactly who I am and what I’m capable of. Just like I know exactly what you are. WITCHHHH. I can smell the stink of it on you.” Fiona tells her she did not expect to be liked by her since their “kind” have been going after each other for centuries, comparing both witch tribes like a hammer going after a nail. With Voodoo Witch pride Marie boasts, “That everything you got, you got from us.” Fiona in a sarcastic tone- “Tituba. Voodoo slave girl who graced us with her Black Magic.” Fiona diminishes Tituba’s relevance by saying “She couldn’t tell a love potion from a recipe for chocolate chip cookies”. Marie defends Tituba’s legacy “You made her a slave. She came from a great tribe. The Arawak. She learned the secrets of the other side from a 2,000 year old line of shamans. Necromancy, she gave it your girls of Salem…. (The battle of my African witch tribe is better than your Salem witch tribe continues between them) Fiona asks, “You think some illiterate voodoo slave girl gave me my crown?” Marie informs her that civilization originated in Africa.
Fiona gives a wickedly eloquent & caustic story about visiting the Tomb of Laveau which is supposed to be the resting place for Marie’s remains at St. Lous No 1, which is a cemetery of above ground tombs from the 18th & 19th century. She ridicules the fat tourists praying and making wishes at her tomb when instead all they need to do is come to the 9th ward and get their hair braided. An enraged Marie gets in Fiona’s face “What is your wish WITCHHH?” Fiona glares into her eyes “I want what you have, whatever it is that has kept you young all these years”. Marie Laveau laughs in her face “The hammer wants the nail’s magic?” Fiona confidently says “Yeah and you’re gonna give it to me because I have something you want”. Marie firmly tells her “You can offer me a unicorn that shits $100 bills, and I still won’t give you nothing more than a headache.” A pissed of Laveau calls for her ‘boys’. What can they do to her? She is the Surpreme Witch. With a just a glance Fiona sets a shelf full of wigs on FIRE. The ‘boys’ retreat away from Fiona to put out the fire. Fiona looks at herself in the mirror and says she doesn’t like the way she did her hair “But you have a lovely place here. It’s so nice to see you doing so well after all these years. Maybe in another century you could have two shit-hole salons”. Fiona leaves…. SIDEBAR: I never heard Fiona tell her that she has Delphine LaLaurie, but somehow I suspect that Marie read between the lines. I am not sure what Fiona was offering for Marie’s black magic secrets.
Back at the Academy Nan is trying to read, but she is distracted & agitated by the loud thoughts of Madame LaLaurie who still is tied and gagged upstairs. Queenie asks her if she is ok. Nan responds “Too much noise” and heads upstairs to the source. While untying Laurie Nan says “You think too loud. It is bothering me. Get out.” LaLaurie is like hell yeah I’m out of here and on her way out she intercepts Queenie who is repulsed by her stench. “Get out of my way slave”. A confused Queenie “Who are you calling slave bitch. Who is this stinky old lady?” and Madame LaLaurie hits Queenie over the head with a candle stick and leaves the Academy.
Cordelia is in her garden casting a spell on her plants and gathering all the items needed for her fertility ritual with her husband. They set up an elaborate ritual with candles, daggers, a large egg, and a circle of ash on the floor. She is in a black nightie and he is butt ass nekid. She is chanting in Latin, and they each prick their fingers for some blood as they sensually smear their blood on each other’s lips. It’s all very reminiscent of the sexual erotic drama 9 ½ weeks. They have bloody sex within the candle lit ash circle. Thy large grey egg cracks and instantly there is a radical change from reality to another realm of their black magic spell, I think. The overall ambience & lighting is more vividly hued than earlier. The ash circle is now engulfed in flames, and a few baby snakes are slithering out of the cracked egg. They are fucking each other madly and the snakes are getting bigger and bigger as they slither around their bodies as they fuck. Yeah this is not my idea of a date night. The white of her eyes turn black as she humping him while being on top. I think there was some female empowerment element when the realm changed to the black magic realm because she was the dominant sex partner. But as soon as he climaxed, the realm shifted back to reality with him on top in the missionary position Very weird, and I only tell you about it because I suspect something dark is gonna happen with any baby that is conceived in that manner. I think it’s possible that Cordelia is going to have some negative personality change after this. You know the good witch gone bad. That is just my own theory.
Back at the morgue Zoe is walking FrankenKyle out of there. Madison is gone and she uses the car from the morgue worker that Kyle beat up earlier. They are driving and FrankenKyle is spazzing out of control thrashing about inside the moving car with a lot of guttural sounds. Zoe apologizes for what she has done to him and she could never forgive herself for not trying to bring him back from the dead. Suddenly Misty day lifts up from the back seat and says “I forgive you.” Zoe screams in shock at her presence. “You know you drew me out here” and Misty proceeds to give her directions of where to go next.
Now Misty Day is in her swamp cabin FrankenKyle & Zoe as Stevie Nicks’ “Rhiannon” is playing in the background. She is applying a mix of Spanish moss and alligator shit on the areas that are freshly stitched with his new body parts. Misty Day says they have amazing healing properties and “Mother Nature has an answer for everything. She healed me when I was burned alive”. Zoe realizes that she is Misty Day that she heard about on the news and states “You have the power of resurgence” Misty Day smiles at that phrasing “I like the sound of that”. Misty Day thinks they both can learn from each other. She knew that there were others like her, but never knew how to connect with them. Misty explains that she was meditating in the woods when suddenly she felt different and something was calling to her. Of course this was due to the resurrection ritual done at the morgue. She followed her instinct and found Zoe. Now Misty Day turns up the music and is singing along. Zoe wants to know who is singing. Misty Day tells her “It’s Fleetwood Mac. It’s Stevie Nicks”. Zoe asks if that’s Stevie Nicks’ from American Idol? Misty does not even understand those words that just left Zoe’s mouth. Misty calls Stevie “The White Witch”. When Zoe doesn’t understand Misty tells her to listen to the lyrics. “Doesn’t it just penetrate your soul, and tell the truth about everything you ever felt in your life?” asked Misty while just inches away from Zoe’s face. For two seconds I really thought that they were going to kiss. Zoe tells Misty that she needs to get going. She says that the she needs to get back to the school. However, she needed to figure out what she was going to do with Kyle first. Misty tells her that she can leave him with her, and that she will take care of him and heal him. She says that by the time she returns, Kyle will be good as new. Misty asks Zoe if she will indeed come back.
Back at Marie Laveau’s home she is talking to someone, but you can’t see who. She tells him that he will never believe who is back. (Is she talking about Fiona or Madame LaLaurie?) She says that they have some business to attend to. Suddenly you hear the sounds of a snorting bull. Then you see her lover Bastien; the one that Madame LaLaurie had dressed as a Minotaur and killed. He is alive and well and is still a Minotaur. She removes his chains as she rubs her hands up the length of his body #GetItGurl.
Fiona is walking down a nearly deserted & lifeless French Quarter street. She finds Madame LaLaurie sitting on a bench in front of her house. She was able to find it because the names of the streets have not changed all these years. She is stunned & pensive. Delphine LaLaurie was not happy to see a plaque on her home identifying it as a historical site and a museum of horrors. Deadpanned Fiona: “You’re not remembered fondly. But I guess that beats not being remembered at all.” LaLaurie tried to argue that she was “a woman of my time.” Fiona cackled. “That is a crock of shit. You’ve got a mean streak wider than your backside. If ten of the hundreds of things I’ve read about you are true, then you deserved every minute under all that dirt”. Delphine tried to tug at Fiona’s non-existing heart strings, “They took my babies you know. Hung ‘em up in a straight line right up there. My husband too, but him I didn’t care about. I was planning on killing him for weeks by poisoning his buckwheat”. She didn’t care what anyone else thought of her: “I loved my girls, in my own way. Even the ugly one. The moment she came out of my belly she was a shame to me. She had the face of a damn hippo. But I loved her, just the same. Hell is real. I’ve seen it down in the box. Time disappears. The only thing that is left is what is in your mind’s eye, and all I saw was the faces of my girls; forever.” Then Madame LaLaurie asks Fiona if she’s a witch because she wants her to kill her. Fiona giggles and say she may kill her, but not today. And if she runs away again she will put her back in the box. An emotionally beaten down Delphine compliantly replies “Yes Ma’am”. Then Fiona says, “Good. Let’s go home” and Delphine almost gets hit by a car as she steps onto the street. The Supreme Witch Fiona & Madame LaLaurie are walking side by side back up the lifeless streets of The French Quarter en route back to the Academy.
So sorry everybody that is so long. There was so much great dialogue that I had to include the best parts. If you all prefer a lighter style narrative instead of a detailed recap let me know here or tweet me @Urethra_F. I want to write it the way you all prefer to read it. Let’s disscuss so leave comments about theories, questions, expectations, and any random thoughts you want to share. Enjoy Mon Chéris.