American Horror Story: Coven – Recap: Trick or Treat or Braaains!
American Horror Story: Coven continued tonight with a Halloween episode that began the search for starlet Madison Montgomery. Throw the start of a classic zombie invasion into the mix, and we have a spooktastic shindig!… that’ll happen next week. This episode was about the awesome buildup!
Episode 4 of Season 3 of American Horror Story, “Fearful Pranks Ensue,” revealed that there’s more to Marie Laveau’s (Angela Bassett) power than meets the eye. With the ability to conjure the dead from their graves at the expense of the lives of a few more snakes (Sorry, snakes!), the graveyard could be under Marie’s control. Of course, why bother showing off that way when you can whip up a show-stopping wig in a blink? Meanwhile, the repercussions of Queenie’s (Gabourey Sidibe) good deed/ sexual come-on brought out a new surprising side of LaLaurie (Kathy Bates). Kyle (Evan Peters), meanwhile, began to punish himself for last week’s murderous revenge, and Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) did her best to seize control of the situation she’d carelessly created. Amidst the hoopla of Halloween night, The Council arrived after receiving a tip from one of the academy’s students, and Fiona (Jessica Lange) just barely broke a sweat. Here is the Recap and Review of American Horror Story: Coven, Season 3 Episode 4, “Fearful Pranks Ensue”!
Episode 4 opened with a flashback to the early 60s, as we followed a young African American boy on his bike ride home from school. A car full of white men trailed him, and at first, I’d assumed this was witch business. In truth, the boy was merely one of the first to attend a non-segregated high school, a fact his mother was proud to share at Marie’s beauty parlor. Tragedy would strike, however, when the boy was found hanged. His mother’s despair was enough to convince Marie to act out, whipping up a nifty spell that called forth a mini army of the dead to exact her vengeance. The young boy was avenged via a horde of angry zombies tearing his assailants limb from limb with ease.
In the present, we got more acquainted with Spalding (Denis O’Hare) through a creepy dank tea party complete with hundreds of china dolls and a whole lot of heebie-jeebies. More on this lovely scene later! Spalding would be drawn to the ruckus of Madison’s (Emma Roberts) murder downstairs, inevitably wrapping the starlet’s corpse in the throw rug in order to protect Fiona. Bury her deep, Spalding!
Fiona would have little time to pretend to grieve, as Queenie’s own catastrophe in the greenhouse drew Fiona to her. Queenie, writhing on the floor in bad shape, watched as the Minotaur drew closer. Then, poof, the girl was lying on her deathbed upstairs with Fiona and Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) tending to her. Queenie would stop breathing, inevitably prompting Fiona to blow a bit of new life into her. This was interesting to see considering what had just transpired with Madison. What actually happened to Queenie with the Minotaur is somewhat of a mystery (I’m assuming this was some sort of bizarre sexual assault?), but the fact that Fiona sacrificed even a bit of her life force says something. The real breakthrough would come from LaLaurie, who began her process of remorse this week following the attack on Queenie. She’d visit Queenie when she’d regained consciousness, desperate for a means to truly thank her.
Meanwhile, Zoe had spent hours tending to Kyle following his murdering of his mother. The Kyle, whom we first saw this week pounding his head against the bathtub in a primal act of self-loathign that was surely a mix of guilt and agony, might not be Kyle at all. Zoe has been attempting to bring this makeshift monster version of Kyle back to reality, but this could be a case of Kyle’s memories functioning in his brain but with someone, or something, else living through the love and the pain he remembers. He realizes that there’s a connection to Zoe, and he recognized the evil in his mother. That doesn’t mean that this is the same Kyle by any means. Before she knew it, though, Zoe went from poisoning his tuna fish, a lunch that went uneaten, to taking to the streets to find her runaway creation; however, the fact that this was Halloween night would make that nearly impossible. Skeletons, zombies, and Miley Cyruses would surely be everywhere.
Not that Zoe would spend any of the rest of Episode 4 searching. She simply ventured back to Miss Robichaux’s Academy where she, along with the rest of the school, were called upon by The Council, a witch authority led by Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy). Nan (Jamie Brewer), having lost her mental connection with Madison, realized that her friend was no longer with the living. Calling upon The Council in an effort to get to the bottom of the disappearance, she’d inadvertently(?) set Fiona up for interrogation at the hands of her old school rival, Myrtle. Now, I’d say Nan should have known whether or not Fiona killed Madison, but later she’d have a hard time convincing Queenie and Zoe to trust her powers. The other two were ready to start hitting the streets in search of Montgomery as though she’d just been on some Halloween bender. Perhaps Nan is just protecting Fiona?
In any case, much of Episode 4, “Fearful Pranks Ensue,” would take place back around the time when Fiona had murdered Anna-Lee. We’d follow young Fiona over the next few days as she’d undergo tests to prove herself to be the next Supreme, yet Myrtle’s keen sense of recognizing the truth immediately alerted her to Fiona’s crime. Young Myrtle, desperate to catch Fiona at all costs, enchanted Spalding’s tongue to only speak the truth. When he’d be called in for questioning the next day, he’d have to sell out his favorite student. Just following, we’d witness the aftermath of the now infamous tongue removal in an upstairs bathroom of the academy. Fiona was the only girl standing by, further infuriating Myrtle.
In the present, Myrtle would ask a now mute Spalding to simply scribble down the name of the person responsible for the loss of his tongue, a request to which the man replied with the name “Myrtle Snow.” In a fit of rage, Myrtle would further accuse Fiona of crimes that we the audience know she committed; however, Delia would step in to defend her mother. Madison had a heart murmur, a health defect that would be an impossible ailment to sustain as a future Supreme.
What was so interesting to watch was Fiona’s face as the camera focused on Delia’s response. Fiona, who should have been elated, appeared utterly unnerved. She’d killed an innocent girl. Furthermore, we’d venture back in time yet again to witness what had actually transpired in that bathroom the night Spalding lost his tongue. He called Fiona to his side, professed his love for her as his last words, and subsequently used a razor to maim himself. He’d overheard Myrtle bragging about her spell, so she was, indeed, indirectly responsible.
Let’s rewind this recap for a moment. What had happened to the Minotaur as it loomed ominously over Fiona’s back in that greenhouse? Its still-living(?) head was returned in a box to Marie, sending her into quite the enraged tizzy. How would she exact her revenge, you ask? Stay tuned!
Before closing out this recap and review, it’s important to note that we also spent a bit of time with Delia’s husband, Hank (Josh Hamilton), this week as he was away on “business.” Business = Super raunchy hotel sex with an unknown redhead named Kaylee (Alexandra Breckenridge). Kaylee seemed like a nice small-town girl who’d been lured into a phony relationship with a married man through a dating site. The scene was a bizarre one for sure, as the incredibly rough sex was followed-up with a vending machine brunch and, after that, a brutal gunshot to the girl’s head. What is going on with Hank? Is he simply a psychopath? Does he get off on brutal sex followed by a heinous murder? Does this have something to do with that strange snake fertility ritual that was never really brought up post-spell?
Well, Fiona, for one, always knew that Hank was full of bullsh**. She revealed so much so with ease to Cordelia as the two got tanked at a local bar. Delia concocted a game in which the two would agree to honestly answering questions posed by the other. Of course, Fiona would effortlessly lay into her daughter’s husband without so much as a flinch of remorse, yet the question about murdering Madison received an equally well-delivered lie. In the bathroom, a wasted Delia finished puking her brains out before heading to the sink to wash up. From the stalls, a figure donned in black made its presence known, tossing a vile of some green liquid in Delia’s face. The sizzling solution burned as Delia cried out in pain. What was in the glass? Acid? A potion of some sort? We’ll have to wait and see.
Back at the school, we caught up, once again, with Spalding, who continued yet another tea party from the crypt. This time, he garbed himself in an old-fashioned women’s nighty, complete with a bonnet, before pulling an equally dingy and dated dress from the closet. We then were made aware of something far worse than bad taste in smelly old clothes… he has a fetish for “dolls.” In the corner of the room sat Madison’s corpse, dressed up like a doll complete with curled hair and a scarf to mask her slit throat. Ugh, Madison would loath the fact that her dead body is forced to partake in this hideous tea party.
Little beggar children… All fancied up!
My favorite part of Episode 4 had to be LaLaurie as the woman in charge of dishing out Halloween candy to knocking children. While Halloween was, thankfully, no longer a day dedicated to the warding off of materialized demons, greedy children seemed to give the hell-spawn some stiff competition. Was there anything better than watching LaLaurie attempt to shoo away Luke (Alexander Dreymon), the new next door neighbor who’d come to deliver Nan some cookies, as though he were some rude older boy looking to mooch off her candy supply? Episode 4 certainly closed with an awesome set-up for next week. LaLaurie would answer the door one last time, revealing a truly terrifying sight. Standing before her were the zombies of her daughters, followed by an oncoming flock of fellow undead enemies. Marie Laveaux had, indeed, reopened the war that had been settled some years back with Anna-Lee. A peace treaty meant nothing now that Fiona had destroyed her love. Funny, though… Fiona’s out on the town!
What did you think of American Horror Story: Coven Episode 4 of Season 3, “Fearful Pranks Ensue”? Does Marie Laveaux have control over the bodies of those she kills (LaLaurie’s daughters, the racists from the episode’s opening, etc.)? Are you ready for the rest of Halloween? Will the Minotaur return? Where’s Kyle? What happened to Delia, and what’s the deal with her hubby? Is Madison due for a comeback?
Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of American Horror Story: Coven Episode 4 of Season 3, “Fearful Pranks Ensue”!