American Horror Story: Coven – Recap: The New Bruce Campbell
American Horror Story: Coven continued tonight with a fifth episode that began with one young witch rising to the occasion Army of Darkness style and ended with another left as a pile of ashes… for now!
Episode 5 of Season 3 of American Horror Story: Coven, “Burn, Witch, Burn!” might have unveiled the next Supreme. Of course, it seems like slim pickens at the moment, so I guess Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) will do. Fiona (Jessica Lange) veiled her utter devastation following the acid attack on her daughter, Cordelia (Sarah Paulson), with drugs and booze, taking us back to the days of Asylum. In the aftermath, the battle between Fiona and Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) then reached a boiling point, and that toad would rather fry than boil. First, let’s fight our way through Marie Laveau’s (Angela Bassett) zombie onslaught! Here is the Recap and Review of Season 3 Episode 5 of American Horror Story: Coven, “Burn, Witch, Burn!”
Episode 5 began with a flashback to one of LaLaurie’s (Kathy Bates) infamous All Hallow’s Eve bashes. The socialite tormentor certainly knew how to create a sense of terrifying ambiance, even touting a “Chamber of Horrors,” a makeshift museum privately displaying the organs and eyeballs of her tortured slaves to those who dared to enter. We learned more of her relationships with her daughters in this flashback, even becoming privy to the fact that her girls once plotted to murder their terrible mother. LaLaurie, who’d become aware to their scheming, ordered her slaves to confine the girls to her true Chamber of Horrors, the attic filled with the slaves she’d entrapped in the vilest of ways. There, they’d allegedly stay bound for an entire year. The ringleader in the scheming, Borquita, inevitably suffered an even more dire fate. Honestly, there is no true means of eloquently writing “sh*t in mouth on Christmas Day,” in a recap, is there?
In the present, we picked up where last week left us off. LaLaurie answered the door expecting to find some greedy “fancied up” young trick-or-treaters, only to discover the walking corpses of her dead and rotted daughters. With them, an army of Marie Laveau’s fallen enemies swarmed Miss Robichaux’s Academy looking to exact Marie’s vengeance and, of course, on the hunt for braaains. As Marie conjured the dead from her salon, the girls prepared for the worst. LaLaurie prepared to suffer the impending hell, readying a coke on ice at Queenie’s (Gabourey Sidibe) request. Luke (Alexander Dreymon), not realizing that he was in the presence of legitimate witches rather than a gaggle of teenage girls having fun on Halloween, called the zombies’ bluff, venturing out to the yard to confront the “pranksters” terrorizing a school full of young girls. Nan (Jamie Brewer), who’s taken a special liking to her neighbor, watched in horror as the zombie herd, at Marie’s request, began tearing apart unsuspecting civilians before landing an ax in Luke’s back. Luke, struggling in pain, was eventually aided by his budding love interest, Nan, who fearlessly managed to drag the boy to a nearby car just before the undead party crashers could rip him to pieces.
Inside, Zoe managed to wrangle the group together in an effort to protect them; however, once Nan placed herself in grave danger, Zoe also subsequently left the safe confines of the school in an effort to rescue her friend. Drawing the corpses’ attention away from Nan, Zoe found herself to be the next target, eventually taking refuge in the shed as the enemies began their onslaught. A very specific tool, though, eventually caught her eye… This reviewer loved the wink-and-nod horror buff moment!
In the kitchen, LaLaurie caught a glimpse of her daughter, Borquita, on the back porch, eventually giving the walking corpse the benefit of the doubt. LaLaurie begged for forgiveness, looking to make amends for the terrible deeds she’d done while her girl was alive. Borquita, seemingly interested in what her mother had to say, listened briefly before attacking. The show subsequently cut away, taking us next to Queenie’s bedside as she continued to rest. Unfortunately, her moment of relaxation was cut short by a violent Borquita, who’d made her way upstairs. Queenie’s voodoo doll abilities were useless against the walking dead, it seemed, yet an unlikely ally ran to her reduce. LaLaurie laid her daughter to rest with a poker through the heart, realizing that this final courtesy was the best gift she’d ever given her child. Queenie, recognizing the hurt in LaLaurie, offered a shoulder to cry on, and this is officially this reviewer’s favorite pairing on American Horror Story: Coven. I guess hundreds of years spent bored beyond belief in a box made for the perfect circumstances of reflection. The present day LaLaurie is so much more likable, most likely due to the charms of Kathy Bates, yet I like that AHS reminds us of her past brutality by taking us back in time on occasion. That’s important and real.
Outside, Zoe reintroduced herself to the group of mindless bodies with a chainsaw in hand. Here she is! The new Bruce Campbell, Ash, taking on the Coven version of the Army of Darkness! Zoe hacked the entire group of the undead up into pieces, splattering blood all over herself in the process. Sorry, magic! Nothing beats a chainsaw when it comes to zombies! By the time the chainsaw ran out of gas, though, she had but one assailant left, the racist who’d lynched the boy during the start of the episode prior. It seems, however, that Zoe has recognized a new ability, merely requesting with a motion for the undead beast to fall before it would cease to attack any longer. Marie Laveau, devastated by the teen witch’s power, fell to the ground from her levitated state. This is her true rival!
As this all transpired, Fiona dealt with the aftermath of the horrible attack on Delia at the hospital. Delia had been permanently blinded by the sulfuric acid tossed in her face, sending Fiona into quite the inebriated tizzy. The scenes that followed took us straight back to last season’s asylum, as the patients of the hospital seemed to grow evermore insane as Fiona continued to eliminate her pain with stolen pills. Jessica Lange’s forte, of course, is playing “drunken stupor.” Perhaps the most stirring scene came when Fiona encountered, in her foggy state, a mother who’d lost her child to a stillborn death. She’d force the young lady to hold her daughter’s corpse, pleading with her to let her child know how much she loved her. The woman complied, confused by the circumstances, yet she’d find herself holding a complete miracle. Fiona revived the child, leaving the mother impossibly happy as she left to head back to her own daughter’s bedside. Fiona’s subsequent conversation with Delia’s husband, Hank (Josh Hamilton), was refreshingly emasculating considering what we’d become privy to during the previous episode. Leaving Hank to Cordelia for a few minutes, Fiona let the man make his peace with his crippled wife. Grabbing her hand, he’d inevitably set off a new power in Delia… the gift of “sight.” Cordelia, though still recuperating, is now aware of her husband’s double life.
The next morning, Fiona oversaw the burning of the bodies. Nan and Zoe did the honors, while it was mentioned that Luke continued to recover in Nan’s bed. Fiona made sure to note that she was pleased with Zoe, “a witch who knows how to fight,” before having a chat with LaLaurie. The two shared their guilt-ridden sentiments regarding their failures as mothers, though Fiona isn’t looking to further a friendship with this lady. She is, after all, the maid! From a distance, The Council loomed. Fiona, realizing that she had more “trash” to deal with, suffered the consequences of both the acid attack and the zombie invasion inside.
Myrtle headed the hearing, yet again, and it seemed Fiona’s nine lives had finally been extinguished. She was ordered to leave her position as Supreme following the toxic wave of events she’d brought upon this academy. Unfortunately for Myrtle, Fiona had a plan of her own. With a little help from Spalding (Denis O’Hare), Fiona had spent the past few weeks tracking Myrtle’s whereabouts in New Orleans. She’d been covertly obsessing over Fiona’s return, staying in a nearby motel and even mapping out her scheme of Fiona’s destruction. Fiona, confident in her claims, yanked off Myrtle’s glove to reveal scarring from the same acid that had destroyed Delia’s eyesight. Myrtle Snow, neglecting to even truly argue with Fiona, gave in to Fiona’s accusations. She was to be burned at the stake for her crimes against the coven, the only place she’d ever truly hoped to feel at home. A perpetual oddball, Myrtle would die with dignity as a loner rather than ever succumbing to Fiona’s wicked ways.
The next day, the entire coven gathered in the desert to execute Myrtle, who went willingly. Her final words cursed Fiona as the witch “boiling” these “toads” without them even realizing her selfishness. Myrtle, on the other hand, would rather burn than boil, and thus, Fiona set the stake ablaze with her cigarette. Myrtle died screaming in agony. Zoe watched on in utter shock. Remember, just a few weeks back this girl was but a normal teenager. Today, she’s partaking in an old school witch trial. Well, she’s at least a part of the execution!
At home, Queenie visited Fiona in her bedroom, distraught over the day’s events. Had Queenie unknowingly helped Fiona frame an innocent witch? We flashed back to the moment Fiona accused Myrtle of the brutal attack on Delia. From the cover of a wall, we witnessed Queenie soaking her hand in sulfuric acid, using her power to frame Myrtle Snow. We’d previously seen, however, some moments of what we’d assumed were legitimate flashbacks through Fiona’s eyes. We watched as Fiona caught a glimpse of Myrtle, cloaked in black, just as the hospital elevator doors closed behind her. We watched as Fiona broke into her private motel room, revealing Myrtle’s plans of taking her rival down. Fiona, though, was absolutely obliterated the night of Cordelia’s blinding, and she’s not one to shy away from a lie. Time will tell whether or not Myrtle snow is truly to blame, but one thing is for certain, Fiona was going to shut Queenie up by proclaiming her to be a potential new Supreme in any case.
Spalding continued to sufficiently creep us out like no other during Episode 5. In his attic bedroom, he sprayed an absolute ton of air freshener before revealing the cause of the stench. Inside a chest, Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) remained a lifeless body, rotting away to no one’s knowledge but Spalding. Spalding, looking to toy with his doll, aggressively yanked at her corpse, ultimately ripping an arm from its socket in a scene of complete horror!
To conclude the recap, Episode 5 of Season 3 closed with none other than Misty Day (Lily Rabe) arriving at the site of Myrtle’s execution. Coyotes nipped at the Council witch’s terribly burned body as Misty descended upon her. Misty Day revived Myrtle Snow to end another stellar episode of American Horror Story: Coven!
What did you think of American Horror Story: Coven, Season 3 Episode 5, “Burn, Witch, Burn!”? Is Madison Montgomery dead for good? What’s the truth behind Myrtle’s intentions? Who actually blinded Cordelia? Will news of Luke’s injury get back to his mother? Do you like the new powers of Zoe and Delia? Do you find yourself guilty for liking LaLaurie in the present knowing all the horrors she’s committed in the past?
Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of American Horror Story: Coven, Season 3 Episode 5, “Burn, Witch, Burn!”