'American Horror Story: Coven' Recap: Hunter and Prey

Miss Robichaux struggles with the rise of Hank, and Patti LuPone has a secret

American Horror Story: Coven
Michele K. Short/FX
Frances Conroy as Myrtle on 'American Horror Story: Coven'
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Oh, sweet stupid Hank. From the moment we found out he was a witch-murderer, we all knew there was no way Hank was going to get the best of the ladies on American Horror Story: Coven. Even when we learn Hank has been trained since childhood as heir to the Delphi Trust of Atlanta, a privately funded sacred brotherhood dedicated specifically to the murder of witches, the knowledge that Hank would goof it up has always been there. Apparently Hank's papa also sensed his son's failings, as he went ahead and authorized Cordelia's acid attack with the idea that it would make her more dependent on Hank. Good thinking, guys! I also have to assume that silver bullets permanently kill witches, or else the league of witch hunters is just not that interesting to me. Myrtle burned to a crisp and she looks fabulous, but I choose to believe that silver will kill a witch dead. You're welcome, Ryan Murphy!

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"No mercy. Never forget what they are," Hank's dad warns baby Hank after his first botched kill. The command raises an interesting question I’ve asked before: what are witches, anyway? Clearly there is a genetic component, though their skills must be honed. Cordelia and Misty Day cook up some healing mud and bring a dead plant to flower, which was charming if you ignore the part where Misty brought Patti LuPone – er, Joan – back from the dead with her bare hands. Why do they need spells and potions?

On a related note, are witches inherently violent? The only witches who had so far refrained from butchery were Cordelia, Nan and Myrtle, and oh boy, you can count Myrtle out after this week. After inviting Quentin (is he the only man-witch?) and Pembroke over to the Academy for some fruit salad and amends, Myrtle exacts her revenge on them, gouging out their eyes with a melon baller. Myrtle is still lovey-dovey toward Cordelia, so she gives her surrogate daughter the gift of sight through Quentin and Pembroke's stolen eyeballs. Myrtle then, um, dismembers her former coworkers and dissolves their body parts in acid. I guess Myrtle had some intense beef with her former Council members in addition to them voting to burn her at the stake, but Jesus Christ! Let’s hope Fiona doesn’t get too much weaker, or she’s headed to the vat for sure.

Fortunately Nan is still holding down the Tiny Shred of Humanity fort. She visits a comatose Luke in the hospital. Patti – ugh, Joan – initially rejects Nan's dark sided presence, but grows to like her after Nan reveals that she can mentally communicate with Luke in his coma. If you thought Patti LuPone was going to be on AHS without singing a song, boy, were you dumb! Unfortunately for Joan, God told Luke that she killed her philandering husband by putting bees in his SUV. To be fair, it is kind of rude to get a blowjob from your wife's friend while Book Club is still in session. An-SUV-filled-with-bees rude? I'll let you be the judge of that. Rather than let her secret out, Joan suffocates her baby boy. Who’s dark-sided now, Joan! Haha, the answer is everybody!

Now that Cordelia has functioning eyes, she’s lost her second sight, though she still saw enough to know Hank is a cheating loser. Not only does Hank’s wife kick him out for good, then Marie Laveau roughs him up voodoo-doll-style for failing to kill any witches. Can't a Hank get a break around here? It's not surprising that Laveau is pissed. Fiona walked into her salon with Madame LaLaurie's head like she owned the place. Oh, and the little wave LaLaurie's headless body gives Fiona absolutely killed me. As you might assume, Laveau is unmoved by Fiona's request for a truce. "I 'fraid about that when the time comes," she sniffs when Fiona tries to warn her about the witch-hunter. Unfortunately for Marie, that time is now, as Delphi intends to kill the voodoo clan too. Fortunately for Marie, the first witch-hunter they must deal with is Hank, and as discussed before, he sucks hardcore at his job. If Laveau is mad about Hank’s abilities, she’s going to be absolutely livid when she finds out what Queenie is doing: feeding Delphine snacks while making her watch Roots. I take back what I said earlier: Queenie has killed a hobo with her bare hands, but she is still pure of heart. Also, her plan totally works! We finally know the cure for racism!

After seeing Hank prepare his guns to storm the Academy, it’s a delightful reveal to see him barging into Laveau’s salon instead. Although: Hank has been trained for decades, has all the proper technology and his plan is to just walk into the place and randomly gun down whoever is standing there? That is the worst plan of all time! 

I know I say this basically every week, but I am always stunned by the caliber of camp Ryan Murphy manages to achieve. The last five minutes of this episode was pure insane trash. The combination of Madame LaLaurie's head sobbing over footage of protesters in Selma, Luke's feeding tube being removed and Hank's slo-mo rampage all playing under the civil rights anthem "Oh, Freedom" was such next level Divine-eating-a-dog-turd filth I could hardly believe it.  It was really something, and Queenie shoots the back of her head off, thus killing Hank. Laveau reluctantly shows up at Fiona’s doorstop to talk, and I hope the subject of their convo is how Queenie is the next Supreme.

Previous episode: Head and the Heart