“American Horror Story: Coven' Recap: Zombie Daughters Attack! - Rolling Stone
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‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Recap: All Summer’s Eve

Madame LaLaurie’s daughters return from the dead; Fiona finds a scapegoat

Jamie Brewer, Gabourey Sidibe and Taissa Farmiga as Nan, Queenie and Zoe on American Horror Story: CovenJamie Brewer, Gabourey Sidibe and Taissa Farmiga as Nan, Queenie and Zoe on American Horror Story: Coven

Jamie Brewer, Gabourey Sidibe and Taissa Farmiga as Nan, Queenie and Zoe on 'American Horror Story: Coven'

Michele K. Short/FX

I don’t know about you guys, but for my money, this was the first episode of Coven that had actual perturbing moments. It also had moments like Spalding dressed in his dolly costume frantically spraying air freshener to cover up the smell of Madison‘s corpse, so really it was the perfect blend.

One such stand-out moment was Madame LaLaurie‘s meeting with her zombie daughter Borquita. The episode begins by flashing back to All Hallow’s Eve 1833, when LaLaurie chases off Borquita’s suitor by being the grossest person ever. “I fairly swoon when I see the moment of terror on a handsome face,” LaLaurie purrs to the handsome Jacque. “Makes me feel young again.” EW, MOM! TONE IT DOWN! LaLaurie has set up a “chamber of horrors,” but instead of peeled grapes and spaghetti, it’s actual eyeballs and intestines. Borquita and the other Marie Louises conspire that night to kill their mother, only to be pulled from their beds and tied up in the attic for one year.

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So you can imagine why I’m finding modern-day LaLaurie’s remorse a little hard to swallow. I’m sure she had plenty of time to think about what makes a good mother in that coffin, but come on. When Marie Laveau‘s army of zombies descends on Miss Robichaux’s Academy, LaLaurie’s first instinct is to open the door? Sweet neighborly dum-dum Luke actually went outside to scare off the creepy, swaying weirdoes on the front lawn, only to watch them disembowel two neighborhood punks. Nan runs out after him, and they take refuge in Fiona’s car. Queenie is still out of commission from the minotaur (Couldn’t she just give that pain to someone else?), so it’s up to Zoe to save them. Meanwhile, LaLaurie lets Borquita into the kitchen. WOMAN, PLEASE! “Come back to me child,” LaLaurie pleads. She apologizes for being a nightmare mother, but Borquita’s dead white eyes just stare. Then Borquita just starts choking the immortal life out of her mother. The fact that LaLaurie might not die even if her body is destroyed makes it even creepier.

The other disturbingly affecting moment was Fiona’s breakdown following Cordelia’s acid attack. After a doctor confirms that her daughter was blinded, the Supreme breaks into the medication room and wanders around the hospital’s flickering halls in a despondent fugue state. “You didn’t throw that acid,” an elderly man whispers. “But you might as well have.” Through her haze, Fiona spots the hooded figure that blinded Cordelia. Given the show’s breakneck pace, it doesn’t usually have time to let a feeling linger, but this scene straight up haunts. Fiona drifts into a patient’s room, where a woman recuperates near the body of her stillborn daughter. “Tell her you’ll love her until the day she dies,” Fiona sighs, pressing the baby’s body into the mother’s weeping arms. It’s an unsettling scene. Fiona touches the baby’s head and is out of the room by the time we hear the baby start crying.          

Meanwhile, Cordelia’s acid attack has apparently given her the second sight! So that’s a plus. When her loving homicidal hubby comes to the hospital, Cordelia touches his hand and sees all his extracurricular activities. What is Hank‘s deal, do you think? Also, Hank dead, right? Hank dead real soon?

Back at the Academy, the zombies are bearing down on Nan, Luke and Queenie, respectively. Queenie tries to slit her own throat (smart move!) to stave off one of the LaLaurie girls, only to realize that zombies cannot be stopped by mere – oh wait, LaLaurie kills the zombie with a fireplace poker. Huh. Alrighty. Zoe takes out the rest of the undead horde with a combination of a chainsaw and her mental ability to . . . shut off other witches’ powers? Having spent the episode hovering over a pentagram, Marie Laveau suddenly falls to the ground with a thud. “I don’t know what that was, but they got some real power in that witch house now,” Laveau muses. Oh right, because Zoe is the real Supreme. Doy. 

The ladies gather to burn the zombie bodies the next day, wondering, “Maybe we should get more cedar chips to cover the smell?” Uh, ya think? There is no way Patti LaPone won’t notice the charred corpse smell, or the fact that her son is recuperating from a zombie attack with the sluts next door. All of which looks really, really bad when the Council shows up to continue their investigation!

On the grounds that she is fucking everything up, the Council asks Fiona to abdicate her position as Supreme, thus turning over control of the Coven to the Council. Instead of agreeing, Fiona carefully explains how Myrtle Snow has been stalking her as the hooded figure and blinded Cordelia. Fiona pulls off Myrtle’s scarlet glove to reveal . . . sulphuric acid burns! Of course, the only problem is that Myrtle is not the hooded figure and did not burn Cordelia. Queenie burned herself for Fiona, transferring the scars to Ms. Snow. “Maybe that’s what this coven needs. A Supreme of color,” Fiona tells her later. JK, Fiona will accidentally murder you if you get too strong. Oh, you know what? Is the next Supreme actually Nan? It’s Nan, isn’t it?

The Council immediately votes for Myrtle’s death, and everyone puts on fabulous hats and goes to a gravel pit where the Warlocks in Black douse Myrtle in gasoline to the strains of Dr. John’s “Right Place Wrong Time.” Fiona flicks a cigarette and soon Myrtle is as flame-red as her hair. Good thing Misty Day later happens upon Myrtle’s remains. After about one second of Misty quietly humming “Tusk,” Myrtle’s eyes snap open in her barbecued face. Looks like we’re going to need a bigger bucket of mud! 

Previous recap: Tricks and Treats


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