Welcome back to American Horror Story: Coven, in which murder is so commonplace that it's boring and everybody's totally emo all the damn time. On this episode, it's Madison and Kyle, working out their undead angst. We also get some nice shots of gumbo.
We open with a flashback to when Kyle was still exclusively made of Kyle parts, talking about his big ambitions as his fellow frat dudes get tattoos. Kyle explains to his buddies that he refuses to get a tattoo because he wants to be an engineer and doesn't want future mayors of New Orleans to take him for anything less than a totally committed levy-builder. Is one required to go nude at mayoral meetings?
It's worth noting that this Louisiana tattoo shop is playing Toto. "I will not argue about this, bro. Toto is amazeballs," Kyle says. Disbelief = unsuspended.
Back in the present, Kyle's still chained up at Miss Robichaux's when he notices that his bros' parts are now sewed onto his torso — is it even his torso? — as evidenced by the four-leaf clover and kanji tattoos we saw in the flashback.
Kyle cry. Kyle smash. Kyle pre-lingually vocalize. (How much did Evan Peters get paid for this gig?) Roll credits.
Next up is Madison, smoking and sitting next to a burning candelabra during the daytime. Sure! She flatly recites tropes about Generation Y — "we are known for our entitlement and narcissism" — which is just so millennial, right? ("Meta," I believe the kids call it.) Madison then explains that she became a horny addict due to the hollow banality of social media or something. Her argument's a little murky. "Sex, drugs, booze. Just take away the pain." Somehow her generational ennui has transformed her into an emotionless sociopath, which really just belies some extreme cynicism on the the part of the script writers.
"Hell, I was gang-raped," she says. "Two days later, I was back in class like nothing happened. I mean, that must've hurt like hell, right? Most people never get over stuff like that, and I was like, 'Let's go for Jamba Juice.'" What?
She gets really Nine Inch Nails on us — isn't that a Gen X thing? — talking about wishing she could still feel pain. Apparently being resurrected also makes you immortal and super-hungry. "No matter how much I binge, I can't fill this hole inside me." Could this monologue be any more blasé?
After that's over, Zoe shows up in Cordelia's rave garden with Madison's little pop gun, ready to pull an Old Yeller on Kyle. She quickly wusses out, clearly still in love with whatever part of him is still not-zombie. So much for that little bit of Chekhov's gun foreshadowing in the previous episode.
Queenie and Delphine both wake up for a midnight snack, only to realize that Madison's pathological indifference has devoured everything in the fridge. Queenie then takes her to a Frostop drive-in for some burgers, which Delphine then gets, um, really excited. (It's good to know that the finest cuisine available to one of New Orleans society's richest serial killers is still not as good as a frozen patty of pink slime.) Queenie's just tickled by the whole experience: "I'm sitting in the fast-food parking lot at 3 in the morning with an immortal racist." They chuckle.
Back at the house, it's late at night and Cordelia's still blind. Hank calls her up as he's polishing his assault rifles and pounding whiskey, but she hangs up on him. She gets up, fumbles her way through the hall, and almost does a Death Becomes Her down the stairs, but Madison catches her first. Cordelia does not say, "What! You're alive?" She's just like, "Great, Fiona killed you."
And, where is Fiona? Over at the Axeman's apartment for some axe-wounding, if you catch my drift. You may wonder how he could've signed a lease in the time that's elapsed since he was emancipated from Miss Robichaux's, but we find out he just murdered an old jazz musician who has apparently been living in Eddie Valiant's digs from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Fiona's hair keeps falling out and she's maudlin. "I'm a wretched human being," she says. He's like, "What about sex?" They get their witch/ghost bang on, and Axeman plays her like a sax. The lightbulbs explode, and that was The Night the Lights Went Out in A Creepy New Orleans Flop House.
Madison enters and tells Zoe to scram. She commiserates with Kyle over the fact that there is no God and the universe is merely a cold, black void in which all human endeavor is ultimately meaningless. She then seduces Kyle with the classic, "I'm undead, you're undead, let's make this happen" line. Mmph.
Over at Cornrow City, Marie Laveau's hosting a gumbo party when Queenie shows up. Marie appeals to her as one supernaturally endowed black woman to another. She's mad as hell that Fiona dug Delphine up from her eternal prison in the ground and asks Queenie to deliver her in exchange for a place in the voodoo clan. Queenie seems reluctant, but we know what's coming.
Back at Miss Robichaux's, Cordelia's full of vengeful clarity and also the contents of a silver flask, and she's ready to take out her mother. She explains the sitch to Zoe, in whom she recognizes a good deal of witchly power, thanks to her work on the Axeman. If Zoe doesn't watch her back, Cordelia says, she'll get her throat cut like so many Madison Montgomerys. Since conflict resolution in this house only has one step — i.e., murder — they plot to kill Fiona. "Kill her dead," Cordelia says. Zoe leaves in a daze, only to walk in on Kyle's collection of boy parts stuffed inside Madison. Womp-womp.
Back at the Axeman's, Fiona's putting her face on and casually remarks that she knows about the dead body decomposing in his bathtub. Since they're laying all the cards on the table, Axeman fesses up that he's a ghost and that he's been watching Fiona since she was a child, even going as far to drop a sideboard on a bully for her. Fiona has mixed feelings. She's creeped out. She's turned on. It's oh-so-very A Streetcar Named Desire, if Stanley had a penchant for an axe-murder.
Up in the attic doll house, Zoe's tied Spalding to his bed and magically reattached his tongue, which, if you'll recall, is unable to tell a lie. Reluctantly, he confesses that Fiona did indeed kill Madison. Zoe then sticks a dagger in his heart, because that seems like a totally appropriate response. RIP Spalding, but he'll probably get brought back on the next episode. (This constant cycle of murder and reanimation kind of cheapens the narrative impact of death, no?)
Downstairs, Queenie wants to see if Delphine is really the monster Marie makes her out to be, despite the fact that she's already heard the horrible stories about how the Madame treated her slaves. Delphine explains that once her husband impregnated a house maid, so she exsanguinated the baby as part of her beauty ritual. "One slight regret," she calls it. "It wasn't only a different time, but a different world!" Queenie's clearly not buying it.
Meanwhile, Zoe's in the shower, washing Spalding's blood off her hands. Madison, never one for propriety, opens the curtain on her. She knows that Zoe might be miffed about her schtupping her zombie boyfriend, but says there's no reason the two can't share him. Why not have a three-way? (I'd like to point out that I did predict a three-way happening at some point in this house.) It's like that movie Threesome, but instead of Lara Flynn Boyle having an orgasm in a library, everyone here is a certified killer.
Fiona's in the bathroom hopped up on pills, and her hair won't stop falling out. She grabs a set of electric clippers — why are there clippers in a school exclusively for girls? — but the call of the Axeman's bebop gives her pause. Elsewhere in 'Nawlins, the Axeman has managed to book gigs already. Good to know that a struggling murder-artist can still find work in this economy. And, who shows but Fiona, looking to get played like a horn again.
Queenie takes Delphine to Cornrow City, where she's ambushed by Marie and her voodoo army. Delphine's incredulous. "It's the reason I brought you here, you dumb bitch," says Queenie. (Did Queenie totally forget that Marie once sicced a minotaur on her?) They lock Delphine up in a coffin-shaped cage, and torture is clearly on the menu. (Also, gumbo!) Marie makes Queenie slice open Delphine for a little tit-for-tat beauty blood, which Marie triumphantly smears on her face like war paint.
On the one hand, poor Kathy Bates! On the other, is 200 years in a box enough prison time to make up for the sadistic multiple murders of enslaved humans? Ehhh. Maybe.
In two weeks: Queenie's having second thoughts about her double-cross, and an alternate, anti-Fiona coven springs up with Myrtle and Misty Day. Fiona goes bald and starts going steady with Axeman. Can we expect more witch orgy action? One can only hope.
Missed last week's episode? Catch the recap, here.