Photo: Courtesy Michele K. Short/FX.
Hello, you witches and warlocks. Did you go into American Horror Story: Coven withdrawal over your Thanksgiving turkey, or did you manage to charm yourself into patiently waiting for this week's round of murder and maternal mania? Well, AHS returned in full force last night, tackling thorny issues such as terminal cancer, chemical enemas, and whether potpie has the ability to absolve one of crimes against humanity. And, we're off.
It's late at night under an overpass. Queenie's on her way back from double-crossing Delphine when she's accosted by a vagrant. She does her self-voodoo thing and lays him low with a nail-studded plank. Suddenly, Zoe and Madison show up dressed like the Olsen twins and not-so-nicely ask Queenie to return to the coven. Queenie's not too keen on that idea, and instead drives a dagger into the homeless man's solar plexus.
"You just killed an innocent man!" says Zoe, who killed the mostly innocent Spalding in the previous episode. Queenie explains that he's a serial rapist, and Marie Laveau's voodoo requires his evil, still-beating heart. She digs through his chest cavity and rips it out. You know, like you do.
At Miss Robichaux's, Fiona picks at a boiled egg and bemoans her cancer diagnosis, comparing her chemo treatment to "all the suffering of all the souls that ever were or will be." Lady, cancer sucks, but come down off your pentagram already. Cordelia's like, "Whatever."
Next door, Patti LuPone's Joan Ramsey is, for whatever reason, still tending to Luke's Halloween-night stab wound, tsk-tsking him for mixing with the wrong crowd. Nan's evil, says Joan. "She's dark-sided!" (Please give a round of applause to Ryan Murphy for this fantastic Wife Swap reference.) Luke's made himself unclean, so Joan, being a typical American Horror Story mother, prepares him a Comet enema in a scene that feels just a tad too long.
Back at Witch HQ, Cordelia's plotting Fiona's murder with Nan and Zoe when Misty Day shows up, fearing for her swamp life. The previous night, she was awoken by Zombie Myrtle, who alerted her to a dangerous man outside. (Frances Conroy also continues to deliver some of the best lines on the show: "I saw the assassin when he stepped on my face.")
Myrtle also arrives at Miss Robichaux's, looking a little raisin-y in the face but otherwise pretty good for someone recently immolated. "It's a good thing you're blind as a butter knife," says Myrtle. (A quick Google search confirms that no one has ever used this turn of phrase.) Myrtle decides that Misty, with her gift of resurrection, is clearly the next Supreme. Misty's like, "Wha?"
Photo: Courtesy Michele K. Short/FX.
Later, Zoe and Kyle are doing online learning activities and necking, because he still has the mental capacity of an infant and the libido of an undergraduate. Madison walks in to join, too, because the ladies decided in the previous episode to share their halfwit for sexy-times purposes. Still, there is conflict. Madison wants him to watch porn, but Zoe thinks he should learn the alphabet. Boring.
They head downstairs to don funny veils and partake in a vaguely explained ritual. They blow kisses at one another and draw blood and spout some ahistorical nonsense about the witches of yore. Myrtle delivers another line: "Can you imagine those Salem witches traveling all the way down here in covered wagons without a proper charcuterie platter or a bidet? Absolutely savage." (Between enemas and bidets, this episode is very Freudian.) They conspire to get Fiona to kill herself.
Later that night, as Fiona finishes retching into her toilet bowl, Madison turns up in her room in a red, diaphanous number and dancing to Donovan, talking about where she wants to put her Warhol when Fiona inevitably shuffles off this quasi-mortal coil. She tells Fiona that she'll make s'mores over her smoldering corpse when they burn her at the stake, but she could always OD on sleeping pills and off herself instead. Fiona's not having any of that and packs a bag for Patmos. Then, Myrtle enters and tells her that the Axe Man, with whom Fiona's still bumping oldies, won't stick around as she withers and dies. Fiona has visions of her final days: The serial murderer complains "the whole room smells like death" and flees for a better Greek isle.
Fiona decides to kill herself, so she puts on her face before her final act and reminisces about a romance she had with a drummer at Woodstock. "You've chosen the perfect color for your lips," says Myrtle. "I could never pull off the corals." As Fiona begins to die, Myrtle pockets her jewelry.
Zoe asks Madison how the plan went. "Boffo," she says, clearly a reader of Variety. Although Myrtle's certain that Misty's next in line for the throne, no one else is exactly sure, but the girls definitely don't think that Nan's up to snuff. Pissed, Nan storms out and over to Luke's, who she finds tied up in the closet. (Hopefully, Joan at least gave him a doughnut cushion.)
Suddenly, the ghost of Spalding appears with a bottle of emetic in Fiona's room. He's even more mannered than Myrtle here, if you can imagine. He gives her the lowdown on the witches' plan to deceive her into suicide, so she boots and rallies and gets a second wind.
Photo: Courtesy Michele K. Short/FX.
On the other side of town, Delphine's locked in a cage and listening to the blues in Cornrow City. Queenie arrives with a burger for her, and Delphine pleads with her to let her stretch her legs, still confused by Queenie's betrayal. "Didn't you like my potpie?" she asks. Uh.
Her sweetness is short-lived, though. Marie shows up and tells Delphine about all the horrible things she wants to do to her, but the immortal Delphine's not fazed. "Throw me back in the box," she says, following it up with a racist comment about the president. For that, Marie chops off her hand.
Downstairs at Miss Robichaux's, Myrtle's playing Schubert and talking about the acceptance of death at what should otherwise be a lively Ding-Dong Fiona's Dead cocktail party. Misty wonders when she'll know that she's truly the Supreme. "I'm told it starts as a tingle in the cooch," suggests Myrtle. (Please, someone give Frances Conroy an Emmy right now.) Fiona spoils everyone's non-fun by revealing that she didn't actually kill herself.
Back at Luke's, Nan tries to steal away with her boy toy, but Joan calls the cops on them. Before she can stop them, however, she's taken down by a sniper — OK! — as is Luke. The paramedics arrive and wheel him off to the hospital. Fiona heads over to find Misty alive and Joan dead, whom she wants resurrected. A swamp witch's work is never done. Outside, Cordelia sifts through shell casings and receives a vision of the shooter gunning down Joan and Luke. (Our money's on Hank.)
Upstairs at Miss Robichaux's, Zoe finds Kyle still playing his learning games, which are apparently quite effective at not only teaching basic units of speech but also the complexities of rhetoric. "This road goes two ways," he tells her, cryptically. He confesses that he's in love with Zoe, which Madison tearfully overhears.
The next morning, things are tense in the kitchen between mom and daughter, but Fiona tells Cordelia that orchestrating a murder proves that the coven has grit. "If I knew how easy it was to win your approval, I would've made an attempt on your life way before now," says Cordelia. Oh, they laugh.
Just then, the doorbell rings. There's a box — the very same box Bastien's head arrived in at Cornrow City — sitting on the porch. And, you can probably guess whose undead melon is in it.