PHOTO: COURTESY of MICHELE K. SHORT/FX.
Welcome back, demon spawn. It's been four long, arctic vortex-y weeks without a single bit of American Horror Story: Coven action, but last night our infernal girls returned with a rejuvenating New Year's smoothie of household bleach, newborn's blood, and cocaine. Delicious. Oh, and Stevie Nicks!
We pick up right after Hank's ill-fated Cornrow City massacre, with Marie Laveau as the only apparent survivor. (Strangely, it seems that Queenie did not live after she ate a bullet during her final human voodoo doll trick.) She's taken refuge at Miss Robichaux's, where Fiona's now on a gentler tip and quickly becoming Marie's black magic bosom buddy. Almost being murdered softens even the hardest of immortals.
Marie drifts off to sleep when she's awoken by the sound of clattering bones, which is not but should be her ringtone. Instead, it's the ancient voodoo spirit Papa Legba, impish and red-eyed and dressed in a top hat.
Historical note: The Papa Legba of real Haitan Vodou is often depicted as a wise, pipe-smoking old man who serves as the interlocutor between humanity and the divine. In American Horror Story, of course, he's a Creole-accented demon who's conjured with cocaine and has a taste for fresh babies. (Um?) It would seem that Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy were actually thinking of former WWE wrestler Papa Shango.
Anyway, Marie heads to a hospital in search of some innocent baby-flesh to tide over Papa Legba's infanticidal hunger. She blows dust into the eyes of a poor nurse working the graveyard shift and makes off with a squirming newborn. When Marie trips the hospital alarms, the cops show up. Two officers threaten her, but she ululates and her eyes turn serpent-like, and she makes them shoot each other in the head. Blue-collar workers just continually get the crap end of the stick on this show.
The next day, Cordelia's sitting in front of the TV, bawling her brand-new eyeballs out over the death/betrayal of her husband/witch-killer, Hank. Fiona calls her a loser. Best. Mother. Award. Upstairs, Fiona walks in on Misty Day, who's keeping herself busy by staring in mirrors and twirling with a shawl. Misty warns her that she's already got a plan to resurrect herself just in case Fiona gets all murder-y. Fiona wouldn't dream of it, of course. She tells Misty all about the awesome perks one gets as the Supreme, such as access to Stevie Nicks.
Yep, there she is, the White Witch herself, in the parlor room of Chez Robichaux. "I'm Stevie Nicks," she says. Misty faints, naturally. Shortly later, Madison, Nan, and Zoe arrive back to the house from the hospital and walk in on a little Stevie solo rendition of "Rhiannon." They all sit around and respectfully crone it up, and Madison doesn't make a single Rihanna pun, even though Fiona tells her that she's sure Misty is the next Supreme. Stevie then gives Misty a shawl-twirling demonstration. It's pretty Lilith Fair.
The young witches retire upstairs and kvetch about how each of them is totally more Supreme-worthy than Swampy Day. Even Nan thinks she has the goods and proves it by Jedi mind-tricking Madison into shoving a stubbed-out cigarette into her vagina. (Madison's, not Nan's.) When Zoe tells Madison that she can't be the Supreme because of her heart murmur, Madison demonstrates that being brought back to life also cured all of her congenital defects, and she secretly challenges Misty to a Seven Wonders match.
Which brings us to the fact that this show has become Glee. In the past two episodes alone, we've had multiple musical numbers by famous stars of the stage, a face-off by two sassy young women in a talent competition, ancient demons, and some heavy-handed message-y stuff about tolerance. If Chris Colfer makes a cameo, I quit.
The elder witches, meanwhile, have discovered Hank's true origins in the Delphi Corporation with the help of a single Google search. (Reminder: Always do a cursory check on all your OKCupid dates. They could be witch-hunters or also like Creed.) Marie and Fiona team up to cast a spell on the company, and we find out that witch-voodoo hybrid magic is quite literal: They put a mouse in a replica of an office building surrounded by stacks of cash, which results in Delphi getting raided by the SEC.
Fiona faints from the high levels of juju involved in the ritual. Marie carts her upstairs for a little R&R&R (Rest & Relaxation & Rattle viper sperm incense), and their evil old biddy bond grows ever stronger. Fiona coaxes Marie into revealing how she became immortal: by giving up her baby (and also her soul) to Papa Legba. Clearly, Fiona plans to give him a ring.
Elsewhere in the city, there's a lovely scene of a funeral procession belting out some languorous Dixieland dirge-jazz, followed by a troupe of second-line marchers with those funny umbrellas. For some reason, Madison and Misty are also in the procession and eating chicken skewers, which feels a little inappropriate. Madison then takes the poor backwoods girl to a corner of the cemetery for their Seven Wonders scrimmage. Misty doesn't last long, though, as Madison clocks her with a brick and seals her up in a tomb. Poor Misty. Bye, Misty.
Later, Nan and Zoe drop in on Joan, who's still in mourning from murdering her son, Luke. Nan's on to her, though, and we get to see innocent Nan make a Tony-award winner drink bleach on television. (Jamie Brewer continues to demonstrate boundless range.)
Cut to FRANCES CONROY PLAYING A THEREMIN. (Sorry for the all-caps, but FRANCES CONROY PLAYING A THEREMIN can't really be said in conventional letter case.) Myrtle and Cordelia are squirreled away in the herb garden. "Listen to the celestial tones," croaks Myrtle, but Cordelia scrunches up her face. "Don't be a hater, dear," Myrtle says. Cordelia's still upset about being a complete failure and endangering the entire coven. "You have a lovely personality and you're always well-groomed," offers Myrtle, who suggests that she could maybe get a job on a cruise ship. Cordelia smashes up all of her laboratory glass like a churl, and Myrtle continues to play the Theremin, exasperatedly.
Fiona's upstairs cutting rails in order to conjure Papa Legba. He promptly arrives and offers to give her everlasting life in exchange for her soul. Papa asks her if she would cripple her daughter or murder an innocent for him, and she's like, "Uh, yep, absolutely." When it comes time to make it official, however, Papa backs off at the last second, because it turns out Fiona doesn't actually have a soul. Har-har! Papa takes off, and the Axeman shows up to console her, but she's not too hurt. Instead, she resolves to murder everyone in the house, because, well, why not?
The next day, Nan explains to Zoe that killing Joan with bleach proves that she is clearly the next Supreme. Just then, she clairvoyantly hears the cries of Marie's abducted baby. She finds the tyke in a closet, but Marie and Fiona walk in on her. When Nan threatens to kill Marie, Fiona orders her to get out. "That girl is dangerous," says Marie.
Then they drown Nan. Poor Nan. Bye, Nan.
Next week: Marie and Fiona lie unconvincingly about what happened to Nan, the Axeman polishes his axe on someone's cranium, and Kyle returns from wherever he's been hiding/eating dogs.
Missed the last episode? Catch the recap here.