American Horror Story Recap: Denial, Anger, Acceptance, & Reanimation

kylemomPhoto: Courtesy Michele K. Short/FX.
Holy Oedipus. What an episode! Transmogrification, Patti Lupone, and not one but three throat-slits? More freaky sex and Fleetwood Mac are also on the menu. And, finally, we get some good Gabourey Sidibe action, too. Let's dig in.
We open on Fiona, chasing pills with scotch and reminiscing about the 1970s. Flashback time: Young Fiona (Riley Voelkel) sips a martini with then-reigning Supreme Anna-Leigh Leighton (Christine Ebersole, who happens to be Jessica Lange's co-star in Tootsie) and casually pooh-poohs the very idea of joining those rabble-rousing bra-burners downtown. "Why, so I can gag on the toxic fumes coming off all that burning Playtex?" Once again, Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy demonstrate their deep knowledge of feminist history.
The acting in this scene is so uncharacteristically bad that it's not worth getting into detail. We'll just hit the major points: Fiona's a budding Supreme and, therefore, automagically sucking the life force from Anna-Leigh, who calls her a "vicious little gash." (Yet more of Falchuk and Murphy's familiarity with how real women talk.) Fiona speeds things up by cutting Anna-Leigh's throat. Denis O'Hare's Riff Raff Spalding witnesses the event. We can guess now how he lost his tongue.
Back in the present, Zoe visits Kyle's mother Alicia (Mare Winningham), who's busy pouring her feelings into her dead son's weed stash. Alicia offers Zoe a toke. "I'm driving." Uh, said no one ever. Alicia tells Zoe that she almost hanged herself after Kyle died, by Zoe's phone call gave her pause. "I wish I was as sweet as you think," says Zoe. What?
On the other side of town, big, sweaty things are happening next door to Miss Robichaux's. Nan, Queenie, and Madison are getting hot and bothered over young, dumb, and judiciously shirtless Luke Ramsey (Alexander Dreymon), who's moving in with his conservative Christian mother, Joan (Patti Lupone!).
sidibePhoto: Courtesy Michele K. Short/FX.
Meanwhile, Delphine is in tears watching Obama on TV. "Why, oh Lord my God, have you foresaken this once-proud country?" (That's Delphine talking, not Glenn Beck.) Fiona explains that black people can not only be president, be even poet laureate. "LIEEEEEEEEESSSSSS!" hisses Delphine. (Someone get this woman a column on Townhall!) Fiona decides that a 200-year-old racist couch potato is of no value to the household, so she presses Delphine into service as the new maid instead.
Downstairs, the cameraman once again forgot to unscrew the fish-eye lens as the Young Witches of Robichaux discuss their sex lives. Queenie's still a virgin, but Nan "gets it on all the time."
Can we just stop for a second and talk about what a fantastic actress Jamie Brewer is? Ryan Murphy has taken some flak for his repeated casting of actors with Down Syndrome on Glee, Nip/Tuck, and AHS as possibly exploitative. And, despite Brewer's good performance in the first season of AHS, she wasn't given very much range except as that girl with Down Syndrome, which seemed entirely unnecessary to the plot except to inject an element of, dare we say, oddity? But, in this season, she's been given a character who's hilarious, insightful, and multivalent. So, cheers to Jamie Brewer. She's a helluva lot more convincing than Riley Voelkel, that's for sure.
Back at the breakfast table, Delphine is delivering some ridiculously racist statements in the heightened language of a Marlowe drama. Queenie responds, saying, "You best put that food down in front of me before I frisbee this plate at your head." Sigh. Fiona then decides to flip the script and make Delphine a slave to Queenie. "There's nothing I hate more than a racist," says the woman who did the whole hammer-and-nails, our-kind-hates-your-kind bit with Marie Laveau in the previous episode.
Over in the swamp, Misty's getting creepy with Re-Animator Kyle, wooing him with "Sara" and Fleetwood Mac trivia. Zoe shows up to cart Kyle back off to his mother — is returning the undead Frankenstein body of someone's dismembered son the missing sixth stage in the Kübler-Ross model? — but Misty's grown desperately attached. This poor dead kid is like witch catnip, apparently. Misty cry-dances the pain away.
luponePhoto: Courtesy Michele K. Short/FX.
Madison, in a body-hugging, Vegas-appropriate dress, and Nan show up to Chez Ramsey with a cake to "welcome" their new neighbors. Luke's more into Nan, which pleases Madison not at all. Joan enters and offers to take the cake to her Bible study group. In response, Madison insults 2,000 years of Christian faith, telekinetically flings a chef's knife into the wall, and sets the drapes on fire. Whatever happened to Southern hospitality?
Meanwhile, Fiona and Cordelia are in their respective doctors' offices with their respective plights (eternal youth; babies), but both docs have bad news. Cordelia's gyno tells her that she simply can't get pregnant, serpent-sex black magic be damned. And, Fiona's doctor refuses to operate on her because her immune system is so effed up. That begs the question, however: Why doesn't she just Jedi mind-trick him like she did with the dudes who dug up Delphine? Shovels and scalpels can't be all that different.
Zoe drops off the mute mutant Kyle at his mom's. We don't get a scene in which Alicia calls her therapist because her son has risen from the dead, and she clearly must be having a some kind of post-traumatic mental break and should have her meds adjusted stat. We do, however, get a scene in which she crawls into bed with her zombie son and starts fondling his zombie junk.
Congratulations, Brad and Ryan: You've managed to out-skeeze even last season's "baby needs colostrum" scene.
Cordelia, however, hasn't even gotten to colostrum yet. She's still on the conception tip, so she visits Cornrow City to see if Marie Laveau can work some voodoo on her womb. Marie plays a disinterested game of solitaire on her iPad and explains how the ritual goes down: First, Cordelia must procure two ounces of "baby gravy" in a mason jar. (For those of you not up on your baby-gravy calculus, that's at least six, uh, deposits.) Then, during the new moon, Marie eats a "Guinea pepper," boils some semen, and cuts a goat's throat. Presto, baby-o.
Cordelia's down for it. "When's the new moon?" (What kind of witch doesn't know when the new moon is?) But, Marie won't help Cordelia. Fiona's pissed her off mightily, and even her spawn must suffer Marie's spite.
langetablePhoto: Courtesy Michele K. Short/FX.
That night, Delphine and Queenie trade verbal blows in the kitchen when Bastien, Delphine's bull-headed house boy, shows up with a hoof to pick. (Also, now he's actually a minotaur? Someone please explain the magic behind this.) Queenie tells Delphine to hide and heads outside to confront Bastien. At this point, I write the following sentence in my notes:
"And then, Gabourey Sidibe masturbates for a minotaur." Hoo-boy. It does not end well for Queenie, though.
Back at Kyle's house, Alicia puts down Georges Bataille's Ma Mère for a minute and invites Zoe over for dinner. She takes a moment, however, to ask Kyle why his junk looks so different from the junk she's known and loved for so long. Kyle, in turn, bludgeons her to death with a trophy. Well, that ties up that loose end.
Fiona takes Madison out to a bellini brunch to size up her powers, believing her to be the next Supreme and the one responsible for her waning strength. Later, they head to a bar, where Madison charms the local pool table toughs and gets mighty crunk. When they get back to Miss Robichaux's, Fiona pulls out an Oscar-worthy sob story about how she's getting old and frail, and tells Madison to slit her throat with the very knife Fiona used on Anna-Leigh. "I was a sh**ty Supreme," she crows. Madison's clearly not up to the task, so Fiona cuts her throat instead. Fiona looks to Spalding to clean up the mess.
Poor Spalding. Another day, another corpse to roll up in a rug.
Next week: Queenie's in a minotaur-induced coma; Frances Conroy's Myrtle Snow returns with her Grace Coddington hair; Spalding caresses a corpse; and, something comes back from the dead, obviously.
Missed last week's episode? Catch the recap, here.

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