AHS: Coven Recap: If Anyone Falls

american-horror-story-stevie nicksAlthough this week’s American Horror Story: Coven cues up “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks,” it isn’t all shawl twirls and platform boots. (I mean, there is a lotta that. But it’s not all that.) There’s also a visit from voodoo devil Papa Legba, two major deaths that seem likely to stick and an attempted murder that’s almost certainly destined to fail. Confused? You won’t be (hopefully) after reading this recap…

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STAND BACK | When Cordelia tries to blame herself for Hank’s “heroic” suicide mission, Marie reveals both that he was a witch hunter and that he was on her payroll. At once, Fiona moves to strike — Marie, it looks like. Instead, Fiona slaps Cordelia — hard! — and shrieks, “You’re not just blind, you’re willfully blind!” Later, while Fiona and Marie continue to bond as they cast a spell to bankrupt Delphi, Fiona and Cordelia’s already awful mother/daughter relationship deteriorates further. No, you can’t help us, Fiona shrieks at Cordelia. (Come to think of it, she pretty much shrieks everything she says to Cordelia in this episode.) “You’re worthless! Hopeless!” Oh my. Afterwards, Myrtle tries to cheer up Cordelia by suggesting that maybe she could work on a cruise ship — you know, like that perky Julie McCoy — but this only results in the disgraced sorceress throwing a lot of pots and smashing a lot of beakers.

TALK TO ME | Meanwhile, since Fiona remains as intrigued as ever by Marie’s (extremely fetching) longevity, the voodoo queen finally explains to her new frenemy that she was given immortality by Papa Legba. The price? Her soul. First, the spirit (styled to resemble a kind of African-American cross between Slash from Guns N’ Roses and Gary Oldman in Dracula) took her baby, and ever since, he’s forced her to provide him with an innocent per year. This all sounds fine and dandy to Fiona, so she lays out some enchanted cocaine — what would you serve? Cookies and milk? — and summons Papa to the negotiating table. Unfortunately, when they seal the deal with a kiss, he calls the whole thing off. “You have nothing to sell,” he realizes. “You have no soul.” Back to Plan A, the Axeman suggests — do away with the new Supreme. Screw that, Fiona says. “I’ll just kill ’em all.”

STOP DRAGGING MY HEART AROUND | After the teenage witches decide that Queenie is really, most sincerely dead (hmm… ), Nan finds out that not only has Joan killed Luke, she’s had him cremated as well. (No Mistyrection for you, bub!) In retaliation, the wannabe Supreme psychically forces the murderess to suck down a bottle of bleach. Recognizing that whether Nan is the new Supreme, she could still be a threat — especially after she offed Joan — Fiona suggests to Marie that she doesn’t have to make the newborn she’s abducted this year’s sacrifice to Papa Legba, they can give him Nan instead. So they drown her. Just like that. Emerging beside Papa, Nan frets that now she’ll be stuck wearing the same frumpy dress for all eternity. But he assures her, “The other side is filled with treats for a girl like you.” And that’s that — off they go to the other side.

I CAN’T WAIT | Before all that, however, Fiona interrupts Misty’s shawl-twirling practice to describe the Supremacy as a “skeleton key” — an all-access pass to anything she wants, including Fiona’s old friend, Stevie Nicks! “You owe me five bucks,” Fiona deadpans to Stevie when Misty faints at the sight of her idol (who, it bears mentioning, looks as great as she sounds — and she sounds fantastic!). Listening to Stevie sing “Rihannon” for Misty, Madison is so consumed by envy that she first tries to convince her rival that the superstar is just using her — “Players only love you when they’re playing,” she hints as if her knowledge of music history predates Ke$ha — and then clocks her with a brick and has her entombed in a cemetery! (Is the elimination of the competition one of the Seven Wonders? If so, check!) Finally, as the hour draws to a close, Stevie serenades Fiona with a lovely rendition of “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You?”

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Were you surprised that Nan was killed? (She was starting to convince me that she really WAS the Supreme.) Do you believe that Queenie is dead? What about Marie and Fiona’s truce? You buying it? (That look on Marie’s face after she called Fiona an equal makes me wonder.) As much fun as Stevie was, Myrtle still takes the cake for me. Between her theremin-playing and her ideas for Cordelia’s future (“Your salad dressing is absolutely magic — maybe you could bottle it!”), she just cracks me up. Anyway, your thoughts? Hit the comments.

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40 Comments
  1. GoodieGoddess says:

    Love, love, LOVE the use of Stevie’s song titles in your recap!

  2. xx says:

    It’s spelled “Rhiannon,” not “Rihannon.”

  3. Patrick Maloney says:

    Loved this episode, mostly because of the two scenes featuring Stevie Nicks who reall brought out the A-Game of all the regulars

  4. Jenna says:

    Jessica Lange is just amazing. Loved the scene at the end with her and Stevie. Great episode. And Lance Reddick? Yikes! I had no idea that was him.

    • Lizzie says:

      What do you mean you had no idea he was great on Fringe! But wtf he scared the crap out of me the first time around. I’m so excited this by far the best AHS series. I’m still dead set that Zoe is the supreme and she’s probably going to kill marie next episode.

  5. Joey says:

    The scenes with Stevie Nicks fell a little flat for me, to be honest. Loved loved loved Lance Reddick as Papa Legba, and disappointed over Nan’s death, but I figured something was coming for her the moment she told Madison where she could stick that cigarette.

    I guess the question is this it for Nan? Is there any more Queenie? Is Papa Legba due back for more? Things are becoming pretty darn unraveled on the show, but I’m along for the ride on where it lands.

    • Jason says:

      Papa Legba and Stevie will be back in the last three episodes. Queenie will too, but whether she is alive or dead or whatever she is now is still a question. Heart nothing about Nan, though. Up to now, I still haven’t figured out what is her role this season so I hope she will come back.

    • Joey says:

      How I wish there was an edit button on here. In any event, while I did love Papa Legba as I mentioned earlier, his general appearance and ability to give life (and possibly take life? I’m sure there’s more to his powers…) seems a bit more reminiscent of Baron Samedi.

      • Yeah, he was clearly inspired by Baron Samedi in just about every aspect. The traditional Papa Legba comes off very different. Legba in Haitian Voodoun is the gatekeeper between the living and the loa (Voodoun spirits such as Samedi and Ghede).

      • Ric Fule says:

        I thought he WAS Baron Samedi until they called him by name. Maybe it was the hat he was wearing that gave me that impression.

  6. Jen says:

    This season is a total disappointment. No real witch craft, no explanation, no plot apart from the race for supreme and none of the characters are admirable.

    • Jimmy says:

      Totally agree.

    • iMember says:

      You two are definitely in the minority, because this season has been the best one yet!! And no witch craft? Pfft! I think you’re watching the wrong show,

    • Rain388 says:

      I’m with you Jen. I’m still watching because I enjoy Jessica Lange and now that I’ve seen this I’m mildly curious how they’ll end it. By season 3 of all Ryan’s shows I start losing interest so I’m not too surprised, however with witches and New Orleans I thought they’d do so much more!

    • AHS FAN says:

      YES! I feel like this season tried to garner more fans by making it less creepy acting safer and making it extra girly. Its good but Asylum (Except the aliens) and Murder House have better plot and makes more sense

  7. Ana says:

    Loved this episode, Stevie Nicks was fantastic, the final scene with her and Jessica was amazing. The only issue I have with the entire season, is that they had made a point not to point the finger at Zoe for being the supreme, that it’s kind of obvious she is, cant wait for that reveal.

  8. christian hirko says:

    Where is Kathy Bates. I love this season but found the killing of Nan and Misty painful, as they are my favorites. Also really miss Oueenie a wonderful actress.

    • Mel says:

      Is Misty really gone? She can just resurrect herself. And if she is powerful…might she have the 7 wonders? If so, Misty shall taketh what she giveth taketh to Madison, after blasting her away out of that janky mausoleum.

    • Macie says:

      99% sure Madison knocked Misty out and then had her buried alive.

      • Mel says:

        @Macie, I got that. However, if Misty is Supreme level this might have saved her from Fiona. because Fiona will want to kill them all, Madison is going to be on more than one witch’s (s)h!tlist at this point…lol.

  9. Lee says:

    I’ll say this once and leave it alone forever: there is no devil in voodoo and therefore no voodoo devil.

    • Twokeets says:

      Thank you. As far as Voodoo goes, this episode felt like it drew from cliches from other shows and movies that also did no research. Why didn’t they get one of their assistants to spend an hour on the internet? There are plenty of good sites to explain the basics. If they had done that, they would see how kind of offensive it is to put “devils” in the middle of a Voodoo tale, and to make one Loa look like another completely different one, as if it doesn’t make any difference.

    • Mel says:

      Legba is supposed to be a “devil”, in Voodoo spirits can be benevolent or malevolent. Legba is interfering directly in the natural order by granting immortality cards. Maybe he’ll get stomped by an actual God or god come the finale along with Marie?

  10. Lee says:

    Oh and this: Slash from Guns & Roses actually IS part African-American.

  11. Twokeets says:

    I don’t know why they made Papa Legba look like the Baron Samedi. The Baron is guardian of the cemetery, so the outfit was fine for the Baron–Top hat with skull decorations, jaunty old-time suit. But Papa Legba is an old man in raggedy clothes. I also doubt Papa Legba would act like a “devil” and demand a fresh baby every year. I do love watching the show, but in this case, it makes me wonder if the people behind the show learned anything about Voodoo before working on this project.

    • Joey says:

      I remember there being a video up on youtube from the show about how for the scene where Marie was describing the fertility spell to Cordelia, they had a voodou consultant on hand to help get things right, so it is odd that they got Papa Legba so wrong (or at least just call him Baron Samedi…).

      • Mel says:

        Baron Samedi isn’t supposed to be a devil though, more of a neutral character. Legba is.

        • Twokeets says:

          So if they just checked on what Legba is supposed to look like, they could have avoided all this. Sounds like mis-communication at the show, or bad preparation. You’d think someone would be on top of this. Or do they think viewers don’t know or care about Voodoo?

    • John Sileo says:

      I saw an interview with Angela Bassett on the AHS website. While these characters are indeed based on real people from 1800s New Orleans, such as Marie Laveaux, they have definitely taken some liberties as she explains in the interview. If you go to the Wiki page on Marie , you will learn that she is still highly revered to this day. Her gravesite gets more visitors than Elvis’s. People go there to get prayers answered and ask for protection. I would imagine that they have also taken many liberties with Papa Legba and The Axeman- yes , he also was an actual murderer that lived in the same time period in the French Quarter. Any fan of this show would do well to learn more about the actual history of Voodoo in New Orleans. Hollywood has pretty much re-defined what Voodoo was in actuality ( a mixture of West Indies and Christian beliefs/practices)

      • John Sileo says:

        Just to expound on my previous post- it is actually the Wiki page on “Louisiana Voodoo” where you’ll find a bio on Marie Laveaux. She was actually a Catholic who encouraged her followers to attend church, performed exorcisms and is also remembered mainly for her skill and compassion for helping the less fortunate. Not much resemblance to Bassett’s Marie at all. There’s some real interesting facts there about the history of the Gris-gris queens and how Hollywood has commercialized voodoo over the years.

  12. BEST EPISODE YET! “Yeah, the mind reading’s a real party trick, Mumbles the clown.”-Best line of the night. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

  13. Matt says:

    I was just wondering if anyone else caught the comment Fiona made to Madison when she said she was a fan of Eminem, and would he be there? The way Jessica Lange delivered that line (“you’re not his type”) almost seemed like a wink, wink moment. As if there’s some inside joke/information about him or something. The comment and her delivery caught my attention immediately.

  14. didine says:

    I am not sure how New Orleans voodoo works, but they portrayed Papa Legba wrong… He is a whole different person and Haitian voodoo… That spirit was more like Baron

  15. Victor Stone says:

    So sad that Nan is dead. Wanted her to be the next Supreme.

  16. AnnieM says:

    While this season has been an interesting change of pace, I really hope that S4 brings back the scary. Seasons 1 & 2 scared the crap out of me, and I’m really missing that this season.

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