American Horror Story
To greatly paraphrase Prince and Sinéad O’Connor, it’s been four weeks and a Beyoncé album since they took our coven away. Let’s press play on this visual album, folks.
Song 1: “Pretty Hurts”
Fiona gives Laveau some boozed-up tea to calm her nerves after the brutal attack on Cornrow City. Laveau, all of 300 years old, feels embarrassed. “I told myself long ago
never to walk in anyone’s shadow, not to waste tears for the dead,” Laveau says, then admits that she is glad to have a confidante after all of these years, even if it’s a rival. Fiona tells Laveau to get some sleep …
Song 2: “Haunted”
… but it’s not exactly easy to sleep when Lance Reddick — already the Most Terrifying TV Character Ever as Lost’s Matthew Abaddon — shows up as a shadowy, cocaine-snorting Papa Legba that looks like a cross between Linda Perry in 4 Non Blondes and the devil from Snoop’s “Murder Was the Case” video. Laveau once sold him her soul in exchange for eternal life, and every year, he appears on the same day to exact his penance. The first time, it was Laveau’s newborn child with Bastien (a scene heartbreakingly rendered by Angela Bassett). This year, Laveau steals another baby from Saint Ignatius Hospital as a potential sacrifice.
Song 3: “Drunk in Love”
Meanwhile, Delia sees Hank’s death reported on the news and thinks that Hank threw himself into the massacre as a show of honor. But Laveau reveals that she hired Hank. When Delia remains in her fog of delusion, Fiona slaps her and unleashes a tirade about how Delia’s naïveté let a “viper into this sacred house.” Laveau tries to intervene, but Fiona reminds her that witch hunters never act alone and that their battles do not discriminate when it comes to skin color. “We don’t have to waste time with worker bees, but what we have to do is find the hive,” Fiona says, in this TV season’s best/only witch-bee metaphor.
Song 4: “Blow”
Fiona, lovelorn for the Axeman, wants to know how Laveau conferred immortality on Delphine. Laveau said that she gave Delphine a vial of her tears; she warns, however, that doing such a thing for Fiona would only cause Fiona to live forever with the pains of her cancer. Seeing that Fiona is intrigued by a pact with Papa Legba, Laveau tells her, “If you want him bad enough, he’ll hear ya.” Indeed, Fiona summons him with “the good stuff,” a.k.a. more cocaine, telling him that she’ll do anything, from crippling Delia to forfeiting any loved one. Papa Legba tries to seal their deal with a kiss, then declares it impossible, saying that Fiona has no soul. BURN. The Axeman materializes to comfort Fiona as she snorts up, then vows that they’ll root out the next Supreme. Fiona has a better idea: She’ll just kill all of the girls.
Song 5: “No Angel”
Zoe and Nan try to visit Luke in the hospital, only to find that he is dead. They visit Joan, who produces an urn: Luke has been cremated. Nan goes off, clairvoyantly learning how Joan killed Luke with a pillow. Using her ever-strengthening powers, Nan makes Joan kneel, then forces her drink to Luke’s enema bleach. Joan froths at the mouth and dies, which was probably Patti’s reaction when Glenn Close got cast in the Broadway production of Sunset Boulevard.
Song 6: “Partition”
Like Barbra Streisand, Misty has been practicing her best “Gypsy” in the mirror. She tells Fiona to keep her distance, citing the “white spirit light” with which she has surrounded herself. Fiona insists that Misty is the “only one worth a damn magic-wise” and tells her that being Supreme is like a “skeleton key,” capable of making Misty a star and opening all sorts of doors — such as, for instance, being able to summon Stevie Nicks to pluck out an intimate recital at the grand piano. “You must be Misty; I’m Stevie Nicks,” says … Stevie Nicks. Misty immediately faints, and Fiona says to her old friend, “You owe me five bucks; I told you she was gonna do that.” (For future reference, Fiona, when you make a bet with Stevie Nicks that you know you won’t lose, aim for $5 million. Girlfriend’s got cash to spare.) The portrait of Christine Ebersole over her shoulder, Stevie sings “Rhiannon” while Madison, miffed, asks Fiona when Eminem is going to show up. Fiona bemusedly smirks her off, then voices her certainty that Misty will perform the Seven Wonders with flying colors. Soon enough, Stevie doffs her shawl, gifts it to Misty, then wishes her well with those great tasks.
Song 7: “Jealous”
Madison, Zoe, and Nan fight, with Madison voicing her hatred for Misty, Zoe reminding Madison that Misty brought her back to life, and Nan once again asserting that she’s Supreme material, this time telekinetically trying to get Madison to stick a cigarette in her own hoo-ha. Zoe breaks up the fight and reminds everyone that Madison’s heart murmur prevents her from being Supreme. Not so fast: Now that Madison is undead, the murmur is no longer a hindrance. Madison says to schedule the Seven Wonders between her and Misty. The Seven Wonders: Misty Versus Madison totally sounds like an ABC Family movie.
Song 8: “Rocket”
Delia, driven mad by Myrtle’s hilarious theremin serenade, cries to the void about what purpose she has now that Fiona has deemed her worthless. Myrtle croaks that Delia could bottle her “magical” salad dressing as “Cordelia’s Conjured Coriander Condiment” or be a hostess on a cruise ship. (Note: salad dressing > cruise.) Myrtle’s demitasse de réalité for Delia is that, when one’s mother is “Hillary Clinton,” there are few appealing options, though the universe may still hold surprises. Delia resumes her explosive rage, destroying her garden while Myrtle’s whirs continue.
Song 9: “Mine”
Hank Fox’s real name was Henry Renard, renard being the French word for fox. His father, Harrison, was not only the owner of a multibillion-dollar private-equity firm in Atlanta but the patriarch of a witch-hunting brotherhood begun as a carpentry business during the Salem days. Retaliating against him, Fiona and Laveau summon “Hecate, mother of angels,” create a circle of mousetraps, money, and candles, and cause the Delphi Trust to be thoroughly raided by the authorities. Harrison, so screwed that not even Ben Bernanke will take his calls, sneers that his 180-year-old business will go belly-up within a week and vows to eradicate the witches for good.
Song 10: “XOXO”
Treating Misty to a Treme episode of zydeco funeral and chicken on a stick, Madison gives her the full-court press, saying that the downside of being Supreme is people like Fiona and Stevie promising great things but expecting big favors in return. She makes Misty entrance two undertakers, and then Madison revives the man that they are burying. Over his coffin, Madison urges Misty to toss Stevie’s shawl in and become her own witch instead of someone’s minion. As Misty pauses to sniff the shawl, Madison clonks her over the head with a brick, lets her fall into the coffin, and breaks the undertakers’ spell so that they can tuck Misty into a mausoleum. Clever though she may be, Madison can’t twirl for shit.
Song 11: “Superpower”
Nan hears the baby that Laveau has stashed, and Laveau is not pleased to discover her with it. Fiona comes upon them, asks whose baby it is (“Just check the skin tone,” Laveau growls), and Nan says that Laveau is planning to kill it. Fiona makes Nan give the baby back, and then Fiona tells Laveau, who continues to mourn her lost child, that the deal with Papa Legba didn’t work. Fiona and Laveau then decide to join forces again and “kill two birds with one stone,” which means that …
Song 12: “Heaven”
… they drown the “innocent” Nan as a possible sacrifice to Papa Legba! (“You’re not the first witch to be drowned,” Fiona tells Nan.) Fiona tries to justify Nan’s purity to Papa Legba by saying, “She killed the neighbor, but the bitch had it coming.” No substitutions, states Papa Legba, remarking that the pairing of Fiona and Laveau is “big trouble.” Still, he departs with Nan, who is all too happy to leave her awful coven behind.
Song 13: “Blue”
Fiona ends the day by pouring herself and Stevie a sherry and then curling up while Stevie sings “Has Anything Ever Written Anything for You?” And I start crying, not just because it’s a beautiful rendition but because I am never, ever going to have that kind of nightcap (unless I win a $5 million bet with Stevie Nicks).
What say you, my white-winged doves? Are Luke and Patti Lupone truly gone? Is Queenie enjoying a “bottomless bowl” somewhere? Was anyone else thrilled to watch Lance Reddick as he had the time of his life? How will Nan make a resurgence? All I know is that Misty is getting out of that mausoleum somehow, ’cause she’s a grown woman.