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American Horror Story: Coven Recap: The Axeman Bummeth

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN Go to Hell - Episode 312 (Airs Wednesday, January 22, 10:00 PM e/p) --Pictured: (L-R): Lily Rabe as Misty Day, Taissa Farmiga as Zoe, Evan Peters as Kyle, Sarah Paulson as Cordelia, Emma Roberts as Madison.

It’s the penultimate episode, you guys. I may weep.

Telekinesis. Concilium. Transmutation. Divination. Vitalum Vitalis. Descensum. Pyrokinesis. No, these are not the Daughters of Triton. They are the Seven Wonders, and in this episode, they are the stars of a silent film of The Crucible if it had been directed by F.W. Murnau.

Fiona explains to Queenie that performing the Seven Wonders is so dangerous that it can get you killed — but that performing them establishes your Supremacy. Queenie calls Fiona on her shiz, saying that she knows Fiona’s plan is to slaughter anyone who proves herself to be the Supreme. A more pressing concern for Queenie is finding Laveau. “She’s probably off in some unholy nether-realm cavorting with that half-baked Beetlejuice,” Fiona responds, causing Queenie to remind Fiona that Papa Legba is, in fact, a deity and deserves respect. But Fiona telekinetically chokes Queenie and demands her own respect.

Having gouged out her own eyes, Cordelia now looks like a praying mantis that shops at St. John. Eager to locate Misty, she asks to use her Sight by touching Madison, but Madison, having disposed of Misty in a coffin, is obviously not thrilled by this. When Delia suspects that the now-transmutative starlet is hiding something, Madison submits, but Delia doesn’t have a flash. Delia warns Madison not to make a big deal out of her newfound powers, since witches’ powers often intensify when a coven is in crisis.

Queenie wanders into the greenhouse to see blood everywhere, then “hears” Laveau’s distress. After flipping through a book of spooky Papa Legba drawings, she manages to zap herself into the Underworld, which, for her, involves working for all eternity at her old Detroit chicken shack, Chubbie’s. (As I suspected, the Underworld looks like REM’s “Everybody Hurts” video.) Papa Legba appears just in time to warn Queenie that if she lingers, she will get stuck in the Underworld because “time moves differently in hell.” 

Queenie presses Legba for answers and gets them: Turning Laveau’s threat against her, Delphine has chopped her up into pieces and scattered her around New Orleans. Over hot cocoa and marshmallows, Queenie notes that Laveau is in breach of her contract with Papa Legba owing to her not being able to deliver babies to him in her dessicated state. Queenie then goes on to strike a deal of her own with Papa Legba to punish Delphine.

After taking the tour of her death house incognito (i.e. wearing a scarf over her head and large sunglasses over her eyes like she’s a celebrity babushka), Delphine sports a Jamie Lee Curtis cut and lodges a pick in the tour guide’s head. She then begins giving revisionist tours, in which she recasts “Madame LaLaurie” as a just punisher of unruly domestics — “a woman ahead of her time.” Queenie shows up, urging Delphine to repent for her sins, but Delphine will have none of that. Citing Paula Deen, Anthony Weiner, and Eliot Spitzer — quipped from the headlines! — Delphine sneers that none of them was truly contrite, that they were only sad to be publicly shamed. Delphine says that she only ever wept not for her supposed sins but for the sorry state of the world. 

While having her portrait painted by an Ebenezer Scrooge look-alike, Fiona sees her reflection and notices that her nose is bleeding. “Oh, God, this is the face we’re stuck with?” her inner voice asks. Delia walks in, upset to have heard that the Seven Wonders are slated for Saturday. Fiona questions why Delia mutilated herself, saying that powers can never be lost. (Um, more like Cor-d’oh!-lia.) Then Fiona decides to give Delia her most precious heirloom — a necklace that belonged to Fiona’s mother. Delia takes this as a sign that Fiona is finally saying good-bye. Fiona says, “Lift your hair; I want to put it on you,” but sadly, Ja Rule does not materialize. While Fiona touches her, Delia has a vision in which every last witch is slain in the house while Fiona survives. Trying to play it cool, Delia asks if she can have the matching ring, too.

She then drops by unannounced to see the Axeman, who says, “A man shouldn’t be disturbed when he’s playing with his instrument.” (It must have been that sparkling wordplay that won Fiona’s heart.) Delia informs the Axeman that Fiona is planning to fly out of the country in two days. Really important note: In her passport photo, Fiona has bangs.

Delia makes a circle of Misty’s belongings and tries again to commune with Little Stevie. This time, Delia sees Misty singing “Landslide” to herself in Deville Cemetery. Delia goes with Queenie to free her, and when it’s unclear at first as to whether Misty is alive, Queenie blows on her and brings her back to life.

Myrtle is arranging a bouquet of nightshade when Madison wanders in to sniff it. Myrtle cautions her about getting delirious from this act, but Madison says that it “sounds like every Saturday night since I was 15.” I assume the “I” here is “Emma Roberts.” Myrtle informs Madison that Delia and Queenie are out to retrieve Misty, and Madison is, of course, on edge about this. Then, to Myrtle’s dismay, Zoe and Kyle show back up. “It’s just like Halston when he sold his brand to JCPenney. You’ve forsaken your destiny,” Myrtle says. Does anyone know if Myrtle likes fashion? I couldn’t tell. Also, Myrtle is totally the Brutus of this whole operation, and I bet you that some dirty, dirty secrets are going to come tumbling out of her belladonna-strewn laundry next week.

“What better than the Sunshine State to cast the darkness out of our lives?” says Zoe, who (a) must write terrible poetry, and (b) has clearly never heard of Jeb Bush. While in Florida, she and Kyle tried to sit under a tree, but a homeless man interrupted them, so Kyle, of course, killed him. Then Zoe brought the homeless man back to life, assumed this meant she was the next Supreme, and returned. Speaking of returning, Misty enters and kicks the living crap — er, dead crap — outta Madison like it’s Kill Bill 3. “I don’t want to waste my magic on you; I can do you with my hands,” Misty says, quoting what I assume were the original lyrics to Cyndi Lauper’s “She-Bop.” 

In a hilarious, ineffective attack, the Axeman shows up to slaughter the coven, but with one hand in the air from all of the witches, he goes flying across the room. Myrtle thought that Delia had banished him, but he is still “on the mortal coil.” The Axeman is covered in blood, and when Delia touches it, she realizes whose it is: Fiona’s.

Here’s what happened: After Delia’s visit to the Axeman, Fiona turned up, making all kinds of cruel statements. (On catfish: “I loathe all bottom feeders.” On Delia: “What is the world coming to when a Supreme’s daughter has to outsource her own killings?”) The Axeman confronted her about her plane ticket, and she didn’t deny it. She admitted that she did probably love him and that he was the sweetest of lovers, “the best I ever had.” And then she relished the fact that, when the next Supreme is out of the way, she’d have 30 more years of vitality to enjoy. At which point the Axeman went nuts, pinning Fiona to the bed and saying that he was the only man who had ever been able to give her the “little deaths” of orgasm. Fiona broke free, poured a drink, and said, “When I was 8 years old, my mother bought me a calico cat—” but then the Axeman axed her to death. Fiona’s last words in her real life were “calico cat.”

The Axeman then fed Fiona’s body to alligators in the swamp. “Even I can’t bring somebody back when they’re gator shit,” Misty says. (Stevie Nicks, please put that line into a song.) Queenie says that they should kill the Axeman because he’s a “psycho mass murderer.” “Is there anyone here of whom that cannot be said?” Myrtle asks. That is something you would say, Myrtle. Led by Misty, who doesn’t think they need a man to lead them, the younger witches all reenact their ancestors’ Axeman killing all those years ago and stab him several times while Delia and Myrtle hold each other and watch.

And what of Delphine and Laveau? Their pacts with Papa Legba now broken, they are dead and consigned to their own versions of Hell, in which Delphine is locked up in her attic next to Borquita — whom Laveau, against her own wishes, must feed a red-hot poker. Laveau says that she did good deeds by trying to protect people, but Papa Legba reminds her of the children that she brought him throughout the years. “No one gets away with sin,” he says. “Everybody pays. Everybody suffers.”

And then we cut to Kyle hanging Fiona’s portrait in its rightful place on the wall. (Except it’s not Fiona in the portrait; I swear to Papa Legba, it’s Joan Allen.) Delia reminds them all that Fiona was a terrible Supreme, having failed to choose her successor. But now the Seven Wonders will be performed, and “by next week, we will have a new Supreme.” How meta because we will have a new Supreme next week, you guys.

And who do you think it will be? How did Fiona let the Axeman catch her unaware? What are Myrtle’s true intentions? All I know is that my own version of hell is having only one episode left.

Photo: Michele K. Short/FX