American Horror Story: Coven Recap: The Gall Is Coming From Inside the House

American Horror Story

Protect the Coven
Season 3 Episode 11
Editor’s Rating 5 stars
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN Protect the Coven - Episode 311 (Airs Wednesday, January 15, 10:00 PM e/p) --Pictured: (L-R): Evan Peters as Kyle, Taissa Farmiga as Zoe.

American Horror Story

Protect the Coven
Season 3 Episode 11
Editor’s Rating 5 stars
Photo: Michele K. Short/FX

Stevie Nicks may have departed for the time being, but there are still plenty of unhindered incantations flying about. Let us have at it.

In 1830, Delphine and Borquita moved into their New Orleans home while dressed like Anastasia and Drizella. The first night after the move, without servants, Delphine prepared dinner by chopping off the head of a chicken, and the sight of the blood alone awakened her sadistic impulses. Soon enough, she was tying up an injured servant and draining him of his blood, too. “I think I’m gonna like it here,” she said, quoting Annie, lest we forget this.

Delphine was born to two New Orleans society families — her mother’s maiden name was, ironically, Lovable — and she married well enough to give her famous soirees. From a young age, she “communed” with small animals, i.e. she “carved up a possum or stray cat.” (I think we might have different ideas of what the word “commune” means.) In the present day, Delphine must tend to the house while Laveau threatens to scatter her around town, while Fiona spritzes her nether regions with perfume before taking off sans underwear to meet the Axeman, and while Madison refrains from flushing the toilet. For payback, Delphine cooks Madison’s deuce into a mulligatawny soup for Myrtle, who claims that she’s been “transported to Rajasthan.” The secret’s in the sauce, Fried Green Tomatoes fans.

Then, Miss Robichaux’s heretofore-unknown gardener James shows up with an injury from having clipped himself with the gardening shears. (All while Myrtle is talking about broken fig leaves and how they smell “like an Olympian’s ejaculate,” so someone, please send Frances Conroy as a peacemaker to Sochi.) Delphine takes James under her wing … and up to the attic, where she proceeds to tie him up and play This Little Piggy with his toes and a pair of pliers. I guess this is as close as we’re getting to Misery’s hobbling scene this season.

Ghost Spalding, talking and all, catches Delphine unawares. He really just wants to get Laveau out of the academy because she is a violation of its natural order. He convinces Delphine that, even though Laveau is immortal, she can be rendered vulnerable for a crucial moment – with his help. All that Delphine has to do is a little favor for him. That little favor would involve stealing the academy’s silver to pay for an 1895 Armand Marseille Dream Baby doll. In return, Spalding gives Delphine the magic kryptonite that will take down Laveau: Benadryl, of which the time-addled Delphine is ignorant. The best thing about this is that it’s a realistic depiction of how I think of Benadryl.

At Nan’s funeral, mere tombs away from Misty’s current resting place, a Givenchy-clad Fiona faux-eulogizes, accomplice Laveau by her side. Myrtle thinks that Misty’s presence would solve things, but Madison tells her that Misty has “probably twirled her way to the Everglades by now.” Lo and behold, Queenie shows up, and she has used her newfound powers to give Delphine a non-scarred body. “If I’d done you, you wouldn’t have looked like you were jammed through a blender,” Queenie tells Kyle, who is dressed exactly like Wes Bentley in American Beauty. Delia continues to encourage everyone to bond, but Fiona yells at her that none of them is safe, regardless.

That is partly owing to the Delphi Trust, which is still smarting from the witches’ attacks on its business. Father of the Year Harrison Fox is less concerned about Hank’s sacrificial demise and more concerned about the company’s failings. Hank’s death, he contends, has set off a storm, and he wants to pay the witches off, then kill them once the company has regained its footing.

Meanwhile, Fiona and the Axeman are still having sexy time in his Cracker Barrel bedroom. He tells her of his granddaddy’s farm, how he wants to take her there so that they can spend the rest of their days drinking gin rickeys on the porch. Once they get rid of the next Supreme, the Axeman says, “I’ll give up the axe, and you give up the coven.” Fiona kisses him and says that it’s a deal, provided he do one thing for her …

Under the guise of a tasting catered by Emeril Lagasse, Fiona and Laveau meet with the Delphi members. Harrison says that both sides can sign a 100-year truce to end the war. Fiona proposes one of two counter offers: (1) The witch hunters can disband, give the witches a repainted version of their house on Berkeley Square (“God knows all the money in the world can’t buy good taste,” Fiona sneers), and provide Laveau with a private jet; or (2) they can all just die. The latter is chosen for them: the Axeman, disguised as a waiter, slaughters everyone but Harrison the Yalie, whom Fiona personally axes in the neck. Laveau documents this with iPhone photos, and if the social media manager at F/X knows what’s best, s/he’ll have Instagram versions of these any minute now.

With Kyle next to her, Zoe does a spell over the bathtub and discovers that Fiona and Laveau drowned Nan. Madison walks in, mistaking the séance for a romantic rendez-vous and accusing Zoe of having fallen in love with Kyle. Zoe denies this, saying she doesn’t care when Madison threatens to give Kyle a BJ that very instant. Kyle, however, doesn’t want it, especially when Madison refers to Zoe as a “junior varsity mall rat.” Madison starts telekinetically smashing things in a fit until Myrtle intervenes, calling her “the worst kind of Hollywood cliché — a bobblehead with crotchless panties.” Madison one-ups Myrtle by calling her a “dried-up old Hot Pocket,” then threatens to take Kyle apart as easily as she put him together.

Delia, wearing an uncharacteristically chic silk skirt, tries to make nice with Queenie, but Queenie is more defiant than ever: After shooting herself in the mouth to kill Hank, she found that the silver bullet simply rebounded. By her reasoning, if she’s impervious to a silver bullet, she could very well be a contender for the next Supreme. She therefore banishes Delia from her room.

Defeated, Delia does what she has to do: She gouges out her own eyes to regain her Second Sight. Fiona rushes to see her but is greeted by Myrtle, who warns her that any secrets will be uncovered now. Fiona claims not to have any secrets, to which Myrtle wonderfully replies, “I deserve better lies than that.” Can we get Stevie Nicks back in the house, please?

Myrtle, still playing the theremin, decides to give Zoe one of her most prized possessions — a sapphire and topaz harvester ant made by Joel Arthur Rosenthal, who totally looks like he should be a member of the Council. “Only Lee Radziwill and I could do it justice,” Myrtle says, and I want that sentence embroidered on a T-shirt and a winter coat so that I can wear it year-round. Myrtle tells Zoe to hawk the jewelry and run away because she thinks that Zoe and Kyle share a Keatsian love. Myrtle then confesses that she once had a similar lover — Egon von Furstenberg, erstwhile husband of Diane. When Zoe tries to dismiss Myrtle by calling Kyle “damaged goods,” Myrtle slaps her and calls her selfish and unromantic. She commands Zoe to take two tickets to Epcot. Um, was the Magic Kingdom too expensive?

Fiona and Laveau toast their massacre with French 75s prepared by Delphine. Fiona takes her leave to go celebrate with the Axeman. Laveau continues to rag on Delphine, who laces a drink with Benadryl and then tries to stabs Laveau in the heart. But Laveau is fine. She chases after Delphine and reaches the top of the stairs, where Spalding clocks her over the head. She tumbles down, unconscious. Delphine asks if she’s dead, but Spalding reveals that she cannot, in fact, die; he just wanted her out of the house. He tells Delphine to bury Laveau – and make sure that she can’t just dig her way out. So now Spalding has Laveau’s stolen baby. “Finally — a living doll, all my own,” he says, heralding the most insane long con in history.

While packing, Zoe reminds Kyle not to forget his toothbrush because, obviously, when you’re fleeing a coven of witches and you’re a patchwork zombie, a toothbrush is the foremost concern. Kyle says that he’s not going, that he’s afraid of hurting Zoe, but Zoe convinces him anyway. In a maze of EDM swirls, they rush onto a bus to Orlando — even though a bus and Orlando are way scarier than Miss Robichaux’s.

And that’s that. Gotta run, folks: I’m starring in a musical retelling of Paradise Lost called Broken Fig Leaves and need to hydrate with some Diet Sprite. Bam!

American Horror Story: Coven Recap