American Horror Story: Coven Season Finale Recap: Tonight, I’ll Be Your Knotty Girl

American Horror Story

The Seven Wonders
Season 3 Episode 13
Editor’s Rating 4 stars

American Horror Story

The Seven Wonders
Season 3 Episode 13
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: Michele K. Short/FX

After a whirlwind of divas, the finale left things mostly in the hands of our plucky young witches, their fearless headmistress, and Myrtle Snow. Who emerged Supreme? Let’s find out.

We open with a fantastic montage — literally. Bathed in light more honeyed than fast-food fried chicken, Stevie Nicks walks through Miss Robichaux’s lip-synching “Seven Wonders” as the witches practice: Misty makes a plant speed-grow like she’s Seymour Krelborn. Zoe makes her bed levitate but, even more impressive, is actually studying out of books while at the Academy. Myrtle glitters the greenhouse. Madison settles into a bath, then makes the water bubble and lights the candles and fireplace on fire. Queenie assembles a voodoo circle in front of a framed photo of Nan (d’awwww). The young witches then gather on the stairs, and Stevie wishes them “Good luck, girls!” as she sashays away. It’s all very “Total Eclipse of the Heart Literal Version.”

Myrtle thinks that Da Vinci was a warlock. In his Last Supper, he depicted grilled eels, bread, and wine, so she serves the girls Caspian Sea caviar on blinis. I would have served fish biscuits, but wrong TV show. Delia reminds everyone for the umpteenth time that Fiona not only neglected to pick her successor but that she tried to kill anyone who could lay claim to the title. Now only one of the girls will succeed in performing the Seven Wonders.

Myrtle — sporting a pair of tan glasses so flamboyant that they’re like Warby in a civil union with Parker — has them begin with telekinesis. The girls must make a candle travel across the table towards themselves. (“Madison, obviously, this is your bailiwick,” Myrtle says to a vocabulary-challenged Madison.) All of the witches succeed.

Next is Concilium—mind control. Misty makes Queenie slap herself, and then Queenie makes Misty pull her hair. Madison makes Zoe slap herself, then makes Kyle kiss her and lick her boot. Then Zoe makes Kyle come to her and kiss her. Madison clenches her fists, then tries to make Kyle choke Zoe, but Delia puts a stop to it. Bratfight!

Then hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to Hell we go. Keeping time with an hourglass that mimics Madison’s figure, Myrtle tells them that if they don’t return before sunup from their descent to Hell, they will die. Queenie descends, sees her life at Chubbie’s again, and comes back the fastest. Madison sees herself starring in NBC’s live Sound of Music. “I wasn’t even the lead; I was Liesl.” We know that this show is fiction because, duh, Lorde was Liesl. Zoe sees herself being broken up with by Kyle. But Misty — Misty is delayed. In her Hell, she is a 31-year-old woman in a high school science class who is forced to kill a frog again and again so that it can be her dissection subject. It’s like that scene in E.T. if there were no E.T. and Elliott were sentenced to burn in Hell. Delia tries to get Misty to come back, but it’s no good: Misty crumbles away like a mummified Death Eater.

Delia tries to eulogize Misty but is abruptly cut off by Zoe and Madison. Only Queenie seems genuinely moved. But on they go to transmutation, which is just a big game of tag. Well, you know what they say: It’s all fun and games until Taissa Farmiga ends up impaled on a wrought-iron fence. Queenie tries to bring her back but fails. Delia and Myrtle beseech Madison to do it, but she refuses, opting to kill a fly and bring it back to life as proof of her necromancy.

Delia looks up at all of the portraits of the Supremes and says, “I can feel all their eyes on me.” (From Heaven, 2Pac emphasizes.) Kyle is distraught over Zoe. Delia laments that Fiona was right all along: Madison was, indeed, the Supreme. But Myrtle has a theory: Delia herself must perform the Seven Wonders.

While Madison looks on, horrified, Delia lights the candle, makes Queenie dance like an idiot, lifts the piano in the air and sets it down, descends to Hell, and comes back with minutes to spare. In Hell, she saw herself “trying to get Fiona’s approval and getting bitch-slapped for it.” (Did you get that subtle symbolism?) Delia performs transmutation, and suddenly, Madison is all too eager to be back in the game, too!

Divination: Delia is asked to tell, via a scattering of pebbles, where Mimi de Lanpré’s broach is. (“Who knew the test came in Braille?” Madison asks. Like Miley in the bathroom, Madison gets the best lines.) Delia finds it fast. Then Madison is asked to find something of Anna Leigh’s. Unable to do it, she storms out, calling the whole thing “some jacked-up version of Celebrity Rehab.” Kyle finds her while she’s packing and gives her the third degree about why she wouldn’t revive Zoe. Madison pleads with him, telling him that she loves him, but Kyle simply responds, “You’re not that good an actress.” He then chokes her to death. You guys, was that real-life fight just Method preparation for this?

Oh, and then Spalding shows up to caress Madison’s hair with a porcelain hand plucked from an antique doll. This time, he plans to bury her because he has learned what happens when you keep Madison Montgomery’s corpse festering in an attic for too long. See—who says this show doesn’t show character development?

Just as Kyle is killing Madison, Delia breathes on Zoe and brings her back to life. When newly revived from the dead, Zoe is Jared Leto Lite. Soon enough, Delia is the picture of “glowing, radiant health,” her sight and pretty looks restored while the greenhouse erupts in flowers. “Behold: the one true Supreme,” Myrtle declares.

Of course, since this is America, the first thing that Delia does is go on TV to publicize Miss Robichaux’s status as a haven for witches. “We are not a cult: we don’t proselytize; we’re not recruiting,” Delia says, not throwing shade on any religion in L. Ron particular. On the news ticker: “Cordelia Goode reveals Witch Coven (Up next: Liza Minnelli talks her hip).” Then Delia’s 555 number pops up alongside an e-mail address: cordelia@robichauxacademy.com. Um, shouldn’t that be .edu? No US New & World Report ranking for you, Delia.

In her office, Delia tells Myrtle that she wants to ask Zoe and Queenie to join the Council. Myrtle interrupts to say that Delia must “clear the rot of the past.” That is, Delia’s Supremacy will be tainted if Myrtle—who killed Quentin and Pembroke—is allowed to live. Delia tries to refuse, but Myrtle insists. “The last thing you need is an Abscam or Watergate,” she says, and I agree: the last thing that Delia needs to do is see American Hustle. I concede, readers: I was wrong about Myrtle!

And then, to the strains of the Rumours-jettisoned “Silver Springs,” Myrtle wears an off-the-shoulder coral dress and, just before being torched, delivers the world’s longest, most full-throated “Balenciagaaaaaa!” imaginable. This is better than the entire Grammys.

The kids are all right … and all lined up outside Miss Robichaux’s in their ebony finery. Delia asks Zoe and Queenie to be her Council, and they all hold hands. “Should we open the doors now?” Zoe asks, but Delia senses something and goes downstairs to find … Fiona.

“I saw you die,” Delia says, but Fiona tells her to look again now that she has real vision. Oh, Fiona: She went to Paris for a two-day jaunt after planting the false memory of her death inside the Axeman’s mind. She then covered him in goat blood, which is what the witches saw when he tried to attack the school. “I ruined a perfectly good pair of Jimmy Choos,” Fiona says, because this is apparently the third season premiere of Sex and the City and not the third season finale of American Horror Story.

Haggard, bitter, resembling Henry Kane, but relenting all the same, Fiona admits that she always resented Delia because from the moment Delia was born, she, like every mother, could see only her own mortality. Due to the law of conservation of energy, Fiona says, “I have to die for you to truly live.” Is she the Supreme or Voldemort? Delia cries, not for Fiona but for herself: “You were the monster in all of my closets.” (I’d wager that Spalding was in at least half of those.) “You will fulfill your destiny and lead this coven, though you won’t look half as good doing it,” Fiona says, telling Delia to leave behind the scared girl inside her. And then, for the first time ever, Delia hugs her mother and pities what it must be like for Fiona to have no magic to bolster her.

And now we get Fiona’s Hell: Spending all of eternity in the Axeman’s rooster-cacophonied shack while he offers to serve her a “stiff one.” And I don’t care one goshdarn what criticisms you’ve had of this season, but they are all useless in light of Jessica Lange’s best exclamation of the entire season: “It reeks of fish, cat piss. What is this, knotty pine???!!!!” Then the camera pans to Papa Legba, and my Hell is soiling myself for all eternity just thinking of how terrifying that last shot of him is.

And so we end with Zoe, Queenie, and Delia—not to mention Kyle as the Muppet Babies version of Spalding—who vows that the coven will no longer simply survive but thrive. They all open the doors to a new class of witches. “What’s a Supreme?” a young witch asks, and Queenie says, proudly, “You’re looking at her,” the camera panning to Delia.

And so, after the Seven Wonders and voodoo circles and zombies and FrankenFratboy’s naughty mama and a deadly vajayjay and 5,000 shots of whiskey and a million saxophones and witch hunters and every fashion designer a witch could love and melon ballers and unmitigated bigotry and “Leather & Lace” and enemas and so, so much chicken, here we are. Everything may not have come together, but boy, will I miss these gals. Thanks for letting me be the Spalding to your coven, everyone. You sure know how to make a guy feel like a Supreme.

American Horror Story: Coven Season Finale Recap