TV: In ‘American Horror Story,’ tensions come to a head

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl
American Horror Story airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX
Rating: 4/5


The two-week wait is over American Horror Story fans! (That reminds me; we need to think of a fandom name and fast). It was a hard break to bear but we muddled through. Now we can get back to screaming at our TVs in surprise or anger because tonight’s episode, titled “The Sacred Taking,” was filled with plenty of “OMG” and “WTF” moments.

Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) is officially on Marie Laveau’s (Angela Bassett) side. Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) and Madison (Emma Roberts) find her in a sketchy area as she kills a homeless serial rapist because Marie needs his “dark heart.” She literally reaches in his body and pulls it out. Gorss. Zoe uses a higher approach and pleads for her to return to the coven, even if it is a “sh–show.” Madison, on the other hand, remains her witty self and snaps off so many quick “Boo friggin hoo” remarks that I was reminded, yet again, of why I love her character.

Before she goes, Queenie warns the girls that a war is coming. That the world isn’t big enough for voodoo and witchcraft, and that they’re going to lose.

I’ve never seen Precious so I had no background knowledge to base Sidibe’s acting talents on, but the way she delivered those few lines sent chills down my spine. She’s proved herself incredibly worthwhile but this stepped her character up quite a bit. I like that she’s more than the coven outcast who has an incredibly cool power but doesn’t get much screen time. Now, she’s a middle sort of character between two conflicting worlds.

Fiona’s (Jessica Lange) cancer is starting to get worse. Her hair is truly falling out now, she’s in pain and she’s plagued with bouts of nausea and sickness. I find the parallels of Lange’s season three character to her season two AHS character incredibly interesting. In the first season, for the most part, she kept her power throughout the season. In the second, she has the utmost authority and then was beaten to nothing. There’s a similar kind of feel to the arc of Fiona. She started out on top of the world as the HBIC and now she’s shriveling into oblivion as someone younger takes over. I wonder if her season four character will possibly start with nothing and rise into power? Or maybe stay at nothing throughout that season? Who knows?!

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 6.03.59 PMJoan Ramsey (Patti LuPone) is back and crazy as ever. My heart did a special jump for joy when I saw Patti was back — I was and have been increasingly annoyed at the absence of LuPone on the show — and then I had to take a step back and realize what her character was doing. Her character is a crazy, conservative Christian. She’s abhorred to know that Luke (Alexander Dreymon) has been dealing with the witches next door so she gives him an Ajax enema. Seriously. She wants him to be “clean from the outside in” again. Hello, Mommie Dearest. Although, I wasn’t going to argue with the few minute scene of Dreymon with his shirt off. Hello handsome.

Fairly soon after she said “peace out” to the coven, Misty Day (Lily Rabe) has returned to the house for refuge from an assassin who stormed her house. Luckily, Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) woke up just in the nick of time to warn Misty about the stranger, whom she learned about because he stepped on her face in the garden. Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) assures them both the safety of the coven.

Before I continue, I have to take a moment to honor the great Frances Conroy. Myrtle’s revival is far better than the original. She is so incredibly hilarious and that sultry new voice ain’t too bad either. This is the best character Ryan Murphy has given Conroy and she has gone to infinity and beyond with her.

The biggest shock from the duo’s return to house came from Myrtle’s claim that Misty is the new Supreme. BOOM. Series over. Go home guys. No, I don’t believe it for a second. I am telling you that we will not be able to guess the Supreme like that. Nothing in AHS is ever that simple. Plus, Misty didn’t look too thrilled to be in that position, even if she has “brought back more people from the dead than Jesus Christ” — again, I LOVE Myrtle.

Anyway, this prompts the coven to do “the sacred taking,” which is the ritual for the ascension of the new Supreme. Unfortunately, it’s not just about their fashion statements, heavy breathing and blood oathing. They also need the current Supreme to sacrifice herself for the good of the coven. Ha, yeah I bet Fiona is super willing to kill herself and give up her powers. Good luck with that.

They realize the obstacle as well so they have Madison and Myrtle go one by one to Fiona to give her only two options: kill herself by an “accidental” extra handful of sleepy-time pills or burn at the stake for the crimes she’s committed. Fiona thinks she has a third option, which includes running away with the Axeman (Danny Huston). Instead, Myrtle plays on her greatest worry: that she’s not actually loved and that he’ll leave her and she’ll die alone. Lange’s performance is absolutely fantastic tonight.

Fiona prepares herself for death and takes the pills, only to be woken up by Spalding (Denis O’Hare) — after Myrtle steals all of her jewelry of course (seriously, Myrtle is now my favorite). Yes, our favorite doll drag-wearing butler is back in spirit form. He’s come to help his love and tells her the truth of the situation and gives her medicine that makes her regurgitate the medicine she took.

“I will avenge your murder,” she says. “Right after I avenge my own.” BAMF

Queenie feeds LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) a burger. See, they are best friends!! LaLaurie seems as though she’s thoroughly upset by Queenie’s “betrayal.” However, the attitude changes when Marie steps into the room. Now, she’s the cold, arrogant racist once again. She taunts Marie with, “What are you gonna do? Kill me? I can’t die!” True. So Marie just chops off her hand, saying, “We’ve only just begun.”

Here’s a prime example of an “OMG” and a “WTF” moment. I have to say I was interested to see what she would do to LaLaurie but I didn’t expect that. It’s nothing worse than what LaLaurie did to her slaves but for some reason it surprised me a lot. I think what I liked best about that situation is how LaLaurie knows she kind of has an advantage on Marie. She can’t die so how is she going to harm her? Well, we have our answer. Keep this mutilation in mind folks.

Nan (Jamie Brewer) runs out of the house after finding out that no one thinks she’s the next Supreme. She heads to Luke’s and plans to free him only to find that Joan has called the cops saying an intruder is in her house. Before much else can happen, Joan is shot to death and Luke takes a hit as well, leaving Nan crying over his body. Oh my poor baby. I just want Nan to be happy. She’s surprisingly a great minor character. I have to say that I found Addie a little annoying in season one so I’m glad Murphy has finally written a good supporting role for Brewer.

Everyone is surprised that no coven newbie has a surge of powers but then realize that’s because Fiona isn’t dead. Fiona comes in as calm as a cucumber but everyone seems anxious for some reason. Hmmm. Everyone is then distracted by the commotion next door. Fiona goes over to force Misty to revive Joan. Cordelia finds a silver bullet shell outside and realizes its from a witch hunter who just had incredibly poor aim.

kyle loveWhile all the main drama is happening, Zoe tries to teach Kyle (Evan Peters) how to speak by using kid interactive learning tools. His reactions are literally the cutest when he tries to learn and that reaction when she put headphones on him was the best. But, Kyle doesn’t want to learn. He tries to kiss Zoe but she tells him he needs to learn so that he can function in society once more. Madison, however, intrudes and says to just let him be a regular boy and watch porn. I wonder if Geppetto had the same hopes for Pinocchio? She indulges in his sexual desires.

Later, Kyle hugs Zoe and tries to kiss her again. She declines again and this time he speaks! “This road goes two ways. … I love you.” OMG. I can’t take the adorableness! I ship them so hard. I LOVE Kyle. Peters has done so much with a character who honestly does very little. Unfortunately, Madison overheard and sulks in the corner. That tension is going to be the death of someone. I mean that literally.

Fiona says she is proud of her daughter for joining the whole coven together, evoking a joke from Cordelia that she would have tried to kill her years ago had she known that’s how she would make her mother proud. Haha, you two and your extremely non-Gilmore Girls relationship. It’s a little frightening sometimes.

It’s all fun and games until they receive a package at the front door. That’s no Christmas present, that’s LALAURIE’S HEAD. YUP, MARIE CHOPPED OF HER HEAD. BOOM. A “WTF” and “OMG” moment to top them all — although the Entertainment Weekly cover totally gave that plot point away! Here in lies the reason that the winter finale next week is titled “Head,” in which Ryan Murphy makes it seem that everything will go down and then some. I’m excited; are you?

How much are you freaking out? Did your neck hurt after that scene or was it just me having sympathy pains? Let me know @buzzlightmeryl


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