By Meryl Gottlieb| firstname.lastname@example.org| @buzzlightmeryl
American Horror Story airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX
Rating: 3.5/ 5
Tonight’s episode of American Horror Story, “Protect the Coven,” marks the beginning of the end of this season. There are only two episodes left, and I don’t think I’ve ever anticipated the season’s ending more. Sure, I loved Murder House but I know I wasn’t waiting on the edge of my seat like this season to see what would happen. I cannot wait until January 29th.
Travel back to 1830, the time when LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) had just moved from Paris to New Orleans — yet managed to instantly pick up that Southern accent — and lamented the lack of stimulation. She soon found her fix: Blood. After beheading a chicken, LaLaurie got that special feeling inside when she touched blood. I’m the same way with Doritos; I get it. But she needs more. A slave injures himself so she takes the opportunity to drain him of all the blood in his body, the first victim in her “chamber of horrors.”
I think we’re finally back to the point in which we realize we are not supposed to like LaLaurie. We are not supposed to enjoy this uncaring, devilish woman who happens to be a solid contender for the queen of sassy comments. Ryan Murphy and crew are reminding us how terrible this woman is and why she ended up the way she did. We all really needed a reality check. I mean I was writing fanfic about Queenie’s (Gabourey Sidibe) zany adventures with LaLaurie’s head. That is not how we are supposed to view this character.
In the present, the coven holds a funeral for Nan, who “fell in the bathtub” according to Fiona (Jessica Lange). As they mourn the loss of one of their own, another witch from the coven’s past returns: Queenie. She’s aaaaaaaaaliiiiiiivvvve! The best part of this return? Queenie reattached LaLaurie’s head to her body and has a collar around her neck like a pet. See?! Zany adventures! That’s what the spinoff was supposed to be, wasn’t it Ryan? Anyway, just like everyone else in the coven, Queenie gained new powers and was able to spit out the silver bullet and not die. In other news, no one cares about this poorly explained new power.
On a side note, what on earth was Queenie doing during the duration of last week’s episode? I’m sure reattaching LaLaurie’s head took some time but don’t you think she would have multi-tasked and made sure to ask the coven for help? I love Murphy’s work on AHS this season but he hasn’t done too fair of a job when it comes to always keeping up with every character. If you aren’t prepared to write for every character in each episode, then don’t introduce us to and make us care about so many characters.
LaLaurie returns to her old post as maid of the house and is more miserable than ever. She’s even resorted to putting feces in the food. What is she missing in life? Oh yeah. Blood. A black worker is injured in the house and LaLaurie offers to help him. Instead, she simply mirrors what she did to her first victim and kills him. Except, this time she’s been discovered. Spalding’s (Denis O’Hare) spirit has come back to tease LaLaurie with a way to kill the immortal Marie (Angela Bassett). But first, she has to buy him a doll. Ew, I’m not OK with this obsession of his. I don’t understand it and it has never been explained. In return for this doll, he gives her the thing that will finally kill Marie: Benadryl. Wow. What are they putting in that stuff these days? No wonder there are all of those warnings at the bottom of medicinal commercials.
As Kyle (Evan Peters) watches, Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) performs a spell over the tub and sees that Fiona and Marie were the true causes of Nan’s death. Unfortunately, Madison (Emma Roberts) only sees that they are together and finally reveals her jealous side and proves she will forever be the HBIC. Am I the only one who finds it awkward that Peters and Roberts date in real life but his character chooses Farmiga over Roberts? He doesn’t even want to fool around with Madison anymore; he “only loves Zoe.” I wonder if that was weird for them to film. I simply can’t get over it.
Even the characters on the show ship Zoe and Kyle. Myrtle (Frances Conroy), in all her never-ending glory, urges Zoe to flee the coven and leave with Kyle. They are everyone’s OTP.
Meanwhile, Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) feels a tremendous amount of guilt for failing Queenie and Nan. She becomes obsessed with trying to restore her second sight so that she can help “protect the coven,” but no potion will make her power return. In an attempt to force the power to return, Cordelia pierces her eyes with gardening shears. This is what I’m told happened because I couldn’t bear to look at the screen. I don’t do well with images of sharp things near eyes. No bueno.
The Axeman (Danny Huston) wants to run away with Fiona, and she agrees but only if she does him one favor. Flash to Fiona and Marie’s meeting with the men of Delphi Trust, skip the inconsequential banter over a truce and here you have Fiona’s favor: Have the Axeman kill every one of the men in the room. I jumped when this happened. I thought he was simply some waiter who got Marie a Sprite until he turned around, with his eyes full of crazy, and began hacking into everyone. He left Hank Sr. (Michael Cristofer) for Fiona, whom he tossed the axe to so she could whack him in the jugular. Boom. And Marie then takes pictures of the scene on her phone. #Instagram
Fiona and Marie get drunk on champagne to celebrate their murder spree. Fiona leaves to please her man, and Marie continues to badger LaLaurie as usual. But LaLaurie thinks she has Marie because she put Benadryl in her drink. Oh snap! LaLaurie stabs Marie in the chest, but Marie simply laughs off the pitiful attempt at murder. She chases LaLaurie until Spalding shows up and whacks her on the head with his doll. Marie falls down the steps, and Spalding tells LaLaurie to bury her before she wakes up.
So first, the dynamic duo was LaLaurie and Queenie, then Marie and Fiona and now Spalding and LaLaurie?!
Zoe urges Kyle to pack so they can leave but Kyle says he’s too afraid of hurting her to leave; he’s too afraid of the feelings he can’t control. Zoe embraces him and tells him she’s not afraid. Cut to the bus station and those two crazy kids run like the wind as they jump on the bus to Orlando. “Orlandoooooo, I love you Orlandoooo. Sea World and Disney. Putt putt, golfinngggggg!” Was I the only person who had a Book of Mormon moment just then? Oh well. I also had another pop culture reference pop in my head as I saw this scene: The Graduate. Ben Braddock and Elaine Robinson hop on that bus to escape their old lives as Kyle and Zoe have done, but unlike The Graduate, these two actually look happy. They actually smile — an expression rarely seen on American Horror Story.
Before I begin about how tonight’s episode was one of the more less exciting episodes of the entire season, I have to express my frustration with Zoe’s character. I’ve come to terms with the fact that she’s not written well. I get it; not everyone can be a sassy bitch like Myrtle or Madison. However, Zoe is incredibly inconsistent and I’ve realized that now more than ever. She entered as a weak character who grew to be strong very quickly (she raped the student to death after what he did to Madison in the first episode), then she was weak again (ratted to the police about them all being witches), then saved everyone from zombies, then became the self-confessed champion and new leader of the coven and now she’s run away from it. I don’t know what will happen in Orlando (or if they’ll even get there), but I hope she finds some standards to stick with.
Now let’s all confess how in comparison to the other episodes, this episode wasn’t as flawless. I’ll take this episode in comparison to a subpar episode of Glee any day but we are nearing the end of the season and every moment counts. These last two episodes better thrill and chill like never before.
See you next week “in hell.”