TV Review: AMERICAN HORROR STORY - COVEN Episode 9 'Head'

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Pollard

Head takes us into American Horror Story: Coven’s mid-season break, bringing together various loose ends and throwing up further questions.

Remember when last week’s episode served up the head of Madame LaLaurie (Kathy Bates)? Well that whole ‘immortal’ thing means that she’s still alive and kicking. How much kicking a decapitated head can actually do, that’s a whole other matter. Still, whereas LaLaurie is often played for comic relief here, some of the show’s other arcs are most definitely turning the screws of drama and intrigue.

Head kicks off by showing us a pre-teen version of Josh Hamilton’s Hank being taught how to hunt by his father. It’s soon revealed that deer or bears aren’t the target of the day – we be hunting witches! Bringing this forward to the modern-day setting, a whole new element is brought into Coven. Yes, we’ve previously seen that Hank is a gun-for-hire – having been tasked by Marie (Angela Bassett) with the job of taking out the Salem witches holed up in the Robichaux household – but here it emerges that there is a large global organisation looking to execute any and all witches. At the top of this organisation sits Hank’s old man, with obvious daddy issues rearing their heads when it comes to that particular father-son dynamic.

With the Salem witches now aware that they are in somebody’s crosshairs, Fiona (Jessica Lange) seeks assistance from the voodoo queen, Marie. Unaware that Marie is the person who has actually arranged the terminations, Fiona looks to strike a truce and combine forces to go up against these wannabe Hansel and Gretels. Laughing this off, Marie soon comes to regret her decision as things at her salon take a major turn for the worst.

This mid-season finale of Coven brings us action, a whole new enemy for the show’s principal cast, revelations about several characters, tips on how to educate an immortal racist, the return and loss of sight and “sight” for Sarah Paulson’s Cordelia, more on the evolution of Evan Peter’s dog-bothering FrankenKyle, and an excellent suggestion on just how best to use a melon baller. Oh, and then there’s Misty Day (Lily Rabe) in all her Stevie Nicks glory.

Literally going out with a bang, Coven’s break will leave you with a befuddled mess of oddity and curiosity. Again killing off several cast members, will these particular deaths remain permanent? Given how the mishmash of Coven has gone so far, we wouldn’t bet on it.

If your mind can deal with the curveballs that American Horror Story has been throwing out for three seasons, we're sure, like us, you’ll be chomping at the bit for the show’s January return.


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