This penultimate episode of Coven delivers its audience a rollercoaster of a ride. Yes, it is often jittery, rugged and oddly-paced, but that’s the nature of the beast when it comes to American Horror Story.
Throughout the series, we’ve often heard of the ominous ‘Seven Wonders’ (no, not the Fleetwood Mac song) and it looks as if this showing of magical strength is now upon us. Considering the dark, brooding, sinister and twisted show that Coven is, we’re treated to a brilliantly playful black and white opening that breaks down the Seven Wonders for viewers. Acting almost like a silent movie infomercial, we’re informed that the mystical wonders are telekinesis, concilium, transmutation, divination, vitalum viatlis, descensum and pyrokinesis. Don’t worry if some of those words mean nothing to you, for we will get given examples throughout Go to Hell.
It’s established early on, to become The Supreme, one most complete the Seven Wonders. As Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) quizzes Fiona (Jessica Lange) on this, we’re shown an aggressive side of Fiona that demands respect; a side of the character that we have rarely seen throughout Coven’s run. With the current Supreme curtly proclaiming “You will perform the Seven Wonders or die trying,” it appears that our group of young witches will have their powers firmly put to the test.
With Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) last seen being used as a plaything for Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates), we find young Queenie on the mission to find out what happened to the immortal Marie. Let’s just say, for Marie, payback is most certainly a bitch, as the whole situation between Laveau and LaLaurie seems to have headed in a Death Becomes Her direction. Speaking of Bates’ LaLaurie, this episode finds her working a regular day job in the modern world, trying to cleanse her name and the sins of years gone by.... well, initially, as least.
Now back to the Robichaux household, where we find Cordelia (Sarah Paulson), despite having removed her eyes with garden shears in the last episode, still without her ‘sight.’ As all the witchy-goodness seems long gone from Delia, she suddenly develops a new ‘sight’; one that allows her to see into the future. Like a cross between Daredevil and Jean Grey, Delia sees something horrid in the future of the Coven home; something that she must stop from happening at all costs.
In what is becoming a running gag now, another once dead member of the cast is back. This time out, we’re given the return of Misty Day (Lily Rabe), who is rescued largely in part to Cordelia’s new talent. Not only is Misty back from her incarceration at the hands of Madison (Emma Roberts) but she is royally pissed off and takes matters into her own hands, literally. No magical, mystical powers, just a good old fashioned beat down. Whilst this regular death/return/lather/rinse/repeat formula is becoming a tad contrived, I’m always happy to see Misty Day, so I’ll let this return slide.
The last episode, Protect the Coven, gave us a truly brutal episode as Madame LaLaurie got her thirst for blood back, and we have our fair share of blood and gore here, too. Central to all of this, it’s fair to say that the Axeman (Danny Huston) most definitely doth cometh. Much like how he was so prominent to last episode’s assault on the witch hunters, the character is again key to the closing moments of Go to Hell, although in a very different way.
If this episode could be summed up briefly (in case you’ve not noticed, I struggle to do briefly), it would that the chickens have come home to roost. So many of those that have sinned have been punished. You can never guarantee anything in American Horror Story, especially with Coven, but it appears that we have now seen the end of the story arcs for Delphine LaLaurie, Marie Laveau and, dare I say it, Fiona. The big question now, though, as we head towards the series’ finale, is who will win the race to become The Supreme. Will Madison’s Hollywood demeanour and selfish ways get her the gig; will Taissa Farmiga’s Zoe finally step up and do something relevant and become The Supreme; will Queenie’s newly-discovered powers give her the edge; will Misty Day and her Stevie Nicks-loving ways realise her full potential; and isn’t the deceased Nan (Jamie Brewer) just a tad conspicuous by her absence? Oh, and then there’s always Fiona…
Another great episode of Coven, largely stolen by Lance Reddick’s Papa Legba, sets us up for what is sure to be a barn-storming finale next week.
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