We take a little different approach for recapping American Horror Story: Coven and it starts with this week’s debut episode called ‘Bitchcraft’. Go inside to discover more…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
American Horror Story: Coven kicked off on Wednesday night with a new season full of witches and voodoo and several returning cast members and a few new ones as we join Ryan Murphy’s latest twisted tale on FX.
The recaps for AHS: Coven will be a little different than the recaps you might see on other TV sites like TV Line or Entertainment Weekly. It’s not to say what they do is wrong by any means, but sometimes when you’re on the phone with producers and actors from the shows you cover each week not only do you get a sense of the overall story arcs, you tend to know a bit too much week to week. Outside of a few promos that ran this season and knowing who was going to be in the cast, I’m walking into this new season as blind as can be. So the recaps you’ll read here will be just from the pure joy of watching a horror-filled romp through New Orleans as best as I can interpret it.
Enjoy the ride as we grab our brooms and head into American Horror Story: Coven
Where Are We?
New Orleans is the setting for this latest offering of AHS. The story takes place in 1834 as well as present day because we start off in a flashback surrounding Kathy Bates’ character Madame LaLaurie. She’s actually a real life person that lived and breathed in New Orleans back in the 1800’s and committed the atrocities were were introduced to in this episode as well. Turns out in Madame LaLurie is not only looking for the eternal gift of youth (spreading blood all over her face) but she has daughters and when one of them forces a slave to sex her up, it’s time for that house hand to pay. He wasn’t a willing participant you see (he’s already promised to another) but Madame LaLaurie isn’t buying it.
She takes him up to the attic, which is kind of the reverse of The People Under the Stairs, where we witness a horror house that reminded me of something out of Strangeland. Except our Captain Howdy is Kathy Bates — and she’s decided this treacherous soul that invaded her daughter’s insides will pay by being chained up and a bull’s head will be placed over his head. She’s gone and made a real minotaur because she loved the story of the half bull/half man creatures so much from Greek mythology.
That’s when the house boy’s lover shows up — played by Angela Bassett — and judging by her demeanor she’s a voodoo queen. She offers up some kind of love potion to Madame LaLurie that will help maintain her youth and make her husband fall in love with her again. But oops no it’s actually poison and Madame LaLaurie drops dead.
The other location on the show is Miss Robicheaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies. Yes, it does sound an awful lot like Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Ironically enough Evan Peters is in this show and he will also star in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past too! Anyways, this school is a haven for young witches to learn to control their powers so they can blend into society and not die out like it seems they are doing these days.
Is it the Same Cast?
Partially the same cast as the last two seasons. Ryan Murphy loves to create a new season of American Horror Story each year, complete with new characters and storyline, but he loves to re-use many of the same actors and actresses. So here’s the run down —
Jessica Lange is the lead again and she’s playing Fiona — the supreme witch. She’s got all kinds of nifty powers including telekinesis and mind control but her one weakness is vanity and the fear of death. She’s searching for a fountain of youth, and kills a guy at a stem cell research center when he can’t help her look younger. She then returns home to New Orleans to the Academy where her daughter is the head mistress. Fiona wants the witches to harness their powers and use them, not hide in some corner cowering from the world.
Her daughter is played by Sarah Paulson — who is back for her third run on AHS as well, and she’s Cordelia this time around. Cordelia is the head mistress at the Academy and her sole purpose is to help the young girls under her care understand their powers and how to control them so they aren’t exposed to the world.
Lily Rabe (the wicked possessed nun from last season) is Misty Day (somebody had to pull that one from the porn hat). She’s a powerful witch with the power of resurrection, she can bring things back from the dead, but when she’s discovered the local religious folks burn her at the stake.
Denis O’Hare is a butler this season with no tongue apparently and he’s made to serve the young girls at the all witch academy.
Taissa Farmiga returns after a one season absence (she was the daughter in season one) and she’s playing Zoe, who discovers her powers after having sex for the first time and finding out that her vagina was a rocky place where no man’s seed could find purchase. As a matter of fact a few minutes of sex with Zoe results in bleeding out and dying for her lover.
Jamie Brewer returns after skipping out on last season and she plays Nan — a clairvoyant who can read minds and tell the future. She seems like a potentially powerful character this season.
And then there’s Evan Peters back for his third turn on AHS. He plays the leader of a local fraternity, but he doesn’t make it very far this year because he dies in a fiery bus crash I’m assuming the producers wanted to get on film before Carrie is re-released in theaters this season. Again, more on that later….
Tell Me the Story….
So after Zoe kills her boyfriend with her witchy private parts she’s shipped off to New Orleans to attend the Academy for bewitched girls. There she meets the three other girls serving time alongside her.
There’s Madison Montgomery (played by Emma Roberts) and she has the power of telekinesis, she can move shit with her mind, hands, whatever. Then there’s Queenie played by Gabourey Sidibe (who was amazing in The Big C) and she’s a human voodoo doll. She stabs herself in the arm, feels no pain but the person she’s aiming at certainly feels it. The other is Nan (who we already mentioned earlier).
When Fiona shows back up in town she decides to teach the girls the true history of witchcraft in New Orleans, and how to use their powers. She takes them on a tour of the LaLurie mansion, but in reality it’s just a way to use Nan to find the owner of the house. Turns out after some digging (literally) that Madame LaLaurie despite the poison from the voodoo lady didn’t die. She was just tied up and buried for nearly two centuries left to suffer in a box, chained up and buried underground. I’m guessing Fiona wants to use Madame LaLaurie to find out how she stayed the same age and never died because she wants the same.
Madison is the popular one who watched too much Mean Girls to get ready for her time at the Academy and she decides that Zoe is going to be her new best friend so they venture off to a fraternity party for the night because those are always a good idea!
Through the first two season of American Horror Story, the characters have endured some pretty heinous shit done to them. We had rubber man rape the woman from Nashville in season one. We had people getting their body parts cut off and mutated into alien creatures in season two. And this year we have a good old fashioned game of date rape right out of the gate.
Madison and Zoe head off to their frat party to get some drinks and forget about being witches for a night. Zoe immediately catches Kyle’s eyes (Evan Peters) and so they begin conversing. Meanwhile, Madison gets slipped a roofie and in between shades of awake and asleep, several fraternity brothers climb on top while video taping the whole horrific incident. Sad thing is this kind of thing actually happens as we are all painfully aware by some of the stories in the news. That said when Zoe discovers Madison has been raped repeatedly, she’s out for blood.
Too bad the bus carrying the frat brothers is now speeding away, but Madison comes to and decides to use her power to flip the bus where it catches fire and explodes in a blaze of glory. Everyone on board dies except two people….
How Does It End?
Well much to our surprise Kyle doesn’t survive the bus crash but the lead fraternity boy sure does although he’s in intensive care at the hospital when Zoe discovers him. She can’t take back what these boys did to Madison, so in a very off putting and disturbing scene, Zoe helps the comatose boy get an erection and she hops on top knowing a few thrusts later this boy will be bleeding out of his eyes. Sure enough, he starts spewing up blood faster than Frank Costanza serving tainted meat in Korea. The boy she was interested in his dead, but she can at least help her friend find some closure and she’s happy to use her power to achieve it.
And there you have it folks the first episode of American Horror Story: Coven in the can. Return next week when we look at episode two titled ‘Boy Parts’. If you check out the letters of the first word of each particular section you’ll see where we’re going with these recaps this season.