‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Recap: Sh*t’ Just Got Racist

  Season Three Episode Four

Oh shit, it is New Orleans 1961 in our newest American Horror Story: Coven recap, and people are black. Including a boy. And he is running from some white men.

This is not going to be okay.

We are in Marie Laveau’s salon for ladies, and a hairdresser isn’t feeling quite herself today. She is yanking at her customer’s head and finally explains: her boy has gone off to the integrated school, and while she wants to give her son the best opportunity, she’s still a mite nervous. Marie Laveau does not think it was wise to send the boy off to a white school, but the hairdresser explains, “Times are changing, Marie! President Kennedy’s in the White House!” Marie Laveau, who has centuries’ worth of wisdom about white folks, reminds her the White Citizens Council has been warning the neighbors about the Congolese raping their dogs and the “burrheads” being forced into their schools. Just in time for us to cut to the hairdresser’s young son, Henry, and he has been lynched.

His mama screams and holds him, the Southern black woman version of the Pieta.

pieta

Why does Mary never scream and wail as she holds her murdered son? Or even look like someone handed her a fistfull of Valium? Just asking.

Marie Laveau does not look like she is going to react to Henry’s murder with the forbearance that should be her proper response to the kindly gentlemen who so graciously are saving Louisiana from the threat of young boys going to school. She should be more nicer.

Laveau is voodoing it up, and Civil War era dead are rising from their graves, muskets in hand. They are coming after the peckerwoods who killed that baby. They are ripping them limb from limb. Black, white, apparently we’re all pink on the inside when it’s time to be pulled from the grave to eat some intestines. The shlockiness of the zombie gore … intestines unraveling, blood spurting from arteries like it’s Evil Dead. It does not mesh with the simple realness of a boy being stalked and killed by regular “folk.”

OK, a creepy doll and a phonograph and a gnarled finger with long nails and a child’s tea party. This is looking up! More dolls, more creepiness, and TWISTO CHANGO! Oh, they tricked us, the doll collector is not an old lady. It’s SPALDING! The tongueless butler! Oh, Spalding, it is so good to get to know you.

Spalding hears moans and screams and enters just in time to see Fiona (Jessica Lange) murder Madison last week. (APPARENTLY HE CAN TIME TRAVEL TO THE PAST.) (BUT DOES HE KILL HITLER?) (HE DOES NOT.) “Oh Spalding I must confess, I’ve always enjoyed our little talks together,” Fiona says sweetly after Spalding rolls dead ol’ Madison up into the rug and prepares to haul her away. Spalding starts to smile with pure joy, but Fiona continues. “Particularly since you lost your tongue.” He stops. But she wasn’t even trying to be mean that time, she said it just made him seem wiser. Oh Fiona, making friends and influencing people once again.

And then Fiona comes upon Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) out in the garden, where she got gored by the Minotaur when she just wanted a GIANT BULL PENIS IN HER (even though she is a virgin) (which, not the best idea for cherry-popping) (for real), and brings her inside for Cordelia’s healing magicks.

Oops, Queenie is not breathing, oh, look who has the gift of revivifying it is Jessica Lange, with the breath of life!

Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) is feeling bad because the black girl (like she would even know the term “black girl” instead of some horrible racist slur) saved her. “That monster, it came here for me.” Well, yeah, because of how you tortured a slave and then somehow stuck a bulls head on him to make your minotaur even though you are not a witch, and he has been a minotaur for centuries now and he was Marie Laveau’s lover, and we get the “putting the bull’s head on the man” thing, but how did you get it to STICK THAT WAY? Fail, show.

We are at Marie’s shithole, which is not a shithole AT ALL, and she is doing old ladies’ hair for free and then stuffing money, smilingly, into their hands. Oh, Fiona, did you really have to send her lover’s head to her, Se7en styley, even if it was a monster? (Best: even inside the box, it still blinks.)

Zoe goes to wash the blood of the mom off Kyle’s face (you remember: HIS MOM THAT FUCKED HIM, WHOM HE THEN MURDERED). His hair is matted with it, he starts to stick his finger in her eye. Oh right: tears. Human stuff. Pretty interesting, for a zombie, we guess. She makes him tuna, like you would feed a cat. She sees the rat poison on a high shelf. That is probably a good idea, actually, because of how he is a zombie who bashes rapey moms’ skulls with baseball trophies. Uh oh, while she is trying to poison him, he wanders outside and it is Halloween. Well, that will camouflage him for a while, until he murders some babies or something anyway. NOBODY TRY TO FUCK KYLE, OKAY? HE DOES NOT TAKE IT WELL.

LaLaurie: “Miss Fiona you look –”
“Younger?”
“I was gonna say beautiful.”
“Well. Both are correct.”

CORRECT, SHOW.

Uh oh, Marie Laveau is going to do a #war. Her buddy gives us some exposition. Heartbreak and blood ran through the streets when the white witches and black witches were battling. Why couldn’t they just solve their problems through Dance?

Marie’s buddy reminds her that she, Marie, was “the hero of the story,” by sitting across from those white bitches and making peace. And we cut to former Supreme and Fiona-murderee Christine Ebersole, with Marie across from her in a BITCHEN FUCKIN AFRO THAT IS SO BEST.

angela bassett afro

It’s sort of like this, except for how Angela Bassett is even more beautiful now than she was in high school, and ANGELA BASSETT IS 55 YEARS OLD Y’ALL.

And we are with Cordelia, and she is talking to her husband. He is not only still in the picture — I assumed the scenes with her husby were all flashbacks due to her sad spinster vibe; did you also? — but he is also fucking a really pretty redhead while doing “business” out of town. He is quite animated, in the sack! Her hair looks like blood on the pillow, and it looks like his head is going to explode. She’s so happy to see him! She’s so sweet! She loves Halloween; it gives people permission to be who they really want. And what was he last year? A monster. Oh, fuckin creepy husband.

Cordelia is ministering to Queenie. “Am I dead?” No, because you got the breath of life, dummy. Weren’t you watching? It was like 10 minutes ago! HOWEVER. We accidentally watched this other witch show, Witches of East End (shut up, don’t judge, also we might have accidentally watched four episodes in a row), if you bring someone back from the dead, that means someone you else love will die! And Coven definitely has to follow the internal logic of a witch show on Lifetime right? Well what if I told you it has Madchen Amick? What about then?

LaLaurie thanks Queenie for saving her, totally unaware that Queenie just wanted to pop her cherry on some Minotaur wang. But it’s cool.

The witches council is here, which means YAY FRANCES CONROY!!!!!!

American-Horror-Story-The-Coven-3-702x1024

Also, this guy (whom you might remember from Will and Grace?) plays Quentin, the council’s resident “vicious old queen,” and who could only have a more proper name if they’d named him “Truman Capote.”

quentin crisp

There’s a comedic interlude (thanks show! We’ll take what we can get!) as Cordelia keeps telling the council secrets she thought they already knew: first about Queenie’s attack, then that she went to the voodoo part of town even though they signed a peace treaty in eye of newt or whatever that the Salem witches and the Voodoo witches all keep to their own side of the tracks.

Nan has summoned the council because she can’t hear Madison anymore. You can’t really hide a murder when people can hear thoughts :(

And now we are back with Hank, Cordy’s monster husband, and pretty Kaley, whom he met in a Thomas Kinkade user group. This is how she knows he’s not a big slutter-slut, with a girl in every port. (Hint: he doesn’t have a girl in every port BECAUSE HE SHOOTS THEM IN THE NECK.)

The council is pissed that Fiona hasn’t been doing the boring signing-shit work of government, but has been jetting off to slake her licentiousness. “You go girl,” says Quentin, while Frances Conroy seethes with rage. Quentin and Fiona adore one another.

coven frances conroy

Meanwhile, Frances Conroy has figured out Fiona was the last to see both Madison and Anna Leigh, the former Supreme. We cut to a Young Fiona, before the council, who despite looking nothing like Jessica Lange is giving a pretty good masterclass in innocent weeping right now, while Young Frances Conroy, who neglects to have a mid-Atlantic accent, is PISSED that her hated classmate Fiona is named Supreme. “I can’t believe she’s getting away with it.” With what exactly? “WITH … MURRRRRRRDER.” Well, you will only have to wait 40 years to not catch her redhanded again!

yeah you did it

Oh, were you wondering what happened to Spalding’s tongue? Perhaps it would help you to know that Young Frances Conroy enchanted it so he could not lie and protect Fiona during the investigation, and now he is on the bathroom floor in a pool of tongue blood. Just another day at Miss Robichaux’s Mansion for Fucked-Up Maimings.

And we are back in present day, again, because this show is basically like a slinky of time travel, or a Tilt-a-Whirl maybe? Frances Conroy is a-screechin’ and a-yellin’ at Fiona, all “YOU WILL PAY FOR THESE CRIMES” and Fiona is all like CONSTITUTION BITCHES.

And here is one of (one of) the most OH FUCK parts of the show, maybe almost more than Mare Winningham doing sex on her son? Not sure. Frances Conroy is all like “haha, got you now Spalding, write on this paper who is responsible for cutting out your tongue” but she does not say “who murdered Anna Leigh,” because she is stupid I guess, and Spalding is all like “it was me, yo” and Frances Conroy screams in anger as we see who cut out Spalding’s tongue, and it is Spalding.

spalding

“These are my last words, Miss Fiona. I have always loved you.”

GAAAAAAAAH.

But then, of all people, Cordelia comes in with the Fiona save, even though she is usually trying to murder Fiona, with poison. “No no no, Madison could not have been the next Supreme, and therefore my mother had no motive for killing her, because she had this convenient heart problem I know about,” says Cordy. “You all been barking up the wrong tree or whatever for 40 years, word word blah blah blah boring.” For some reason this shuts everybody up?

Meanwhile, in the voodoo part of town, Marie raises some more dead, with a special lynchin’ rope.

And we are back in Spalding’s room, aw, that’s sweet, Spalding is giving candy Kisses to all his dolls at the tea party before putting on his bonnet and night dress and digging the old lace wedding dress out of the closet? Spalding is a weird dude.

Ahhahahahaha, he has Madison’s corpse as his newest doll, THAT IS AWESOME. She is basically like a movie star cabbage patch kid, but with a death certificate instead of a birth certificate! HOORAY!

Now Cordy and Fiona are drinking and bonding, for like, the first time ever, sort of like how Mommie Dearest and Christina had that one sad conversation and Joan was all like “and hooooow are the meeeeeen.”

They are gonna play a fun “no-lying” game. “Why do you hate Hank,” Cordelia asks. “Are you attracted to him?”

“Because Delia, he reeks of bullshit, and I don’t understand how you can’t see that,” Fiona explainers, and we are gonna go with “listen to your mother.”

Then Fiona flat out lies about killing Madison in the no-lying game. She is really bad at this game!

Cordelia’s yakking up her Maker’s, she is in the bathroom and she gets voodooed! OH NO!

Oh, the shirtless guy from next door is back, I forgot about him. He has brought cookies for Nan, because he wants to sex up on her. There are zombies trick-or-treating, but they are real zombies, they are LaLaurie’s daughters, she can see right through their rotten flesh, through 200 years, to her daughters beneath.

And then there is a whole zombie army, streaming through the gates, massing at the door.

Meh, they really should have ended with Spalding feeding tea to his dead Madison doll.

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  • Tess Burck

    Excellent writeup, with one quibble: Clearly the “vicious old queen” is Quentin Crisp. Also clear: I am old…but check him out anyway, he was quite the character.

    • rebecca

      Tess, I SAID THAT!!!

  • Whatwhatque

    I couldn’t place where I’d seen Hank before and while I found him unsettling even before he was shown to be a crazy murderer so I had to look him up, he was the weirdo that gave Louie the pot on that episode of Louie. He’s good at creepy, has a bit of a American-Psycho-but-less-attractive-then -Christian-Bale thing going!