This week’s Coven kicks off with a bit of exposition about how Fiona became the Supreme witch. After talking with near wide-eyed innocence to the current Supreme about how she became such, Flashback Fiona takes a turn for the vicious and begins tearing her elder down, explaining that as her age and powers ebb Fiona’s grow stronger. The elder (Christine Ebersole), who hates Fiona and claims that her becoming the next Supreme will destroy the Coven, loses any say in the matter when the conversation ends in Fiona slitting her throat.
The butler (remember Denis O’Hare, who is in the main credits?), watches all of this, and then we return to present day, where the Fiona of Covens Present implies that she is the one who removed his tongue. I assume this was to keep him from telling anyone what she did to the elder, but can people not write things down? And even if he was illiterate, couldn’t he learn to write down ‘Fiona killed someone, guys?’ Maybe I’m looking too deeply into this, but hey, removing someone’s tongue is a drastic measure.
After the Jessica Lange-iest monologue about ‘the dance’ (of love? of magic?), Fiona goes to a surgeon who explains facial plastic surgery options while tears run down Fiona’s face. It’s as if Ryan Murphy and Brad Fulchuk had just received the (actual) news that Jessica Lange would not be returning after the next season and, in a panic, injected the show with her purest essence while they still could. I have nothing but respect for Jessica, but her characters suffer from a sameness that just takes some of the magic of her presence away after a while. Zoe, meanwhile, continues to try to be the one good person on this show by visiting Kyle’s mother (Mare Winningham). She’s a grieving mess who sleeps in her son’s room, smokes his pot, and admits to almost killing herself before Zoe called.
She explains what a wonderful son Kyle was, and Zoe responds, ‘Kyle’s not left us.’ For someone who enjoys yelling everyone’s most personal secrets, Zoe is being oddly subtle here.
Next, we get to meet the Coven’s new neighbors, in the form of Hot Shirtless Guy Luke and his mom, Joan (Patti LuPone).
Madison takes an immediate interest in Luke, and Joan takes an immediate dislike to Madison. But this is not the episode’s biggest face-off. The recently unearthed Madame LaLaurie struggles to accept a world where there’s a black president, and Fiona, explaining, ‘There’s nothing I hate more than a racist,’ demands she be the house’s new maid. LaLaurie, who continues to spew racial slurs and attitudes, will serve all the girls except Queenie, ending in Fiona making her Queenie’s ‘personal slave.’
There’s clearly no way this plot can end but in LaLaurie learning the error of her racist ways and becoming Queenie’s best friend. Just kidding. Someone’s probably going to die.
In her cozy, corpse-y cabin, Misty Day is none too happy to have her Stevie Nicks party with her new bestie Kyle interrupted by Zoe, who believes taking him to his mom might heal him further. Misty demands she is connected to Kyle and that she was there for him when Zoe ‘abandoned’ him, but Zoe still manages to get him out of the house. Misty and her abandonment issues continue their frantic Stevie Nicks-ing alone, and that’s all we see of her this week.
Madison takes a slightly different approach to seduction by walking into Luke’s house and basically insisting they have sex. Luke seems more interested in Nan and the cake she made perfectly for him using the secret ingredient of clairvoyance.