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American Horror Story: Coven Recap Ep. 8 - Ritual Witch-ual

American Horror Story: Coven Recap Ep. 8 - Ritual Witch-ual

American Horror Story: Coven Recap Ep. 8 - Ritual Witch-ual

American Horror Story: Coven Recap - Ritual Witch-ual


This week’s episode of Coven, “The Sacred Taking,” was written by Ryan Murphy himself, so you just know there’s going to be five thousand Jessica Lange monologues. 

But first we need at least a few minutes of not-monologues and we get it in the form of Queenie, who is taunted by creepers as she takes a walk under an eerie bridge at night. 

Just as the homeless guy is getting just creepy enough for the audience to be okay with his murder, Queenie does just that. The Blonde Twins (Zoe and Madison, of course) swoop out of nowhere to try and stop her, but Queenie claims she’s helping her Voodoo Queen make a potion that will give her more powers. “Voodoo, witchcraft. This town ain’t big enough for the both of us. War is coming and you’re going to lose,” Queenie explains, in a magnificently vast leap in character development that apparently occurred over Thanksgiving break.

Cut to Fiona, who right off the bat starts with a dramatic monologue about the personal destruction caused by her cancer (but still makes snappy Bewitched references).

Cordelia takes this vulnerable moment as an opportunity to insult Fiona’s cooking, but luckily Fiona does have one person on her side- the ever-loving Axeman, who is now aware of her illness. She explains to him she’s not afraid of death, just living in pain and ugliness. When he asks her if she’s ever considered suicide she responds, “I’ll stay alive just to spite them.” And presumably to deliver more monologues.

Hot Neighbor Luke has his own problems over in Coven-ville, as his mom Joan (Patti Lupone) demands he get naked and have a bleach enema because he’s “unclean from the inside out.” She believes he’s consorting with witches- and he kinda is because of his perfect friendship with Nan- but are lethal bathtub smoothies really the best way to sort things out? Did none of you see Carrie? Religious mothers punishing their children never goes well! Eve was weak, Luke! Remember that! Not to mention, someone really needs to sort out why Ryan Murphy has to have at least three completely disturbing mother/son relationship story lines in every season of this show. Didn’t we get enough with Zachary Quinto? No? Fine.

It’s really not a good day for Fiona as the Coven consorts to kill her. Just as they’re starting their plot, Misty Day shows up with her newly un-earthed Myrtle claiming someone invaded her peaceful garden hut to blow her brains out.

She and Myrtle both escaped, and while there are clearly a lot of questions here, Nan asks the most important one, “How did your hair grow back so quick?” Myrtle’s answer makes no sense and has to do with a North Korean hair product. What a let down, I was hoping we would finally find the secret to this Garnier-sponsored Resurrection thing Misty has apparently mastered.

Myrtle then declares Misty the new Supreme as, “She’s brought back more people from the dead than Jesus Christ.” Wonderful, being declared Supreme always goes so well for everyone.

Zoe has decided to take a new, education-oriented approach with Kyle by getting him Hooked on Phonics, but he’s really just hooked on her. She deflects his advances, but Madison instead swoops in and makes out with him. Madison is confused as to why he can’t just sit around and watch porn all day, but Zoe wants him to learn things so he can rejoin society. I’m sure there’s a compromise in there somewhere.  This scene also provided my favorite Evan Peters-related moment ever, in which he has the most adorable reaction to headphones. When that’s a high point in the episode, I’m not exactly sure how to assess my actual feelings for this show.

The girls then all get together to do a ritual called ‘The Sacred Taking,’ which is used in times of crisis to ensure the survival of the Coven. Zoe and Madison are a little apprehensive about Misty being the new Supreme, but Cordelia calms them down with an uplifting, ‘Being Supreme is going to suck, so be glad it’s not you,” angle. Misty’s not super into being Supreme at this point, but no one’s super into giving her a choice, and they go ahead with the ritual.

We learn that the Sacred Taking was first used in Salem, when the girls needed to travel escape the town to survive. Because a new Supreme can only arise when the old one dies, it seems like the Sacred Taking is used to convince the current Supreme to kill herself. They probably don’t have to work too hard to kill Fiona, since her every line in this show has been related to her failing mortality, but they still give it their all. Madison is first, dancing sexually around Fiona’s bedroom talking about how she can’t wait for it to be hers. Madison insists she is still the new Supreme, and that everyone knows Fiona killed her. They’ll burn Fiona at the stake, unless she takes a handful of pills and goes out quietly. Fire or pharmaceuticals, Fiona? Your move.

Fiona chooses escaping, and just as she’s packing a suitcase Myrtle shows up. At this point we need a show of hands of who hasn’t been murdered by Fiona. Myrtle taunts Fiona with her ailing health, but Fiona insists the Axeman will take care of her till the end. Myrtle asserts he won’t and that she’ll die, “Alone and disappointed by everyone.”

Fiona then gets a hallucination in which it appears the Axeman is caring for her in the hospital, but he soon gets up and leaves, hissing, “It’s taking too long for you to die.” Yikes. What do you expect from your serial killer boyfriend if not sensitivity? After yet another monologue (though beautifully delivered, they all kind of blend together after a certain point), Fiona gets all dressed up and swallows the pills, then lies down to die. Just as she’s about to take an eternal nap, Spaulding arrives and forces on her a potion to make her throw up. She refuses until Spaulding informs her that the girls tricked her with a spell, then she takes the brew and upchucks the Sacred Suicide Pills.

Believing the spell went pretty well, the girls take a breather from their day of rituals. Nan asks if she maybe could be the next Supreme, but the girls laugh her off. Offended, she storms off to visit something much better than magical powers, Hot Neighbor Luke, but he’s in quite a predicament himself, all tied up in his mom’s Closet O’ Repentance. Nan manages to set Luke free, and he tells his mother he is running away with her.

In a completely unexpected turn of events, Joan is then shot dead by an assassin. Luke gets hit as well, because it is literally impossible for things to go well for Nan.

Remember Queenie? She’s still here, and so is Delphine (who I forget is in this show whenever she’s not on screen for an extended amount of time). Delphine tries to convince Queenie to let her out for a bit so she can “stretch her legs,” and just as Queenie is about to cave Marie Laveau swoops in for a crackdown.

Pro tip for resurrected racists: not the best way to get out of a captive situation is to be racist to your captors. Marie retaliates to Delphine’s vitriol by chopping off her hand, so that’s what you get.

The best way to find out you failed at killing someone is for them to show up again, and the girls are none to happy to see Fiona. She’s come to meet the “Swamp Witch.” Run Misty Day! Lily Rabe is too wonderful to lose (again and again and again...).

Instead of murdering her, Fiona challenges Misty to revive Joan Ramsey. That’s just another day in the life of Misty, and she revives her no problem. At the same time, Cordelia realizes that whoever killed Joan is really after the witches. Surprise! Except not. And it’s not that big of a deal, because your biggest team player now can literally bring you all back to life.

Meanwhile, Kyle is still upstairs studying away. Zoe enters, and he tells her a sentence that sounds like, “This road goes to me.” He then follows that up with, “I love you,” which I’m fairly certain is the more important part of his mumbling. Madison lurks around the corner, however, and is none to thrilled that her boy toy is getting real with her rival blonde.

Fiona has quickly returned to her old antics as though everyone in the house didn’t just try to kill her, and she’s even got snide comments about blind people making coffee and sleeping in upstairs bedrooms. Surprisingly, Fiona admits that the Coven trying to kill her gave her hope for their future. “I’m so proud of you. You really are my daughter,” she tells Cordelia, as they genuinely bond over this whole matricide thing.

Now that they’re buddies, they do a follow up on the next-door murder case. It turns out the bullets were blessed silver bullets, which are apparently only used by witch hunters. Cordelia admits that now with this whole assassin business they need Fiona more than ever and she’s glad they didn’t kill her. This deeply emotional bonding is interrupted by the doorbell, and the women walk outside to find a big box on the doorstep. I wonder who’s inside, since apparently the only mail in the area is of mutilated body and/or minotaur parts. And indeed, inside is Delphine’s severed yet animated head mouthing, ‘help.’ UPS really needs to start monitoring their packages.

Next week Cordelia gets her eyesight back, we’re all forced to remember her forgettable fuzzy witch hunter husband exists, and there’s some new character with a rockin’ hairstyle. What more could you possibly need? Have a witchy week, now!

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Preston Max Allen