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American Horror Story: Coven Recap Ep. 11 - How Do You Solve A Problem Like Marie? 

'AHS: Coven' Recap Ep. 11—How Do You Solve a Problem Like Marie?

'AHS: Coven' Recap Ep. 11—How Do You Solve a Problem Like Marie?

How do you kill someone who's immortal, and other deep Coven-like questions...

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After last week’s murder of Nan and treacherous burial of Misty, two of the only like able characters Coven has to offer, I’m a bit apprehensive return to this week’s installment. Alas, I can’t escape the morbid, manic, mess (I’m not entirely sure I mean this negatively) that is this season ofAmerican Horror Story

We first find ourselves in 1830s New Orleans with TV’s most popular sadist-racist, Delphine, as she moves to her new mansion with her daughters. She’s worried she’s going to lose her mind with no one interesting for company or anything to challenge her. Her wonderfully dull daughter tries to cheer her up, but she too falls under the category of ‘nothing interesting or challenging’ and is abusively dismissed. With no cook at the mansion yet, the women are forced to cook for themselves in their festively poufy dresses. After Delphine’s daughter won’t slaughter a chicken, Delphine does the dirty deed, though she hesitates at first. Her daughter insists she won’t be able to kill it either, but Delphine takes that challenge to the next level by not only graphically severing its head, but by getting up close and personal with its blood.

 

After the foreshadowing chicken incident, Delphine finds an injured slave in the attic. Dull Daughter insists they get help, but Delphine waves her off, saying she’ll take care of the oozing wound. By that, she means she’ll tie him up and torture him. The creation of the murder attic was not exactly a backstory I needed, but it was definitely a backstory we were all always going to get. Remember, we’re on in the American Home Stretch here, it’s going to get more brutal than ever.

Back in modern times at Miss Robichaux’s, Fiona and Marie hold a coven-wide funeral for Nan, “who fell in the tub.” This could very possibly be the least subtle funeral organized by murderers ever. You don’t need to be clairvoyant to know that Fiona’s *cough cough* line delivery does not exactly ring true. The girls bemoan the fact that no one can find Misty (who was previously buried alive by an overly competitive Madison), and thus no one can bring Nan back to life. But we are overdue for a surprise resurrection, so it’s a welcome sight to see Queenie’s returned to life, leading a now re-bodied Delphine around on a leash. Last we saw Queenie, she had nearly blown her head off to kill Fuzzy Husband after the Salon Massacre, and she’s none too happy with anyone in her life for leaving her for dead.

 

At the Witch Hunting Corporation, Fuzzy Grandpa announces his intention to use the witches to fix the Government mess they got him into last week using that mouse in a maze spell. After he gets the witches to fix the problem they made in the first place, he plans to kill them. Once again, you don’t have to be clairvoyant to know this plan isn’t going to work. It’s also the worst plan in the history of plotting. At Miss Robichaux’s, Delphine has returned to her traditional maid’s outfit and a life of servitude. During a frantic montage, she fondly reminisces via an elaborate monologue about her rise from low expectations to fancy living back in the good ol’ days of slave murder and blood bathing. Boo hoo for you, Delphine. What a sad life you have. During this montage, Frances Conroy also vividly describes the ingredients of a soup, in what is the best moment of the episode. Also, we see that the Coven still has the baby Marie stole from the hospital. Good choices all around!

 

Just as Delphine is trying to remember what it was that invigorated her life back in the day, the black gardener enters with an injured hand. Delphine offers to help and everyone lets her, even though this is THE WORST IDEA EVER and she will DEFINITELY KILL HIM. No time is wasted, and in moments Delphine is in the Butler’s doll attic torturing the poor man. How no one knows this is happening in a house full of witches is beyond me, but if I was going to watch American Horror Story for its logic and sensical plot development I would not be watching American Horror Story.

 

Detective Zoe does a spell in the bathtub to find out what happened to Nan, and discovers Fiona and Marie murdered her. Madison doesn’t care, and she and Zoe get in a fight over Kyle. Zoe claims she doesn’t love him and gives Madison permission to do as she pleases, but when Madison tries Kyle pushes her away and declares he loves Zoe. Madison throws a Carrie-Level telekinetic tantrum and hits Zoe in the head with a lamp. Myrtle enters to stop the commotion, and she and Madison exchange some too-witty banter before Madison announces she’s going to be the next Supreme and everyone else’s life is going to suck. New Coven drinking game: take a shot every time this conversation happens. Actually, don’t. You don’t deserve to suffer.

 

The moment we hear jazz music we know Axeman is back. Remember when he murdered innocent people and wasn’t just a musician/love interest? He fantasizes about stealing Fiona away to a farm, and suggests that after they kill the next Supreme, he’ll give up the axe and Fiona will give up the Coven and they’ll live like normal folk. A murderer ghost and a soulless witch -- yes, this pairing is destined for normalcy. Fiona says there’s one condition, because murdering one woman and moving to a farm just isn’t enough.           

 

After brutally torturing the gardener’s innards out, Delphine is faced with the ghost of the creepy, doll-loving Butler, and whines to him that she is not satisfied even with the torture. The Butler tells her that the key to her fulfillment is killing Marie Laveau. Ah, but Marie is immortal! It’s kinda hard to kill something that won’t die.

The Butler then goes on to explain that because Marie is immortal due to magic, magic can undue her and ultimately bring her demise. The Butler will help Delphine with this quest, but she needs to do something for him first.

 

Cordelia attempts to talk to Queenie, who is the only one properly surprised by the accelerated progression of alliances in this neighborhood. Cordelia asks how Queenie could have survived her Fuzzy Husband-related suicide, as she was shot with a normally witch-killing silver bullet. Turns out, Queenie can now survive silver bullets, and thinks she may be the next Supreme. Get in line, Queenie. 

Cordelia, over the edge about her lack of communication/coven skills,  retreats to her magical garden basement and whips up a magical flowery potion.

 

She rubs it on her eyes (reblinding ourselves are we, Cordelia?), then stabs herself in both sockets (why, yes we are!). When the news spreads, Fiona is furious but Myrtle calls Cordelia a hero for mutilating herself to protect the Coven. Myrtle also points out that now that Cordelia has her magic ability to see all the horrible things everyone’s done again, Fiona probably shouldn’t touch her. “I have no secrets” Fiona insists. You have no soul, Fiona. You have plenty of secrets.

Delphine brings the Butler an apparently spiffy new doll in a fantastic example of weird things happening in this show just for the sake of it. Now that she’s fulfilled his condition, the Butler offers Delphine the potion that will turn Marie human again and allow her to be killed.           

Myrtle meets Zoe in private and gives her what Myrtle calls her ‘only possession of value’ - a harvester ant which is, “one of the most venomous creatures in the world, along with Fiona,” to sell in case of an emergency. Myrtle goes on to insist that Kyle and Zoe leave the Coven to save themselves from Fiona and Madison’s wrath. Myrtle then gets a lovely monologue about her past relationship with Egon von Fürstenberg and the importance of young love. Zoe isn’t exactly on board, but eventually warms up to the idea of a trip to Disney World instead of Hell.

 

Back to Fuzzy Grandpa, who I happily forgot existed, as he and his witch hunter friends meet formally with Fiona and Marie. He demands that they restore his company, and in return he will compensate Marie for the damage his son did to her shop. He has also brought with him a document promising a 100 year truce. Oh, sure, a piece of paper’s going to keep all you maniacs in check. Fiona, however, has “conditions” of her own and demands Fuzzy Grandpa disband his witch hunting team forever and vows never to hurt another witch again. She also demands his refurbished house and Marie demands a private jet. When the men aren’t too accepting of that offer, Fiona’s willing to negotiate and offers that they all just die. Just then, Axeman appears to live up to his name and kills all of Fuzzy Grandpa’s cohorts, saving him for last. Fuzzy Grandpa’s last words are, “Go to hell, Witch Bitch,” which is an oddly clichéd, angsty teenager thing to say for an wrinkly Yale graduate.

 

Post axe-murder, Marie and Fiona toast their friendship. Fiona then leaves to ‘thank’ Axeman for his help, and Delphine prepares to kill finally Marie. As it turns out, Delphine had poisoned Marie’s previously toasted drink with mortality, and then stabs her in the heart. Marie pulls the knife out and informs Delphine that the Butler didn’t give her a witch-killing potion, but an antihistamine. Marie chases Delphine around the house, but the Butler smashes Marie in the head with his new doll and she falls down the stairs. The butler admits that no, Marie cannot die. He just wanted her out of the way. He tells Delphine to bury her, then dresses up in a bonnet, puts on some bone-chilling music, and cuddles the stolen baby, or “living doll.” The good news here is that the episode is almost over.

 

Zoe tries to pack for Kyle and her rendezvous (which I get the odd sensation isn’t going to work out), but Kyle refuses to join her. He says he’s afraid of the feelings he can’t control, but Zoe insists she isn’t scared of him. Remember how her vagina can kill people? We’ve all got our baggage, Kyle. With kisses and cuddles Zoe finally convinces him to leave and they make it to the bus to Orlando to the tune of an upbeat eighties synth. This moment is far too happy. There is much suffering in everyone’s future.

Next week, Lily Rabe and Papa Legba return, and the girls try to master the 7 wonders to see who will be the next Supreme. We’re only two episodes away from the season finale, so prepare for craziness. And hopefully more Frances Conroy monologues about soup.

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