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'AHS: Coven' Recap: The Walking Dead

 'AHS: Coven' Recap: The Walking Dead

This week's 'Coven' is a frothy romp compared to the brutalizing season premiere.


Compared to last week’s premiere, this week’s episode of Coven, “Boy Parts,” is a pleasantly casual romp that’s fun for the whole family. Sure, there are some pretty gruesome moments, but nothing near the festival of graphic escalation that occurred in Bitchcraft a week ago. That’s not saying it’s smooth sailing from here on out. I’m sure there’s going to be plenty more opportunities to use the phrases “slave torture” and “death-by-vagina” again, but this week we get a little breather.

Someone also getting a little breather is Lily Rabe, whose character Misty has returned to life following previously getting burned at the stake. After an opening sequence in which two charming gentlemen hunt and kill an alligator, Misty shows up to teach the hunters a lesson, namely that alligators will probably want to kill you if magically revived after you’ve murdered them.


Remember, Misty has the power of Resurgence, so she’s able to bring dead things back to life. It will be hard to forget this because several characters will blatantly and often remind you in their dialogue. American Horror Story has a tendency to use violence to disturb one to their core, but this moment of alligator carnage is actually a fun, old-school gory way to start the episode. Plus, characters who say things like, ‘We’ve got a lot of skinning to do before sundown’ will probably not be missed. Side note: the music in this episode is fantastic. I watched with headphones in for the first time and found myself constantly creeped out in the best way by witchy-dubstep. More of that please...

Back at Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, Cordelia asks the girls to come downstairs for their morning gathering in a moment that seems only included because Emma Roberts has a body she’s really proud of (and should be). Her character Madison then goes on to scoff at Zoe for mourning the death of her would-be boyfriend Kyle, who died in the bus crash post-Madison’s gang rape. Zoe truly believes Kyle was a good person, but Madison insists “guilt by association.” Madison does go on to apologize for his death, but kindly reminds Zoe that even if he had survived, her vagina probably would have gotten him in the end.

Cordelia, still on her quest to round everyone up for the morning gathering, insists her mother come down, but Fiona is too busy with the recently un-tombed Kathy Bates.


Fiona is on a quest to discover how Madame LaLaurie didn’t age while buried alive for 180 years. Madame LaLaurie is on a quest to discover what the hell anything in the 21st century is. After this we get a flashback of Queenie working at a fast food joint. A customer at the counter believes he was stiffed a piece of chicken, Queenie calls his bluff, and shoves her arm in a deep fryer while giving him a death glare. She’s A-okay, but his hand bubbles and burns. Back in real time, Queenie explains how the incident brought her to the school and an understanding of her witch powers, and that she’s an heir to Tituba (Tituba of the high-school mandatory Crucible, of course).


Gabourey Sidibe is also one of my favorite people on this show right now, so I continue to be bummed she’s not in the opening credits and that her doom is probably imminent.

The next sequence is an odd demonstration of Zoe’s sudden extreme stupidity. A detective comes to the school to inquire about the frat boy bus crash, and Madison explains the only connection she had to them was when they brought her into the back room to smoke and she said no.


The detective then whips out a picture of Zoe visiting Main Evil Frat Boy at the hospital and explains he died the exact same way as Zoe’s former boyfriend after Zoe left his room. Zoe reacts to this by dramatically and loudly blowing their cover. She starts by yelling about how the boys gang raped Madison, then escalates into a detailed rant that ends with, “Everyone here is a witch, I’m so sorry, please don’t send us to jail.” Note to everyone on the show: do not take Zoe on any covert missions because she will literally scream all your secrets to everyone.


Fiona pulls some sort of mind erasure on the detectives and covers up Zoe’s mess. She then storms into Madison and Zoe’s bedroom to do that thing she so loves doing where she flings young blonde girls against walls before yelling at Zoe that she’s soft, emotional, and weak (so basically a good person), and that the only thing the girls have to fear is Fiona herself (and possibly the terrifying ‘yah yah yah’ music that is not at all comforting in headphones).

Next, Madison and Zoe go on a lovely, bonding field trip to the morgue. Madison feels she owes Zoe for killing her rapist, so she plans to bring Kyle back to life. Only problem is, all the boys were somehow turned into human jigsaw puzzles in the bus crash and are just a bunch of body parts in bags. My friend who is a medical professional agreed this is a unlikely outcome for a bus crash, but it works great for Madison, who decides to make lemons into bloody lemonade and crafts the best boy parts together with Kyle’s head for the ultimate boyfriend. Zoe’s a little creeped out by this, but I’m a touched by Madison’s effort to help a friend. Granted it’s a creepy effort and Madison is a gloriously disturbing character, but I’m loving her more and more every second. Emma Roberts has come a long way since Unfabulous, which you should definitely Youtube if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

In the next scene, we get a totally new plot nugget! Cordelia is using all sorts of medically sound fertility methods to try and get pregnant, but she and her scruffy, forgettable husband are getting discouraged. Her husband insists she try using magic, but Cordelia’s against it, believing one shouldn’t use magic for life and death situations. She is definitely the only one on this show with that sentiment.

Fiona continues her interrogation of Madame LaLaurie, which is rather quick and successful because Madame LaLaurie immediately explains that the potion she was given by Angela Basset’s character Marie Laveau was not poison at all, but immortality.


LaLaurie was then forced to see her entire family hanged before being shoved in a box underground to endure claustrophobic immortality forever. If this were how the interrogations on Homeland worked the show would have been one episode.

Madison, in the meantime, takes on Project Runway’s weirdest challenge by sewing new Kyle-parts together for Zoe’s new Frankenboyfriend. They attempt the resurrection spell, but it doesn’t seem to work. Madison leaves with the most remorseless ‘well, we tried’ attitude and Zoe stays behind to apologize to the still-dead Kyle. Someone drives up to the morgue, and Madison, being a kind, loving friend, drives away without Zoe to cover her own tracks. The morgue worker discovers Zoe, and just as he’s about to close in Kyle makes a miraculous recovery to save the day zombie-style. What a fun, sexy romance this is going to be!

Back at the school, Nan is furious that she can hear all of LaLaurie’s thoughts and lets her go free. Between Nan letting psycho captives free and Zoe shrieking confessions of witchcraft at every person who walks through the door, this is a terrible school. Gabourey Sidibe has the best moment in the show yelling at Kathy Bates, but is quickly knocked out and LaLaurie escapes.

Fiona takes a visit to Marie Laveau, who now runs a hair salon. This is great for all of us because it means Angela Basset is onscreen again, and immediately Fiona and Marie have a competitive dramatic-off about their back-stories. 


Apparently, Marie is a voodoo queen and Fiona is a not-voodoo witch and there’s a difference here that makes Fiona feel superior. There’s also some more lore about Tituba that was not covered in The Crucible. Basically Tituba (who Fiona keeps referring to as a ‘voodoo slave’ ) is the ancestor of all witchcraft and was the one who passed it on to the girls of Salem. After a wickedly caustic monologue that will probably contribute to Jessica Lange winning another Emmy, Fiona asks Marie Laveau her secret to immortality. It’s safe to say Fiona has never had a lesson on how to ask for things because she’s pretty much maxed out on all ways to be an evil bitch to Marie. This doesn’t really matter though because Fiona plans to trade not kindness for the potion, but LaLaurie.

Back in change-of-heart land, Cordelia has apparently decided magic is the way to go for conception and she and her random husband have magic, bloody, dubstep sex.


Not really a conception story to tell the children. If it turns out anything like Zoe’s experience with magically reviving Kyle, this is going to be a regrettable moment for everyone.

Zoe, meanwhile, struggles with a grunt-y,  clumsy Kyle who doesn’t really get anything that’s going on and nearly forces her car off the road. Lucky for all of them (and for us because Lily Rabe is the best), Misty has been hiding in the back of the car.


She takes the two back to her cabin in the woods for some swamp-cures that she claims will fix Kyle shortly. Misty is thrilled to find another witch, so thrilled that she has crazy sexual tension with Taissa Farmiga that gave me hope for a couple to obsess over during the season. However, in his post-episode talkback Ryan Murphy describes Misty’s character as asexual with an attraction to witches in a spiritual sense, so I guess my hopes and dreams are shattered. For the record, my friend who is a medical professional also agreed with me on the sexual tension here, so it’s not just like that time I decided all the girls in Hunger Games were in love with each other because I liked it better that way.


For the record, I strongly recommend against checking out any Ryan Murphy talkbacks if you are at all a person who holds gradual character and plot development sacred. Reading how he comes up with what happens on the show is a total buzz kill because he rarely seems to actually have a plan and to desperately want to spoil as much as he possibly can for you. He does explain why Misty listens to so much Stevie Nicks; apparently Courtney Love called Stevie a ‘white witch,’ and so she was the only ‘witch’ Misty could relate to growing up. Ryan is also friends with Stevie Nicks, which makes for a more sensical explanation.

Back to the point, Misty offers to heal Kyle as long as Zoe promises to return (there’s absolutely no romantic or sexual chemistry here at all) and Zoe goes home. Kyle’s a sad mess, but being kinda dead seems like it could be a good sign for Zoe, who might be able to actually have sex with a guy who’s already a corpse. Marie Laveau wins the award for most unfortunate boyfriend situation, however, as it is revealed her man is now an actual Minotaur. We only get five seconds of that and I didn’t finish Ryan’s post-show recap of the entire season, so we’re all just going to have to wait to see how that plays out.

Fiona quickly finds the escaped LaLaurie at her original home and yells at her for being a horrible person. Fiona’s right, and no matter how many monologues Kathy Bates has about how sad she is and horrible her life was, I really hope none of us are ever supposed to feel sympathetic towards a woman who sewed crap into a man’s mouth. 180 years of being buried alive have not been kind to LaLaurie, however, and she wants Fiona to kill her. Fiona explains she probably will, but not yet. There’s still an entire season left and Kathy Bates is in the opening credits for god’s sake! 


Fiona and LaLaurie then walk off together down the street to a nice film-noir horn playing, and that does it for this week. On next week’s promo we get a glimpse of Patti LuPone’s appearance, so if you thought there’d be an end to Emmy-striving monologue face-offs just you wait! If ever there was to be a musical number, Ryan Murphy, now is the time. All in all, “Boy Parts” actually proved a fun follow-up to a gruesome overture, and I’m actually excited for this season rather then painfully reluctant. Keep it up, Coven, I’m counting on you.

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