“At least in death you can’t disappoint the ones you love.”
Life sucks and then you die. But what if you don’t? There are many of us in our society of whom idolize immortality, glorify youth and obsess over silky-smooth skin; no wrinkles, no aging, and no sagging. It’s no mistake that the baddest witch of the series thus far is looking for her own “Fountain of Youth” substitute and there is an overall theme of immortality. The second installment of American Horror Story: Coven is an improvement over the first, filled to the brim with more character development and horrors of all kinds, but mainly the horror of living forever. It seems like a gift given from whatever Gods that be, but there might be more to death than meets the eye. “Boy Parts” continues to immerse viewers into the world of witchcraft and New Orleans with its major players finally getting into some more than intriguing predicaments. Oh yes, the plot thickens and more questions are arising, this spell continues to deliver the campy, sexy, creepy goodness…
Arising from all of the events in the premiere episode, Zoe and Madison find themselves confronted by guilt and pesky detectives who spotted Zoe leaving the hospital after using her “power” to appropriately kill one of Madison’s rapists. The most upsetting issue in the whole predicament is that given the three instances of rape--gang-rape at that--the officers are more concerned with how these teenage girls took vengeance on the boys that assaulted Madison. I guess murder trumps rape in this situation, even if they were rapists. Anyway, Zoe’s guilt causes her to break almost instantaneously, spilling the beans about everything. After cleaning up Zoe's explosive insolence, Fiona clad in her wicked black armor, later observes about our main protagonist: she’s soft, weak and cares too much of what others think. It sets forth an impending journey to strength and confidence in which Zoe will have to acquire to survive as a witch and as a woman of great power in a society that ready to devour her. If there is one thing Fiona likes about Madison beyond her youthful exuberance, it is her spunk. Fiona finds herself in the grey seat of teaching these girls more than her daughter, Cordelia who is already becoming more of a second-hand in her position as headmistress. She’s in charge, but Fiona is queen here. And it’s not just the students that are given that lesson.
The old racist hen Delphine LaLaurie remains Fiona’s captive for a good portion of the hour. Fiona is clamoring for the secret to her immortality. But Delphine is just a catalyst in this rising action. Through flashbacks, we discover Marie Laveau’s acts of justice against the devilish socialite, killing Delphine’s family and leaving her to lie underground, an immortal with a heart full of nothing but loss, sadness and regret. A deserving devastation for a soulless sadist in a dress. However, Laveau’s mistake was not to bury deep enough. Fiona’s efforts foils Marie’s curse of immortality. But is immortality as glorious as Fiona thinks it is? According to Delphine it is not. It’s a double-edged sort of sorts, but one edge cuts deeper than the other for the devious Delphine LaLaurie. Quite honestly, it is fun to watch Lange and Bates go back and forth in the manner that they do. They’ve got a piercing chemistry that will only pierce deeper as the season transpires. However, the highlight of the episode, belongs to Fiona and Marie Laveau’s meeting. These two going at each other is a delicious piece of brilliance on par with the brief character development of a personal favorite, Queenie.
There is a great deal of dark and rivaling history expressed between the voodoo and Salem witches. A major plot-development that implements many historical background and Salem references (Arawak tribe, Tituba). Pair that with the fact that Marie still has her Minotaur lover wrapped around her finger and we’ve got more exciting set-up. The truce between the Salem witches and the voodoo witches will be on the verge of collapse simply because of Fiona’s need to acquire immortality. Much like the danger of using dark magic to be able to procreate. Against her better judgment, Cordelia and her husband copulate amongst snakes in a ring of fire and magic to get what they’ve been wanting for a considerable amount of time now. Clearly, this won’t turn out too well for anyone. However, there is a distinct difference in this potential demon baby storyline--it’s all about the temptation to fulfill those desires with the use of magic. That’s the question in the whole episode. Use magic, or let whatever happens happen by way of the Gods and the earth? Like anything else, the use of magic for personal gain is a double-edged sword. Which edge is sharpest?
Then there is resurgence. You can’t kill Misty Day, the Louisiana queen of resurrection--the phoenix born from ignorant flame. The cold opening highlights her respect for the earth’s creatures, her ironically deadly capabilities of her power and her love for Stevie Nicks “The White Witch” (very appropriate). Yes, Misty Day is in the rankings of favorite characters. She has a innocent vengeance to her that is electric and inviting. A mystical elation that even moves Zoe and calms the reassembled Kyle. Zoe and Madison’s awkwardly timed decision to make the perfect boyfriend by playing Dr. Frankenstein pulls Misty into our center circle characters. The result of Madison’s challenge to re-animate dead flesh is a seemingly mindless caveman-ish creation who is completely different from the Kyle we saw in the premiere However, his affection for Zoe is still maintained in a strange, unexpected yet lovely way. It’s twisted, but what else would you expect from AHS?
Fiona has her hands in hot water right now. Her lust for youth is what will bring about the ominous storm she so adequately predicted in the premiere hour. Either that or a bored Madison. As mentioned before, the best thing thus far about Coven are its three veteran actresses, Lange, Bates and Bassett. When either of these women are on screen or paired together, (let's hope for a scene of the trio soon!) it is inevitable great television. Wicked, even! The others are keeping up as well. The continued set up is leading to a war of witchcraft and voodoo. The development of the season’s themes (such a witch tribe being compared to persecuted minority groups of any kind) are also starting to surface with a rattling camp that some might consider just a smidge offensive or disrespectful. The question and decision of magic is at play throughout this installment American Horror Story: Coven, which helps dig deeper into plot and character development. More Lange vs. Bassett and you can count on viewers‘ attention. Make this season immortal; it hasn‘t disappointed the ones that love it yet. “Boy Parts” gets 4 out of 5 stars!
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© Patrick Broadnax 2013