“American Horror Story: Coven” returned on Dec. 4 with the riveting new installment, “The Sacred Taking.”
Series co-creator Ryan Murphy and company have clearly packed their strongest storyline punch with this wildly popular third installment of the bold and original series. There is a lot going on for our Supreme and the Covenettes. A war is being waged. An overthrow is being plotted. Dead people are being resurrected. A love triangle is brewing. And, the mysterious thread running through all of it asks the burning question: Who is the next Supreme?
Will the Real Supreme Please Stand Up?
Fiona (Jessica Lange) incorrectly assumed Madison (Emma Roberts) was her successor. Zoe’s (Taissa Farmiga) zombie-slaying spree makes it seem like she’s a likely candidate. Then Myrtle (Frances Conroy) comes along and points the finger at waif-like and wizardly Misty Day (Lily Rabe). She brought her back to life, after all, after being burned at the stake. And, Misty herself survived the stake. That speaks great volumes for her power.
Does that necessarily mean Misty Day is really the next Supreme? This is “American Horror Story” and the tables are sure to turn on a gruesome dime.
Speaking of gruesome …
Get Your Head in the Game
We knew it was coming. Madame LaLaurie would be decapitated. So we waited patiently until nearly the end of the episode. Just as Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) is showing her some mercy with a cheeseburger, Marie (Angela Bassett) debates what kind of punishment might truly fit LaLaurie’s heinous crimes.
It’s not surprising how Kathy Bates inhabits this character with equally brilliant amounts of creepiness and sarcasm. Delphine LaLaurie is arguably one of the biggest monsters in history and Bates brings her to life in a frighteningly epic way.
Since Delphine can’t be killed, Marie decides decapitation is an excellent punishment. The best scene in the entire episode has to be Fiona opening up that box with Delphine’s head in it. It’s priceless.
Where Delphine’s head fits into the scheme of things remains to be seen. According to an interview Ryan Murphy did with “EW,” next week’s winter cliffhanger episode is called “Head” and will “follow the travails of Kathy Bates’ head and things happen to other characters’ literal heads or intellects or brain power.”
How garishly fun does that sound?
All is Fair in Love
Fans of season one’s Tate and Violet pairing were treated to the implied romp that Kyle (Evan Peters) enjoyed with Zoe and Madison had in the previous episode. This week, Zoe and Kyle share some endearing moments as she tries to reanimate Kyle’s mind. He tries to kiss her and she resists. Then Madison sweeps into the room and plants her own kiss smack on Kyle’s lips, promising more fun later.
Zoe is visibly bothered by this, but, she’s trying to stay focused on protecting the coven. Later, she’s spooked by the shooting and runs to Kyle for comfort. He tells her he loves her. It’s a very sweet and tender moment when Zoe tells Kyle she loves him too.
A cry of relief had to go up among diehard Violet and Tate fans who have been longing for Zoe and Kyle to get together. Evan Peters and Taissa Farmiga continue to deliver sizzling hot chemistry as they portray another tortured couple who is wrought with all kinds of trouble. Will Kyle and Zoe keep each other safe?
Unfortunately, Madison is lurking outside the door of the room and overhears their earnest declaration. She’s obviously not happy with it. Is Madison going to drive a wedge between Zoe and Kyle? We’ve seen the kind of destruction Madison doles out if she’s provoked. And, these girls are certainly not that loyal to one another. We can’t help but wonder if poor Kyle will eventually be fated to die another death.
Fiona’s Festering Fear
Jessica Lange really shines in this episode as Fiona laments over her cancer and the slow and painful death she’s dying. She’s not ready to give up her power. She’s determined to root out the next Supreme until she’s shocked by Madison and Misty’s return and she falls prey to Cordelia’s scheme to get her mother to kill herself.
She actually swallows the pills Myrtle gives her and prepares to die. (Incidentally, Jessica Lange can really rock a turban!) Then Spalding’s ghost appears and clues Fiona into the fact that she’s being duped by the others. They want her to die so the next Supreme can be revealed.
Sarah Paulson and Jessica Lange share a great scene when Fiona confronts Cordelia about her plot to kill her own mother. Oddly, she praises her for her effort. We know these two are never really going to make amends and we’re still waiting to see if Fiona did indeed blind her own daughter.
More than a fear of dying, Fiona doesn’t want to be weak and ultimately die alone. It’ll be interesting watching how Fiona relates to everyone from here and how they in turn respond to her. Since Fiona ultimately wants to take out her successor to save her own strength, it seems as if the battle being waged against the coven is actually happening on the inside among its members. This may prove to be more catastrophic to the coven’s future than any spell Marie and her voodoo clan can cast.
Next week’s winter cliffhanger episode should hopefully give us some of the answers we seek.
“American Horror Story: Coven” airs on Wednesdays at 10 pm ET on FX.