“American Horror Story: Coven” returned on Jan. 8 with the game-changing new episode, “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks.”
Season three is quickly winding to a close as Fiona (Jessica Lange) appears to strike a genuine truce with Marie (Angela Bassett). While we’re still waiting to see if this is even possible, Fiona continues to fight her most loathsome and dangerous enemy: Her cancer.
The best scene in the rather heavy episode is when an awestruck Misty (Lily Rabe) faints when Fiona presents her with her idol, Stevie Nicks. Followed, of course, by her revival to hear Stevie sing “Rhiannon."
Fiona is becoming more desperate to expose and take down her successor. She even attempts to sell her soul to the Voodoo devil, Papa Legba, in exchange for immortality. It’s a cruel twist when he tells her they can’t make a deal because she has no soul to sell. Wow, talk about being bad to the bone!
The identity of the next Supreme becomes an even bigger question as one candidate is permanently taken out of the race and another’s fate hangs in the balance. But, is it possible we’re overlooking someone who may have seemed too obvious? Is a new Supreme hiding in plain sight and we've just failed to see her?
An Unlikely Alliance
Love, love, love Jessica Lange and Angela Bassett together on screen! Marie has really reached the end of her rope to seek refuge from her worst enemy. However, it seems great that these two are trying to bury the centuries-old hatchet in a let’s be tolerant of our differences sort of way.
Fiona practically begs Marie for the secret to her immortality. (Doesn't Marie look great for 300 years old?) She tells Fiona about the horrifying deal she made with Papa Legba. She must sacrifice an innocent soul once a year in exchange for eternal life. The pact started with surrendering her newborn baby. How sad!
Angela Bassett does such an incredible job in this entire episode. We can feel Marie’s anguish, anger and despair. Her chants, spells, accent and attitude have really been something to see. But, her tongue-wagging chant in this installment will remain an unforgettable moment etched forever in AHS history.
Speaking of Papa Legba … he just might top last year’s Bloody Face in the creepy villain department. Maybe. (Does anyone else conjure up that Bloody Face mask now and then when it’s really late and dark and you can’t sleep?)
Kudos must go out again to Christien Tinsley, Eryn Krueger Mekash and the brilliant AHS makeup/FX team for all of their stunning work on “Coven.” We've been treated to zombies, charred witches, an acid-soaked Cordelia (Sarah Paulson), dead Madison (Emma Roberts), mutant Kyle (Evan Peters), a man-beast, LaLaurie's (Kathy Bates) decapitated head and body, and now, Papa Legba adds the icing to the “Coven” creepfest cake. Those red eyes! Those gruesome fingernails! He’s just so devilishly delicious!
Poor Fiona, though. You've really hit an all-time moral low when the devil himself discovers you don't have a soul!
We still don’t know if the alliance between Marie and Fiona will stand in the end. And, we don’t know who will ultimately survive. Will the new Supreme arise alone? Or, will she have coven members to govern?
Stevie Nicks Rocks “Rihannon”
If you've had the pleasure of meeting your favorite singer, actor, sports hero or celebrity, then you know how it’s easy to be a little starstruck and tongue-tied. You sort of wonder what to say in that moment and you hope you don’t have food in your teeth, tremble uncontrollably or make some kind of embarrassing outburst. Misty is so shocked to see Stevie Nicks, the object of her affection standing right in front of her, that she faints! Can we blame her?
Lily Rabe has done such a fantastic job this season and has really made the Stevie Nicks-loving storyline such a breath of fun fresh air.
When Misty comes to, she’s treated to the White Witch playing “Rihannon” at her own private coven concert. How sweet is it that Ryan Murphy was able to get Stevie Nicks to come on the show as herself and sing? And, when she gets up to demonstrate the shawl twirl, we all can’t help but cheer for Misty and swoon just a little too.
Goodbye, Misty, Goodbye Nan
“Goodbye Misty, Goodbye Nan, will we ever meet again?” Yes, the episode is Stevie-centric but it’s hard not to hear Supertramp’s catchy little “Goodbye Mary” tune in our head when Madison knocks Misty into the casket and we bid farewell to the cunning and crafty clairvoyant, Nan (Jamie Brewer) at the end of the episode. (Poor girl being drowned – hopefully she’ll find Luke in a better place!)
Of course, on “Coven” just because someone has been killed doesn't mean they’re permanently dead. However, series co-creator Ryan Murphy confirmed Nan is gone for good, along with bleach-drinking Patti LuPone in a Jan. 9 “EW” interview. He also addressed Misty’s fate saying,” Well there’s two things going on with Misty Day. How does one get out of a tomb? Can she get out of it or is she buried alive? We’ll revisit her torment as the clock is ticking.”
Misty survived the stake, it certainly seems like a little old tomb won’t stop her. Shame on Madison! Misty brought her back to life and cured her heart murmur. What kind of thanks is burying her alive?
Misty simply has to make it out! Stevie Nicks is coming back and she needs to reclaim her shawl …
Did We Overlook the Obvious New Supreme?
We've been taken around the block and back trying to figure out who the next Supreme is. Nan is out. Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) has yet to resurface. Madison is definitely gaining a lot of power and Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) has seemed like the strongest candidate for a while; especially since the season started out telling her story. She’s quiet and unassuming and if she is the next Supreme, she’s got an obvious kind streak, which could be a good thing.
On the other hand, Misty survived the stake and can bring dead people back to life.
But, we’re forgetting someone: Cordelia.
Cordelia is Fiona’s daughter, after all, and Fiona is the reigning Supreme. The scenes in which Fiona verbally attacks and berates Cordelia for her relationship with Hank are really heartbreaking. And, the fact that Fiona is so ready and willing to hand her own daughter over to Papa Legba is also terrifying.
Right now, Cordelia feels useless and broken. Her powers are gone. But, what if that’s just temporary? She does have her eyesight back. Her powers could come back with a vengeance, a hundredfold. What about her royal lineage? Could Cordelia shock all of the more probable candidates by emerging as the new Supreme to take her mother's throne?
Ryan Murphy discusses Cordelia’s plight with “EW” saying, “I don’t know that she’s so much lost as she doesn't have a belief in her powers. The question is Can she come into her own? Will she come into her own? It gets much worse before it gets better, in typical fashion. The next episode Sarah had to do one of the most upsetting things she’s ever had to do on the show but it’s great. She’s really desperate to get that power back and what lengths will she go to do it?”
Hmm… What can possibly be more upsetting than “Asylum’s” aversion therapy and being raped by a serial killer who wears a mask made from his victims’ flesh?
Ryan Murphy and company love to deliver some big “American Horror Story” shockers as the end draws near. There are only three more episodes left to get an answer. We’d better brace ourselves.
“American Horror Story: Coven” airs on Wednesdays at 10 pm ET on FX.