“American Horror Story: Coven” returned with the dark and intense new episode “Fearful Pranks Ensue” on Oct.30.
Aptly broadcast to coincide with Halloween, the newest installment brings gore, suspense and plenty of fright. As more backstory unfolds, we also learn things about Fiona (Jessica Lange), Spalding (Denis O’Hare) and Myrtle’s (Frances Conroy) relationship. And, Cordelia’s (Sarah Paulson) husband is hiding a terrible secret.
Perhaps the biggest shocker comes when we find out Madison (Emma Roberts) couldn't have been the next Supreme because she had a heart murmur. Oops, Fiona, you killed an innocent girl! Who is Fiona’s successor, then? Is Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) the next Supreme?
Trouble in Paradise
Poor Cordelia. She’s married to a lying, cheating monster! Josh Hamilton makes the hair stand up on the back of our neck as Hank flips out during sex with his mistress. Then his eyes take on a really dead, sociopathic lilt at the table and we sense this girl’s in big trouble. But, we truly don’t expect him to shoot her. Here are some big questions: Is he an online serial killer? Or, does he lure his women in and kill them for some other reason? What sort of "monster" is he? Is he a male witch or an unknown enemy to his wife and the coven?
The irony of Fiona’s remarks to her daughter, “you can’t see through the lies of your husband,” is so sad. Especially after we see her puking (is Cordelia finally pregnant with her monster husband’s child?). Then she gets acid thrown in her face. Cordelia doesn't seem to deserve these dark and terrible things in her life. How will she cope from here? More importantly, who attacked Cordelia? Was it Marie Laveau or her helpers? Was it Myrtle Snow?
Fiona Faces the Council
Frances Conroy and Jessica Lange have such great onscreen chemistry and their transformation each season speaks to their superb acting skills. Their terse interaction as obvious rivals Myrtle and Fiona is one of the most fun aspects of the storyline this season.
Riley Voelkel and Michelle Page are outstanding as Young Fiona and Young Myrtle in the flashback scenes which AHS is a master at seamlessly weaving into each season’s saga. How shocked are we that Spalding actually cut out his own (enchanted) tongue to protect Fiona? How sad are his final words and declaration of love?
Nan summons the Council because she “can’t hear” Madison anymore and feels she’s dead. Everyone at the school, including Cordelia and Fiona, are interviewed about her disappearance. Isn't Leslie Jordon fantastic as Quentin? It's so great Fiona has “helped” his literary success.
We’re literally on the edge of our seats waiting as Spalding follows Myrtle’s instruction to write the name of the witch that cut out his tongue. Will he give Fiona away? No—he blames Myrtle instead!
Fiona lies her way through the inquisition to save herself from certain death-by-burning. How long can she get away with the lie? She also lies to her daughter. Will anyone figure it out?
It’s such a shame Fiona killed Madison – especially since she isn't even the next Supreme! We know Spalding won’t talk – especially since he has no tongue. Fear not, Emma Roberts fans! Spalding seems to like playing dress up tea party with Madison’s corpse so it seems like Emma is destined to stick around.
World War Z
Christien Tinsley and company are certainly reveling in FX magic this season. We can’t resist the reference to Brad Pitt’s big screen zombie flick, now that Marie Laveau has broken her longstanding truce with the coven and unleashed a horde of voodoo zombies on them. Can the weakened group of girls survive this horrific attack? Fiona is sick. Cordelia may be blind. Madison is dead and Queenie is recovering from her own brutal attack. That leaves Zoe and Nan at full strength. Can they lead the charge against the barrage of monsters?
Overall, this episode is the most intense thus far, as has been the case for all of “American Horror Story’s” Halloween-themed episodes. We are left breathless, with a ton of burning questions about what is yet to come. Is Cordelia in danger from her own husband? Will Marie Laveau succeed at her vengeful attempt to destroy the coven? Will Kyle come to help Zoe and the other girls? More importantly, if Madison isn't the next Supreme, who is? Could kindhearted and naive Zoe be next in line?
“American Horror Story” airs Wednesdays at 10 PM ET on FX.