American Horror Story: Coven, Season 3, Ep 01 "Bitchcraft"
“Bitchcraft” is scary, haunting, and chilling sprinkled with a dash of dark humor. This ain’t for the faint of heart or anyone with a weak constitution. American Horror Story: Coven (AHS Coven) comes in with a voracious appetite that will devour you before the end. I’ve been eager for the season to start and it did not leave me disappointed. I’m left wanting…more!
The opening sequence to AHS has always impressed me and AHS Coven provides you with a cornucopia of jarring images. But what delights me the most is the ensemble cast and how well they mesh. The first to appear is Kathy Bates as the domineering and quite unapologetically frightening Madame Delphine LaLaurie. It’s 1834, the city is New Orleans, and Madame LaLaurie is entertaining suitors for her three daughters. Things turn sour quickly when her youngest daughter Marie is found having carnal relations with one of the house slaves known as Bastian. What ensues is brutal and downright macabre—fast forward to Madame LaLaurie’s dungeon, of sorts, where she tortures slaves for her own amusement. But when she tortures Bastian, she gets a visit from Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett), a voodoo priestess, who comes to avenge her lover.
Bates is nothing short of brilliant in her portrayal of a most vile woman. The look on her face as she brushes on blood – yes, blood – is intimidating. And her not-so-sweet reminiscing about stories her father told her about mythology only insight a dark and twisted mind for inventing new ways to torture her “pets” as she calls them. The gutted, still bleeding bull’s head she puts onto Bastian is quite revolting. The gleam in her eye at having her very own “minotaur” of sorts is chilling.
I think there may be more to her daughter known as Borquita (Jennifer Lynn Warren) since Madame LaLaurie mentions she was conceived during a previous marriage. Borquita is an exotic pet name and her job is to obtain her mother’s fresh blood supply.
Throughout “Bitchcraft,” we are introduced to more characters and pieces of history tying the happenings of 1834 in Madame LaLaurie’s home to present day. We find a school for gifted young women who are actually witches. It seems witches are “a dying breed” and are in jeopardy of becoming extinct. While head mistress of Miss Robichaux’s Academy Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson) does her best to help the four young witches, Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), Nan (Jamie Brewer), Madison (Emma Roberts) and newcomer Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) learn how to use and control their various abilities, the Supreme witch Fiona (Jessica Lange) returns to take over. Did I mention Fiona is Cordelia’s overbearing mother? Yeah, to say these two are at odds is an understatement. Fiona says, “When are you going to die and stop ruining my life?” Ouch.
As the young witches get to know each other, it’s Madison who gets in way over her head at a local frat party. I won’t say anymore because you have to watch and see what happens and what she does to retaliate. I guess being a witch does have perks but I wouldn’t toy with this gaggle of witches.
Nan’s clairvoyant abilities may prove prophetic. I’m only grasping straws, but I think what Nan sees or senses when she goes on the tour of Madam LaLaurie’s former residence will yield something valuable for Fiona. As for Queenie, I’m not sure I’d want to be a “human voodoo doll” but it seems whatever she inflicts upon herself can and most likely will be directed toward the person she’s looking at without causing her any physical pain. Like how she stabs herself with a fork but it’s Madison who writhes in pain. But the plat de résistance is poor Zoe’s gift; if that’s what you want to call it. Her vagina is literally a death trap. Those who enter…die.
As I said, “Bitchcraft” is no-holds barred with quite the unexpected ending. I wonder if the potion Marie Laveau gives to Madam LaLaurie is supposed to kill her or if entombing the wicked woman (“in whatever” if she’s entombed in something. I’m guessing she’s not just left lying in bed, right?) for nearly two centuries is her actual intention? Needless to say, the Supreme has business with Madame LaLaurie but I’m not sure if Marie Laveau will be pleased about the early resurrection.
I’ve been to New Orleans and the air is thick with mystery. I love that AHS Coven filmed on location using the natural and wondrous resources that only New Orleans could provide.
Tune in to American Horror Story: Coven Wednesdays at 10PM E/P only on FX.