‘American Horror Story: Coven’ recap, Season 3, Episode 5, ‘Burn, Witch, Burn’

american horror story coven
Nan (Jamie Brewer), Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) and Zoey (Taissa Farmiga) were in for a show.
Credit: FX
If only most Halloweens ended up at Delphine LaLaurie’s (Kathy Bates) house in New Orleans, circa 1833, with frilly gowns and Venetian masks. Instead, they usually end up in front of the TV with a side of pizza, or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, Delphine decides to test her the suitor of her eldest daughter, maybe her name is Juaquita? I don’t know. She hands him a bowl of something and tells him to stick his hands in and he comments on how long it must have taken her to peel those grapes, which means people have been doing the ol’ peeled grapes and eyeball switcheroo for almost 200 years! But this time they’re actually eyeballs, and then Delphine takes the man to the intestines bowl and that’s enough to send him right back to OKCupid to check his Quiver matches.

The LaLaurie daughters are not to keen on their mother’s ball-busting ways and talk about killing her. Delphine finds out and throws them all into the torture chamber, next to slaves with sewed up lips and bulls heads. She tells her slaves to go ahead and break one of her daughter’s legs. Delphine promises her eldest daughter that as a special treat, on Christmas she’s going to stuff her mouth with some grade-A fecal matter. No wonder Delphine’s so scared when her zombie daughters rise from the dead and try to bust into Miss Robichaux’s.

Fiona (Jessica Lange) is at the hospital, desperately trying to figure out what’s going on with Delia after the acid attack. She finds out that Delia was splashed with sulphuric acid and she will be blind. Fiona rages against the doctor and suddenly the hospital is looking a lot more like Briarcliff Manor from “American Horror Story: Asylum.” The lights flicker as a patient grabs Fiona and tells her she might as well have been the one to throw acid on Delia’s face

Fiona finds a crying woman who has just given birth to a stillborn. Fiona tries to bring the baby to her mother and coaxes the woman to “tell her you love her more than the whole world.” When the woman finally says it, that blue baby is brought back to life, courtesy of Fiona.

At Miss Robichaux’s, Luke, the neighbor, is the only one who doesn’t get that they are under siege by zombies. He walks out and tries to face them but they ignore him – that is, until Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) springs them into action. They start ripping the throats and guts of unwitting trick-or-treaters, and when he realizes it’s getting bad, he starts to run it – but a zombie catches him and hurts his leg. Nan (Jamie Brewer) runs out and tries to save Luke and they take refuge in a car.

Delphine’s heart overcomes her head and lets in her zombie daughter. They have a real unheart-to-unheart, where Delphine apologizes for being a bad mother in a tearful embrace. Bad move – Delphine’s rotting daughter grabs her throat and then goes after Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) upstairs. Queenie uses all of her human voodoo doll magic to ward off the zombie, but it doesn’t work. Miraculously, Delphine reappears with a fireplace poker and ends her daughter’s un-life. I think this means Delphine is really immortal.

Just as things start looking very bad for Nan and Luke, Zoey (Taissa Farmiga) comes to the rescue with a giant chainsaw and starts tearing through the zombies herself – heads and limbs flying everywhere. She even splits one right down the middle, King Solomon style. As my roommate said: “I didn’t think she had it in her.”

Things get hairy when the chainsaw runs out of power and Zoey is going head-to-head with one last zombie. But she holds out her hand and utters a short spell, and back in the Ninth Ward, Marie falls out of her trance and the zombie comes crashing down as well. She shakes her head. “I don’t know what that was, but they got some real power in that witch house,” she says. Could Zoey be the next supreme?

At the hospital, Hank comes to see Delia (Sarah Paulson) and gets into a screaming match with Fiona, during which Fiona tells him he’s one step up from “the men who stand in front of Home Depot.” Who are the men who stand in front of Home Depot? Is she referring to greeters at Home Depot? Black market deliverymen? Undocumented workers eager to build your stuff? I’m so curious.

Hank reaches out to touch the now-blind Delia’s hand and suddenly Delia is overwhelmed with mental imagery: She sees Hank’s entire “business trip” and all of the extramarital fun he got to have.

Fiona and Delphine bond over being bad mothers as they watch the zombie bodies burn, but Fiona’s world is rocked again when the Witch Council returns and asks her to abdicate her title as supreme because of Madison’s “disappearance” and Delia’s accident, among other incidents. Fiona gives Myrtle Snow a look that could kill and accuses her of throwing acid on Delia’s face. Then she shows the remaining councilors photos of Myrtle’s wall, which is covered in X-ed out photos of Fiona. “Did you think by destroying my daughter, you could destroy me?” asks Fiona in an impassioned speech. Even more damning is when she makes Myrtle take off her glove and reveal her acid-soaked hand. It’s pretty cut and dry, then: The other councilors say, “Burn the witch.”

The witches walk in slow-mo to a blaxploitation-style soundtrack. Only noble Myrtle wears white as they tie her to the stake and pour gasoline on her. The girls are nervous and uncomfortable, but Fiona’s cool as a cucumber in her sunglasses, holding her cigarette. Myrtle says her last words: “You’re all a bunch of toads in a pot Fiona is slowly is bringing to a boil.” Fiona flicks her cigarette at her and she’s toast.

Later, at Miss Robichaux’s, Queenie stops by Fiona’s room and asks her if she helped Fiona frame an innocent woman. Fiona had Queenie, human voodoo doll, dip her hand into a cup of acid. Fiona hems and haws, “None of us are innocent,” she says vaguely. Queenie isn’t sure she can live with a burned witch on her acid-soaked hand, but things are smoothed over when Fiona brings out the sweet talk and suggests that Queenie may be the next supreme. “Why not? Queenie muses.

Back in Spalding’s neat, doll-lined chamber, he opens a stinky trunk with Madison’s (Emma Roberts) decomposed body inside, fully done up in Victorian lace. He tries to pick her up but her arm falls apart: Cue Doll Parts by Courtney Love (I wish).

Things aren’t over at Myrtle’s stake. A couple of wolves or dogs are sniffing around when Misty Day shows up in a blue Free People fringed shawl and delicately holds Myrtle’s red, crispy face up. Myrtle’s eyes open wide.


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