‘American Horror Story: Coven’ recap: Season 3, Episode 3, ‘The Replacements’
We open this episode of American Horror Story with Fiona (Jessica Lange) waking up in bed at Miss Robichaux’s, and the lady has seen better days. She’s looking haggard and dirty – you can practically smell the cigarette smoke in those blond highlights – as she drags herself downstairs for a morning glass of whiskey from her crystal decanter. She has a flashback to the same room in 1971 and we see a 20-something Fiona chatting away with her predecessor, Anna Lee. “How did you know you were the next supreme?” asks a cunning, young Fiona. Anna Lee answers that it was unanimously proclaimed, but Fiona presses and asks but when did YOU know? Anna Lee tells Fiona only mastering the seven wonders can make you a supreme (we don’t learn what these seven wonders are) and Fiona proclaims that she is ready. Anna Lee says she still has a lot to learn but Fiona slithers around. “When the new supreme starts to flower, the old supreme begins to fade. You’ve been fading, Anna Lee.” She points out Anna Lee’s diabetes, heart trouble and liver failure and Anna Lee slaps the insolent child. But as we know, Fiona will cut a b—tch and she slits Anna Lee’s throat after promising her she’ll see her in hell. As Anna Lee crumbles to the floor, Fiona looks up to see the butler watching her. We flash forward to 2013 and the butler is standing in the same spot and Fiona gazes at Anna Lee’s portrait in the parlor.
Next we see present-day Fiona (Jessica Lange) stirring a martini at a bar where apparently Carrot Top works as a musician (not really). She looks like a grandma babysitting the kids but we hear her soliloquy about how men naturally come to her and life is a dance, just a graceful dance, dah-ling. And yet, no one is looking at her. “All this time, I never suspected the night would come when the dance would end,” she thinks.
Fiona decides to take things into her own hands, or rather a plastic surgeon’s, as she sits in the strangest plastic surgery consultation room ever. And I thought Ryan Murphy was responsible for Nip/Tuck! Who designed this office, Teresa Giudice? What’s with the baroque furniture? In classic Fiona style, she tells the doctor not to make her look like a “goddamn tramp.”
Now we’re in a house where a greasy-haired lady is taking a hit from the peace pipe. She offers some to Zoey (Taissa Farmiga) and it is revealed that she is Kyle’s mom (played by Mare Winningham). “He didn’t tell me he had a girl,” she says. The house is weirdly well-kept for a mom with a lip-piercing and greasy hair. She tells Zoey she thinks her phone call was divine intervention: We see a flashback to Kyle’s mother, Alicia, about to hang herself when the phone rings.
The girls are on the balcony of Miss Robichaux’s watching the hot new neighbor move his things in shirtless: Naturally, Madison wants him. His Bible-thumping mother (played by Patti Lupone) tells him to exhibit some modesty.
Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) is upset because someone said that “negro” in the “magic box” is the President of the United States and she’s bawling her eyes out and hissing, “LIEEEES” to Fiona. Fiona decides to make Delphine the new housemaid so she can blend in, but naturally, Delphine does not want to serve Queenie. Fiona hates racists, and decides to assign Delphine to be Queenie’s (Gabourey Sidibe) personal servant.
Misty Day (Lily Rabe) is singing Stevie Nicks in bed with Kyle (Evan Peters) and babbling on about Fleetwood Mac when Zoey comes in to take him away. Misty is not happy about it. “I healed him. I bathed him and nursed him.” Zoey takes him anyway, while Misty spins around in her Free People shawl to the tunes of Miss Nicks.
Nan (Jamie Brewer) and Madison (Emma Roberts) are at their neighbor’s house bringing a “welcome to the neighborhood” butter cake and Madison’s throwing a hissy fit because Luke doesn’t know or care who she is. Madison is wearing another one of her bandage dresses. Luke’s mother, Joan, takes one look at the skintight dress and tells them to leave. She and Madison grapple over the knife for the cake and Madison nearly kills her. Then she does it again as she leaves, lighting the curtains on fire with just her mind.
Delia (Sarah Paulson) is at a fertility clinic and the doctor tells her she has a problem: “You simply can’t have a baby.” But Fiona’s worse off back at the plastic surgeon’s office: “Your blood work is alarming and your immune seems to be in some kind of free fall.”
Kyle is back at his mother’s house and he doesn’t look happy to be home.
Joan walks into the living room to have a chat with Fiona, when Fiona tells her that Bible-thumpers are “the biggest perverts of all” and says Madison needs to work on her aim when it comes to cake-cutting knives. Joan mentions the fire and you see Fiona’s face change and we know: Madison is the next supreme. Fiona calls Madison into the parlor later to light her cigarette. Madison does it without lifting a finger.
Kyle is still not talking back at his house and his mother asks him why his body seems different. She comes to his bed and starts kissing him and we know now why Kyle didn’t want to be at home. He starts crying in his bed and for the first time, we feel really sorry for an undead.
Delia is looking for Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) at her ninth ward hair salon. She finds her resting her feet on a giant skull, playing solitaire on her iPad in a back room. She asks her for a baby potion and Marie Laveau explains the whole macabre process that includes goat sacrifices and hot peppers and $50,000 in cash. Delia agrees and Marie starts to cackle. “I ain’t gonna do it for you. You the daughter of my sworn enemy,” she says. She also mentions to Delia that Fiona paid her a visit and messed with the “wrong witch.”
Madison and Fiona are getting lunch at a nice outdoor cafe, sipping on mimosas. The scene is preposterous because we know Madison would never be eating waffles. Madison is sighing about her Dina Lohan-esque mom who uses her for money and snorts her coke. Fiona tells her she wasn’t such a great mom herself, but she wants to teach a young witch. That’s great, because Madison wants to learn.
Queenie asks Delphine to make her chicken pot pie and a peach cobbler. Delphine retorts, “You ain’t never gonna catch a man that way. Peach cobbler won’t keep you warm at night,” but I don’t believe that because a new study shows that pizza is the boyfriend of 30 percent of millennials today.
Delphine starts to freak out because the minotaur from her dungeon is back and he’s lurking at the door. Queenie says she’ll handle it and draws Delphine’s blood on a towel and takes it outside … to seduce the beast? “Don’t you want to love me?” she pleads. He certainly looks horny, har har, and he grabs her mouth and we’re left with a cliffhanger outside Miss Robichaux’s.
Back at Kyle’s, his mom is talking to him and making excuses for the incest. “I never meant for it to go so far,” she says, and she adds that she wants him to move on with his life. But then she seems to change her mind and starts kissing him again. “Mom knows how to please you,” she groans, taking this AHS to new heights of ickiness. But Kyle grabs a trophy and bashes her head in.
Madison and Fiona are at a pool hall – Madison in yet another bandage dress – laughing the night away. Fiona looks at Madison and sees her own face on that eenie weenie body. The men are falling over themselves with Madison and Fiona is clearly seeing red in her own crimson dress.
Meanwhile, Zoey comes back to Kyle’s house where she finds a dead Alicia and a blood-spattered Kyle.
Fiona and Madison return to Miss Robichaux’s where Fiona is showing Madison the portraits of the former supremes. “Get your portrait while you’re young,” she says. She points toward where her own portrait will go and where Madison’s will go. Madison still doesn’t get it until Fiona tells her she’s the next supreme. She asks Madison if her powers have been growing, and Madison excitedly responds, “Yeah, like crazy!” Fiona explains that she’s the source of Madison’s growth and reveals to her that she has cancer. Madison sweetly offers to put her in touch with Hollywood’s best oncologists but Fiona laughs off the suggestion. She doesn’t want to leave this life “bald and shriveled.”
Fiona explains that she was not a great supreme and used her power just for herself, “I dressed it up in Chanel,” she says dryly. Then she tells Madison she killed Anna Lee and asks her to pay it forward. But sweet Madison won’t go there and they struggle while Fiona “tries” to force Madison to kill her. Instead, Fiona “accidentally” kills Madison. What did Miss Scarlett use to kill little Madison in the parlor? The same knife she used to kill Anna Lee. The butler is lurking of course, and they share a little smile, which makes me wonder if Delphine’s daughter wasn’t the only one sleeping with the help. Fiona tells her to “bury her deep” because God knows what Madison’s body will do to the lawn. She quips, “This coven doesn’t need a new supreme. It needs a new rug.”