‘American Horror Story: Coven’ recap, Season 3, Episode 4, ‘Fearful Pranks Ensue’

Marie Laveau voodoo
Don’t mess with the Ninth Ward’s most powerful witch, Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett).

Miss Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) can raise the dead, we learn in this episode’s opening scene. The show takes us back to 1961 where we see a group of white men lynch a young black boy. Marie decides to take revenge with a special voodoo spell, drinking fire and slaying snakes, and the undead come a-creepin’ toward a barn where the lynchers are hanging out. Adieu, lynchers! Off they go, in the most violent, macabre way possible.

Flash forward to present day, but flash back just a little bit to when our favorite butler Spalding (Denis O’Hare) discovers Fiona (Jessica Lange) and Madison’s kerfuffle and Fiona accidentally slips her hand … right across Madison’s throat with a knife. Madison (Emma Roberts) crumbles dead to the ground while Fiona brushes herself off.

But the night’s drama is not yet over. She finds Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) outside, barely breathing. She’s saying “it hurt me” while the minotaur lurks right behind Fiona. She and Delia are trying to figure out what to do when Delia tells Fiona she knows she went to Marie Laveau’s. Queenie stops breathing, and Fiona leans over and sucks that illness right out of her, “Green Mile” style. Of all people, Delphine (Kathy Bates) is thankful that Queenie is alive because Queenie’s the one who saved her from the minotaur.

At Marie Laveau’s, a regular customer is getting ready for a Halloween party when Marie receives a mysterious package. Are those hair extensions from India? Nope, it’s a minotaur’s head, writhing and bleeding inside a box.

Kyle is still not OK. He’s banging his head against a bathtub, covered in blood, when Zoe finds him. She fixes him a bowl of food but he’s already gone, lost in a sea of trick-or-treaters outside.

Fiona and Marie, meanwhile, are preparing for a full-on witch fight. Fiona’s getting her hat on, Marie’s getting her chalk on, and starting another voodoo spell and that truce the last supreme Anna Lee signed with Marie is definitely off thanks to one Fiona Goode.

Queenie is gradually coming to when Nan (Jamie Brewer) announces that “they” are here. And “they” are led by the Grace Coddington of the witch world, Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy). Myrtle is significantly less loopy in this episode than when we saw her take Zoe to Miss Robichaux’s, and she and her two cronies mean business.

myrtle snow ahs
Myrtle Snow (center, played by Frances Controy) wants to take down Fiona Goode.
Credit: FX

Nan asked the Council of Witchcraft to come because she suspects Madison is dead: She can’t hear her thoughts anymore. It’s clear from the beginning that Myrtle has it in for Fiona and suspects foul play. The interrogation begins and everyone says that she was pretty much a bratty girl who liked to party. Queenie wonders out loud if she “got wasted and offered the grim reaper a handjob or something.”

But Nan gives the Council an important clue: She mentions the time Madison lit curtains on fire with just her eyes. The Council asks her if anyone else knew about this, and the only person is Fiona.

Myrtle remembers another time the Council came to Miss Robichaux’s: when Anna Lee died. And Myrtle knew then as she knows now that Fiona is a jealous supreme-killer. Fiona is looking very distraught, crying over her missing Anna Lee to the Council of Witchcraft, but she mentions that Anna Lee was going over to Marie Laveau’s in order to shift the blame. Soon, we see Fiona’s rapid rise to becoming the next supreme as a young Myrtle seethes in the background.

Myrtle puts a spell on Fiona’s No. 1 fan, Spalding, so that he cannot lie. She’s sure this is the key to learning the truth about what happened to Anna Lee. But loyal Spalding finds out about the spell, and rather than speak out against the charismatic Fiona Goode, he decides to cut out his tongue instead, right after telling Fiona, “I have always loved you.” If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is. Myrtle is convinced that Fiona cut the tongue out herself.

Myrtle isn’t going to let Fiona off the hook this time and the pressure is on as she interrogates the current supreme. She talks about how Madison was probably the next supreme and Delia finally swoops in and saves her: Madison had a heart murmur, so she couldn’t have been the supreme.

Somewhere far from New Orleans, Delia’s husband Hank is sleeping with another woman whom he met on a Thomas Kinkade forum. The sex is crazed, as are his eyes, and just as she asks him not to break her heart, he pierces it with a bullet.

OK — back to New Orleans. Things are amping up on All Hallows’ Eve as Marie works on her spell. Trick-or-treaters keep coming to the door and Delphine is trying to get away with giving each kid just one piece of candy, while Spalding is also playing dress-up in his creepy butler chamber where he keeps a pristine doll collection. He’s wearing a bonnet and a lacy nightgown and he picks up another dress and takes it to the back. He has a mannequin back there who will be perfect for it: Madison’s dead body.

Fiona and Delia are at a bar and Delia asks Fiona if she killed Madison. Without batting an eyelash, Fiona says no, and then eagerly asks Delia who she thinks the next supreme is. Delia laughs off Fiona’s question and goes to the bathroom and when she comes out, a cloaked avenger throws acid on her face.

Back at Miss Robichaux’s, Delphine has three very special guests: her undead daughters, who are very much looking worse for wear. Delphine is horrified and slams the door but they won’t go away, and what’s worse is that their undead friends are coming by the dozens to join them at the front door of witch school. Marie Laveau doesn’t mess around.



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