Last night's American Horror Story had all sorts of bitchy witching. So "Witch Up," ladies, and bust out the "We don't have the rights to Quija" board, because it's time to fuck with some ghosts. Probably literally, knowing this show.
Last night's historical witch flashback focused on a coven of suffragettes. And these witches were worried — not because they couldn't vote, but because of an axe murderer called the Axeman, which isn't terrible inspired but that's OK because he was REALLY REAL.
Yes the Axeman (like the characters Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates are both playing) was an actual serial killer in 1919 New Orleans. And as legend has it, he would spare the lives of those who played jazz in their homes. Or at least that's what a lot of the people in town believed (and were encouraged to believe by a collection of letters the Axeman allegedly sent to the press).
This Axeman is played by the pepper-haired Danny Huston, an actor I've always liked for the way he kind of sings his dialogue. So yes casting him as a jazz musician who hacked to death non-jazz fans was a pretty brilliant decision, if not an obvious one. Also new to this cast: a few old victims for the first season of American Horror Story flashbacks and Grace Gummar (Meryl Streep's daughter) as leader of the old-timey witches.
Total honesty, I wasn't into the pre-flapper witches. The whole set up felt forced. Perhaps it's hard to compete with the slow "Age of Aquarius" stair strut flashback from the first season, but I kind of expected more from this talented batch of women in the costume department. That is not to say I am without hope for this time period. I've seen the flapper Supreme witch painting on the walls of the Coven's abode, and I cannot wait for that witch to charleston right on over.
Moving on, yada yada... the girls kill the Axeman, and now he's trapped in the house. This is classic American Horror Story, so if you have a problem with "Boom! New threat!", then you should probably retire from this series. Every week there's some new oddball ghost jumping out of the ground looking for sex. Thankfully (and a BIG thankfully) this show has Jessica Lange to anchor it, and a lot of historical Wikipedia searching to give it a little spice (Hey, at least it's "real").
And the reality only continues on into the present timeline as Fiona QUEEN WITCH goes in for chemotherapy. This is the first time we've seen Fiona act responsible, not just for herself, but for the well-being of her daughter. If you remember Cordelia has been blinded by the most random acid attack ever in a downtown New Orleans bathroom on Halloween night. It was terrifying (and apparently not by the hand of Marie Laveau). This attack has left Cordelia reliant on her mother, Fiona who is suddenly attempting to get her shit together and stick around so she can care for her. But not without asking if her hair would fall out first (but we're not holding it against her because Hell, we'd ask the same).
On the more positive side Cordelia's sudden blindness has opened her to new powers. She now has the gift of clairvoyance (or third eye sight — yes the metaphor is not lost on us, American Horror Story). And her new gifts reveal that her husband is a cheating cheater. So she kicks him out.
But my friends, this is American Horror Story — no one just cheats on his wife here. You cheat on your wife with the rotting carcass of a half dead tiger ghost who haunts the aisles of Room & Board. So of course, Cordelia's husband skips over to Marie Laveau's house and is all "whatamIgonnadonow?" AH HA, he's a witch hunter. Sent to kill all the witches by... marrying Cordelia???
This, this seems needlessly complicated. Again, if Marie Laveau wanted to blind someone, as she said, they would be blind. Why is she so bad at killing these witches? Well, that's not entirely true, because Cordelia's husband did kill the redhead girl he was having an affair with, and now I know why. Because apparently he has to have sex with the witches first before shooting them in the ear — but I don't know it's the whole tiger ghost thing again. Plus there is an HOUR of late night cable TV that needs filling and it can't all be gorgeous god's-eye views of this beautiful plantation home. So get thee to the humping.
OK so let's circle around back to the Axeman, who is apparently trapped in the house just for this episode, and not for any of the other ones before it. Zoe is still looking for Madison, so they use a spirit board to find her. Even though Queenie tells Zoe to not fuck with spirits and release them, Zoe goes ahead and tells a spirit she will release them. Then says LOL JUST KIDDING EAT SHIT I'M A TERRIBLE TEENAGER AND MAKE BAD DECISIONS. Which is pretty consistent for her character thus far (ahem, FrankenKyle).
The spirit shows the girls where Madison's body is hidden (which was still just as gross as before) and then Zoe remembers, "oh right Stevie Nicks witch," and heads off to the swamp. There she finds Stevie Witch bathing Kyle (because remember we have space to fill with as much nudity as the censors will allow).
Kyle BREAKS STEVIE. Not Cool, Frankenkyle. This changes the entire demeanor of the swamp witch — she has had it with Zoe's shit. As she should. She no longer wants to be a part of her tribe, BURN. But you know what? She had one thing, and that one thing was twirling to Stevie Nicks, and you robbed her of that. FrankenKyle, you are truly a monster.
But since Swamp Witch is still fairly nice — she agrees to bring Madison back to life. And Madison comes back to life a very Madison like entrance:
Anyone catch her coughing out that cockroach, yeeeach.
So Madison is back. The Axeman finds his release and heads off to the first local bar, presumably to have sex with Fiona. Because there are only 10 people in all of New Orleans, and that's the way it works. It's ok, we're actually surprisingly happy to have undead Madison back. Which is weird, because I was happy to see her go. Perhaps it was all that horrible defiling of her corpse. Yeah, I think I'm just glad that part is over. Until next week, which maybe will have Patti Lupone on again? Or another cast member they've added? Who knows? You keep on shining, you big weirdo star American Horror Story, keep on shining.