'American Horror Story: Coven' Recap: Toil and Trouble in the Tribes
'American Horror Story: Coven' Recap: Toil and Trouble in the Tribes
Josie Rhodes Cook
Josie Rhodes Cook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
If you think you've seen all the tricks there are to see on American Horror Story: Coven and the past seasons of the show, tonight's episode, "The Replacements," will be a real treat for you.

American Horror Story: Freak Show is available on Amazon Prime.


Fiona's Former Glory

Fiona struggles with her status as both a witch and as a woman in this episode of American Horror Story: Coven, and she is not willing to give up her superiority in either manner.

In a flashback, we learn that in 1971, Fiona and her mentor, Anna Lee, had an altercation regarding whether Fiona was ready to prove her "mastery of the seven wonders" and take her place as the new Supreme.

Anna Lee told her she was selfish and still a child, not ready to take on the role. In fact, she was determined to never allow Fiona to become the Supreme! But Fiona would have none of that, and she slit Anna Lee's throat and killed her, with the servant Spalding an unwitting witness.

In the present, Spalding is still there, and Fiona makes the comment, "Cat got your tongue?," which he does not reply to. Is it that he doesn't want to, or that he can't?

Later, Fiona goes to a plastic surgeon, desperate to reverse the effects of aging and time on her face. Later in the episode, he tells her that he can't operate on her, and that no surgeon can. Why? Her immune system is in "free fall," he explains, and later in the episode, it is revealed that she has cancer.

We also learn this episode that when a new Supreme is rising up, the old Supreme gets sick and eventually dies as their life force is drained by the newcomer. So who is the new Supreme who is killing Fiona?

The Mystery of Madison

When new neighbors move in next door, Queenie, Madison and Nan take notice. And so do I, for that matter, because the young, male new neighbor they are eyeing is extremely attractive!

Madison and Nan go over later with a cake (Nan's idea) to greet him, and Madison immediately comes on to him. But Luke seems more interested in the cake Nan has brought (his favorite! and she would know, thanks to her powers. Sneaky!), and when Nan tells him Madison is famous, he reveals that he doesn't have TV or internet.

We meet Luke's mother, who is extremely religiously devout, and she and Madison argue about the validity of church. When the woman tells the girls to leave, Madison uses her powers to throw the cake knife towards her and at the wall.

As the girls are leaving, Madison uses a previously unknown ability to light the curtains on fire, which even she was unaware she could do. This incident hints at the fact that a new Supreme is already in their midsts.

Zoe's Folly

Zoe's main storyline in this episode of American Horror Story: Coven revolves around the newly resurrected Kyle. She goes to his mother's house, and learns that when she called to come over, his mother had been about to commit suicide, and the phone call stopped her.

His mother says she wishes she could say goodbye to Kyle, and Zoe tells her that she'll see her son again. "Kyle has not left us," she claims. Little does Kyle's mother know just how literal Zoe is being!

Kyle, meanwhile, is back in Misty's cabin, where the two are listen to Stevie Nicks. She explains that Stevie was at her best with Fleetwood Mac, and states, "You can't be your best self until you find your tribe."

Zoe arrives, and Misty shows her how much Kyle has healed. Much to Misty's dismay, Zoe decides it's time to take Kyle to his mother, but she promises to come back sometime. When they depart, poor, lonely Misty is left all alone in the woods again.

But was it a mistake to bring Kyle back to his mother? After Zoe leaves Kyle there, we learn some pretty disturbing things about their familial relationship. In his room, his mother states that he looks different, and we find out how she would know just what her teenaged son looks like: turns out, she's been sexually abusing him, probably at least since his father left. She kisses him, then begins to molest him as he cries.

Turnabout is Fair Play

Queenie and Madame LaLaurie have very interesting and notable interactions this episode.

But first, in a brilliantly acted scene, LaLaurie watches footage of Obama speaking, and tells Fiona that what he is seeing must be lies. But Fiona assures her that we do indeed have an African American president, as well as many other people of color in leadership roles, much to LaLaurie's horror. I just had to mention this specifically, because I felt like Lange and Bates were stunning in this scene together!

But back to Queenie and LaLaurie. Fiona makes Delphine LaLaurie the new maid, and LaLaurie refuses to serve Queenie during a meal, Fiona decides to instead assign LaLaurie as Queenie's personal "slave." "There's nothing I hate more than a racist," she states, which presents us with yet another layer to Lange's character.

One night after this arrangement is made, Queenie is making Delphine LaLaurie cook her food. Delphine makes a comment about Queenie's weight, and Queenie informs her that her consumption of food is a "comfort" substitute for love. This proves important very soon.

LaLaurie sees a shadow at the window, and it turns out to be the Minotaur she turned her "houseboy" into! She briefly explains what happened with him to Queenie, then begs her to let her hide from him. Queenie cuts her hand and soaks up the blood with a small towel before telling LaLaurie to hide. She then goes outside, bloodied towel in hand.

Outside, the minotaur approaches. Queenie relates to him, saying they both just want to be loved, and in a twist that I never saw coming, starts to pleasure herself in front of him. He goes behind her as she continues masturbating, then violently covers her mouth with his hand. I believe we are to assume that he then has sex with her, and I have to say, bestiality is a whole new level for American Horror Story that I honestly did not expect to see!

Cordelia's Only Hope

In a more brief, but important, appearance, we learn that Cordelia is unable to have children. Distraught, she goes to Marie for assistance, and Marie explains an extremely elaborate and disturbing fertility ritual to her involving a bonfire and her husband's sperm and a sacrificed goat and all sorts of lovely things.

But when Cordelia jumps at the opportunity, Marie laughs in her face. She tells Cordelia she was "born into the wrong tribe," and thanks to her mother's transgressions, Marie refuses to assist her. It's really too bad; Cordelia may have lost her last chance to have a baby, all thanks to her mother's choices!

Kyle's Revenge

Near the end of the episode, Kyle's mother undresses him in his room, where he is rocking back and forth. She begins to abuse him again, but Kyle won't take it any longer. He grabs a trophy and beats his mother to death with it, in true American Horror Story fashion.

Zoe received a call from Kyle's mother prior to her death, and when she arrives at the home, she finds Kyle, absolutely covered in blood, and his mother, dead on the floor with her head completely caved in. Kyle might not have had the chance to fight back in his first life, but in his second, he shows his mother no mercy for her sins.

The New Supreme

After the altercation at the new neighbor's house, the religious woman, Joan Ramsey, visits with Fiona. She brings her a Bible, and tells her about the incident. Fiona doesn't even give her the time of day, and when Madison arrives, Ramsey tells her to stay away from Luke before departing.

Fiona, intrigued by the arson aspect of the incident, asks Madison to light her cigarette, which she does from across the room. This leads to a series of scenes in which Fiona realizes and tells Madison of her potential as the new Supreme, and Madison asks Fiona to teach her. Fiona is obviously unbalanced by the thought of Madison taking her place, and it shows.

After they visit a bar together and Fiona throws the younger witch several jealous gazes, the two go back to the Academy together. Madison is drunk, but Fiona stayed sober, and she confronts the girl. She tells her she is the next Supreme, and that Fiona's time is up.

Fiona's life force, she explains, is literally flowing out of her and into Madison, and it's killing her. Madison offers to find her good doctors, but Fiona will hear none of it. "I was a shitty Supreme," she proclaims, before revealing to Madison that she killed her mentor all those years ago.

And at last, Fiona's scheme comes to light: she asks Madison to kill her, just like she killed Anna Lee in that same room. Madison refuses, but Fiona won't take no for an answer!

Fiona tries to force Madison to take the very same knife she used, but Madison will not, and they struggle before Fiona slices open Madison's neck instead. Madison falls to the floor, dead, and that's the end of the new Supreme.

Be sure to catch the next episode of American Horror Story: Coven, airing Wednesdays at 10:00 PM on FX.

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(Image courtesy of FX)

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