'American Horror Story: Coven' Recap: Hell is Other People
'American Horror Story: Coven' Recap: Hell is Other People
Josie Rhodes Cook
Josie Rhodes Cook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
In tonight's episode of American Horror Story: Coven, a few familiar faces return to the show, and a few unfamiliar powers manifest for a couple of the young witches, just in time for next week's finale.

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


The episode opens in the style of an old black and white silent film set to music. The "film" switches between scenes depicting witches displaying the different powers included in the Seven Wonders, and screens with info on the name of the power or a description of the name is unclear.

In case you're curious, the Seven Wonders include the following: Telekinesis, Concilium, Transmutation, Divination, Vitalum Vitalis, Descensum, and Pyrokinesis. Supposedly, if a witch can perform each of the Wonders, she is the next Supreme. 

We then switch over to Fiona explaining all of this to Queenie, but Queenie sees straight through her B.S.; if the girls perform the Seven Wonders, then Fiona will know who the next Supreme is and kill the girl, duh. Fiona gets pissed about Queenie disrespecting her and threatens her by hurting her, which, what else is new, then decides the girls will perform the Wonders that Saturday or die trying. 

I have to say, I thought the tactic of using the "film" to describe the Seven Wonders was incredibly well-done. And much more fun than having one of the characters stand around and monologue about the Wonders instead. 

Queenie's Hell

Cordelia goes to Madison to try to touch her and "see" things through that touch, and at first Madison is reluctant thanks to her shady dealings with the other witches in the past (Misty, anyone?). But when Cordelia touches Madison, Delia doesn't see anything. So maybe stabbing her own eyes out was not the best plan she's ever had. 

Meanwhile, Queenie finds blood in the greenhouse and connects it to Marie's disappearance, so she decides to get some answers from a source without connection to the coven: Papa Legba himself. She performs some sort of ritual to talk to him, and ends up sending herself to her "Hell." It turns out to be a time before she was in the coven, when she worked at a chicken restaurant called Chubbie's, and damn, I do not blame her.

For immortals, like Marie, he explains, Hell is on Earth. He's not totally clear on answers for her, though we know from past scenes that he never is, and he tells her she had better wake up before she gets stuck there. When she does, Queenie says that since Marie is now chopped up and unable to perform tasks for him to hold onto her immortality, their contract is in breach. He tells her she's crafty; about time Queenie gets a bit of praise!

LaLaurie's End?

Elsewhere, Madame LaLaurie has taken it upon herself to give tours in her old home, to try to focus more on the things she feels people should know about her and not on that pesky torturing business she got up to. Go figure. She is apparently doing this because when she was given the tour, the guide talked about the terrible stuff she did, like killing her slaves, and she was not pleased.

So what did she do to end up as the guide herself? Why, she bludgeoned the old tour guide and locked her up in the attic, of course! When Queenie shows up, she tries to convince LaLaurie one last time to do something like volunteer for the descendants of slaves to gain repentance, but LaLaurie calls out public figures who have faked apology and refuses to apologize herself. 

So Queenie goes ahead and stabs her, and...she dies? I think? I believe it has to do with Marie's deal with Papa Legba falling through, but I'm not positive. Anyway, it looks like Delphine is gone - for now.

What Did Cordelia See?

Fiona gets her portrait done to hang in the Academy, and confronts Cordelia about mutilating herself in her attempt to regain the Sight. Then somehow the whole thing turns into a mother-daughter moment when Fiona gives Cordelia her grandmother's necklace and Cordelia realizes this is her mother essentially saying goodbye. 

But when Fiona puts the necklace on Cordelia, she "sees" what could be the future of the coven: all its residents dead, possibly after the Seven Wonders trial. Everyone except Fiona, at least. 

Cordelia then goes to the Axeman and basically tells him he shouldn't love her mother because he'll get screwed over. Her proof? She "saw" her mother with a boarding pass to leave after the trial but before she is meant to run away with the Axeman, proving that she never meant to go with him in the first place. 

All her mother does is use people, Cordelia explains to her mother's murderous lover, and damn. This whole thing's gotta sting. I think I'd be more sympathetic if he wasn't, you know, a serial killer.

Finding Misty

Cordelia, who sure has a lot to do on this episode of American Horror Story, sets out to find Misty and does so by grasping various articles of the missing witch's clothing and sniffing them. Charming. 

So Queenie and Cordelia go to the grave Misty is entombed in, and Cordelia encourages Queenie to use her powers to break it open and get Misty out. She does, but Misty isn't breathing. Luckily, Queenie uses her nice new power of bringing someone back from the dead to save Misty. Looks like there's plenty of contenders for that new Supreme title after all!

The Return(s)

Myrtle and Madison are chatting it up when Zoe and Kyle walk back into the Academy. If you recall from the previous episode of American Horror Story, Myrtle sent the two lovebirds away to start a new life together. 

Apparently when they got to Florida, a homeless guy pissed Kyle off and he killed him. But the important part of that story is that he didn't stay dead long; Zoe was able to bring him back to life. So she's also racking up those Seven Wonders, and she returned because she believes she is the next Supreme.

Just then Misty, Cordelia and Queenie return, and in possibly the greatest scene this entire episode, Misty lays the smackdown on Madison! For like, a long time before Kyle finally stops the fight. It was pretty great to watch, if you ask me.

Fiona's Finale?

Not long after that confrontation, the Axeman shows up covered in blood and screaming at the group. The witches collectively throw the dude to the floor with their powers, and Cordelia touches the blood on the floor to figure out whose it is.

Turns out, it belongs to Fiona, and in a flashback, we find out just what happened to her. Not long before, Fiona visited her killer lover after he figured out her plans to leave him. He tells her Cordelia paid him a visit, and when she walks into the kitchen, he finds Fiona's notorious ticket out of town, and confronts her with it.

Fiona is flippant with him, telling him he was a distraction and that while she may have loved him, she doesn't know anything about love anyway. She does reassure him that he was good in bed, but that's not enough for the Axeman, who throws her to the bed and attacks her in his anger.

Eventually he does let Fiona up, but he's already made his decision; he kills his witchy love with his axe, and, according to Cordelia, threw her body in the swamp. Where it was eaten by crocodiles. I guess that's one creative way to kick the bucket.

The Axeman's End

Kyle goes to drag the Axeman away to kill him, but Madison steps up to do it instead and chooses his own axe as her weapon. 

Kyle is informed that the ladies of the coven don't need a man to protect them, and they all grab knives and such to join Madison to off the guy. "Nobody messes with our coven!" one of them screams. And with that, we have a fitting second end to the Axeman.

An Eternity Together

In what at first appears to be a flashback, we return to LaLaurie's torture chambers, where the Madame and her daughter Borquita are talking between their cells. Marie shows up, and when Borquita begs for water, the Voodoo mistress instead feeds her her own mother's blood. 

Marie then gets a hot poker and tells LaLaurie she gets to decide whether it goes down her daughter's throat or...up the other end. If you catch my drift. 

But suddenly, Marie seems confused, and questions what she is doing there. Papa Legba shows up and informs Marie that she will continue her torture as he asks. So the whole thing isn't a flashback after all.

He explains to LaLaurie that she has been granted the release she sought, and that her punishment is to live out eternity in his "house," Hell, which just happens to manifest as her own torture chamber. Fitting. 

When Marie argues, saying that they had a contract, he informs her that since she can no longer fulfill it, it's not longer valid. Marie tries to reason with him, saying she's done good things for many people, but he tells her that no one gets away with sin, and to get back to work.

When Marie impales LaLaurie's daughter with the poker in front of her, we catch a glimpse of what eternity will be for these seemingly very different women: one will have to torture people in the very place her loved ones were once tortured, and the other will have to experience that torture personally or through her loved ones. Hell, indeed.

The Test

Back at the Academy, Kyle hangs the portrait of Fiona on the wall. They talk a little about her, saying far kinder things that she deserves like that she was a good Supreme. Cordelia shuts that down quick, though, and says that her mother was an awful Supreme who shirked her responsibilities.

One of the responsibilities she didn't take care of was that of finding her successor, and the task falls to all of them. So the test of the Seven Wonders will take place after all, that Sunday at dawn. The following week, she says, the coven will have their new Supreme.

So who will be the new Supreme after all? Watch the finale of American Horror Story next Wednesday at 10:00 PM on FX, which will hopefully give us that answer.

American Horror Story: Coven airs at Wednesday 10PM on FX.

(Image courtesy of FX)

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