American Horror Story Recap
Season Premiere Recap
After waiting nine months for television’s most creative and crazy show to return, we are already promised an equally as intense or maybe even more so season this year with the latest chapter in the American Horror Story; Coven.
The episode opens in 1834 and immediately introduces New Orleans own high class socialite Madame Delphine La Laurie at one her posh dinner parties as she introduces her three daughter whom she promises what they lack in outer beauty they make up for on the inside. And even though LaLaurie is showing her daughters to a group of handsome presumably rich suitors, one of her daughter’s has her own plans. After the party is over and the guests have left, LaLaurie retires to her boudoir where she applies a nice coat of slave’s blood to her face to liven up her skin and make her look younger, but she claims that this blood is not fresh, which begs the question, how is it that she has fresh blood at her disposal? All in good time fellow viewers.
Her pampering is cut short by one of her servants fetching her about something that has just happened down stairs. One of her daughters, the particularly vivacious one, has come on to one of the servants and the two were caught in the act. Of course the house boy is to blame and is sent quickly to LaLaurie’s attic slave dungeon. We are treated to some unappealing shots of a man who has had all of his facial features sewn shut who LaLaurie then taunts by stating if he continues to make noise she’ll rip his mouth open and shove even more shit inside. Another victim has had most of the skin peeled or burned off of her face and maggots are now feasting to no end. But whats in store for LaLaurie’s daughter’s houseboy lover is far more… creative as one might say. After he is restrained, LaLaurie is handed a hollowed out bull’s head which is then placed on the houseboy and, one can only guess, through the powers of New Orleans witchcraft/voodoo will end up transforming the houseboy into, you guessed it, an actual minotaur (like the one seen in one of the many teaser trailers for Coven.
And that is only the segment of the episode before the opening credits (which, keeping with the trend of the last two seasons, are sufficiently disturbing and full of hints to the content of the season). For the rest of the extended premiere (the episode ran until 11:12 PM EST) we are treated to introductions of every main character and given several hints as to what each person may or may not be capable of. First we meet Zoe (played by season one veteran Taissa Farmiga) who is wisking a boy up to her room (reminding us about American Horror Story’s other favorite topic besides wicked gore; sex). He tells her he does not want to hurt her seeing how she is a virgin, but the two continue on anyway. That is until he begins to bleed from every opening on his head and begins shaking and convulsing violently until he eventually just… stops. She is then told by her mother that their family has had several generations of witches, but that is skipped her mothers generation, and then Zoe is whisked off by three men in black suits and sunglasses to New Orleans to attend Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, with the assistance of one Myrtle Snow played by Frances Conroy (who was previously rumored to be named Ruth), but no sooner than they arrive at Robichaux’s black looming gates, does Myrtle and the men in suits disappear in the breeze.
Upon entering the school, Zoe is pranked rather cruelly by the other three students already enrolled in the academy. Madison Montgomery (played by Emma Roberts) a troubled teen movie star who is, in the shows most controversial scene, gang raped and videotaped by several frat boys from a local university (including a rumored recurring character played by actor Grey Damon). But, fortunately, with the help of her powers, Madison overturns the fraternity bus as the players drive away in escape. However, in my opinion, the two most interesting students are Precious’ Gabourey Sidibe playing Queenie a “human voodoo doll” and season one fan favorite Jamie Brewer returning as Nan, a clairvoyent who uncovers the whereabouts of one of the season’s main character’s late in the episode.
Sarah Paulson makes her formal introduction as the kind hearted and potion concocting headmistress of Miss Robichaux’ Cordelia Foxx. She teaches the girls how to control their powers so they can function normally in society, but when her mother, the all powerful supreme witch Fiona Goode (played masterfully by AHS queen Jessica Lange), finally returns upon hearing the news that a witch (Lily Rabe, back also from the past two seasons) was recently burned at the stake for being accused of necromancy. She takes the students under her wing and decides that what the witches need to do isnt to suppres their powers, but learn how to fight with their powers. For when witches do not fight, they burn.
Right before the end of the episode, we flash back to the 1830s and are introduced to Angela Bassett’s portrayal of the real life voodoo queen Marie Laveau. She arrives at LaLaurie’s house promising a love potion to cure LaLaurie’s husbands… escapades. But what she actually receives is a fatal poison that kills her instantly (or does it?). For the servant that was captured and tortured at the beginning of the episode was Laveau’s lover, and now she has exacted her revenge. We don’t get much of Ms. Bassett’s performance, but what we do get is a promising look at what is to come.
So there it is, witches, bitches, lovers, mothers, daughters, minotaurs and human voodoo dolls. Just when we thought the creative minds of creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck could not get more bizarre they throw Coven into the mix, and it is every bit as brilliant and wonderfully disturbing as the past two seasons. Here is to another round of restless weekends and weekdays as we wait, rather impatiently, for Wednesday nights yet again.