American Horror Story: Coven ‘Burn Witch Burn!’ Recap – 03.05

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The Breakdown

Boy PartsThis week’s prologue, so to speak, demonstrated more of Daphne’s sadistic carnage. The year is 1844, and she’s punishing her daughters for conspiring against her and plotting their mother’s murder. First, she totally embarrasses them by making one’s boyfriend touch eyeballs and guts. Then she imprisons her daughters in the attic-of-horror and promises to torture them in unspeakable ways.

Cut to present day, and those girls have come back for revenge… as corpses. It’s kind of hard to feel bad for Daphne, but is there any worse fate than being attacked by your decomposed loved ones? ‘Tis the nature of zombies I guess.

But the school is under attack and everyone is in danger of being killed by Laveau’s cursed living dead. Queenie tries to voodoo harm herself to keep them at bay. Daphne stabs her daughter zombie and says, “It was the only kindness I ever did for her.” Nan tries to drive off in the car with the hottie. The zombies, like all zombies, are seemingly impenetrable and undefeatable.

Burn, Witch, BurnBut then Zoey busts out a chainsaw and saves Nan and the hottie dude neighbor. It looks like she’s about to be a goner to some hideous zombie when she extends her hand and busts out some seriously strong magic. Whoa. As mentioned last episode, Laveau is controlling the zombie while levitating in the air during the curse. The zombie is thrown back, Laveau falls to the ground, and subsequently all the zombies are defeated! Laveau is rattled, and tells her assistant: “There is some real power in that house.”

Hate to say it, but I called this weeks ago. Zoey is the Supreme! Duh. She’s the main character after all.

Meanwhile, Fiona waits in the hospital, devastated, for news about her poor daughter. Sure enough, she is blinded, her optic nerves severed. Fiona is inconsolable. She wanders the hospital in a horrible grief-driven stupor, heads to the medicine room, and takes a boat load of pills/ She chases them with some liquor.

Burn, Witch, BurnThen she sways about in the hallway, and comes to a random hospital room where a young woman sobs in bed. Her baby has just died, you see, and Fiona forces her to hold the dead infant in her arms and promise it that she will be her mother until the day she dies. Suddenly, we see that Fiona has brought the baby back to life! The mother weeps in joy. Another one of Fiona powers, it seems, is bringing the dead to life, one that demonstrably does good. This scene is immensely moving to say the least, and so unlike the character, that we are completely taken aback. In Fiona’s grief, she actually looks outside herself to help another. Or maybe, to quote my friend, Fiona likely just did this good deed because “she was wasted”. Lol. But it says a lot about the ongoing rivalry between her and Laveau. Namely, Laveua has brought back the dead in a ghastly, inhuman way, involving sacrificing animals and levitation. And Fiona does it in a beautiful way, with a simple hand on the head. So who is more powerful after all?

Fiona is in trouble, however. The Council, headed by Myrtle, believes Fiona has committed the murder of another witch, a crime punishable by burning at the stake. But Fiona turns it around and proves that Myrtle was the one who threw acid at Cordelia. Myrtle even has the acid burns on her hand to prove it. Myrtle admits to this, and bravely faces death. She is burned in a most horrible fashion, with the girls present to witness. The scene isn’t pretty. This is American Horror Story after all. Zoey especially seems bothered by it. For the last three episodes she has remained on the back burner (no pun intended). One must wonder what effect this demonstration has on the powerful and impressionable young girl.

Burn, Witch, BurnTurns out she used Queenie’s “human voodoo doll” powers to burn Myrtle’s hand. It was all a ruse by Fiona to implicate Myrtle (who actually did commit the act). But now that Myrtle is dead, burned for all to see, Queenie not only feels regretful but claims that she can’t get Myrtle’s death out of her head. Poor Queenie. We feel her pain. Is it just me, or is Gabourey Sadibe’s role one of the most poignant of the show?

At the end, guess who comes back? It’s Misty Day! And perhaps reliving some of her painful witch-burning experience of her own, she seems to feel pity for the charred Myrtle, and brings her to life.

Cut to credits. Why you may ask, is Myrtle revived? How is this show able to move so quickly, cover so many plots and character archs, maintain the suspense and high quality production, and still scare the living shit out of us on a weekly basis?

The answers to these questions and more, in next week’s recap!

 

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About the Author

Patricia Marquez
is a writer and film enthusiast newly relocated from Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, her work has been published in Pacifica Literary Review and the York University Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. A horror buff at heart, she now lives in Austin, Texas with her demon cat named Pim.
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