Thursday, November 14, 2013

American Horror Story: Coven - 3x06 The Axeman Cometh

By s. Thursday, November 14, 2013
This week's Coven brought in quite the cinematic episode. It was very focused and almost felt like a separate movie, with few scenes connected to the main story line. We open in 1919 where we meet the Axeman (Danny Huston) - New Orleans's equivalent of the Zodiac killer. The Axeman killed 8 people and wrote to the newspaper that he won't kill anyone who has jazz music playing in their house.

At this time the girls in witches school decide to do something about this guy. They lure him in by playing opera music instead of jazz and they all stab him to death. That was a pretty cool sequence and probably the longest cold open the show had so far.
Back in present day Zoe is going through Madison's things, still wondering what happened to her. She accidentally finds Ouija board and some old photographs of girls who attended the school. Zoe gathers Nan and Queenie and tells them it seems the witches numbers are decreasing each year. Zoe thinks they gotta stick together to survive. They all drink absinthe to it.

Then Zoe and the girls use Ouija board to find out what happened to Madison. Instead they contact the Axeman, whose spirit is now trapped in the Academy. Queenie freaks out and stops Zoe from proceeding any further.
Meanwhile Fiona is undergoing chemotherapy. Suddenly she starts hearing people's thoughts - a new gift she didn't have before. I'm not sure what the hell is the point of this - after all the Supreme's powers are supposed to be decreasing. I'm hoping there is point to this and not some random thing Murphy threw at us.

Blinded Cordelia comes home, accompanied by her husband and Fiona. When Hank touches her hand she catches glimpses of him and Kaylee again and she throws him out, to Fiona's delight. When she touches Fiona she sees Myrtle burning. Fiona tells her Myrtle threw the acid at her but Cordelia says there is no way it was her.
Zoe, genius that she is, ignores Queenie's warnings and contacts the Axeman again. He tells her that Madison is in the attic after she promises to release his spirit. Zoe comes over to Spalding's sanctuary of creepy and finds Madison's body in the chest.

The girls interrogate Spalding using Nan's mind reading power. He tells them he killed Madison because he wanted to have sex with her dead body. Zoe doesn't believe him. They burn him a little, he passes out and they leave him there.
Meanwhile Myrtle is buried in the ground in Misty's garden. I'm guessing we are going to see her again in few episodes. Kyle comes over all freaked out and Misty gives him a bath. During that Kyle has an incest flashback of his mother and flips out. He destroys Misty's cassette player and she is heartbroken.

Zoe comes over and takes Kyle and Misty with her back to the Academy. She wants Misty to bring back Madison. Misty is reluctant to do so but she ultimately caves in. Rabe was so fantastic in this scene - she is completely unpredictable. At one point I thought she was going to punch Zoe in the face.
Misty puts some mud on Madison's arm which apparently gets the arm attached back to her body. What the hell is in Louisiana mud? Perhaps Fiona who is obsessed with getting old should just bathe in it. Anyways Zoe and Misty bring Madison's back. Her first words after couching up some blood and a cockroach are that she needs a cigarette.

Misty takes some food from the house with her. Zoe invites her to stay but Misty says there are some bad vibes in this house. No shit. Multiple murders, doll show in the attic, Spalding in his crazy outfits...I'd be out of there too.
The girls gather around Madison and ask her what she remembers.She knows who she is and that's something is off. As for the last thing she remembers she says 'red' (Fiona's dress). Judging from next week's promo Cordelia will find out Fiona killed Madison.

The girls decide to keep Madison being back a secret - can I just say again Fiona and Cordelia are so fucking clueless it's almost unbelievable - they have Minotaurs, dead people, zombies and trapped spirits around and they know nothing. Oh and Hank is a witch hunter. You would think his mother in law, the Supreme, would figure it out.
The way we find out about Hank is when he visits Marie Laveau. Apparently she gave him the task of killing all the Salem witches descendants. We get a flashback of Kaylee visiting the Academy and talking with Cordelia. Apparently Kaylee has a gift of pyrokinesis - when her fiance tells her he can't marry her, she inadvertently sets him on fire.

It turns out Hank uses Cordelia to find those witches and kill them. Marie is not impressed and she orders him to bring her the heads of Fiona, Delia and the girls. Bassett was fabulous in that scene. She had some killer lines too - when Hank asks her if she was the one who thrown the acid at Cordelia she says no and adds do I look like the Taliban to you?
Back at the Academy the Axeman talks with Cordelia - he is pissed off Zoe broke her word and didn't release him. Cordelia screams and the girls want to help her. Zoe uses yet another new power to chose exactly the right book with exactly the right spell to free the Axeman. She does that and he walks freely out of the Academy.

The episode ends with sad Fiona having a drink at the bar. There the Axeman sits next to her and after he calls her a pretty lady Fiona smiles at him.
I really liked this episode even though Kathy Bates wasn't in it. I must say I'm kinda shocked Murphy is not getting more heat for what he is doing this season - giving Madame LaLaurie, a psychopathic killer tons of scenes where she gets to be on the path to redemption and giving Marie Laveau, a person considered to be a saint by many, plot like the one where she tries to kill all the witches. I'm not very comfortable with this, but the actresses are making it work.

Anyways, it's great to see Zoe gaining confidence, though she is still doing stupid things. I'm also wondering what will become of Myrtle, Kyle and Madison - there need to be some consequences to them being brought back by Misty.
The relationship between Fiona and the Axeman is shaping up to be pretty interesting. As for Hank I sincerely hope either Marie or Cordelia will kill him soon because he is dumber than Zoe. Interesting thing I noticed was when Cordelia was touching Nan's face and she didn't have any visions - did Murphy forget Cordelia can do that now or is Nan blocking Cordelia's power?

Murphy announced Stevie Nicks will appear on the show in episode 10 which they are shooting in 2 days. This is very cool, but I still hope they will focus more on the actual story and not the additional attractions. I hope they will make the Supreme mystery reveal shocking and unexpected.

Next week Cordelia starts to see the whole truth and Queenie meets with Marie Laveau.


  1. I found this week's episode to be a little weak. I'm not that interested in the Axeman plot, but I'm hoping it will lead somewhere interesting. I'm actually really happy Madison is back, I weirdly missed her. Next week looks terrific though! Can't wait.

    "The girls decide to keep Madison being back a secret - can I just say again Fiona and Cordelia are so fucking clueless it's almost unbelievable - they have Minotaurs, dead people, zombies and trapped spirits around and they know nothing. Oh and Hank is a witch hunter. You would think his mother in law, the Supreme, would figure it out."

    Completely agree. You'd think someone so powerful as a supreme would realise someone she killed is back in the house - alive!

    Great write-up! Looking forward to next week.

    1. I'm still a bit unclear on what Supreme can actually do, but I'm sure Ryan Murphy doesn't know much more than the viewers :P

  2. I really enjoy Basset, she has badass lines and I like her more and more, although wanting to kill innocent witches is not very nice of her.
    Episode 7 is probably going to be pretty cool and in ep. 8 Cordelia will likely be the villain until the end of the season.
    Great review Sati!

    1. I really cannot wait for Cordelia to become the villain! Paulson will get to play something new on the show.

      Thank you!