'American Horror Story: Coven' Recap: The Axeman Cometh
It is New Orleans 1919, and you know it is 1919 because the prostitute sashaying on the corner is dressed old-timey. Also, funny cars. And it looks like we are about to meet a new friend! Hi new friend. What do we call you? “I am what you Orleanians call … the Axeman.” Well howdy-do!
So Axeman is pretty in love with the sound of his own voice explaining how he loves to murder, all the time, and how when he comes again he shall leave other victims. Okay, so dude’s a horrible murderer. Got it. “But I could be much worse if I wanted to.” Well that is very restrained of you! GOOD JOB AXEMAN!
But he is not actually that restrained, because he sends a letter to the editor all like, oh, don’t mind me, if you will all just have a jazz ensemble in full swing in your house, I will not murder you! So that was nice of him. Very fairminded, we are sure! (SIDENOTE! We always thought the only thing wrong with Inglorious Basterds was that the world would never know it was Shoshanna who had
gone back in time and killed Hitler. So we decided, ex post facto, that before her arson/murder, she had sent a letter to the editor detailing the favor to the world she was about to perpetrate. There, didn’t we fix that movie for you? You’re welcome!)
The young ladies of 1919 Miss Robichaux’s Manse for Pretentious Witchypoos are a little on the nose with their “dialogue” as they read the letter to the editor aloud. “Ladies, we are descendants of Salem and suffragettes,” orates one of them. “Blah blah blah pretentious thing.” Dude, go found a women’s studies program, Talky. Whyncha go get on Twitter?
Uh oh, someone is playing opera on the victrola instead of jazz. WHAT DID THE AXEMAN TELL YOU! “I gave fair warning girl. She sits on the floor, with her candle, and her tarot cards. He is all like “now I will murder you because you lured me here by not playing jazz,” and all of a sudden Paul and I are doing Stoned Math to figure out if Anna Leigh (Jessica Lange’s very first murderee) could have been among the class of 1919 that has set upon the axeman like a pack of hyenas stab stab stab stab. We think so? If Jessica Lange is 70 (is she?) then she’s been Supreme since ’58 or ’60? And Anna Leigh could have been 40 years out of high school, right? We will go with SURE WHY NOT and state unequivocally that dead Supreme Anna Leigh definitely stabbed the fuck out of the Axeman, for being a dick. A DICK WHO MURDERS.
OK, so Zoe is sitting around her room being sulky and balky. SIGH! FIDGET! TEENAGE GIRL! Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) is not a good enough actress to make me at all invested or even interested while she pantomimes a silent Scene of Discovery. (Maybe if she were “discovering” her vagine, Slums of Beverly Hills-styley!)
Zoe has discovered a hidden cache of pictures or whatever, I was probably getting some ice cream, who knows. “Witches are dying. In Salem there were hundreds of us. Now there’s three.” Well, if you say so. But since it is you who is talking, ZOE, I still don’t care.
Now they are doing a Ouija board and they are scared because there were just zombies there trying to eat their brainz and stuff but they are scared of Ouija boards. Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) is like GHOSTS WILL BURN YOUR FACE OFF HAPPENED TO MY GRAMMOM. Zoe is like SCOFF SCOFF.
And then the Axeman is all hey new Ouija board friends! I am the Axeman, pleased to meetcha! By the way you killed me! (You can see how “time” would be difficult for a ghost, and also probably all alive people probs look alike.) The girls are like nuh uh, we do not think we murdered you, uptalk? Those were totally different witches, dude, but they do not actually know that anyway, because they have not been watching the show.
Fiona (Jessica Lange) is getting chemo, and she is bombarded by the desperate thoughts from all the sad people on chemo and their prayers and terrible regrets. Apparently not a lot of good thoughts flying around the chemo room, who could have guessed! Fiona tries to bust out but she is stopped by a doctor who is condescending as fuck, and this is how much Fiona has been changed by her daughter Cordelia’s blinding: . SHE DOES WHAT THE DOCTOR SAYS. Like, she doesn’t even murder him or set him on fire or squeeze all the youth out of him until he crumbles into Methuselah dust or ANYTHING.
“My daughter needs me. She’s never needed me before,” she gasps out. If she does what the doctors say, will she live? “I’m not ready to go just yet. I want one more great love affair in my life…. It’s not too late is it?”
No no no, the idiot condescending doctor says, my mom just met someone on E-harmony! And Fiona says a nice thing to a lady in the chemo room (she really MUST be dying) (especially because the lady is a black lady, and Fiona is ALWAYS CASUALLY RACIST). The woman has been grieving about dying before her daughter’s wedding. But Fiona can see the future. “You’re gonna make it to your daughter’s big day,” she tells her lovingly. “Go out and buy yourself a great dress. Blow the bank on it!”
And we are back to the girls, where Zoe is being an idiot. Zoe, who is an idiot, wants to release the Axeman (from the Ouija board? from the afterlife?) if there’s ANY CHANCE he knows where Madison is. Why you so stupid Zoe? Does it hurt?
Axeman’s all cool thanks, Madison’s in the attic, so Zoe goes up and gags on Eau Dead Madison despite Spalding’s thoughtful incense, which he’s burning ineffectually. Madison’s not looking so good. She been dead a while yo.
Fiona’s alone, crying, and here comes Blind Cordy and her monster husband the serial killer. Her face looks pretty good for a sulfuric acid attack.
Like, it has already healed from this a lot.
UH OH, no more Mr. Nice Cordy! She’s pissed now. She smells the roses in her room. “Roses pull in love and romance. That’s not what I’m looking for right now. I need chryanthemums, all kinds of them, for strength and protection.” I like bossy mad Cordy way better than milquetoast Cordy. How about you?
Monster husby touches her, and she see the violent fucking. “Who is she, who is the redhead?!!!” Monster husby replies with the age-old classic, “Baby, why you so crazy and such?” But Cordy is not having it. “REST ASSURED,” she spits, “you will be accountable for every single betrayal. NOW. GET. OUT.
Fiona is thrilled Cordy has finally seen through her handsome gentle husband. “You’ve been given sight! It’s the greatest gift to have and the hardest one to live with.” But when Fiona touches her, Cordelia sees Frances Conroy’s burning at the stake. God, Fiona, burning your enemies at the stake is so RUDE.
So Spalding tried to get Zoe, but she hit him with a doll and he went down like a man who wears a bonnet and nightdress. Now they are going to ask him questions, and Nan will read his mind, and they will get all the answers. So they’re like you killed Madison right, and he says YES, because he is still protecting Fiona, whom he will love till he dies. He says a creepy thing about how it was cause he raped her dead body or something, shoving himself into her cold rigid unyielding “mound.” My my! Is it getting SEXY in here, or is it just me?
We’re in the bayou with Misty Day (Lily Rabe), looking vibrant — incredible — in red. The costume department has put her in a dress that I bet was like $700, but it is “tattered” because “poor.”
Misty Day is pouring swamp water on a grave-mound of Frances, healing her terrible Joan of Arc face. And oh look, Zombie Kyle is back! He must have a really excellent sense of direction. It’s not long before she’s bathing Kyle to Stevie and Don’s “Leather and Lace.” But when she tries to dry him he flashes back to all the mom rape and starts smashing all the chairs and furniture, because he did not like his mom, Mare Winningham, raping him all the time. (We had a fiance who used to do that — the furniture smashing, not the getting raped by his mom — and he wasn’t even dead!) Zombie Kyle breaks Misty Day’s sad little boom box with her 8 track of Bella Donna, and she cries and loses it and her heart is hardened. Zoe comes in right then and Zombie Kyle runs to her for weepy naked comfort. “Get him out of here,” Misty shouts. “He broke Stevie!” Wow. Must be serious for her to give up on a wounded bird.
“I’m getting you both out of here,” Zoe says. “I need your help.”
Wait, what’s this? Monster husby knows Marie Laveau? He marches in to her apartment in front of her without so much as a by your leave. “I need your help.”
Man, all these people needing all the help. Whatever happened to good old American can-do-ism?
Zoe wants Misty to bring Madison back. “What can you do?” she asks. Misty, dry as the Serengeti, answers, “I can help you dig a hole. Have you smelled her? She’s already rotting. Also, she’s missing an arm.” Those are all excellent reasons to leave Madison dead, plus the fact that she was Madison, and annoying.
Queenie drops a RIFF RAFF. YES.
How come Madison comes back as rotting Madison and she can talk and stuff, but Kyle is just wordless scared Frankenstein smash smash?
Wait wait wait! Hank is not a serial killer, he is a witch hunter working for Laveau. THAT IS NOT A VERY GOOD PEACE TREATY LAVEAU. The redhead he fuck-murdered was a Drew Barrymore-style firestarter. The fact that he is actually an assassin instead of a psychopath makes him totally unscary now, right? Like, just doin’ m’ job, ma’am.
I forget how this came up, but at some point Laveau says, “When I plant a fatass cracker bitch I expect her to stay planted,” so that was awesome.
Misty Day has is through raising Madison from the dead, and she is going through the kitchen cupboards, casually stowing a bunch of bagels in her bag, when she asks who’s taking her home. She’s not taking Kyle, and she’s not staying. “There’s something foul in this house.” THANKS
Okay, after four rewinds, I still have no idea what Axeman said to Blind Cordy right before he tries to kill her, with an axe. None. STOP DOING THAT TELEVISION. FIX YER MIXIN.
Madison looks pretty good and has her arm back and can talk. Poor Zombie Kyle really got screwed.
Next Supreme Zoe can do all the spells to resuce Cordy in time. Boring. If this was season one, all these people would be dead by now, and they’d stay that way.
Fiona is at the bar. Jazz is playing. LAME JAZZ. Axeman has a seat. And here is Fiona’s one last great affair. E-harmony’s got nothing on them.