American Horror Story recap: That Darn Head

The Witch Hunters take center stage, while Myrtle hosts an eye-popping dinner party
Ep. 09 | Aired Dec 11, 2013

MAD MADAME MYRTLE Resurrected, the ginger-haired witch seeks vengeance on them who wronged her. Don't trust her around the melon baller.

Zoe and Madison went to the hospital to visit Nan. Their sister witch was checking in on Neighbor Boy, who was still in a coma after getting shot by Hank. His mom didn't want them around, until Nan started talking to Neighbor Boy. She reminded Joan about a song she sang to her son long ago. She sang almost the entire song, probably because when you have Patti LuPone on your show you're required by law to let her sing at least one extended emotion-crushing song per season.

Across town, Queenie disobeyed a direct order from Marie. Instead of burning Delphine's head, she decided to educate it. Setting the head down on a TV dinner tray, she decided to teach Delphine a very important lesson, using the best educational tool on the market: Television! Specifically, she established a strict regimen: First Roots, then Roots: The Next Generation, then into some Mandingo, a dash of Color Purple, and B.A.P.S., "starring Ms. Halle Berry."

At Miss Robichaux's, Delia was doing some educating, too. In her garden, she was teaching Misty Day some basic tricks. They brought some plants back to life, which you'd think would be less difficult than bringing half the cast of American Horror Story back to life. But Delia received an unwelcome visitor. See, Hank had been prodded by his former employer to take down Miss Robichaux's. And by "prodded," I mean "phantom-stabbed in several painful places using magic." Hank tried to apologize to his wife. But Delia wouldn't hear it. She was filing for divorce. She put all his things in a box upstairs.

Hank got the box, grudgingly. On his way out, a female attack dog barked at him. It was a new purchase by Fiona: "Females are more loyal and aggressive when it comes to protecting their families." The dog smelled something. Fiona went into Zoe's room...and found FrankenKyle. Fiona, with the funniest line of the night: "Another goddamn boy? Jesus, these girls." Kyle started petting the dog. I wrote in my notes: "Female dog owned by witches = Witch Bitch?" Literally right as I wrote that exclamation point, Kyle killed the dog. RIP Witch Bitch: You were too beautiful to live.

But turns out that Fiona didn't mind Kyle killing her guard dog. Far from it. She spruced up Kyle's brain, so he could carry on something like a conversation. But this sprucing had an ulterior motive: She was turning him into the new guard dog, able to attack on command.

Back at the hospital, Joan thanked Nan. "You're a miracle!" Good feelings all around. It was right about then that Nan started talking seriously. She said that her son talked to God, and she said God was judging Joan for what she done. We saw a flashback to Joan's husband talking into his cell phone, telling Joan he wanted a divorce. As he hung up, a couple bees appeared in his car: Stung, he went into anaphylactic shock. That's right: Joan killed her husband with bees. Every mom on Coven is crazy. I keep hoping that Connie Britton gets to cameo as the only sane mother on the planet.

Joan kicked Nan out of the hospital. Later, we saw Neighbor Boy wake up. He cried: "You killed Dad!" Joan told him to go back to sleep and then she MURDERED HIM WITH A PILLOW WHAT WAS I JUST SAYING ABOUT MOTHERS. So who hasn't died or had a traumatic near-death experience yet on Coven? Zoe?

Then we came to the moment I mentioned at the start of the recap. Queenie, frustrated that her cultural education wasn't working, played "Oh, Freedom" for the Madame Lalaurie while showing her some docu-footage of the Civil Rights struggle. Downstairs, Hank came in guns blazing, shooting up Marie's various lieutenants. He even shot Queenie. But you can't keep a good witch down. And has Hank stared into the eyes of Marie Leveau -- perhaps remembering a moment 22 years earlier in Chattahoochee, when he learned to look at witches as his prey -- Queenie pointed a gun into her mouth and pulled the trigger. Hank's brains splashed against the wall. Upstairs, Delphine cried, her racism apparently cured by the power of song.

This scene was crosscut with the death of Neighbor Boy. It seemed to draw a tenuous line between two very different forces: Hank, representing the Witch Hunters and their general freefloating Paternal Corporate Political evil; and Joan, representing Christianity and the general freefloating Moralistic Zealotry evil. Afterwards, Marie came to Miss Robichaux's, looking chastened and ready to form an alliance. There are four episodes left in this season. We seem to be moving to a Witch vs. Witch Hunter showdown, although presumably there are more intra-Coven battles still to be fought. And where does Joan fit into all of this? Is she just a character so Patti LuPone can sing again? And is that necessarily a bad thing?

All in all, an action-heavy episode leading into the break. What did you think of "Head," fellow viewers? Are you hoping that FX starts selling collectible Kathy Bates heads?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

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