Image credit: Michele K. Short/FX
DRAW A LINE After four decades of peace, Marie launches an attack on the Salem Coven. There are snakes involved.
At Marie's salon, Queen Laveau was preparing a lady named Miss Cora for her trip to mayor's annual Halloween fiesta. "If the hair is nappy, white people ain't happy," the ladies said -- a joke, but rife with meaning. (Marie accepted no payment; she actually paid Miss Cora. As a leader, she believes in community maintenance -- a sharp contrast to Fiona's rampant self-interest.) A package arrived for Marie. The postage must have cost a fortune, since it's common knowledge that the postal service charges extra for Minotaurs. Yes, inside of the box was Bastian the Minotaur, who lived for nearly two centuries just to die at Fiona's hands. (Although the Minotaur head seemed to blink: A spasm? Or evidence that the Minotaur will stage a comeback, like various AHS regulars before him?)
Across town, Zoe was dealing with the aftermath of FrankenKyle's angry incestuous matricide. Kyle was knocking his head against the tub. Zoe apologized: For inadvertently leading him to death, for bringing him back to life, for turning him into a reanimated rage monster. "Kyle," said the beast. "No Kyle." She made him some tuna. Then she noticed some rat poison. Clearly making all kinds of good decisions, Zoe decided that now was the time to directly cause Kyle's second death, after indirectly causing his first death. Unfortunately, Kyle was nowhere to be found. Zoe ran outside...only to discover children out trick or treating. Yes, it's Halloween Time in American Horror Story land once again: A night when a reanimated boyfriend-monster covered in blood can fit right in on populated city streets.
When Zoe ran out, she caught eyes with a young man in the passenger seat of a car driving by. Said young man was wearing a skeleton costume. Which looked an awful lot like the skeleton makeup Tate wore on his murder rampage back in AHS season 1. Not to theorize baselessly, but could it be that whenever Halloween occurs in the AHS-verse, the walls between the realities of Murder House and Asylum and Coven fall down? Could it be that, in that moment, Zoe had a flash of a past life in the Taissa Farmiga continuum? Is American Horror Story just building up to a seventh season starring every version of Jessica Lange?
Speaking of Jessica Lange! Fiona called Madame LaLaurie. She needed someone to zip her up, and to listen to her soliloquize for a moment. Halloween, Fiona explained, is her favorite day of the year. "Is it the end of Harvest already?" asked the Madame. "You'll want me lighting the bonfires, putting out food to keep the demons away. The dead shall arise and fearful pranks ensue should we fail to protect ourselves." Fiona regarded LaLaurie like she was a Roman speaking Pig Latin. (In the span of about four episodes, the Madame LaLaurie -- again, one of the worst people ever -- has been transformed into a wacky sitcom grandma.)
But the Madame had some kind words for her mistress. "You look..." "Younger?" completed Fiona. "I was gonna say beautiful," said the aristocrat-turned-maid. "Well, both are correct," said Fiona. She stared at herself in the mirror and gave herself a Travis Bickle pump-up: "Who's the baddest witch in town?" Except in Fiona's accent it sounded like "Who's the bay-yuh-dest witch in tah-yun?"
Elsewhere in said town, Marie wanted vengeance. She retreated to her throne room and prepared for a spell. Her lieutenant begged her not to go down this road. She reminded Marie of the old days, the bad days, when blood ran through the streets. "Their blood. I used it to paint my day room," said Marie. "Brick red." She reminded her of the truce between the Salem branch and the Voodoo consortium. We caught a quick flashback to 1971-era New Orleans: Marie with a serious afro, sitting across the table from Anna-Lee the Supreme, bringing peace to the society of witchery. In that story, Marie was a hero because of her diplomacy. She made peace.
In the present, Marie was not in a diplomatic mood. "The truce is over," she said. "Either you're with me, or against me." That's a statement with all kinds of historical echoes: George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton, in the context of post-9/11 terrorism; Jesus, in every Gospel besides John; Gaston in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which is probably the most apropos comparison.
While Marie plotted revenge, Delia called her totally normal husband for a totally normal phone chat. "Hi there, beloved husband!" said Delia. "So glad you're in Baton Rouge on a totally normal foreman job, and not having extramarital relations of a potentially fatal nature with a female human you met online!" Her husband agreed that was indeed a good thing, but had to get off the phone. He said he had a meeting with Phil Underwood, which is sort of like saying you have a meeting with Arnold Fakenamestein. Sure enough, when he opened up his hotel door, a lovely young redhead smiled at him. The show smash-cut to them having some serious coitus.
The redhead was named Kaley or Kayley or perhaps Kailee, played by none other than Alex Breckinridge. Breckenridge played the younger, more tantalizing incarnation of Frances Conroy's maid way back in Murder House. Here, she was the very picture of innocence. She told Hank that Halloween was her favorite night of the year. "It gives people the permission to be who they really wanna be," she said hopefully. "Who were you last year?" Hank smoked his evil cigarette and looked at her the way hunters looked at Bambi's mother. "Me? I was a monster," he said. I may have been hallucinating, but I'm pretty sure when he said that, thunder crashed and a record scratched and a black cat meowed and a tuba exploded.
NEXT: The Council arrives