American Horror Story recap: On the Mystical Properties of Benadryl

Gardening tools are used for various things, none of which involve gardening
Ep. 11 | Aired Jan 15, 2014

I'M GOING TO DISNEYWORLD Zoe and Kyle, recalling the old days when they were sort of important almost

Michele K. Short/FX

Remember Zoe? Sure you do! Zoe was in the bathroom, trying to investigate Nan's mysterious death. Didn't take a rocket scientist: Marie and Fiona ended the clairvoyant witch. Zoe tried to conscript Madison to help her out. But Madison is on a kamikaze run now. There was a time, after her resurrection, when it seemed like Madison's character was arcing someplace special -- that, having seen the darkness on the far side of existence, she was trending towards grace. But power beckons. Or perhaps it is all-consuming desire. Or maybe Madison just never had a positive parental role model.

For whatever reason, Madison was acting out. She didn't like how Zoe and Kyle were getting so close. She threatened Kyle with unwanted advances, and then used her telekinesis to thwack Zoe in the head. Myrtle raced upstairs and accused Madison of being the ultimate Hollywood cliché: "A bobblehead with crotchless panties." Madison didn't care. She will become the new Supreme, and there will be crotchless panties for everyone.

Fiona was making her own plans. Across town, the Axeman was serenading her with some smooth jazz, oh yeah baby. The Axeman painted her a picture. The two of them, on a farmhouse in Covington, living out their days mixing Gin Rickeys on the porch. Imagine that, said Fiona: "Me, a farm wife." The Axeman was hurt. After all, Fiona's already been everywhere, done everything with everyone she could ever do...and the whole time, she's never been happy. Why not try the domestic life? "I'll give up the Axe, you give up the Coven, we live like normal folk. Whaddaya say?"

It was a tantalizing idea: Living like normal folk. Move in next to Henry Hill. To quote Basic Instinct: [CENSORED] like minks, raise rugrats and live happily ever after. I like this new turn in the Fiona/Axeman arc. It's a surprisingly common theme in contemporary television: The tantalizing promise of a different life, a life that weirdly promises the exact opposite of excitement. On shows like Breaking Bad and The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire and The Wire, criminals often get the opportunity to live a lawful life, without fear that someone will point a gun in their face and point the trigger. (I'm guessing this is at least partially because all TV shows are made by people who work in the insanity that is the TV industry, who occasionally find themselves at family reunions with their cousin from Covington.) Fiona liked the idea. But she needed the Axeman to do just one more thing.

Back at Miss Robichaux's, Delia walked into Queenie's room. She extended her hand in friendship and told her young pupil that she was just ever so happy to have her back. Queenie laughed in her face and announced that she was the new Supreme and told Delia, "You are just as weak as you've always been." I've said before that Sarah Paulson has had the toughest role this season. Her Lana Winters was the brutal and beautiful heart of Asylum, but Delia is very different. When we met her, she was a frigid functionary trying to do her best. For all her good deeds, she has suffered Book of Job-level punishments. Her husband was an adulterous witch-hunter out to kill her entire species. Her mother has been rampaging through her school, killing her students right under her very nose. She had acid thrown in her face. Her womb? Still barren, alas.

So Delia decided to take hold of her life. And by "her life," I mean "her gardening shears." And by "take hold of," I mean "stab out one of her eyes and then stab out the other one." There have been a lot of crazy things on Coven, but I'm hard-pressed to think of a freakier image from this season than that long pause before Delia stabbed her own eyes out. I have no idea if this was intended as an homage to Un Chien Andalou, but never waste a chance to embed some Bunuel:

Fiona raced upstairs to comfort her wounded daughter. But Auntie Myrtle was already there. She chastised her old nemesis, pointing out that Delia had sacrificed herself for the Coven -- something Fiona could never do. She dared Fiona to go inside, to comfort her daughter -- to let all her secrets come to light in the coldness of Delia's mystical sight. Fiona demurred, claiming that she could really use a drink.

NEXT: A limited edition

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