American Horror Story recap: Chicks With Nicks

The body count builds higher as the witches strike against their enemies and each other. Also, Stevie Nicks plays herself.
Ep. 10 | Aired Jan 8, 2014

WITCH LADY SINGS THE BLUES Stevie Nicks agreed to appear on American Horror Story, but only after the writers turned the entire season into a thematic adaptation of the life and work of Stevie Nicks. Also, during Nicks' appearance, there was an Eminem reference. And Ryan Murphy promised we'd start getting hints about next season in the final episodes. Yadda yadda yadda, the next AHS season will star Evan Peters as a Matt Marsh, a tormented young rapper from Detroit who marries his high school sweetheart (Emma Roberts) but doesn't realize her brain has been taken over by his mother (Jessica Lange). Kim Basinger has a guest-starring role in a flashforward, wherein she plays Matt Marsh's daughter. It will be called American Horror Story: Motherboy.

Michele K. Short/FX

Consider Nan. The clairvoyant/telepath witch has spent this season hovering as a kind of mascot. She's been sassy. She had a cute flirtation with Neighbor Boy. She was the only witch Fiona seemed to actually like, because after Murder House the infinite variations of Jessica Lange really had to cut the infinite variations of Jamie Brewer a break. She vibed like a dark horse to be Supreme, just because everyone was clearly so much more terrible than her.

Cut to this episode. Nan revealed that her powers were increasing. She could control people now. She told Madison to put out her cigarette, then she told Madison to stick that cigarette in a place one ought not typically stick a cigarette. Then she went to the hospital to visit Neighbor Luke, only to discover that Luke was dead. "No problem," Nan though to herself, "I'll just swing next door, ask Luke's mom where he's buried, grab his body, and have Misty do her resurrection trick." TWIST: Luke's mom had him cremated. (Please tell me I'm not the only person who laughed out loud.) So Nan made Luke's mom drink bleach. "You have to be cleansed," she said. Suffice it to say, Luke's mom only lived twice.

Over in the greenhouse of misery, Delia was having a bad day. She sought comfort from Auntie Myrtle. But Myrtle was absorbed in the celestial tones of her instrument. Delia asked her what the hell that strange sound was. "Don't be a hater, dear," said Myrtle, "It's a theremin." (Note: Theremins were basically the go-to instrument for Weird Movie Soundtracks, between Spellbound and The Day The Earth Stood Still and the original Thing. Brian Wilson used an electric version of the theremin in "Good Vibrations.") Delia needed a pep talk. Myrtle told her that she made great salad dressing; why not bottle that? "Cordelia's Conjured Coriander Condiments." Delia looked like she was about to cry. "Or you could get a job as a hostess on a cruise ship!" Delia really just needed some kind of kind word. Myrtle: "What are your chances when your mother's Hillary Clinton?"

That did it. Delia had nothing: Absolutely nothing. "I am an absolute failure!" she screamed. In some respects, I feel like Sarah Paulson has had a tough go of it this season. Delia is a much less showy role than the other witches: First she was quietly buttoned-up, then she was quietly omniscient. It was a kick to see her finally unleash all that pent-up energy, destroying all her plants in a full-fledged Charles Foster Kane Room Tantrum. And Myrtle shrugged and kept right on playing her theremin. (ASIDE: For the record, the least showy and maybe most thankless role this season belongs to Taissa Farmiga, who came on in the premiere like Coven's Kitty Pryde but who has spent the middle act of the season playing second banana to everyone. I kind of wonder if theĀ Coven endgame will see everyone else destroy each other, with Zoe left behind and ultimately rising above as the new Supreme purely by virtue of the fact that she is less selfish than the rest of them. END OF ASIDE.)

Upstairs, Fiona conjured Papa -- apparently with cocaine, although it was probably mystical cocaine and/or 'ludes. (Papa was introduced in one of those vintage Gomez-Rejon long takes that spun around and upside down the whole room. You're insatiable, G-R, insatiable!) Fiona tried to set terms for her immortality: No aging, no decrepitude. Papa asked her some questions. Would she cripple her own daughter? "Absolutely." Would she murder someone she loves? "Whatever it takes." Papa went in for a kiss...and then backed away. "The deal is off. You have nothing to sell. You have no soul."

Right about then is when things got very impressionistic. The Axeman suddenly appeared in the chair opposite: "Bum luck, baby. No sale." But there was a more clear-cut path to immortality. One of those girls downstairs was taking Fiona's power away. They would just have to kill her. Fiona took a snort and cut to the chase: "Haven't you heard? I've got no soul. I'll just kill 'em all."


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