American Horror Story recap: Burn or Boil

Zombies come a-knocking on Halloween night. Warning: Bloodshed and maternal anxiety may ensue
Ep. 05 | Aired Nov 6, 2013

BURNING LOVE Zoe watches in horror as the Coven executes one of its own.

Oh, the rarified joy of a chainsaw zombie death orgy! Zoe sliced her way through several deadites, until she was covered in blood and the front lawn was covered in limbs. You might ask yourself why people with chainsaws in zombie movies don't just swing in a circle -- that way, you cut off the most heads with the least motion. But killing zombies with a chainsaw isn't about efficiency; it's about fun. Unfortunately, Zoe ran out of chainsaw juice right as the last walking corpse attacked her. Terrified, she acted unconsciously, mumbling an incantation which turned the walking dead guy into a motionless dead guy.

The spell knocked Marie off her levitation. She told her sidekick: "I don't know what that was, but they got some real power in that witch-house now." (ASIDE: So, yes, Zoe is probably the Supreme. Recall how her kiss brought Franken-Kyle back to life -- an implication that she, too, has the power to resurrect the recently-deceased. Unless she's not the Supreme? Could it be that various dark forces circling around Miss Robichaux's are supercharging everyone to a dangerous degree? That would explain why Madison -- despite her heart murmur -- exhibited so many Supreme-esque powers. And maybe the power of the Coven is a finite amount -- meaning that every time a witch dies, she makes the other witches stronger? Suggestion for further reading: J. Michael Straczynski's Rising Stars.)

At the hospital, Delia's murderous and adulterous (murdulterous?) husband showed up. He immediately got in a verbal war of words with Fiona. Actually, the war was over almost immediately, since the husband is not played by Jessica Lange. "Thank Chris you couldn't knock her up," said Fiona. After reiterating that she had never liked him, she told him that he had 15 minutes, and then he had to be gone. Alone, he grabbed Delia's hand. And Delia -- her eyes blank and vacant -- had a vision of her murdulterous husband's internet-girlfriend-assassinatin' vacation. She screamed. Interestingly, her blank eyes vaguely resembled the opaque retinas of Marie Laveau as she commanded her zombie army.

Delia suddenly developing this new power would seem to add some evidence to the idea that new energies are floating around Miss Robichaux's. But will it bring the Coven back to its former glory? Or is it the kind of energy that gathers in a dying star right before it goes supernova? That reminds me: In the just-announced American Horror Story season 4, they should definitely have Jessica Lange play a supernova, but like a sassy supernova, with a South Dakota accent.

The next day, Fiona and LaLaurie watched the re-deadified husks burn on the front lawn. They had a talk about motherhood: About their hopes and dreams for their daughters, and how those hopes and dreams shaded into something worse. For the Madame, it was torment: She loved her daughters so much that she refused to let them lead their own lives, tormenting them the same way she tormented the human beings she kept as slaves. For Fiona, it was the opposite: She abandoned Delia, not quite able to give up her own life for long enough to raise another one. "Perhaps our shared tragedy will bring us closer together," said LaLaurie. "I doubt it," said Fiona. "You are, after all, the maid."

Right about then, the Council showed up for the second trial in as many days. They listed off everything that had gone wrong at Miss Robichaux's during Fiona's tenure, essentially summarizing the first four-and-a-half episodes of Coven. Zombies. Minotaurs. A student missing, presumed dead and/or at a tea party upstairs. They demanded her to abdicate her Supremacy. But Fiona delivered a counterargument. She claimed the Coven was under attack from the inside. And she knew who the true enemy was: Her old rival, Myrtle Snow.

In a flashback to her druggy hospital meanderings, we saw the face of the robed figure in the elevator: Myrtle. Myrtle said that was ridiculous. She would never hurt Delia. "I was more of a mother to her than you ever were," she claimed. Fiona threw that back in her face: She said Myrtle just latched onto Delia, because Myrtle could never have a child. That got a rise out of the redhaired one. "I never had a child because I dedicated my life to this Coven!" said Myrtle -- the plaintive cry of the hard-working childless woman, who knows that some people will never stop defining her by what she lacks.

Fiona took it one step further: She accused Myrtle of killing Madison.

NEXT: Veronica Lake is mentioned casually in conversation


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