It’s the final episode of AHS: Coven for 2013, so naturally a few characters have to bite the bullet, right (nyuk nyuk)?
Let’s bitch it out…‘Head’ introduces a unique perspective that has been absent for much of this third season of American Horror Story: a male perspective. Coven has thus far been dominated by powerful women such as Fiona (Jessica Lange) and Marie Laveau (Anjelica Huston) with immortal creatures such as Madame LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) and “swamp witch” Misty Day (Lily Rabe) lurking on the fringes. Even the teen set is female-centric. Poor, stupid Kyle (Evan Peters), even if his repaired status, is little more than the Robichaux guard dog (he’s literally the replacement for the house bitch).
The introduction of Hank’s (Josh Hamilton) witch hunter backstory, complete with domineering father (Michael Cristofer) is a significant change in tone. All of the sudden we’re on the outside looking in at the lives of the women at Robichaux’s and Cornrow City. It’s an interesting point of view, one that immediately (ironically) aligns Hank’s position with his witchy wife, Cordelia (Sarah Paulson). Both are disgruntled, desperate to please children of disapproving parents who are at the top of the food chain. It’s no surprise then that Hank has fallen in love with Cordelia; they clearly have a great deal in common.
Or did have a great deal in common since he’s dead now.
I’ll admit that I didn’t see the ending of ‘Head’ coming. I expected the massacre to take place at Robichaux’s after the way Cordelia tosses Hank out into the street and Fiona – as usual – verbally eviscerates him. But somewhere between Laveaux’s voodoo torture and the dressing down he receives from his father about remaining an observer (not a killer*), Hank decides to use his arsenal of weapons to prove them both wrong. And so he goes on a shoot-out, either overlooking or underestimating Queenie’s (Sibourey Sibide) ability to kill him. At the end of the day, if it’s enough to unite Fiona and Laveau against the witch hunters, though, perhaps Hank will have served his true purpose.
*We learn that his murder of Kaylee in the hotel room in ‘Fearful Pranks Ensure’ actually caused significant damage and required a great deal of clean-up
- It’s unsurprising that the witchhunters are uniformly male while the witches are uniformly female. The division does establish a certain gender rigidity that’s disappointingly uncomplicated (especially considering the show is so dominated by women). I hope we’ll get a bit more shading from the men at Delphi besides “lady witches bad; must shoot ’em all”
- Hank isn’t the only formerly neutered male who becomes empowered long enough to die. Luke (Alexander Dreymon) uses his coma to discover his mother Joan (Patti LuPone) killed his father and then foolishly has Nan (Jamie Brewer) communicate this knowledge to her. The outcome is a pillow to the face (mama likes asphyxiation!). Lesson learned: don’t antagonize people when you’re incapable of escaping them. It seems like common sense…
- Speaking of incapacitated, Myrtle (Frances Conroy) has far too much fun punishing her former colleagues on the Council for allowing her to be burned at the stake. Their penance is disturbingly gruesome as she paralyzes them with poison, then digs out an eyeball each with a melon baller (grotty!) What I don’t understand is why Myrtle gives Cordelia one eyeball from each if she always intended on killing both Council members…unless she wants one eye apiece to remember her dismembered colleagues. Clearly Myrtle is mentally unstable, right? She may have flawless skin, but under the hood is a whole bunch of crazy
- Allow me to echo Dave Trumbore over at Collider: “I love that Fiona threatens to exile Myrtle … to Paramus, New Jersey.”
- We also learn that Papa witch hunter approved Cordelia’s acid eye wash in an effort to make her more dependent on Hank. That’s pretty messed up
- I’m disappointed that now that Cordelia’s eyesight has been resolved she’s lost her “sight”. Her botanical prowess is significantly less interesting. It’s also less relevant to the upcoming battle
- Finally, Queenie can’t be dead right? She never had physical wounds left after using her voodoo doll powers in other episodes, so she should still have a head (as well as a gunshot wound to the stomach). But if Queenie doesn’t survive, who will edumacate LaLaurie on the history of race relations via carefully chosen texts such as Roots and Beloved?
- Laveau (after Fiona tries to make an allegiance): “Witch hunters is white woman’s worry”
- Fiona (seeing Myrtle has returned): “Who let this charcoal briquette back in?”
- Queenie (when LaLaurie asks for food): “You ain’t got no stomach. What are you going to do? Chew it up and shit it out your neck?”
What did you think about introducing Hank’s perspective? Are you clearly rooting for the witches/ladies? Will Nan kill Joan to avenge Luke? Will Fiona and Laveau be able to put aside their differences? Is Queenie actually dead? Sound off below
American Horror Story: Coven has finished airing its 2013 episodes. The series returns Wednesday, Jan 8 at 10pm EST on FX