‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Recap: “The Replacements”


I watched the most recent episode of American Horror Story: Coven, “The Replacements,” about an hour after it aired. Prior to that, I noticed several Facebook/Twitter/what-have-you posts that all echoed the same sentiment: “WTF did I just watch?!” So I prepared myself for a doozy and settled in to watch. Everything seemed relatively normal and I thought, “Hmm, this isn’t so bad,” but halfway through the episode, the freakout began.

Kyle is back at home after Zoe moved him from the second coming of Stevie Nicks’ cabin to his own home where she felt he’d heal better under his mother’s care. Misty, undoubtedly lonely in the woods, grew attached to Kyle and is not totally ready for him to leave, but Zoe takes him anyway. Back at Kyle’s, Mommie Dearest greets him in bed. Earlier, she walked in on him in the shower and noticed his new body parts. Wait, did she just glance down south? Back in the bed, she kisses him and kisses him some more and OH MY GOD THIS IS TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE. SHE’S REACHING UNDER THE COVERS. OH. OKAY. So, Kyle’s mom has been sexually abusing him for an undisclosed amount of time, which is something Zoe might have known had she actually, you know, known him. This continues later on in the episode, giving us Kyle’s first words since his resurrection: he screams “No” over and over again while beating his mom’s face in with an old trophy.

Because this is AHS, the weirdo gauge went from “Can this get any worse?” to “OH MY GOD. YES. Yes, it can.” in about 15 minutes. Bastian, Delphine’s minotaur and Marie’s lover, comes to the school (presumably) in search of Delphine. It’s Queenie, though, who lures him away, possibly to protect Delphine (her new personal slave), even though she’s been impossibly cruel to her since she was dug up by Fiona. We found out earlier in the episode that Queenie was a virgin, saving herself for the right man. I guess “the one” happens to a man with a bull’s head, hands, and feet, because that’s exactly what happens. “You just wanted love, and that makes you a beast,” Queenie said. “They called me that, but that’s not who we are. We both deserve love like everybody else.” She reaches under her dress, and he puts his hand (hoof?) over her mouth. This cannot be how Queenie imagined her first time, can it? It’s unclear whether she did it because she genuinely felt something for him or because she was using herself as a distraction from Delphine, but I’m leaning towards the latter, even though I can’t fathom why she would feel any semblance of sympathy towards Madame LaLaurie.

These two subplots seem to be the only thing viewers took away from the episode, but they’re exactly that: subplots. The main line is based around Fiona, who we learn killed Annalee, the Supreme prior to her, once she sensed she was next in line. It’s not uncommon for a witch to practice four or five of the gifts, but if she masters all seven, she’s the new top dog. Once the new Supreme assumes her role, she literally begins to suck the life out of the old one, who slowly dies while the newbie comes into power. We get the sense that something isn’t quite right during her monologue after the bombshell. She was born into a dance, her dance. The physical example Ryan Murphy and Co. give us is based on the inability of men to resist her, though I suspect her “dance” has to do with commanding the attention and subservience of more than just a hot guy. Now, though, she’s losing her gift. She seeks plastic surgery but soon learns she’s too weak for surgery. Her immune system is in “freefall.” It’s cancer, and she’s dying. Someone is going to overtake her, and it’s Madison.

Ms. Montgomery spy a new, attractive neighbor, Luke, moving in next door with his mother, Joan (FINALLY, PATTI), a devoutly religious woman. They decide to welcome him as only they know how: Nan, with his favorite (of course) cake and Madison, in a short dress and tall heels. Joan walks in and Madison almost immediately tells her her faith ain’t worth shit. They argue, and Madison mentally flings a knife that soars a few inches past Joan’s head. She and Nan are banned from the house, and they leave, but not before Madison sets some things on fire, something she had no idea she could do.

Joan visits the school and clues Fiona in on what happened earlier. All Fiona can say is that Madison “needs to work on her aim,” though it’s clear the gears in her mind have begun turning. She thinks Madison is the new Supreme. The two go out to eat, and Fiona tests Madison. She has her telepathically tell a man crossing the street that he’s safer in the middle of the road. She succeeds, and the more powers Madison demonstrates, the more concerned Fiona grows. The pair head out to a pool hall, where, once again, the men are oblivious to Fiona and completely drawn in to Madison, who is completely wasted. She thinks she’s going drink-for-drink with Fiona. Surprise! The Supreme has been pouring her drinks out the whole time; she’s totally sober.

Meanwhile, Cordelia is having a medical issue of her own. She learns definitively that she can’t have children; her spell didn’t work. She unknowingly follows in her mother’s footsteps and heads to Marie’s salon to utilize her services, learning that maybe she’s a little more like Fiona than she’d care to believe. Marie, sitting on a throne and playing solitaire on her iPad, explains a fertility spell to Cordelia. She needs two ounces of semen in a mason jar, a hot pepper to grab the gods’ attention, and one goat to slaughter overtop Cordelia. She’d then sleep for four days and four nights, and the spell must be performed under a new moon. Oh, yeah – she also wants $50,000. Cordelia, though, is the “daughter of [her] sworn enemy.” She’s still unhappy about Fiona’s racist “hammer and nail” speech, so she refuses her services.

Back at the school, Fiona makes her fears known. She explains that the life is pouring out of herself and into Madison – much like Fiona’s power of sucking the youth out of others, what we saw in the first episode. She has cancer, so Madison promises to find her the best possible doctors, but Fiona doesn’t want treatment. She want to teach Madison. Fiona took her power too soon, and she’s feeling guilty about murdering Annalee. She tries to give Madison a knife, the same one she used to kill Annalee, and asks her to do the same. She refuses, and in their struggle, Fiona accidentally slashes Madison’s throat in the exact same spot she killed Annalee. The butler, again, silently watches. Fiona snaps back to herself. “This coven doesn’t need a new Supreme,” she said. “It needs a new rug.”

Was Madison really the new Supreme, though? She demonstrated a few of the gifts, but not all seven. I guess we’ll know if Fiona’s health continues to deteriorate.

About Sam Sciarrotta

Hi there! I'm Sam. I like baseball, Bruce Springsteen, tomato pie, and most other things. I'm looking at you, but I'm thinking about Breaking Bad. 2012 college graduate and budding journalist.

Posted on October 24, 2013, in Cable, Drama, FX, Primetime and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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