Go Your Own Way: A Recap of "American Horror Story: Coven" Episodes 9 & 10

1991 was a year that most kids were discovering the grunge scene with Smells Like Teen Spirit. Other kids were learning how to hunt and kill witches. It's apparently an age-old tradition... take your son out into the woods and show him what it means to be a man. 'MURICA! Here we find a young Hank Foxx in Chattahoochee National Forest exercising his 2nd Amendment rights while his Tea Party card carrying father attempts to flush a wayward witch from some nearby bushes. A bedraggled-looking woman finally finds herself face-to-face with Hank and, during his hesitation to shoot her, hurls a fireball at the boy. Daddy Foxx manages to push his son out of harm's way and his arm is set ablaze in the process. The witch is shot dead by Hank's father before he shares some words of wisdom with the boy, "Never forget what they are."

Back in the present, Fiona (Jessica Lange) pays a visit to Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) at Cornrow City with Madame LaLaurie's (Kathy Bates) boxed head in tow. Fiona suggests an alliance between the coven and Laveau's Voodoo tribe as a response to the growing threat of the witch hunters. Laveau scoffs at the idea and shows little concern when Fiona suggests that the hunters will turn their attention to the Voodoo tribe when they're done with the coven. No deal. Laveau summons Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) from the salon's front desk to dispose of LaLaurie's head.

Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) is having problems of her own at the Robichaux Academy. Still adjusting to her lost eyesight, her attempts to make breakfast turn out to be a disaster. Myrtle (Frances Conroy) watches the ailing headmistress and then asks if Cordelia believes that she was responsible for her blinding (as Fiona had previously suggested). Cordeila has NO doubts regarding Myrtle's innocence.

In Atlanta, Hank (Josh Hamilton) pays a visit to his father's office at Delphi Trust. The corporation is apparently just a front for the witch hunters' hive. His father's right-hand man, David (Mike Colter), takes him upstairs to see his father, Harrison (Michael Cristofer), where the three men review the mess that Hank has made of his mission. The company was forced to clean up after the murder of Kaylee (Alex Breckenridge) and, as a reminder to Hank regarding his orders, was also responsible for the acid attack on Cordelia.

A special brunch is being served back at the Academy. Myrtle has invited the her fellow coucil members, Cecily Pembroke (Robin Bartlett) and Quentin (Leslie Jordan), to the house to bury the hatchet. Champagne and mellon balls are ingested as Cecily and Quentin swoon over how wonderful Myrtle looks after her resurrection. They want to know all about Misty Day (Lily Rabe) and her magic swamp mud. Myrtle responds by telling them that Misty is a powerful witch and, like herself, had been (literally ) burned by the people around her. As she raises her glass to toast, Cecily becomes paralyzed, as does Quentin. Myrtle reveals that she has laced the mellon balls with monkshood. Her intentions were not to punish them for their involvement in her burning but to help Cordelia and the coven. She then uses the mellon baller to scoop Cecily's left eye and Quentin's right eye.

Later that afternoon, Cordelia wakes up from a nap and can see for the first time since the attack. Fiona returns home from Laveau's salon and is shocked that Myrtle was able to pull off such a feat. Returning from the dead seems to have boosted Myrtle's powers. Fiona then inquires about the donors to which Myrtle responds that they wish to remain anonymous (a flashback shows a gleeful Myrtle dismembering the bodies of Quentin and Cecily in Cordelia's greenhouse and subsequently dissolving the limbs in a barrel of acid). Before taking her leave, Myrtle hugs Cordelia after which the younger witch realizes that she has lost her power of psychometry.

Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) and Madison (Emma Roberts) track down Nan (Jamie Brewer) at the hospital waiting to see Luke (Alexander Dreymon). His mother, Joan (Patti LuPone), has refused to let the girl see her son since they arrived at the hospital the night before. The three girls enter Luke's room and are immediately threatened by Joan. Nan uses her clairvoyance to tell Joan to Luke wants her to calm down. She also mentions that Joan used to sing Luke a song when he broke his arm as a child. Skeptical at first, Joan sings the song at her son's bedside while holding Nan's hand.

Queenie has planned a film festival at her apartment for Delphine's head to enjoy. Roots, Roots: The Next Generation, The Color Purple, etc. She's determined to educate LaLaurie about her bigotry and ignorance. After Queenie starts the first film and leaves the room, Delphine closes her eyes and sings "Dixie Land" as loud as she can to drown out the audio from the movie.

At his hotel room, Hank's dinner of takeout Chinese food is interrupted by a Voodoo doll ritual courtesy of Marie Laveau. His body begins to contort and puncture wounds begin to appear on his body. A man in Laveau's employ kicks in the door and tells him that he's feeling the wrath of broken promises. Laveau calls Hank's phone and her muscle holds the phone to Hank's ear as he writhes in pain. Laveau demands that the witches die that very night or the next needle goes through his heart.

Later that night, in the greenhouse of the Academy, Misty and Cordelia are preparing a potion of protection to banish evil. They are interrupted by Hank who begs her to forgive him. He insists that all he wants to do is protect her. Cordelia responds by telling him that she's filing for divorce and he can collect his belonging from the closet upstairs.

Upstairs, Hank is met by Fiona and her new German Shepherd. She tells him that the dog has been brought in as a form of extra protection. The two have brief words before the dog moves up the hall and begins scratching on Zoe's door. Inside, Fiona is surprised to find Kyle (Evan Peters) who immediately embraces the dog. Fiona tells the boy to leave and, as she begins to exit the room, she hears the dog's neck snap.

Back in Luke's hospital room, Nan and Joan seem to have put aside their difference and Joan seems genuinely grateful for Nan's kindness. Nan tells Joan that Luke says that God is judging her for what she did to Luke's father. It turns out that Mr. Ramsey was intending to divorce Joan and, in retaliation, Joan trapped him in his car with bees which resulted in death by anaphylaxis. In a rage, Joan forces Nan from the room.

Early the next morning, Nan returns to the Academy with Zoe and Madison and stumble across Fiona playing gin rummy with a remarkably coherent Kyle at the kitchen table. Fiona has "spruced" the boy up a bit. He's the new Academy guard dog that will attack on command.

Queenie returns to her apartment to see that Delphine had kept her eyes closed all through Roots. Since she lacks the hands to cover hear ears, Queenie plays spirituals accompanied by news footage from the civil rights era. She leaves LaLaurie alone again to return to the salon. The combination of music and visuals of civil rights abuse bring LaLaurie to tears.

Not long after taking her place at the front desk, Hank enters the salon, armed to the teeth with an arsenal of military-grade weaponry. He wastes no time in gunning down the employees of the salon, including Chantal (Dana Gourrier) and Queenie. He finds Marie in the back room and, before she can summon a teleportation spell, shoots her in the arm. Back in the main room, Queenie has managed to crawl to one of the handguns that was dropped on the floor. She shoots herself in the mouth, killing Hank, before he can execute Marie.

That evening, Luke awakens in his hospital bed and emotionally accuses Joan of murdering his father. She tries to soothe him back to sleep and then smothers him with a pillow.

In the meantime, Marie Laveau has arrived at the Robichaux Academy seeking asylum. Fiona shows her to a spare bedroom and fixes her a drink to calm her nerves. The two women seem to have put aside their differences. Fiona promises Marie that they will talk more in the morning and takes her leave. Later, Marie is woken by the Voodoo spirit, Papa Legba (Lance Reddick). He has come to collect on a debt that Marie owes him. We then see Laveau Voodooing her way into a nearby hospital and stealing a newborn from the nursery before returning to the Academy.

The next morning, Fiona, Cordelia, and Marie are watching a local newscast about the shooting at Cornrow City. Cordelia thinks that the attack was due to her argument with Hank and immediately blames herself. Marie wastes no time in owning up to the responsibility and reveals that Hank was a witch hunter. Fiona angrily lashes out at Cordelia for bring a witch hunter into the coven and then begins to plot with Marie about how to bring the hive down.

Fiona then visits with Misty, who is still presumed to be the next Supreme. In an attempt to make the younger witch finally reveal her true potential, Fiona tells Misty that with the title of Supreme comes access to anything she could possibly wish for. To prove this point, Fiona introduces her to a longtime friend and fellow witch that had been asking to meet the great Misty Day... Stevie Nicks.

Madison, Zoe, and Nan return home from seeing if they could find out any information about Queenie following the shootings. Stevie Nicks is seated at the piano in the parlor, playing "Rhiannon" for Misty and Fiona. At the conclusion of the performance, Stevie presents Misty with her shawl and wishes her good luck in performing the Seven Wonders.

Upstairs, the girls bicker about who will be Fiona's successor. Nan demonstrates her new ability of mind control and Madison reveals that her heart murmur has disappeared following her resurrection. They both want their shot at becoming the next Supreme.

Downstairs, Cordelia shares information about Delphi Trust with Marie and Fiona. The corporation originated as a group of furniture builders from the early days of the Colonies. They agree that instead of charging into the headquarters head-first, they will play it smart and place a hex on them that will drain them of their finances. Fiona forbids Cordelia from helping and all but banishes her from the coven. The spell eventually proves to be a success as the FBI closes in on Delphi and seizes their assets. The exertion proves too much for Fiona and she passes out.

Following the spell, Marie nurses Fiona back to health in her room. The two women speak of the spell that has granted Marie immortality. Laveau tells the tale of being visited by Papa Legba centuries ago. He promised her eternal life in exchange for her performing a task for him once a year without refusal. The first deed he forced her to do was to give him her newborn baby. She tries to dissuade Fiona from going down this same path.

Elsewhere, Madison and Misty are marching in a jazz funeral. Madison attempts to derail Misty's newfound confidence by insinuating that Stevie had alterior motives for being so generous earlier. The conversation eventually leads to Madison displaying her latest magical ability to raise the dead which she demonstrates on the man whose funeral they were attending. After conning Misty into discarding Stevie's shawl, Madison hits her over the head with a brick, knocking her into the open casket. She's then buried alive in place of the gentleman that Madison had just resurrected.

That night, after visiting the hospital and learning that Luke had died the previous night, Nan and Zoe visit Joan at her home. They ask about the funeral services and learn that he's already been cremated. Joan's thoughts register in Nan's head and the witch immediately knows that Joan smothered her son to death. After pinning Zoe to the wall with her mind control, Nan then uses her new powers to kill Joan by forcing the woman to drink bleach.

Meanwhile, Cordelia is having a pity party in her greenhouse while Myrtle tries to comfort the girl with the melodic tones from her theremin. She feels responsible for everything bad that has recently befallen the coven and that everything Fiona says about her is true.

Things continue to look bleak at Delphi Trust. Their stock plummeted 50% in ten minutes and rival corporations are waiting to strike. Harrison and David come to the conclusion that witchcraft is at play. They become more determined than ever to snuff out the coven.

Ignoring Marie's advice, Fiona decides to summon Papa Legba that night. The voodoo spirit appears to her and they begin to talk terms in regards to Fiona getting her own crack at immortality. Legba agrees to grant her this wish in exchange for Fiona's soul and then returning for an annual visit (the same as he does for Laveau). Not giving it a second thought, Fiona agrees to this exchange. Before the transaction can be completed, Papa Legba renegs on the deal, stating that Fiona has no soul to give. After Legba vanishes, the Axeman (Danny Huston) appears and suggests that they should concentrate on taking out the budding Supreme. Fiona responds by stating that, since she has no soul, she'll just kill all of them to ensure her own survival.

The next morning, Nan telepathically hears the crying of the baby that Laveau had stolen. After discovering the infant in a closet, Nan has a confrontation with Marie and Fiona where she reveals that her powers are growing and that she killed the neighbor. Nan leaves the room and Fiona and Marie agree that Nan is dangerous. They drag Nan to the bathroom and drown her in the tub in the hopes of exchanging her soul to Papa Legba as a substitution for the infant. Legba relucantly accepts and Nan's soul departs with the Voodoo spirit.

That night, Fiona lies on the couch and tearfully laments the deeds of the day, her failing health, and lack of a soul as Stevie Nicks sings "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You?" at the piano.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaun N.'s picture
on January 15, 2014

A Marvel fanboy whose super powers include throwing side-eye, drinking whiskey, and re-reading back issues of "Alpha Flight."

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