AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN 3.11 ‘Protect the Coven’

Episode Title: “Protect the Coven”/strong>

Writers: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Jennifer Salt

Director: Bradley Buecker

Previously on “American Horror Story”:

Episode 3.10: “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks”

 

“Protect the Coven” brings most of the characters – dead and alive – back to gear up for what will hopefully be a very exciting conclusion to “American Horror Story: Coven”. If this fast-paced, crazy-ass episode is any indication, we’re in for a pretty damn good thrill ride.

Queenie’s always been bold in what she says and does, so it should be no surprise when she chooses Nan’s funeral to reappear with Delphine to announce their acute case of not being dead. Marie and Delphine greet each other the way you’d expect lifelong nemeses to – with a loogie from Delphine and a massive slap in the face from Marie. Aww, it’s a good ol’ family reunion!

Delphine resumes her role as the house maid, cleaning up everyone’s messes and cooking up turd soup for them to eat… and that’s no hyperbole. “AHS” took some notes from The Help, it seems, as it implies that Delphine grabbed Madison’s poop out of the toilet and cooked it up real special-like. Mmmm-mmmm. And it wouldn’t be “AHS” without a somewhat pointless flashback, so this time we get to see Delphine’s first slave-slashing, a flashback which coincides with her cutting someone up in the present. Looks like somebody needs to watch Roots again and learn a little more empathy. While none of this adds much in terms of the overall story, it does fulfill “AHS” requisite violence quota… although it’s certainly not the last bit of gore in this episode.

After Delphine has finished her kill, Spalding appears to her, claiming that he knows of a potion that will make Marie mortal again. What does he want in return? A rare baby-doll. Creepy, dude. Super creepy. That hobby strikes me as a wee bit unhealthy, but whatever. Eventually we find out that the magical de-immortalizing potion is (drum roll) Benadryl! Ha! Spalding is just playing a trick on Delphine so that he can 1. Get a new doll, and 2. Knock Marie out. He then tells Delphine to bury her somewhere she can’t get out of, and proceeds to double-steal her already stolen baby, giving him what he calls his own “living doll.” Well played, Spalding. You creepy bastard.

Previously, I’ve gone on at length about how little Cordelia adds to the Jessica Lange Wacky Witch Hour Featuring Special Guests Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett and Some Other People. Well, Cordy stays true to form for most of this episode… until she gets so fed up with not having her super clairvoyancy that she stabs herself in the eyeballs! Cordelia! Those eyeballs were brand new! It’s unclear yet if this even worked, but her Odin-style self-mutilation sure got my respect.

And speaking of characters who’ve added nothing to the show, what the hell is Axeman’s purpose? Before this episode, he’s seduced Fiona. Boo, boring. Finally, in “Protect the Coven” he lives up to his Axeman name. Fiona and Marie arrange a meeting with the Witch Hunters Corporation so they can come to a truce. They should know to never trust a witch. Too bad they didn’t notice that the dude serving all of their drinks was secretly the Axeman! Axeman does what he does best- grabs and axe and starts swinging. Before you know it, he’s chopped, sliced, and shot all of those witch-hunting wanguses. There’s so much gloriously bloody violence in this sequence that you may have to rewind it to catch all the little details, like Marie pointing lazily at one of the guys with a “you missed one” look on her face. This whole Corporation thing seemed like it was going to be a huge, drawn out ordeal and was giving me some serious flashbacks to the endlessly boring vampire boardroom meetings of “True Blood” season five, but nope! Not when you’ve got Fiona running things. She ripped that band-aid off by having her boyfriend gut the boardroom, American Psycho-style. Yes, yes, yes!

In other news, Zoe does a spell which informs her Fiona and Marie killed Nan, but she’s yet to do anything with this knowledge… or anything of note, for that matter. Mostly she just makes doe eyes at dead guy Kyle, prompting him to deny Madison and declares his love for Zoe. Myrtle tries to help the two love birds by encouraging them to run away. Surprisingly, they go through with it, and the episode ends with them on a bus (which I kept expecting to get telekinetically smashed by Madison). Hey, maybe that’s for the next episode.

Myrtle kills it this week, first by getting a little more involved with the Coven’s goings-on, and second with her zinger to Madison: “You are the worst kind of Hollywood cliché- a bobble head with crotchless panties.” And then Madison zings right back by promising to bring the Coven into a new age, with crotchless panties for everyone. Looks like she just got my vote for the next Supreme.

The episode ends with Delphine contemplating how to get rid of an unconscious Marie. If they get rid of the awesome Angela Bassett that easily, I’m going to be pretty dang ticked off. Also, we know Kyle and Zoe’s runaway plan isn’t going to pan out, so, “AHS”, I’m asking nicely, quit farting around and get to the dang point with these two! On the plus side, we got Queenie’s triumphant return and the witch hunting corporation seems to be kaput, so we’re finally getting somewhere! Though I had a few minor quibbles about this outing, there was so much crazy goodness jam-packed into “Protect the Coven” that it easily ranks as one of “AHS”s best episodes.

 

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