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‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Review: ‘The Dead’

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN The Dead - Episode 307 (Airs Wednesday, November 20, 10:00 PM e/p) --Pictured: Emma Roberts as Madison -- CR. Michele K. Short/FX

Last night, American Horror Story: Coven belonged to Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett. The newest chapter in the eternal feud between Delphine LaLaurie and Marie Laveu took a surprising twist when one of the Coven decides to align with the enemy in “The Dead”.

In “The Dead,” Queenie began to develop doubts about LaLaurie, she found guidance in a place one would least expect. Also: Madison struggled with adjusting to life as a member of the resurrected, walking-undead club; Kyle continued to grunt his way through life; Delia realized just how treacherous her mother could be and Fiona regretted a one-night stand with the man who “watched” her blossom into the powerful witch she is.

Kyle and Madison

I get that Madison and Zoe did this to Kyle, and he would rather be dead than stuck in his new body but if I have to sit through one more grunting scene, I personally give Zoe permission bury him in the backyard.  I understood the magnitude of having him kill his mother after years of sexual abuse, so his incapacity to deal with his feelings over her and his new undead life is not surprising.  No human being could go through something that heinous and not have issues.  I just have problem watching him act like a raging out of control three-year-old without any real purpose.

I’m hoping that his new “friendship” with Madison will anchor both characters to the rest of the house versus continuing to make them unnecessary since she is also still struggling with her new life as a “dead” person to feel something.  She ironically points out that she spent most of her life trying not to feel anything by using drugs and sex as a way to escape her problems.  Now, it’s the exact opposite.  She’s using sex with Kyle as a way to feel again, which is fine be me so long as they stay occupied and not annoying.  Granted, it doesn’t hurt Madison that she gets to one-up Zoe when she accidentally walks in on them having sex.  Madison may be dead, but she’s still bitchy.


Now that Delia is permanently blinded by the acid attack, she has to relearn how to function in the house and deal with knowing what’s really going on around her.  The irony that Delia sees everything now that she’s blind remains heavy-handed but her warning to Zoe to watch her back now that she knows Fiona killed Madison is still valid.  She has always known that Fiona is out for Fiona, but now she has proof that her mother is a murderer.  Delia’s complicated relationship with Fiona is about to come to a head, when Fiona learns that her own daughter is making a power play to have Zoe kill Fiona.  Doesn’t that make Delia just like her mother, though, a puppet master of the coven?  Also, what in the actual hell is her husband doing with that arsenal? Nothing good, that’s what.


Zoe steps up to the challenge that Delia presents her when she reveals Fiona killed Madison by tying Spalding up and reattaching his enchanted tongue. I think I was as shocked as Spalding was when he started talking.  He tries to keep from implicating Fiona as Madison’s killer, but that pesky enchantment overrides his loyalty and he literally blurts out the truth.  Here’s where Zoe surprised me, she turns around and kills him or at the very least severely maims him, (because on this show I’m never positive who stays dead.)  In other news, Zoe takes control of her sex life and decides that she’s okay with sharing Kyle with Madison. What? Ew, but to each their own.  She can’t have sex with live men because she’ll kill them with her lethal vagina, so this is the best she’s going to get: sex with the grunting Kyle.  Aim high, Zoe, aim high.


After reeling from her chemo side effects of last week, Fiona is still in the bar with who we have been introduced to as “The Axeman.” How incredibly creepy/hot was it when he seduces her? The camera shots cutting back and forth between his playing the saxophone and verbally wearing Fiona down was very Cat on Hot Tin Roof.  And then it turned super creepy when The Axeman reveals that he’s watched Fiona grow up from a little girl he wanted to protect to a woman with whom he wanted to seduce.  Fiona is trying everything to hold on to the image of her waning beauty and power.  She’s getting older and now her hair is falling out from the chemo, it’s a double insult to her.  This little rendezvous is all about her finding someone who finds her attractive, but when she realizes that he’s a spirit from the house, her facial expression reveals how truly disturbed she is by his attention.  Also, you know Fiona is off her game when she doesn’t notice the dead body in The Axeman’s disgusting tub.


Now for my favorite part of this week’s episode: the unraveling of Queenie and Delphine’s friendship.  I had already fallen in love with the dysfunctional relationship between Queenie and Delphine, when she became Queenie’s slave.  Queenie has given Delphine a taste of her own medicine, but also protected her from her daughters trying exact revenge upon her as zombies.  They have a complicated, multi-layered relationship that draws me in every time.

This is a testament to Kathy Bates, because let’s face it, old Delphine is a monster BUT you feel for her when she realizes present day that she was wrong in her beliefs and actions.  Does that negate her killing a slave’s newborn and painting her face with his blood? Absolutely not. This is why I was about 80% okay with Queenie selling her out and turning her over to Marie at the hair salon.  My other 20% was legitimately sad because you could see the sadness/pain on both Delphine and Queenie’s faces.  I would also like to point out that while Marie is getting revenge for Delphine’s past life, she’s also playing Queenie like a violin.

Marie has no trouble highlighting all of Queenie’s insecurities as they relate to the coven and her feelings of not fitting in.  Hell, even Delphine notices that she doesn’t seem to fit perfectly with the very pale coven.  So, Marie’s offer of a new residence to Queenie is tantamount to feeling like she’s finally home, something she’s wanted her entire life and Marie knows it.  How about that scene with Marie painting her face with Delphine’s blood?? Game. Set. Match to Marie Laveau…and Angela Bassett.

Angela Romack
Angela Romack is writes what you’re thinking about when it comes to your favorite TV shows. If you don’t agree, that's fine. She's okay with being right. Follow her on Twitter at @AngelaMRomack.

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