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‘American Horror Story Coven’ Review: ‘Head’

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN Head - Episode 309 (Airs Wednesday, December 11, 10:00 PM e/p) --Pictured: (L-R) Evan Peters as Kyle, Jessica Lange as Fiona -- CR. Michele K. Short/FX

In last night’s episode of American Horror Story Coven, there was so much fake blood, I wonder if there is a shortage in Hollywood. In Ryan Murphy’s ninth episode titled, “Head,” we finally learn who was responsible for Cordelia’s acid attack, how crazy Hank really is, and that Delphine can single-headedly (see what I did there) steal a scene.  Let’s get into it.


Cordelia is still dealing with learning to function in the house as a blind person, and it was so frustrating for her to try to make eggs, only to accidentally knock the entire carton onto the floor.  Luckily, she doesn’t have to struggle for that much longer.  Myrtle does what any good surrogate mother would, and takes it upon herself to drug Pembroke and gauge out her eyes to give to Delia.

A couple of comments for this scene: I never ever need a melon-baller in my house and Delia’s different colored eyes keep me distracted whenever she talks.  Probably the most important aspect we learn about Delia’s acid attack is who is responsible: Hank’s father.  Yeah, it came out of nowhere.  My reaction was basically, “Ohhh. Wait, what?”

We just learned that he’s a witch hunter with the flashbacks of him teaching Hank how to kill witches.  Why is a character that was just introduced as a witch hunter this episode, the apex of a story that’s had a slow build all season? Of all the directions to choose, this is the easiest way to tie up the growing loose ends, including Myrtle magically fixing Delia’s eyes. If it was that easy, why didn’t Fiona just go steal someone else’s eyes? Think about if Laveau had this done to Delia to get back at Fiona and cause the coven to implode. The war that would have erupted would have been epic.


I understand that Hank didn’t have any idea that his father was responsible, but this man is basically ping-ponging between all the groups without any real direction. He’s supposed to be his father’s minion, Laveau’s secret weapon, and Delia’s husband and he basically fails at all of it.  Granted, he didn’t know that his father arranged the acid attack on Delia, and he does feel bad about it because he’s grown to fall in love with her, sort of.  He’s got daddy issues that same way Delia does about Fiona so I think that’s why they worked for a while.

I’m 100 percent Team Delia on this one though, so when she tells him, “your shit is in the closet, take it and go,” I cheered. Mainly because he’s still a cheating dog who lied about his identity to his wife.  Also, I will always love Fiona’s hatred of him, so her little exchange with him where she knocks the box out of his hand, however childish, was spot on. As if Hank doesn’t have enough going on, he gets a little warning from Laveau via her voodoo doll.  She isn’t messing around, she wants the Coven destroyed and Hank is her key…or so she believes.

Marie Laveau

I love Marie. I love her badass attitude, her incomparable voodoo skills, and her ability to hold a grudge for hundreds of years.  That said, I knew when she turned Fiona’s proposition to unite against the witch hunters down, things were going to end badly.  I didn’t think it would be as bad as it was because who would have seen that mess coming?  The massacre scene is exactly what I feared every single time I said, ‘please don’t let Ryan Murphy pull a Ryan Murphy.’

The heavy handed juxtaposition of Queenie finally getting through to Delphine’s talking head about civil rights followed by Hank slaughtering almost everyone in Laveau’s salon was over the top.  I say this knowing full well that this is a show that by very definition is over the top. When he tries to outdo the previous shocking scenes, there’s only so much room to go before he hits ridiculous and this was it.  Laveau’s clan is massacred, but everyone in Fiona’s coven survives zombies?  I mean, Queenie blows her head off to kill Hank, so we better be seeing her next episode just fine, since she not supposed to die if her actions are related to maiming/killing someone else.  Basically, if we had to get Madison back, we get to have Queenie back. That’s only fair.

The end result of all this (I really want to curse here, but I’ll keep it classy), is Laveau going back to Fiona with her tail between her legs.  Not a fan of this either because it makes Marie look like a novice, and she’s far from that.  I think the point that Murphy is trying to make is Laveau is the most powerful voodoo priestess and she let her hubris get in the way of the good of her clan.  To end on slightly positive note, however, I still love the complicated relationship between Queenie and Delphine, a testament to both Gabourey Sidibe and Kathy Bates; they play the nuances of their scenes perfectly and have all season.


I loved Nan being the conduit for Joan and Luke Ramsey (Patti LuPone and Alexander Dreymon) to talk while he was in his coma.  It was a sweet moment when Joan realized she needed to put aside her religious fervor to reach her son.  Of course, Murphy takes it away when it comes out that Luke knows his mother killed his father and she smothers him with a pillow after he survives being shot.


The gains Kyle made for me by using words and not grunting this episode were erased when he killed the dog for no reason.  I don’t care that he’s now the “new guard dog” for the coven now that Fiona has fixed him.  The dog was better than Kyle.


Misty is the one character that I’m still not sure what my feelings are for her.  On one hand, she has this raw natural power as a witch and on the other she’s entirely too flighty AND she brought back Madison and Kyle. That transgression alone makes me question her existence.  Her partnership with Delia, however, is interesting and I want to see if Misty tries to take control and force Delia to choose between her and Fiona.

Overall, I’ve reached the point in all American Horror Story seasons where Mr. Murphy starts to lose me.  Actually, it’s been happening for the last couple of episodes, but last night sealed the deal.  Sometimes great drama can come from subtle scenes.  The phenomenal casting of this season set up great expectations and it started out that way.

As usual, though, Ryan Murphy starts to let his, ‘let’s pull something so shocking and grandiose’ just because he can without tying it into the crux of the story.  Case in point, Myrtle and Fiona have a great ‘frenemy’ relationship, did we need to see this much of Myrtle’s crazy? I vote not.  I’m hoping this break is what’s needed for me to get my feelings back and enjoy the all star casting, even if it means I have to deal with the next ridiculous stunt.

What did you guys think? Are you still enjoying the season or has it gone too far off the rails? Hit the comments and share your thoughts with us!

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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