‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Review: ‘Protect the Coven’ Is Messy

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN Protect the Coven - Episode 311 (Airs Wednesday, January 15, 10:00 PM e/p) --Pictured: (L-R) Jessica Lange as Fiona, Angela Bassett as Marie -- CR. Michele K. Short/FX

Once again, American Horror Story: Coven continues to be a show full of random gory scenes, some of which make more sense than others. This week’s episode, “Protect the Coven,” probably depleted the latest restock of fake blood in New Orleans with.

We see that Queenie survived her gunshot wound, and managed to reattach Delphine’s head to her body, but the Coven remains an absolute mess under one roof. I still love the badass dynamic duo of Jessica Lange and Angela Bassett – quite honestly they’re the only ones keeping me tied to the show – but I think I’ve reached the point where it’s time to wrap up all disparate the stories in the coven and try to have it make a small amount of sense in the end.

Delphine and Spalding team up

With Delphine back serving the residents of the Coven, she can’t help but go back to her blood-painting ways to let of some steam.  Spalding reappears in the coven and is more than willing to help her bring down Marie Laveau because he’s livid Fiona has teamed up with her. I get his loyalty to the cause, but I thought he was “ride or die” for Fiona, so this plot twist makes me scratch my head. I did laugh at the entire plot line involving Benadryl to bring down the most powerful voodoo priestess in the world.

In the end, Delphine drugged Marie enough for her to be pretty pissed off when Delphine tried and failed to stab her. Of course, this was Spalding using Delphine to get Marie out of the house so he could have a real baby for his doll collection – creepy as hell by the way. Last we see, Marie is in a heap on the floor at the bottom of the stairs probably about to be buried under concrete by Delphine.

The Young Witches Continue to Run Amuck

Now onto the young set of witches, who continue to run around with growing powers and dwindling common sense. Madison continues to act like a three year old, especially when Kyle chooses Zoe over her. Those two, with some prodding by Myrtle, decide to run away from the Coven to remain safe from the group hunting witches. They choose a bus ride to Orlando as their destination. Of any place in the continental United States, these two choose Orlando, Florida? Huh? This decision alone proves Zoe shouldn’t be The Supreme. Queenie remains in her feelings over being shot by Delia’s husband, and left for dead by Marie and the Coven. I did like that she brought Delphine back, because their complicated relationship is one of the storylines that Ryan Murphy got right this season.

Delia Loses Her Mind and Vision Again

With Queenie raging at her, and her Coven continuing to fall apart at the seams, Delia takes matters into her own hands, literally, and gauges out her donor eyes.  Ok. Honestly, I was confused as to why she would be so drastic, but I guess getting “the second sight” back trumps everything else? Or she’s planning to have Myrtle get her another set of eyes later on down the line.  Either way, she’s blind again and the Coven is still in disarray.

Fiona and Marie Continue to Slay (Literally)

This pair continues to plan and implement their revenge against the witch hunters, and it leads them to a boardroom showdown with Delia’s father-in-law and his henchmen. Of the entire episode, this was the best scene, hands down.  Aesthetically, it was two “vulnerable” women taking on a room full of suit-wearing, powerful men. Jess Lange and Angela Bassett work best on this show playing off each other in subtle scenes, and this was one of those – well, before the axe came out and people started exsanguinating all over the boardroom table. The end result of the boardroom massacre is Fiona and Marie have triumphed over the witch hunters, Fiona gets to bed her Axe Man to thank him for his help, and the dynamic duo reigns as the baddest BFFs on TV.

These two actresses bring the perfect mix of humor, hubris, and brains to the characters to make them work. Look at the opening scene at Nan’s funeral, Fiona and Marie are eulogizing a girl they drowned in the bathtub because her growing powers were interfering with their plans.  They’re on a mission and not one person is going to get in the way of their goal.

It appears that my hope that showrunner Ryan Murphy would calm down and make the final couple of episodes less shocking isn’t going to happen.  Let me be clear, the shocks and twists add nothing of value to the story. While Bassett and Lange continue to steal their scenes as always, at some point the show must find a way to streamline the various storylines and pull it together for the finale.

How it is possible Fiona still has no idea what’s going on in her own house is ridiculous. How is this okay? As the Supreme, she should be laying the law down hard on these young ones, running around getting into trouble.  Why is Myrtle still acting like she’s the head witch in charge? I hope next week’s episode is an improvement, but I say that every week.

Until then, I ask that you just let me savor seeing the acting trinity – Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates – on my screen.

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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