‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Recap, Episode 2: “Boy Parts”


We begin, this week, in the swamp. A couple of gator hunters haul they catch in only to find Lily Rabe’s ethereal Misty Day waiting for them, incensed that they want to turn these beautiful creatures into footwear. She reanimates the gators, they kill the hunters, and “Edge of Seventeen” swells on the soundtrack.

Back at Miss Robichaux’s, Madison-Emma shows up in bra and panties for no discernable reason. She yells at Taissa for being so obsessed with the death of the nice frat boy from last week. Which, by the way, I got wrong in the recap; I thought he’d survived because I missed a quick shot of his photograph at the memorial. Because boy, is he dead. Deader than dead, even. After Zoe basically confesses all to the cops, Madison-Emma takes her to the morgue, where it turns out he is in literal pieces, which the camera lingers over multiple times. But we’re not there yet. For now, it’s just a gratuitous shot of Madison-Emma in her underwear. I’ll give Ryan Murphy this: he isn’t subtle. Subtle is not his thing.

Jessica Lange is keeping Kathy Bates tied up in her giant room. Evidently Kathy Bates smells. This is a subject of discussion more than once each episode, and at first I thought it had to be because Kathy’s flesh was decaying but it turns out she has eternal life. That’s the punishment Voodoo Angela Bassett gives her — aside from also killing Kathy Bates’ daughters and sealing her in a box — she didn’t really get poisoned as suggested in the last episode. And it’s eternal life in the non-vampiric sense. So I guess it’s that Kathy Bates needs a bath and a new outfit. Which for whatever reasons of her own Jessica Lange won’t give her. She does bring Kathy Bates some fried chicken. It’s refreshing how American Horror Story is just prepared to fulfill the every crass wish of its audience, including wanting to see Jessica Lange chow down on some fried chicken.

Jessica Lange is having a bad day, actually, because when Taissa can’t keep her mouth shut with the police, she has to spit in a couple of glasses of water and reprogram the cops to forget about the whole thing. She tosses Madison-Emma and Taissa around their room a few times to punish them. This, I guess, is when Madison-Emma decides Taissa needs a pick-me-up. She and Taissa break into the morgue. The boys on the bus (heh) are now in pieces in a refrigerator, but Madison-Emma’s got a plan to reanimate Evan Peters. It involves sewing him together like Frankenstein and reciting a resurrection spell, which involves powder and some kind of contact high from spell-smoke. But the spell, at least at first, doesn’t seem to work. A put-out Madison-Emma heads out to the car; Taissa stays behind to give one last kiss to her Sleeping Ugly. Then, of course, he wakes up. Reanimated corpses are always kind of grumpy at first, so he ends up killing a random mortician who wanders in. Oops.

Cassandra Fox gets a little backstory. She turns out to be infertile. She’s also married (I guess in the past?) to Josh Hamilton, who knows she’s a witch, and wants to quit futzing around with modern medicine. He pressures her anyway. And she does a spell with some creepy eggs and a bunch of sex. And snakes. I would have found the snakes distracting, personally. But no judgement.

And: it turns out Angela Bassett is also still alive. She owns a hairdressing shop, albeit one with a lot of great bead curtaining. She immediately spots Jessica Lange, who’s out scouting, for what she is, and they have a bit of a diva face-off. It’s kind of magnificent, if y’know, racially charged. Jessica Lange eventually cuts to the chase: “I want what you have, whatever has kept you young all these years.” She’s prepared to trade Kathy Bates for the privilege, but Angela Bassett still needs some convincing. “Maybe in another century,” Jessica Lange snarls, “you could have two shithole salons.”

It turns out that Angela Bassett has also apparently given the potion of eternal life to her minotaur lover. In truth he is kind of hot. She’s going to get her followers to do… something. Not clear what yet.

Meanwhile, Taissa’s gotta do something with FrankenKyle. Lily Rabe comes to the rescue, and they end up in her Stevie-Nicks-dreamworld of a swamp shack. Apparently smearing FrankenKyle with mud will heal him. Also giving Taissa a long lecture on the joys of Stevie Nicks. You guys, if Stevie Nicks eventually makes an appearance on this show some kind of portal to heaven will open and we’ll all be sure the gods have favored us. And we will all have to start going to witch church, or something.

Kathy Bates, meanwhile, has escaped, sort of. Nan unties her, and she clubs Gabourey. She doesn’t get very far, not knowing about cars/cell phones/etc. Kathy Bates tells Jessica Lange she’s hoping Lange will use some kind of witchcraft to kill her. But that, apparently, isn’t in the cards yet, as in this episode’s one less-than-anvil moment, Lange delicately holds Bates back from walking out into traffic.

Let’s hope next week Bates gets to wear a new outfit.