‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Episode 10 Recap: “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks”

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I thought about just making this recap “STEVIE NICKS STEVIE NICKS STEVIE NICKS” cut-and-pasted a hundred times, but on the one hand that would have annoyed you. It also would have overstated the skill with which AHS shoehorned her into this episode, which is does as a sort of meta-commentary on the fact that people will do all sorts of nice but insincere things for you if you have a modicum of power. Sort of the way they got Stevie Nicks to be in this episode, get it? I am not sure the showrunners were aware of what they were implying, though.

Anyway:

We open on Marie and Fiona alone together in a bedroom at Miss Robichaux’s. They chew on every available prop as Fiona gives Marie tea, and Marie intones, “I’m ashamed to show you my weakness.” They talk about the battle to come. “Tomorrow we’ll draw the battle lines,” Fiona says. But a little wiggle in Marie’s cheek indicates she’s faking. Or suspicious. Or suspiciously faking. One of them.

Marie is visited by Papa, who wants to know why Marie has taken refuge at Miss Robichaux’s. Papa demands that Marie pay his price: it’s the bargain you made so long ago. Then he laughs maniacally. As he laughs, I keep thinking: boy, this character is an eighty-car pileup of racial stereotypes. An eighty-car pileup not worth sorting out unless I wish to read eight thousand facebook comments on the subject of how “obsessed with racism” I am.

Marie dreams of being in a hospital. She enchants a nurse to let her into the nursery ward. She selects a specific baby, who gives her a look that says: “what the hell am I doing in this crazy television show.” And then Marie flees with the baby, walking right by some policemen with guns. “Mama’s had a hard day,” she says. Then she enchants the policemen into shooting each other. The baby cries, “Shut up,” Marie breathes. “I’ll give you something to cry about.”

The next morning, in that beautiful beautiful kitchen, Cordelia is crying to her mother about Hank and how she intends to file for divorce. Marie explains that in fact she had hired hank to kill the witches. “Lucky for y’all he was a stone fool,” Marie adds. Fiona slaps Cordelia. “You are not just blind, you are willfully blind,” she yells, “You brought a viper into this sacred house.”

Misty Day is wearing the most amazing shawl, and twirling in her bedroom. Fiona comes to visit and says she’s surrounded and protected by mystical energy. Fiona tells Misty she has the most power of everyone in the house. And then she introduces her to guess who, guess who, guess who? Stevie Nicks. Misty passes out. I guess Stevie Nicks and the Supreme are buddies. “I told you she was gonna do that,” Fiona says. Then Stevie Nicks actually sings “Rhiannon” live as the girls file into the room. “I’m a huge Eminem fan, when’s he get here?” Madison says. “Marshall, you’re not his type. And more importantly you’re not the next Supreme,” drawls Lange. Okay, that was funny.

Then Misty twirls for awhile and Stevie gives her her shawl to help her with the Seven Wonders, the tests to make sure Misty is the Supreme. It’s a bit much. Madison-Emma is angry she’s not the Supreme and vows to do the seven wonders alongside Misty. The confusion is getting to be a little much, really. I liked Misty’s original shawl a lot better. The one Nicks gives her is some mid-nineties L’Express-type crap.

Cordelia enlists her mother and Marie in a crusade against Hank’s father, “Renard,” the CEO of something called the Delphi Trust. But Fiona swiftly banishes Cordelia from the spell-making designed to attack Renard where he lives: in the bank account. So Marie and Fiona do their own spell-work with mice and mazes. They have somehow enchanted what looks like the financial crimes division of the FBI to raid Delphi Trust headquarters. A little financial populism, brought to you by the creators of American Horror Story.

Then the two big witches bond as Marie does some voodoo to slow Fiona’s cancer. Marie confesses she sold her soul to Papa to get her immortality. She says it happened gradually, her sale of the soul. But then when she had a baby she discovered that there was the additional price of her baby’s innocent soul. She had to hand her child over to Papa. She tells Fiona that Papa still appears to her once a year to extract a new price, though she’s a bit cagey on just what that price is. Not that it isn’t obvious.

Meanwhile, Misty and Madison-Emma join a random funeral procession, as one often does of a lazy afternoon, I guess. Madison-Emma is there to school Misty about the outpour of gifts she’ll receive as the next Supreme. Though she’s done it to be underminery, Madison-Emma is not wrong, and Misty begins to self-doubt. At the cemetery Madison-Emma decides to prove that she too has the power of resurgence by reviving the corpse. And, as she notes, the shawl is ugly and probably Nicks didn’t care about it at all. But as Misty goes to drop the shawl in the coffin Emma hits her over the head with a brick and throws her into the coffin. Of course, she takes the shawl for herself, which undemrines the whole canny speech about the shawl.

Nan and Taissa go to see the boy next door at the hospital, but the nurse has bad news; he’s died. So Nan and Taissa have gone to Patti LuPone’s house to express their condolences. Nan’s hoping Luke can be brought back from the dead. But before she gets to that stage she needs Luke’s body. It turns out Patti LuPone had Luke cremated and Nan calls her on killing her son with a pillow. Then, after casting taissa against a wall, she forces Patti LuPone to drink a bottle of bleach.

In the greenhouse Cordelia and Myrtle Snow are… playing music and gardening? Something like that. Not really clear. Myrtle insists the music is soothing but it’s more like what that guy who lives in his mom’s basement that you met on OKCupid calls “his music.” Cordelia confesses to feeling aimless and a failure. Myrtle suggests a salad dressing business and a cruise ship hostess job. Cordelia has the only reasonable reaction, which is to start smashing things. She smashes enough of them that one grows jealous of the availability of breakables in her immediate vicinity.

At Delphi Trust, Renard is concerned. He’s trying to pull influence to get the SEC off his backs. Renard smells magic, because influence peddling isn’t working.

Fiona snorts some coke and tries to summon Papa. She proudly says she’s the Supreme. “I don’t give a wet donkey shit about your title,” he says. “I shine to only one thing: your soul.” Fiona negotiates terms. Papa wants her to muder someone she loves, and Fiona agrees to do whatever it takes. But when they kiss to seal the deal, Papa says he can’t do it; Fiona has no soul to sell. The Axeman reappears to comfort her, but she’s still a little sad.

Nan and Taissa, post-gaming their Patti LuPone adventures, agree that maybe Nan actually is the Supreme, since she got inside Patti LuPone’s head. Nan hears something (Taissa: “You always hear something”) and goes downstairs to check. She finds the baby Marie took from the hospital in a wardrobe. Nan says she’s going to keep the baby, and says now that she’s the Supreme she’s going to kill Marie. But Fiona quickly intervenes and keeps that from happening. Instead, Marie and Fiona drown Nan in the bathtub as an offering to Papa, but Nan’s not an innocent. So Papa takes Nan to “the other side” instead.

Then Stevie sings “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You,” while Fiona lounges on the couch, because SHE’S GONNA DIE.