‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Episode 12 Recap: “Go to Hell”

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We open this week’s episode in a frankly gorgeous silent film section. It tells the story of the Seven Wonders with title covers and piano sonata. I would be happy to watch several hours of this; it is like a gorgeous Classic Hollywood take on the Crucible. Women in pilgrimish outfits file into a barn without a roof (rafters look better when set against the moon) to determine their very own Supreme. To do this they must perform the “seven wonders”: telekinesis, concilium (control of the mind), transmutation, divination, vitalum vitalis, decensum (conferring with the afterlife), and pyrokinesis. We fade from that into Jessica Lange, sitting at a table with Queenie. Queenie calls Fiona on the scheme to find the next Supreme and kill her. She also notes that Marie Laveau is missing. Fiona insists no, she’s dying. She will nonetheless make the other witches try out the wonders.

Not-so-shockingly, Cordelia’s attempt to get her sight out didn’t work. She can’t get anything from Misty’s room. Nor out of Madison.

Queenie puts herself in a sort of trance, looking for Marie, and finds herself working at a fried chicken hut. Where the main customer is Papa. He tells her she’s just recalling the worst time in her life, in that patois accent of him I fear is a vicious stereotype. Of course, this whole scene is a vicious stereotype. Good cinematography, though. It’s shot in some nice black and white with saturated red accents. I tried to focus on that. When Queenie awakes back in her room, she demands answers. And gets them! It seems a little easy, really.

Marie Laveau, it turns out, got chopped into fifty pieces and spread about the city. That was Delphine’s work. Cut to the Lalaurie house, where Delphine, looking an awful lot like Kathy Bates looked in Fried Green Tomatoes, is giving the tours. Naturally she’s doing a little revisionism. Queenie confronts her, tells her she’ll let her go if she walks into a life of service to repent for her crimes. Delphine refuses because she… hates public apologies? Like Paula Deen’s, and… Anthony Weiner’s… and Spitzer’s? It all seems a little off-topic. They talk awhile, and then finally Queenie just stabs Delphine. “I don’t wanna die,” Delphine gasps.

Myrtle is helping style Fiona’s portrait, bringing in mums from the garden. Fiona’s getting sicker and sicker, complete with nosebleeds and lamenting over costume jewelry from one’s mother. Fiona tries to give the necklace to Cordelia as a gesture of farewell. Cordelia lets Fiona put the necklace on her. But then she has a vision of all the girls dead all over the house, herself included, and her mother ripping that necklace from her dead chest.

Cordelia goes to visit the Axeman. She tells him it’s not safe to love Fiona. “I speak from experience,” she says, stiffly. Then she tells him of her vision that Fiona will kill everyone, and leave the Axeman too. “You feel that, that empty, heartbroken feeling? That’s what it feels like to get close to Fiona,” she whispers. He’s convinced enough that later, when Fiona comes by, he confronts her about it, then chops her to bits and feeds her to alligators. Well, that solved that.

Back at the house, Cordelia’s in full-blown clairvoyant. Dhr starts sniffing Misty’s closes, and sees her singing in the closed casket, in the grave. Cordelia brings Queenie along to help break Misty out of the tomb. When they break things open, Misty’s not breathing, but Queenie manages to revive her with a spell.

Meanwhile, Myrtle’s arranging nightshade and Madison is bitching about everyone’s dsiapperance. Zoe and Kyle come in the door too. They admit they made it to Florida, but there Kyle almost immediately killed a homeless man. Misty, returning starts to beat the crap out of Madison. Myrtle disinterestedly asks that they knock off the “fisticuffs,” a world not used enough lately, but it has little effect. At that moment, because not enough is going on, the Axeman walks in. “Boy, did you walk into the wrong house,” intones Madison-Emma, and the group of witches throw him against the wall. He leaves a trail of blood behind, which Cordelia swiftly divines is her mother’s. Dizzy yet? Just wait until the lot of them chop and stab the Axeman to death.

The action moves from there to a dungeon, where Marie Laveau seems to have entrapped Delphine. It turns out they’re both really in hell, hell as formulated by Papa, who forces Marie to torture a version of Delphine’s daughter as Delphine watches. It’s all a bit strange because Marie Laveau doesn’t seem to want to do it. Also because guys? This is the penultimate episode. What’s left to do next week, I ask you?