‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Episode 13 Recap: “The Seven Wonders”


Well, this finale felt a bit anticlimactic. There was never any real suspense attached to the question of who was the next Supreme, not because we knew who it would be — we didn’t — but because the question was more: what kind of hell will Jessica Lange herself end up in? We got that question answered, and lots of people died, to boot.

We open with a Stevie music video of sorts! She’s singing (you guessed it!) “Seven Wonders!” She’s wearing a velvet top hat! Everyone’s spinning! The women are relaxing all over the house, preparing to perform the seven wonders! This all has the feel of denouement already. The door slams behind Stevie.

Myrtle gathers everyone at a banquet table set up like a last supper, which ebgs the question: who’s Judas in this situation? Cordelia starts off the festivities trashing the dearly departed Fiona, so clearly that’s her vote for the role. Then she quotes that Bible verse about putting away childish things. Then, with Myrtle playing emcee and FrankenKyle as butler, we’re off.

They begin with telekinesis. All four manage to pull a candlestick across the table. Not too impressive.

In the concilium (mind-control) portion, Gabourey Sidibe does a pretty awesome version of slapping herself, I gotta say. Madison-Emma uses the occasion to torture FrankenKyle and the two girls fight for control of him. Cordelia has to get in the middle of it.

Then it’s on to the descent into the netherworld. Queenie is frying chicken again, the line around the block as always. It doesn’t take her much effort to return. Madison-Emma throws some shade at NBC by saying she was stuck as Liesl in a live version of the Sound of music. Zoe gets stuck in an endless breakup loop.

But Misty stays for longer. She’s back in middle school, struck dissecting a frog she keeps reviving. It’s pretty gross, at least if you’re like me and somehow dodged the dissecting bullet in elementary school. Cordelia’s worried because she can see Misty is stuck, but Myrtle says Misty has to come back on her own. Which she doesn’t manage, and Misty dissolves into a pile of ash straight out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Transmutation is a fairly boring game of tag, although it’s at least spring and kind of pretty out in New Orleans. But then Zoe accidentally rematerialized impales on the gate. She dies, and can’t be revived. Cordelia orders Madison-Emma to bring Zoe back. Madison-Emma refuses, even though Myrtle tells her she won’t deserve to be Supreme if she doesn’t revive Zoe. So instead Kyle spends some time crying over Zoe’s corpse. “Why’d you leave me?”

Myrtle, meanwhile, has surmised that the actual power resides in Cordelia — the theory being that the girls are just vessels — and she commands her to perform the Seven Wonders. Naturally, Cordelia is ace at the first five. So we move on to the sixth wonder, divination.

Myrtle conducts the thing as a sort of telepathic treasure hunt. Cordelia must use a pile of pebbles to find an item belonging to a former Supreme. She does that easily too. Madison-Emma, meanwhile, freaks out before she tries her own test and fails it. She says she’s “going back to Hollywood, where people are normal.” Then she threatens to out the coven to TMZ. No one seems either particularly alarmed or moved to stop her.

FrankenKyle has other plans for Madison though and demands to know why Madison-Emma wouldn’t revive Zoe. She says it’s because she loves Kyle. He tells her, “You’re not that good an actress,” and then strangles her. Meanwhile, Cordelia in the garden house manages to revive Zoe herself.

God, we’re only halfway through the episode at this point.

Spalding appears from nowhere with a doll’s hand to help Kyle bury the body. Cordelia rises from reviving Zoe to find herself with the glowing, radiant health of a ruling Supreme: meaning, roughly, thather eyes have been fixed. Turns out Myrtle was right: Cordelia is one true Supreme! And for some reason she decides to go public as a “woman who identifies as a witch.”

You know, Buffy did a much better job of analogizing Wiccans to gays in the closet, back in the say. Except the witches on Buffy were also actually lesbians. This show needs more gay witches.

Anyway, in the interim it seems Miss Robichaux’s has become a home for wayward witches. Myrtle, however, feels Cordelia is shirking her harder choices. She insists, for example, that she ought herself to be burned at the stake the second time. “I killed, and I must pay for it,” says Myrtle. Cordelia refuses at first, but Myrtle insists, so we have occasion for another montage to a Stevie Nicks song. Mercifully, Myrtle burns fast, like dry kindling.

When the women return to the house, though, Cordelia senses something awry, signalled by the sound of her mother’s laughter. In the parlor, she finds Fiona smoking. “I saw you die,” says Cordelia. “Look again, now that you have real vision,” says Fiona. In fact Fiona simply went to Paris for a couple of days while she waited for the witches to sort out among themselves who the next Supreme was. The blood on the Axeman was all just a ruse, taken from a goat.

Fiona tells Cordelia she did plan to come in and take the new Supreme out. “Makes it a little harder when the Supreme turns out to be your own daughter,” Cordelia speculates. But Fiona says no. “You took power the minute I gave bitrth to you,” she adds, “A woman becomes a mother, she sees mortality in that cherubic little face.” Lange chews on the scenery awhile, then admits, “I have to die, for you to truly live.” It turns out this whole thing was about the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters, sort of like the entire trajectory of your relationship with your therapist! Then there’s a lot more therapy talk about letting out your feelings and enduring stuff.

Of course then Cordelia hugs her mother and tells her she has to “do this alone,” and Lange collapses. She awakes in a bed in some kind of hell-cabin where she lives with the Axeman, who I guess catches catfish. He tells her she acts like she doesn’t know where she is every morning, when she wakes up. He says they’ve been there for all eternity and then makes a vulgar (vulgar!) joke about a stuff one. I’d advise her to look on the upside — she’s wearing a great black negligee for all eternity, apparently. It should make up for all the “knotty piiiiiiiiiine” she keeps screaming about.

And then off in the distance, Papa laughs hysterically.

Meanwhile, Cordelia, Queenie and Zoe open the doors to the new crew of witch recruits, who look like extras for a goth version of The New Girl. “What’s a Supreme?” asks one of them. “You’re looking at her,” says Queenie. The End, that’s all, folks! Tune in again in October for the next iteration of Ryan Murphy’s twisted psyche.