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American Horror Story: Coven Review: “Protect the Coven” (Episode 3.11)

January 16, 2014  |  9:33pm
<i>American Horror Story: Coven</i> Review: &#8220;Protect the Coven&#8221; (Episode 3.11)

There’s a big difference between being weird and fun. For two-thirds of Coven, the show has been content with being as weird as possible, and sure, sometimes that could be fun. But the overlying feeling was that Ryan Murphy and company were just going nuts with any weird idea that they thought would be fun. That’s how we get minotaur rapes and Gabourey Sidibe using voodoo. But as Coven comes to an end, it’s actually becoming fun. In this wrap-up, there’s a focus on story and growing depth of character unlike the beginning of the season. As a result, “Protect the Coven” is the most interesting this show has been all year.

In the last two episodes, it’s like AHS has decided, “Hey, maybe we should let the audience actually know something about these characters?” Last week, we got some much needed background on Marie Laveau, and this week it’s the racist/sometimes-disembodied-head Madame LaLaurie’s turn. Her head has been reattached, and now she’s literally on a leash held by Queenie, who also is still alive after shooting herself in the head with a silver bullet that should’ve killed her. Anyways, we find out LaLaurie isn’t just a horrible racist—as a kid she liked to torture animals to see how they work, which is a hobby she brought into her adult life with slaves.

“Protect the Coven” also brings us the true unification of the Fiona and Marie teamup. Separated, they were two rivals who gave the audience really no reason to pick one over the other. But together, they’re causing destruction, murdering, and are a hell of a lot of fun.

After drowning Nan in the tub, the two are going to have a meeting with the Delphi corporation, which is of course a GREAT idea. The Delphi corporation wants to call a peace for 100 years, while the witches plan on ending it right now. The Axeman pops up, kills almost every Delphi employee, leaving the head of Delphi for Fiona’s swing of the ax. It’s a crazy scene, but maybe the best of Coven’s season, in only because you can tell Danny Huston, Jessica Lange and Angela Bassett are having a blast being violent and insane.

As far as the next Supreme, things are more uncertain than ever. Almost of the prospective Supremes have resurrected themselves and discovered new powers in the past few weeks. Kyle has fallen in love with Zoe now and doesn’t want to have anything to do with Madison in their threesomes anymore, so Myrtle suggests that Zoe and Kyle run off to Epcot, especially important if Zoe ends up being the Supreme. Understandable but … Epcot? All right. I hope this leads to a Escape From Tomorrow-style season finale. By the end of the episode, the two take off, yet in the look at next week’s episode, Zoe seems to be taking place in the Supreme Wars. So hopefully that means Coven Goes Epcot!

But back to Laveau—she’s tricked by the ghost of Spalding, who promises the magic potion of Benadryl to make Marie mortal so that she can be murdered. When the magical Benadryl doesn’t work, Ghost Spalding discovers a bop on the head works just as well to knock her out, now giving Laveau the upper hand.

In other odd plans, Cordelia decides to stab her own eyes out with garden clippers in an attempt to get back her second sight. (As if slave torture and ax murders weren’t enough to fill the blood quota this week.)

As we’re winding down the last few episodes, AHS has rediscovered the fun, by allowing character and story to the front and then allowing the weirdness to flow from those elements. We’ve got two more episodes for this show to combine weirdness and fun, but right now it looks like Coven has finally found a formula that works.

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