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American Horror Story Review: "Protect the Coven"

James Canellos ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

In one of the goriest episodes of the season, each of the remaining characters began to decide where their allegiance lie. While we were initially assuming a war to break out between the witches of the Coven and The Corporation of Witch Hunters, creators Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy have decided to make the final show down of season 3 to occur between the witches themselves. While the theme of sisterhood has appeared throughout the past few episodes, it would show to be nothing more than a distraction fabricated by the witches of the Coven, who only want to watch their own backs.

Photos Courtesy of FX
Jessica Lange and Angela Bassett in the American Horror Story: Coven episode “Protect the Coven.” Photo Credit: Michele K. Short / FX.

Episode 11 is titled: “Protect the Coven”, at first one might think that means that they need to protect it from their enemies known as The Corporation. However, during this weeks episode, Fiona (Jessica Lange) and Marie (Angela Bassett) have a meeting with Hank’s father Harrison (Michael Cristofer) and his fellow board members. To my surprise Harrison wanted a truce between the witches and witch hunters. The witches no longer cared for pity, and instead had Fiona’s boyfriend The Axeman (Danny Huston) massacre each board member, as Marie took a picture. This scene not only declares that the witches have been the true enemy this season, but also that little scene of Marie taking the picture is such a perfect reflection of most people in our modern world. If we see something out of control and bizarre, most of us will take out our phones and get the best picture we can to post on Instagram or Snapchat.

The clear theme of this season always has been the war between age. Through the character of Fiona we have somebody who fears the idea of one wrinkle carving its way through her face, and will stop at nothing to preserve herself in her prime. Marie did the same thing and continues to do so, as she steals the infants of others as a sacrifice for her eternal youth. Both women despise the character of Madame Delphine, (Kathy Bates) and rightfully so. The woman is a hardcore racist and just a flat out monster. In this episode she clarifies that their is no redemption for herself simply because she enjoys the pain and suffering of black males. Despite Marie and Fiona’s mutual hatred of Delphine, they are all exactly the same. They’re all middle aged women who would (or have) rather see the deaths of their children before they see themselves wither away into old age. They’re all monsters.

Photos Courtesy of FX
Taissa Farmiga and Evan Peters in the American Horror Story: Coven episode “Protect the Coven.” Photo Credit: Michele K. Short / FX.

It’s not just the older witches who are dangerous though. Madison (Emma Roberts) has become her elder’s equal throughout the season. Even after her death and rebirth, she still is dead inside and has been transformed into a mini-Fiona. Towards the end of the episode Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) and Kyle (Evan Peters) get on a bus out of New Orleans, thanks to the generosity of Myrtle (Frances Conroy). It would not be surprising if Madison comes out of now where and flips that bus over like she did in the season’s first episode. However, I do think Zoe will make it out of this season alive. Kyle might give his life for her because after becoming a teenage Frankenstein, loving Zoe is all he knows and is all he cares about.

Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) might be the only witch who genuinely cares about the legacy of the coven. In this episode she knows that nobody can be trusted. Her fellow witches and students are trying to hurt the coven. So in a selfless act, she stabs out her new eyeballs, hoping that she’ll regain her ability to ‘see’ the secrets of others. Cordelia wasn’t asked by anyone to do this, she simply knows that this is the only way to end the madness. Although she might need to recover quickly.

The spirit of Spalding (Denis O’Hare) is still in the attic, and now has the baby that Marie stole. First off, this is the third season in a row that brought a baby into the mix of all this craziness. Second, I find it pretty ironic that out of all the bad parents on the show, Spalding is the only one who seems like he wants to be a father and take care of a child. Spalding’s family has worked for the witches of the coven for generations, and without a heir maybe he just wants someone to carry on his family’s legacy. Or based on his unusual collection, maybe he wants a human doll to dress up. My guess is a little bit of both. As Spalding tries to preserve his family’s legacy, the legacy of the coven will be seen very shortly as the Supreme is finally revealed.

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