American Horror Story: Coven Review/Recap: "The Dead"

James Canellos ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
It feels like there’s currently more dead characters on the show as opposed to living ones. The appropriately titled episode is slated as; “The Dead”, follows the after life for numerous characters who supposedly bit the dust earlier in the season. In a flashback, an idealistic Kyle (Evan Peters) makes his death all the more shattering when he reveals to his frat brothers, while they’re getting tattoos, that he doesn’t want one because he wants to basically be an ideal person. His goal is to help his community in New Orleans by becoming an engineer and preventing natural disasters like Katrina from happening. One of his frat brothers gets a shamrock tattoo on his arm and another gets the saying “Beginning and End” tatted on his leg in Chinese. The now dead and chained up Kyle (Evan Peters) begins to freak out as he begins to notice that he has these tattoos on his body now, since they were stitched on him. His dreams of becoming that outstanding citizen seem much less possible and hopeless as he sees the ink on his new skin, that tattoo of the beginning and end is just taunting the teenage Frankenstein because he missed his ‘end’ thanks to the witches of the Coven. His frustration rises just in time for Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) to walk in with a loaded gun.
The next tortured soul who was brought back to life is Madison (Emma Roberts), who has no recollection of being killed by Fiona (Jessica Lange) and worst of all doesn’t know how to feel anything anymore. She tried to fill the emptiness inside her when she was alive, justifying her reckless behavior. Yet, now it’s worse then ever. Madison’s become so emotionally void that nothing can hurt her psychologically or physically, as she tries to burn her hand.

Emma Roberts in the American Horror Story: Coven episode "The Dead." Photo Credit: Michele K. Short/FX.
Emma Roberts in the American Horror Story: Coven episode “The Dead.” Photo Credit: Michele K. Short/FX.
As Madison tries to inflict pain upon herself, Kyle tries to end his own. He takes the loaded gun from Zoe and tries to kill himself until Zoe hits it out of his hands, realizing then how much of a mistake it was to even consider taking the confused boy’s life.
Kathy Bate’s monstrous Madame Delphine begins to soften with Queen (Gabourey Sidibe) as they go on a food run. Delphine has her first cheeseburger with Queen, which was kind of adorable in an ironic way. The slave owner who starved so many for a thousand different reasons is being fed by an African American woman. This talk of modern day innovations in the food industry soon fades into a discussion on how Queenie will never be accepted by the witches of the Coven because she’s black. This is still improvement for Delphine, she didn’t refer to her as a nigger in the whole scene and actually showed a much more tender side.
After Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson) receives a phone call from her cheating and witch hunter husband Hank (Josh Hamilton), it’s revealed that he’s preparing for a slaughter as we see him surrounded by numerous rifles. The recently blinded Foxx walks through the halls of the mansion and runs into Madison. Foxx clearly sees Madison’s death and sees the monster that her mother will become. This monster’s currently occupying the stolen home of The Axeman (Danny Huston). The Axeman proves to have quite a way with words as he convinces Fiona to sleep with him, even though she knows the home’s rightful owner is dead in the bathroom.
The next morning it’s revealed why The Axeman approached Fiona at the bar. It’s easy to assume that he approached her because Jessica Lange is still gorgeous. The Axeman was trapped in the walls of the Academy for all those years that he began to watch over Fiona as she grew up. He protected her when he could and saw her as a daughter, until she got older, then he began to fall in love with her. Very creepy. Shockingly The Axeman’s confession of stalking for decades didn’t appeal to Fiona, so she exits the music man’s stolen home.
Danny Huston and Jessica Lange in the American Horror Story: Coven episode "The Dead." Photo Credit: Michele K. Short/FX.
Danny Huston and Jessica Lange in the American Horror Story: Coven episode “The Dead.” Photo Credit: Michele K. Short/FX.
Back at the mansion Zoe tries to teach Kyle how to speak, but is disrupted when Madison enters the room saying that Foxx wants a word. As Zoe leaves Madison has such a nice scene with Kyle, she’s actually connecting to the only other dead person around and they embrace each other with a warm hug. Foxx reveals to Zoe that Fiona is the one who killed Madison and that they must kill the supreme before she tries to kill anyone else who posses a threat. Zoe returns to her previous room to find the two undead characters having sex. So much for a touching moment.
The anti-touching moment between Delphine and Queenie stays with Queenie. So much so that she goes to Marie (Angela Bassett) seeking some kind of guidance. Marie instead tells Queenie that she may join the Voodoo community if Queenie delivers Delphine to Marie. Both Queenie and Zoe seem to be split between the loyalty to their bloodline and to their morals as they’re both told by superiors to essentially help them commit murder. To think Sabrina thought she had it rough.
An quietly angered Zoe attaches the bounded Spalding’s (Denis O’Hare) tongue back in his mouth in order to get an accurate confession. She forces him to respond truthfully to her questions, confirming that Fiona indeed killed Madison and how his family has served the Coven for 10 generations. Madison ended that tradition by stabbing Spalding in the chest, but that really means nothing in this season of AHS, cause four characters have been brought back from the dead thus far, so the stakes don’t feel as drastic as they did anymore.
Zoe begins to wash away the blood from Spalding in a shower scene that almost resembled the iconic Psycho climax. However, it’s Madison who pulls the curtain open and instead of stabbing the blonde, she invites her to share Kyle. Not like take turns with him, like have a threesome. Zoe accepts the invitation for a threesome with two dead people. Only in American Horror Story.
Queenie and Delphine were not invited to the undead threesome, so instead Queenie sees how bad Delphine really was. Delphine reveals that she killed the love child of her cheating husband and a house slave. She didn’t want to risk the child feeling entitled to her husband’s fortune. This grotesque act leads to the house slave’s suicide.
Denis O'Hare in the American Horror Story: Coven episode "The Dead." Photo Credit: Michele K. Short/FX.
Denis O’Hare in the American Horror Story: Coven episode “The Dead.” Photo Credit: Michele K. Short/FX.
Fiona then has The Axeman’s smooth music stuck in her head as she contemplates shaving her blonde locks, as the chemo begins to kick in. She hesitates and towards the end of the episode follows the music to The Axeman’s newest club. She loves the attention this man is giving her. But it’s not just that, he’s been invested in her before she was powerful and beautiful and continues to be interested in her as she begins to decay. He doesn’t judge her, he only embraces the monster she has become. Takes one to know one I guess.
Finally, Queenie sees Delphine’s story as reasonable cause to lure her to Marie. It’s kind of sad, Delphine thinks that she’s going to change her hair style with her best friend and instead is surrounded by team Voodoo. In another bit of irony, Delphine is locked in a box and has her blood used as cosmetics for Marie. The lighting is so beautiful on Bassett’s face, one side is rich orange while the other side is cold blue. Leaving the audience to wonder who the true villain of the Coven will be.

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