“American Horror Story: Coven” Recap: “Welcome to Hell”

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Moons over my hammy! The opening sequence of this week’s American Horror Story – which looks like a fabulous old silent film reel when it isn’t strongly resembling a shitty Smashing Pumpkins video – is a perfectly camp introduction to the penultimate episode of this blithely batty season. We learn through a series of vignettes that the Seven Wonders are: Telekenisis, Concilium, Transmutation, Divination, Vitalum Vitalis, Nerve, and Talent. Seriously, I am EATING THIS UP. Where have you been the last three weeks, Nameless Puritan Chicks in Bonnets?!

Back at Hogwarts, Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) knows what Fiona (Jessica Lange) is up to WITHOUT reading her mind, because Fiona is about as hard to read as a large-print menu. She wants to know where Marie Motherf*cking Laveau is, but Fiona could care less. But when Queenie gets sassy, Fiona smack-talks her “half-baked Beetlejuice” voodoo deity and gives her a mind choke that would make Cheryl from Archer swoooooon. She tells Queenie that she will be doing the gauntlet of the Seven Wonders on Saturday whether she likes it or not.

THE HARDEST WORKING OPENING TITLES ON TELEVISION

Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) looks not-so-fresh, with the whole half-peeled lemon face thing and all. She asks Madison (Emma Roberts) for help adjusting, but Mads – ever the team player – transmutates away from her touch (she’s afraid that Cordy will learn that she’s the one that 86′d Misty). Cordy implores, “Madison, I need to touch you” and she eventually relents… and Cordy can’t see dick. DUN-DUN-DUNNNNNNNN….

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Queenie finds a bloody mess in the garden and can hear the voice of Marie crowing about revenge. Where is it coming from? This is like an underproduced vignette from Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. Up in her room, Queen reads her bedazzled Book of Shadows, manifests a version of herself floating above her own bed, and then snaps to in the chicken joint she worked at in Detroit. What, whaaaah? Turns out, this is Queenie’s hell, and Papa Legba (Lance Reddick) schools her on it. She has the power to get herself out of dodge before the customers get unsavory.

Back in the here and now, Queenie points out to Papa (over hot cocoa) that Marie (Angela Bassett) is technically in breach of their contract just because she’s been hacked into pieces by Delphine (oh, BTW, Delphine hacked Marie into pieces). In addition, Delphine (Kathy Bates) has gotten her hair did, has incapacitated the tour guide at her old home, and is now conducting the tours herself, delivering a very different (and very revisionist) version of the events. Delphine claims that she stepped in just because the tour upped her murder count from 62 to 150, but let’s face it: she was a grabby little thing from the get-go. Queenie ambushes her at the house and tries to set her right, but she has no remorse. So Queenie stabs her in the heart and condemns her to hell, and black goo spurts out of her chest cavity. Is this the end of Delphine?

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