American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 5

Given the namesake of this week's episode, Mommy Dearest reflects the sisterly bonds and mother/daughter relationships that have been prominent this series

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ollowing last week’s dramatic outcome, Cordelia is now recovering in hospital after having sulphuric acid thrown in her eyes, but as she says “I had to go blind before I could see the truth”. Despite having lost her sight, Cordelia has somehow magically gained the ability of absolute sight, meaning every time someone touches her, she can see all the messed up stuff they’ve done. AHS fans have been routing for Cordelia’s powers to make themselves known for weeks, now so her new talent is going to be quite revealing when she gets her hands on her sinful students.

Enter Hank, who as you may recall, murdered his mistress last week whilst his wife begged Marie Lavaeu to help her conceive their much desired child. Yet this is where our first proper twist of the season comes in to play as it is revealed that Hank is a Witch Hunter hired by Marie, and seemingly found himself falling in love with the gentle Cordelia. How on earth you can be married to someone and fail to acknowledge their giant artillery collection as a little odd is beyond me, but hey, Cordelia has obviously been too busy making health juices out of plants.

As we know, Hank isn’t the only enemy within Miss Robichaux’s. Fiona comes to terms with the horror of what happened to her daughter in hospital and in a touching, yet obviously metaphorical moment where we see Fiona use her powers for good. For once at least. Nursing a stillborn baby, it comes back to life after Fiona urges the mother to hold her in what is possibly a very grim hallucination. I had my suspicions that there’d be some form of twist revealing that Fiona had coordinated the acid attack to disarm her daughter, so it was reassuring to see that Fiona does indeed have some love left for her Cordelia, even if she does choose to play it out with someone else whilst on a lot of drugs.

Meanwhile, as you might remember, there were a hoard of zombies sent to the front door of Miss Robichaux’s under Marie’s command. Madame LaLaurie sees her own three murdered daughters amongst the shuffling ghouls and recalls her abuse of them when they were alive; punishing them and forcing them to spend time in her chamber of horrors. Turns out that’s something even the undead never forget and they make a beeline for LaLaurie… Zombies are a first timer on American Horror Story, so seeing the Coven, along with a silent Spalding, tackle the swarm was great fun indeed.

Horror fans will literally not be able to contain their morbid sense of excitement when Zoe pays homage to the Evil Dead by slicing all of them with a chainsaw. Had she said ‘Groovy’ afterwards I might have exploded. Whilst the girls manage to hold down the fort, the sexy neighbour boy whose name escapes me (I want to call him Steve?) gets attacked and Nan rescues him telling him that he will have to stay at the school in order to be magically cured. Obviously there’s going to be some difficulty explaining that one to his Bible bashing mother..

Naturally, Coven attempts to tie up all the loose ends from Episode 4, and the Witches Council are yet to deal with Fiona and their suspicions that she has murdered Madison. The wonderful Jessica Lange can only ever upstaged by the equally wonderful Frances Conroy and her turn as Myrtle Snow ends with the Supreme punishing her accordingly for chewing up the scenery. All evidence clearly points to Fiona, her cunning and desperation holds no bounds as she presents Myrtle as the true evil. A reveal of a creepy collage and Myrtle’s burned hand beneath her signature red gloves indicates that Myrtle is the one who attacked Cordelia and has attempted to frame Fiona. Of course, the punishment is death by fire and Myrtle announces that she will go ‘Proudly to the flame’. And she does.

Though crushingly disappointed to see Frances Conroy go up in flames in front of a stylishly dressed gaggle of girls, the discovery of her charred corpse by Misty says Myrtle will be back to reap her revenge very soon. It’s not until Queenie questions Fiona that we find out she used her voodoo abilities, along with Spalding’s help, to frame Myrtle at the orders of Fiona and suddenly it becomes all too apparent how utterly evil Fiona is. Oh, she’s a sly one…

The body count is certainly beginning to pile up but judging by events so far, I’d say a lot of them aren’t going to stay dead for long. Kyle is still a vegetable, but the potential that Madison might come back makes it all worthwhile…

Best Scene: Zoe revving up a chainsaw and going to town on the army of the undead

Freakiest Scene: The realisation that Fiona has set up Myrtle and allowed her to be burnt at the stake. Dark…

What to look forward to next week: Well Madison’s body is still being kept by Spalding, so there’s always the potential that she’ll return. However, it will be more interesting to see what Cordelia’s new powers have in store for us…

What not to look forward to: The untimely punishment Hank is likely to receive when Cordelia finds out what he’s been up to…

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