A review of Going to Hell
As we fast approach the finale of American Horror Story: Coven there’s a buzz in the air. Well, there would be, had the anticipation of ‘Who Is The Next Supreme’ hadn’t worn thin half a season ago. This means a lot rests on Coven’s penultimate episode ‘Go To Hell’.
Despite my love of American Horror Story, Coven has disappointed this year due to the many missed opportunities within the storyline. Despite the meandering manner of the plot which has made the third season of what is usually a great show so messy and disjointed, Coven has still remained strangely enthralling each episode despite its’ faults. Perhaps Ryan Murphy should think of doing ‘Tales From The Crypt’ self-contained style episodes featuring a ‘Monster Of The Week’ from now on as Coven has just become weaker and weaker as the series rolls on; a bit like our dear Fiona Goode, who is having the life sucked out of her by the rising Supreme.
Nonetheless, we are prepared to see Coven through to the end and after some shocking developments in episode 11, I am fully prepared for all the loose ends to be tied up with a neat little bow. Cordelia, once again, has no eyes having plucked them from her own head so she may utilise the power of her Second Sight to help the Coven. Alas, I much preferred her void white post-acid eyes to these gross sticky looking seeping-red eyeballs she’s sporting – picked up directly from the props department no doubt. Last years ‘ick’ factor came from the moment we found out a psycho Nazi doctor had removed Chloe’s Sevigny’s legs and turned her into a mutant zombie but I think Cordelia’s eyes are second on the list for Most Messed Up Thing Ryan Murphy Has Done To Perfectly Nice Characters.
Unfortunately, despite her efforts, Cordelia is yet to regain her new-found power. In a touching scene between Cordelia and Fiona we see (though that might be a poor choice of words in Delia’s case…) the pair talk of their grandmother as Fiona gives Cordelia a locket that had been a family heirloom. More of these scenes would have really strengthened the mother-daughter theme Murphy was going for but I find it difficult to believe that Fiona still wouldn’t kill her first-born for the chance of immortality.
The main theme this week is of course The Seven Wonders which we learned earlier in the series are Seven powers that a witch must be able to learn and perform in order to be identified as the Supreme. A flashback of the Salem witches performing these mystical powers was a nice touch but with all of the girls showing multiple powers already, Fiona will soon be switching back to her hunt for her young successor.
Cordelia is first to figure this out as a vision reveals that she hasn’t just regained the Second Sight but the ability to see the future. In the vision she sees each girl murdered in varying gruesome ways, implying that Fiona plans to murder every girl to improve her chances of survival. In an act of desperation, Cordelia visits the Axe-Man, telling him that she believes Fiona will leave him behind rather than spend the rest of her life with him as she promised. Understandably heart-broken, he waits to confront Fiona about the departing tickets to Paris that Cordelia has warned him about . With Cordelia back in the magic game, a showdown between her and her mother is just what Coven is hoping for!
Meanwhile, this seasons spooky saviour Papa Legba has returned to give Queenie a lesson in immortality. We learn that Madame LaLaurie decided to take a leaf out of her foe Marie’s book and chop her up into pieces, scattering them about New Orleans. Unable to find Marie, Queenie summons up Papa Legba who takes Queenie to Hell, which for Queenie is an eternity inside her former chicken shop workplace where she must serve an everlasting queue of customers. Papa Legba tells her that this is her hell because it was the worst time of her life she must be able to bring herself back to her own world to prove herself a powerful witch. In turn she brings herself back and asks him what has happened to Marie.
With Marie in pieces, it seems that her deal of immortality with Papa Legba is now broken. Realising this, and how clever young Queenie is, he calls off the deal which of course reveals that the all powerful Voodoo Queen will now be dead. A shame really as a few more scenes with Angela Basset would not have gone amiss but this of course is important for Madame LaLaurie who is only immortal from drinking the tears of Marie.
Queenie goes in search of her, finding her giving tours of her grand old residence and re-writing her own dark history. She’s also had a funky old lady haircut and a modern makeover; did anyone else think she looked a lot like Paula Deen? Queenie finds that our dear Delphine has reverted to her old murderous ways (Tour Guide included…) and decides that the now mortal LaLaurie deserves a taste of her own medicine… though preferably not Benadryl.
To conclude her fate, LaLaurie dies and she and Marie Laveau find themselves trapped in Hell where Marie is forced to torture her reviled enemy and innocent daughter Borquita for all eternity whilst Delphine must watch and suffer the act until the end of days. Nice one Papa Legba!
Whilst it was sort of sad to say goodbye to two great characters, the closure of their storyline only accentuated just how wasted the two were in Coven amid the mad dash for the Supreme-ship. Both characters appeared to be verging on redemption at one point but much like the character of Luke and his mother, Nan and Hank, the parts were sadly under-written and merely served as plot-development killing fodder.
Speaking of killing fodder….
With Zoe gone, Madison is beginning to gain her confidence as the Supreme since she reveals that her resurrection cured her heart murmur. Myrtle sees her as an increasing threat, as does Queenie which is what leads herself and Cordelia to call out for Misty using the power of Divination. Sure enough, they find her still inside the coffin and with an axe to grind. Cue a cat fight in Miss Robichaux’s kitchen where Misty gives Madison the ass-kicking we’ve all been wishing for since Day One… all conveniently as Zoe – now also showing signs of the power of Resurgence – arrives to watch the fight in full throttle.
That is until the Axe Man walks into Miss Robichaux’s threatening to kill everyone in the Coven. In a dramatic twist, Cordelia uses her power and sees into the memory of the Axe-Man who has murdered Fiona in a rage of jealousy, feeding her body to alligators in the Swamp as an act of revenge. Shocked by the discovery, the Axe-Man is once again stabbed to death inside Miss Robichaux’s by the Coven. American Horror Story is perhaps best known for its sudden and brutal deaths that don’t always leave much room for mourning but Fiona’s exit in particular was not at all befitting her strong character. I have a suspicion that Papa Legba telling her she ‘has no soul’ might play a part later on. However, the death of the Axe-Man was just perfect.
Well I’m speechless. Fiona and Marie gone and now we’re left with a bunch of girls; one of whom is the Supreme. I am half expecting Nan to turn up again but that is certainly wishful thinking. Next week the girls will be undergoing trials to display their talent at performing the Seven Wonders.
So who could it be? Madison would be undeserving unless she were following in the footsteps of Fiona a.k.a selfish egotistical party animal. Zoe would be too obvious and she’s a bit of a drip and as the Misty-is-the-Supreme storyline has been pursued throughout I guess the only option is to have the shock twist of Queenie taking the title. Then of course, at this rate Kyle will probably be the Supreme so let’s not place any bets just yet.
Best Narrative Device: Papa Legba showing ‘Queenie’ her own personal vision of Hell. More of this would be a nice touch.
Most Shocking Revelation: The triple whammy of Fiona, Marie and Delphine’s death. Oh and the Axe-Man; but he doesn’t really count.
Second Big Question Of The Week: What is Kyle’s actual purpose other than someone for Madison and Zoe to fight over?
What are The Seven Wonders: As shown in the opening of the episode, the girls must master all seven to cement their identity as the Supreme:
Pyrokinesis – Control of fire
Telekinesis – Ability to willingly move objects with the mind
Divination – Seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by Supernatural means using objects
Transmutation – The ability to disappear and materialise in another place
Concilium – The power to manipulate someone with the power of the mind.
Decensum: Ascension to a spiritual nether-world with a successful return
Vitalum Vitalis: The power of Resurgence