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American Horror Story: Coven review: “Burn, Witch, Burn!”

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Week one of Heave’s TV reviews debuts concludes here, with Marissa Morales’ take on American Horror Story: Coven. Keep checking back with us for all your episodic writeup needs.

“Burn, Witch, Burn!” is further proof that American Horror Story: Coven is doing its best to completely numb me to any sort of violence, one episode at a time. It’s also further proof that this season, the show feels a bit too plot-heavy. Maybe it’s time to cut a few loose, eh Ryan Murphy?

With the war between witchcraft and voodoo hitting a fever pitch, including Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) being physically blinded but apparently gaining a fun new power in the process, the show seems to be aiming for a full-blown war, but it’s already midseason. So essentially for as crazy as the season has been thus far, it’s about to get even more chaotic. Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) seems to be leaving no stone unturned in her quest to take out Supreme Fiona (Jessica Lange), while Fiona is dealing with her own problems.

While she’s still (sort of) dealing with the death of Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts), who it turns out–oops!–could not have been the next Supreme,  there’s the council up her ass about Madison’s whereabouts while trying to de-Supreme her, and a daughter who just can’t quite seem to keep their small coven under control. It ain’t easy being Queen. Meanwhile, Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga) has zombies outside their house with only Nan (Jamie Brewer), an injured Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), and their racist devil-maid Madame LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) to help her. This was the highlight of the episode, with the revelation that Zoe may actually be the next supreme, causing Marie to wonder what kind of strong witch is now residing with the coven.

What I wanted to know was what the hell happened to Kyle (Evan Peters) in this episode? After his escape in the previous episode, are we just left to wonder? I realize he will pop up again, but that plotline has the potential to be far more interesting than it has been, so maybe we should de-clog some excess plot in order to make his work.

For example, what exactly is the deal with this Luke character (Alexander Dreymon) and his hyper-religious mother? Now that Luke is in the house after being attacked by zombies, what will happen? Will we do more with him? Will Nan get it in? I have so many questions because his character has been less than prominent thus far, but clearly he’s sticking around, so at least make it good. Also, what exactly are we doing with Madison? We know Fiona slit her throat and now Spalding (Denis O’Hare) is using her as a living doll for his kink, but surely we have more in store for her beyond seeing her arm ripped off because Spalding can’t move her. Too. Much. Plot.

While this season deals with a lot of race issues, I feel strange about the route that is being taken with Madame LaLaurie. She was a truly evil woman, and Fiona has no sympathy for her, so why are the writers painting her in such a sympathetic way? This episode involved a lot of trying to absolve her of her past sins, but she still did horrific things, which the show has no problem demonstrating. I don’t want to sympathize with her character, but it feels like it’s being forced on me. I don’t trust her, I don’t trust the plot line.

And then the episode ends with Misty (Lily Rabe) finally returning, bringing Myrtle (Frances Conroy) back to life after Fiona has her burned at the stake, and one can only wonder what this means. Is Misty the actual Supreme? Who knows? So many questions, Ryan Murphy. Just so many questions.