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“American Horror Story: Coven” review: “The Seven Wonders”

coven

Ryan Murphy, you have betrayed me. I thought what we had was special. I touted Murder House. Hell, I even stuck up for Asylum, because at its core it was very good, well-executed and a genuinely terrifying season. But with Coven…my friend, you are on your own. I stuck around through every episode, truly and wholeheartedly believing we were going somewhere wonderful. But I was deceived.

“The Seven Wonders” began promisingly enough with a campy, music video-esque appearance from Stevie Nicks while our ladies prepared for the test of the next Supreme. A little cheesy, but that’s to be expected from this season. During testing, we essentially got to see a lot of Madison being awful, as has become par for the course. There was a lot of teasing of Misty and Zoe, and torturing of Kyle. Again, nothing new.

When it comes to the test of dying and coming back to life, we got a glimpse into each woman’s personal hell. For Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), it was living a monotonous life and dealing with the same shit. For Madison, a television version of The Sound of Music, except she’s Liesl. The joke was a bit too obvious and a bit too late for my taste, but you do you Ryan Murphy. Zoe witnessed Kyle dumping her over and over, and for a character that started out fairly strong, she sure became codependent rather quickly. Finally we had Misty, who was forced to dissect a live frog over and over. Misty was the only one not to wake up. One down.

Cordelia was obviously very upset by Misty’s passing, as they had a strange connection throughout the series; add this to the laundry list of plot points that never got developed. It was at this point that the girls began a fun game of tag, while transferring all over the place. It’s actually a really lovely scene that allowed them to just be teenage girls having fun. And then, of course, Zoe ended up impaled on the fence. Myrtle convinced Cordelia to join in on the testing. To Myrtle, how would Cordelia know if she’s Supreme or not if she never tries? Her mother was, after all. (Again, please be warned of the state of Cordelia’s eyes up through this point, because they are still the epitome of grotesque.) Once Cordelia joined in, Madison began to think the whole thing was rigged and so, shockingly, she threw a tantrum and threatened to tell TMZ of the goings-on in the Coven house. And then Kyle killed her. Choked her with his bare hands for not saving Zoe. I cheered.

Cordelia brought Zoe back, and this is the point where the show completely lost me. Suddenly Cordelia has sight and Myrtle is hailing Cordelia as the next Supreme and Zoe and Queenie politely clapp. Fast forward to an interview with Cordelia, welcoming all witches to her Coven. (I honestly thought it was some bizarre dream she was having.) Myrtle notifies Cordelia that she is ready to be burned at the stake, and volunteers to do so. Cordelia initially told her no, because Myrtle is too much like a mother to her, but eventually succumbs. Cordelia then asks Zoe and Queenie to be her new council, which they happily agree to. It was weird, especially given all the built-up conflict between Queenie and Cordelia that suddenly no longer exists?

Oh, and Fiona’s not dead. She faked the whole thing and sacrificed her lover in order to figure out who the next Supreme is.

(I know.)

So Fiona and Cordelia share a loving embrace and Fiona finally lets go. She wakes up in a shack confused and trapped with the Axeman, who slaps her around. Her purgatory is being with him. The Voodoo Man grins at her from a corner chair. Everyone else goes on to live happily ever after in their coven.

(I KNOW.)

As much as I’d love to tell you I’m done with Ryan Murphy, I’m giving him the chance to redeem himself with next season’s Circus. In the words of the great RuPaul, though, “Don’t fuck it up.”