Well this season is really dragging, huh?
Coven continues to take one step forward, and two steps back in narrative and once again, leans entirely too much on the whole Supreme mystery. I’ve griped about my issues with the season before, and really not much has changed. “Protect the Coven” is another pulpy hour full of the bitchy dialogue and hammy acting we love, but not much else.
First up. It’s a Delphine LaLaurie origin story. Yay? Ugh, enough with this character, did we really need a whole cold open to show that she is a messed up psychopath? We kind of already knew that. Plus, Delphine comes off as a character so perverted that it makes me strongly resent every attempt by Murphy & Co. to show any redeeming qualities within her or use her as a comedy relief prop. The woman is so despicable that her flashbacks are anything but enjoyable, not even in the sick and twisted exploitative AHS way. The only redeeming factor in this flashback was the parallels drawn between her and Fiona, specifically their relationships with their respective daughters. Delphine is clearly annoyed with everything Borquita does in that flashback, and Fiona is currently going through a similar phase with Cordelia. Delphine and Fiona have bonded on this issue before, earlier in the season and this once again shows the similarities the two women share. Maybe I’m reaching, but I feel like the whole season will hinge on that theme of mother/daughter relationships. Where Delphine’s daughters were ultimately victims to their mother’s evildoing, Cordelia might emerge triumphant over Fiona’s selfish acts.
It’s Nan’s funeral and everybody is garbed in their best blacks (seriously, they all look fabulous) as Fiona half-asses an insincere eulogy. The gathering is interrupted by none other than a very alive Queenie with a leashed (and put together) Delphine in tow. Look, I love Queenie, but doesn’t anybody stay dead in this show? Marie sasses Quenie, Delphine spits in Marie’s face, Marie bitch-slaps her right back, Cordelia says something sweet, Fiona says something mean. “The funeral’s over, say your prayers as you exit,” announces Fiona and they all go back to Miss Robichaux’s.
Hank’s daddy and his henchman discuss covering up Hank’s identity and setting up a meeting with the witches.
Back a Robichaux’s Delphine is back in servitude and she voice-overs even more of her origin story. She goes all The Help on the witches and shit-pies the soup, they all seem to really enjoy it, Myrtle in particular. Mmmm E. coli. Delphine goes on about how much it sucks to clean up after the girls and I continue to not give a shit. Marie threatens to “finish what she started,” and do away with Delphine as she originally intended. By all means, Marie. Cordelia busies away in the kitchen desperately attempting to bring her “sight” back as the gardener walks in with a cut on his hand, of course, Delphine volunteers to fix it and we all know what she’s up to. She still hasn’t finished her extremely long V.O monologue. Cut to poor James all tied up in the attic (Spalding’s creepy old room) listening to the ramblings of insane Delphine, she proceeds to torture him. Sick.
Hey it’s Zoe! Remember her? She does some witchcraft to figure out what really happened to Nan and is revealed that Fiona and Marie killed her. Seriously though, where are these girls learning all this seemingly complicated witchery? Cuz, its not like the girls are in class everyday learning to hone their powers. Madison barges in and they bitch over Kyle, Madison makes a lamp knock Zoe out by clonking her on the head Ha! Myrtle comes in and breaks up the argument and reprimands Madison, “Oh Madison, you are the worst kind of Hollywood cliché: A bobblehead with crotchless panties!” Madison isn’t very fazed by it all and remains defiant.
Fiona hangs with the Axeman and for some reason I find their scenes together really dull. Even though there’s a lot of Jessica Lange being awesome (as always), it’s just that the character is so thin and one-dimensional, she’s been harping about the same exact problem for the entire season now, that not even the flawless performance can save that. The Axeman wants to move away together after the whole witch-hunter/Supreme bidness is done with. Fiona agrees, as long as Axeman does one “little thing” for her, which is a little questionable. If she is not in it for the power/glory of Supreme, then why doesn’t she just die? Axeman’s been dead for a while now and he doesn’t seem to be in such bad shape. Obviously she would just stay the age she is now. And it’s not like there never will be another Supreme contender down the line to threaten her life all over again. I’m sure Cordelia would be willing to ‘release’ her mother’s spirit (much like Zoe did to the Axeman) as long as Fiona vows to stay away from the Coven.
Delphine is still in the attic, now with a dead James, when Spalding shows up. Weird, freaky, crazy Spalding, yay! They bond over Delphine’s sadistic pastime and their mutual hate for Marie. Spalding wants Delphine to do something for him and in exchange, he’ll provide the means with which to kill Marie.
Cordelia tries to make amends with Queenie, but she is furious and wants none of it. She tells her how she survived the ambush and says that her powers have grown; she survived a silver bullet through the brain. Maybe she’s the net Supreme. Sigh. Queenie gets all up in Cordela’s face about how weak and what a horrible leader she is and Delia just takes it as usual.
Cordelia then goes to her basement and in a crazy, desperate attempt to regain her sight; she pierces her eyes with some gardening shears. Ouch. I have to say that Sarah Paulson was really great in this scene, her turmoil and fear were palpable and that moment when she crumbles and breaks down, right before the violent act was heartbreaking. Boy has her face taken a beating all season long.