“Burn, Witch, Burn” shows Fiona successfully convincing the council that Myrtle was the culprit behind Cordelia’s attack, stealthily framing her long-time rival with the help of Queenie and Spalding. In “The Axeman Cometh” Marie denies any involvement in the assault, introducing the potential existence of a new force threatening the witches of Miss Robichaux’s, and leaving the mystery open for discussion.

Sure, there is the slight possibility that Myrtle could still be guilty of perpetrating the acid attack, or Marie could be lying to Hank about her non-role in the assault, but it works better if we take the previous developments at face value. The accusation on Myrtle was not so much about her and her jealousy and anger towards Fiona, but an opportunity for the series to reinforce how ruthless and cunning Fiona is. She will go at great lengths to hold on to her title and has taken the lives of two innocent witches in a relatively short period of time. And Marie’s denial of her involvement “You think I did that? I look like the Taliban to you? If I wanted to blind your little wifey I wouldn’t have to leave my room,” sounds convincing enough. We have seen the extent of her powers, and blinding Cordelia doesn’t really seem to be high on her priority list. She very plainly states that she wants them all dead, so what great advantage would she get out of incapacitating (and unwittingly empowering) Cordelia in that way? Why not just kill her with her awesome powers? On a side note, while I have to say that I was glad to see my Hank theory confirmed, it was surprising that it was actually Marie who hired him. The choice to hire a witch hunter seems kind of beneath her and her supposed magical abilities.

But I digress; when I elaborated on the Hank theory I proposed that there could be another group/organization rallying against witches (forcing the dueling clans to band together against a common enemy), and that they are responsible for Cordelia’s attack. Who exactly are these people? We haven’t been given much insight into such a group, though the show has hinted that there exists a larger threat to all of witch-dom, and I believe that we have already met one of its members. Miss Robichaux’s new neighbor, Joan Ramsey.

When the acid attack initially occurred, many thought that it could perhaps be Joan under that dark cloak throwing holy water on poor Delia’s face, instead of acid. The doctor’s confirmation that it was, in fact, acid might have dispelled the holy water assumptions, but not necessarily the Joan ones. Though, who’s to say that holy water doesn’t have the same effect as acid does on a witch’s skin? Since her initial appearance Joan has been virtually nonexistent. With the exception of a quick mention of her in this past episode, we haven’t seen or heard of her whereabouts, which could be the writers’ way to keep her out of our radar. The show wasted no time in showing her dislike of her new neighbors and her instantly antagonizing relationship with Fiona. I’m sure that the devout Christian is not exactly thrilled to learn that her new neighbors are wild heathens. This mini-struggle between Fiona and Joan could be foreshadowing a larger battle between the religious right and all witches. It is unclear whether Joan suspects or knows if there is something supernatural going on in the academy, or if she just thinks that they are blasphemous nonbelievers, either way the groundwork for a possible confrontation is being laid. You don’t just introduce a character (played by Patti Lupone) as a potential antagonist and then just drop the story and never bring him/her back. Now, saying that Joan’s open antagonism could be a sign or precursor of an impending war between the witches and the religious right is one thing (and I admit not a definitive correlation), but does it mean that she is actually behind Cordelia’s attack and/or even perpetrated the act? No, but here’s why I think she did.

The assault took place Halloween night, while Miss Robichaux’s was under attack by Marie’s zombies and Luke found himself in the middle of all the madness. Judging by the way Joan treated her son; there was no way that she would allow him to go over to the academy, especially after the Madison debacle. She’s a total overbearing helicopter mom and definitely kept her eye on him like a hawk. Luke might have been able to visit Nan because his mother was out of the house and for once, out of his hair. This allows for the possibility of her being in the bar where Delia and Fiona were enjoying their mother/daughter bonding time. She could have been no incensed with Fiona after their little meeting that she stalked her afterwards and planned to attack her, but had to resort to Cordelia instead or it could have been her plan all along to hurt her enemy’s daughter (in a crazed attempt to retaliate for her son’s new questionable environment). If you take the approach that Joan is in fact knowledgeable of the true purpose of the academy and the true nature of its inhabitants, then her motives become even stronger. She wants to bring those witches down.

Like many of the questions posed on the show, this is one that could go in almost any direction. For now, my best bet is Joan. Who do you think blinded Cordelia?