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'American Horror Story: Coven' - 'The Sacred Taking' Recap

Yaysa Roque-Rivera Yaysa Roque-Rivera
December 7th, 2013 2:49pm EST

Gabourey Sidibe as Queenie

Coven” is back! Finally, that one-week gap was unexpectedly torturous, I had been so used to the weekly fix of witchy bitchery that suffering through that annoying mini-hiatus (who cares about Thanksgiving, really?) gave me some serious withdrawal symptoms. But all is good now that there is a new episode to dissect.

“The Sacred Taking” opens with Queenie asserting her new Voodoo badass persona, cutting a rapist’s heart out, dissing the coven and saying things like, “This is Voodoo,” and “War is coming.” Zoe and Madison try to convince her to come back, Queenie makes it clear that once you are seduced by the fabulousness of Marie Laveau, there is no turning back.

Fiona monologues (in the signature “Coven” voice over we have all grown to hate) about how much cancer sucks. “I used to think I understood pain… but this is as if I’ve been dipped in the river Styx, all the suffering of all the souls that ever were or will be, assault my body.” Jessica Lange gets her chance to chew on some extra fibrous scenery as she sickly writhes on the floor, stares gloomily into a mirror, etc. She expresses her fears frustrations to the Axeman and when asked why she doesn’t just kill herself and get it over with (she really is milking this ‘woe is me’ act) she responds with defiance, “I won’t give anyone the satisfaction of me killing myself, I’ll stay alive just to spite them.” And then reminds us that she is deteriorating at such a speed because of the new Supreme, whoever that “peckerhead” is.

We jump to crazy Joan Ramsey (its been a while!) berating poor Luke for going over to Miss Robichaux’s. And things get disturbingly messed up when she proceeds to “cleanse” him of his impurities. Bitch gives him an enema! Ugh. Boy, does this show have a fixation with horrible mothers: Joan, Delphine, Fiona, Kyle’s mom.

Back in Robichaux’s Nan expresses concern for Luke, but Cordelia is having none of that shit and implores the girls to focus on what really matters, killing Fiona. But their discussion is cut short by Misty Day (yay!) who shows up frantically looking for some protection, she’s abandoned her swamp shack after Hank the witch hunter pays her a visit. Delia uses her sight, identifies Misty and welcomes her to the coven. They go into the greenhouse where Myrtle is waiting and declares Misty their next Supreme.

Cut to Franken-Kyle and Zoe in the bedroom where she busies him with a laptop and a children’s story game. It’s all very sweet I guess, until Madison shows up and starts bitching with Zoe. Ugh, this is the worst storyline. Franken-Kyle is left alone.

Meanwhile, the coven begins the ritual of the “Sacred Taking” and the witches clothe themselves in bright red robes and lace veils as they all bicker about who will be the next Supreme. Delia is all like, “you idiots, this isn’t something desirable, being Supreme sucks.” Misty, naturally, expresses her trepidation and Delia solemnly responds, “Nobody gets to choose. When Fiona dies whoever it is, will be.” She then goes on to exposit on the history of the ceremony and its details, blah blah blah. The whole ritual hinges on the Supreme taking her own life, sacrificing herself for the betterment of the coven, which Fiona is unlikely to do. I mean, earlier in the episode she clearly states that she would never do something like that. Madison points this out and Delia asserts that she will with a little help.

American Horror Story: Coven

Cut to miserable, sick Fiona getting a visit from Madison. She taunts the aging witch telling her that she brought herself back from the dead and that she indeed is the new Supreme and that everyone knows the truth of her actions. She urges Fiona to swallow some pills if she wants to escape being burned at the stake the next day. Madison leaves, the freaked out Fiona hauls ass and begins to pack her stuff but doesn’t get far because Myrtle makes her appearance. “Is everyone back from the dead or have I already died and gone to heaven? Well, I suppose it would be hell, you know.” Heh, at least the cancer hasn’t affected her sense of humor. Myrtle continues the manipulation and tells Fiona the awful truth, “You will die the same way you lived your life, alone and disappointed by everyone.” She tells her that the Axeman will leave her and won’t be able to support her in her last moments. The sequence is dark and depressing, composed of scenes of a dying Fiona being abandoned by her “love” as Myrtle looks on. Fiona seems convinced.

The young witches convene in the staircase, looking all kinds of witchy and cool, and Nan is all indignant that the others don’t think that she is Supreme material. She leaves in a huff to Luke’s house. Ruh roh! Hank is creepily staking out Robichaux’s and spots her going into the neighboring house. Nan uses telekinesis to open the Ramsey door (new power!) and finds Luke tied up in a closet. Those Ramseys don’t play.

Back with Fiona and Myrtle, Fiona has decided to off herself and is primping for the ordeal. Fiona reminisces about her youth and fabulously monologues about her life decisions, failures, etc. She swallows a handful of pills and lays down looking like the head witch that she is. Bitch looks good in a turban.

Before the meds take effect on Fiona, in comes Spalding, and he can talk. (I knew it wasn’t over for him.) “Those idiot girls thought they could silence me, but they’ve only given me voice here in the spirit world.” Ghost Spalding tells her that the other witches are scheming bitches and that she shouldn’t go through with her suicide and calls her out on her martyr bullshit.
American Horror Story: Coven It’s pretty great to see him assert himself so strongly, since all we have seen of him is this meek, silent character. Fiona purges the pills and vows to avenge Spalding’s murder as well as her own.

Over at voodoo central, Delphine is kept in a cage and sweet Queenie brings her a cheeseburger, she really does have a kind heart, too kind if you ask me. Delphine puts on her best puppy-dog eyes and throws herself the sorriest pity party there ever was. Badass Marie interrupts their little moment and shoos Queenie away, leaving her alone with Delphine. Now, it is for scenes like this one that we tune in to this batshit, freak show week after week. Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates bring it every time and it is absolutely a treat to watch. These two battle it out, Delphine is still a horribly despicable, unremorseful hag and Marie has had it, so she does what any self-respecting voodoo queen would do and chops off Delphine’s hand. That shit cray.

At the Ramsey house Luke actually grows some balls and defies his mother, but their brief struggle is cut short when Hank shoots Joan, killing her. Luke notices the red laser pointer on Nan and blocks her, getting hit. Hank is really coming across as a really shitty assassin; we are to assume that he saw Nan and intended to kill her, not Joan, but he plainly aimed and killed Joan first. Why not just off Nan and bail?

In Miss Robichaux’s, the witches sit gloomily in the sitting room while Myrtle plays the piano. It is a funny little scene that gives Frances Conroy the opportunity to utter ridiculous lines like, “I’m told that it starts as a tingle in the cooch,” when speculating on how a Supreme ‘feels’ her power. Ha! Since they are waiting for Fiona to perish, it is a surprise when she enters the room, alive and full of attitude. She asks about the “swamp witch”, but Misty is gone.

Misty has gone over to the Ramsey house and we see Luke being taken away on a stretcher and Nan accompanying him. Fiona shows up and challenges Misty to work her magic on Joan’s body. Misty resurrects Joan and promptly passes out which causes Fiona to give the best, most hilarious eye-roll ever.

As the rest of the girls make their way to the house, Delia gets a bad feeling, somehow finds a bullet in the shrubbery, which triggers her to have a vision of a witch hunter, but doesn’t find out that it is Hank.

Franken-Kyle is still enjoying his little game when Zoe enters her room. He speaks! It’s not that interesting, but they say, “I love you” to one another, and a crying Madison hears their exchange. This entire love triangle plot is really irritating, it breaks up the flow of the episode and is so frustratingly dull and boring. What’s up, writers? Who cares?

The next morning Fiona and Delia enjoy a nice mother-daughter bonding cup o’ coffee. Delia is shocked to find out that Fiona is actually proud of her, despite, but perhaps because of, her schemes against her mother. She tells Fiona of the witch hunter and this Kodak moment is interrupted by a special delivery. Marie has sent the coven Delphine’s severed head in a cardboard box. Wha? This moment was definitely telegraphed, especially if you saw the “Coven” cover of Entertainment Weekly, but it is still pretty awesome image and a nice end point to the episode.

“The Sacred Taking” is a fun hour of “Coven”, despite some frustrating plot points and story contrivances that plague the show, it never fails to entertain. What did you think of the latest craziness?

Random Thoughts:

  • The question of who will be the next Supreme is taking a more central role, and while I’ve written my theories on whom it will be. This episode got me leaning more towards Cordelia for the title.
  • That promo for next week looks all kinds of awesome.
Photo Credits: FX