Saturday, November 09, 2013

Recapping AHS: Burn The Witch!

Yes, there’s a lot of zombie stuff we need to get into, but before we do that, let’s take a quick detour back to Halloween, 1833, shall we? Madame Lalaurie is hosting her All Hallows Eve gala and has decided to do the whole peeled grapes in the bowl as eyeballs thing. Only, this is Madame Lalaurie and her endless supply of actual body parts, so she’s kind of done it in reverse. All this grossing out the eligible bachelors has got Madame’s daughters bummed out – they’re never going to land a good man with mother making the men stick their hands into tureens of slave entrails, after all. Borquita, the eldest daughter, in particular is getting sick of mom’s shit and suggests to her sisters that maybe they should end mother’s life a little early. Of course, Madame’s no fool and has all three of her daughters taken from their beds that night and locked into the same torture cages as the slaves in the attic, promising to leave them there for “no more than a year” if they’re good. Borquita, in particular, has earned a “special present.” Delphine promises to stuff her mouth full of shit on Christmas day. All of which is to say that we can understand a why the three daughters, now properly zombified by Marie Laveau’s spell in the modern day, are leading the zombie horde that’s invading Miss Robicheaux’s in the hopes of maybe having a few words with Delphine. Payback, she is a bitch.

Which one is the ugly one again?

Speaking of bad mother/daughter relationships, Fiona has barely managed to get Cordelia to a hospital following her attack. The acid has burned through Cordelia optic nerve, effectively making her blind. Fiona isn’t taking it well, between the emotions and the pills she’s popping and the alcohol from earlier.

At the house, Nan figures out that the zombies are, actually, zombies since she can’t hear their thoughts. Zoe takes command, turning off the lights and telling the girls to bar the windows. Cute boy Luke figures it all for a prank, however and goes outside to confront the zombies, believing them to be kids playing pranks. When he goes outside, the zombies… do nothing. We’ve seen shambling zombies and running rage zombies, but these are apparently the boring variety. At least they are until a levitating Marie Laveau suddenly issues a command and the zombies spring to life and begin to devour passersby. At which point Luke finally loses his shit, but not before being attacked. Nan’s having none of it and runs outside to help. Zoe, meanwhile, orders everyone upstairs before heading out to find Nan and Luke, who have managed to get into a car that’s being swarmed.

"Fear not, powerful ladies. I, a man, am here."

Fiona wanders around an increasingly creepy hospital, searching for…I don’t know, absolution? Distraction? More drugs? More drugs. She finds the physicians’ store and, using magic to get in, helps herself to a few new designer cocktails before heading back into the hallway, just in time to see the robed figure that attacked Cordelia wandering through the hallway in the distance.  Before she can catch up with it, though, she’s distracted by a woman screaming in a room by herself. The woman has just delivered a stillborn baby and because this is the most criminally understaffed hospital in all of New Orleans, the staff has just left the baby’s corpse next to the traumatized women and left them both in the room. Fiona picks up the infant’s corpse and forces it into the mother’s arms, demanding that she hold her new daughter and tell her how much she loves her. Fiona is trying to exorcise her own demons and in the process has just instilled about twenty new ones into this poor young woman. The young mother, terrified, complies with Fiona’s insisting that she tell the baby how beautiful she is, how she’ll never leave her, etc. It’s ridiculously creepy right up until the point when Fiona places her hand on the child’s blue corpse and the dead baby suddenly comes life. Yay?

Inside the school, Delphine is getting ice for Queenie, who’s still suffering from that Minotaur goring/sexing, when she spies one of the zombies through the window of the kitchen. Who should it be but none other than ZombieBorquita! Delphine instantly opens the door to her, proving that being alive for 250 years still doesn’t proclude acting like an idiot. Not that Delphine’s ever made good life decisions, but there we are. Delphine begs Borquita to “come back to me”, asking her to remember in some part of her that Delphine is her mother. Thing is, Borquita does remember that, which is not great news for Delphine or her throat as the zombie lunges.

Upstairs, Queenie and Spaulding hide in a room while Borquita advances toward them. Queenie attemps to use her powers to harm Boquita, but while being a human voodoo doll is probably great against humans, it does crap all against something that’s already dead. Things are looking dire, right up until Delphine herself shows up behind Borquita and shoves a poker through the zombie’s heart, bringing her down finally. “She had a monster for a mother,” Delphine sobs. “This last act was the only kindness I ever did for her.”

Back in that car, things are looking worse for Nan and Luke until Zoe distracts the zombies by literally banging a pot and pan together and getting them to run after her. They chase her into a storage shed, proving that even witches turn into classic Final Girl clichés when they’re in horror movies. Nan and Luke take advantage of the distraction and try to run, but Luke’s bleeding out and the zombies are approaching. And then bring on ZOE, the MOTHER FUCKING ZOMBIE SLAYER with her motherfucking CHAINSAW! (Also, well done to Spaulding for keeping a well-stocked lawn shed, apparently.) Zoe mows down the zombies wicked hardcare, right up until the last one when the chainsaw stops working. Zoe is backed into a corner, but suddenly gets cool and calm, uttering words in a foreigh language and shutting down the zombie. At the same time, a levitating Marie Laveau plummets to the floor. “Shit,” she says, picking herself up. “I don’t know what that was, but they got some real power at that witch house now…”

In the hospital, Hank has come to Cordelia’s side, giving Fiona a chance to trash him. He tries to argue that he’s the moral one here which, you know, heh. Fiona tells him he has fifteen minutes with her alone and then he needs to be done. “You can go on your own or my way,” She tells him. “I don’t care which, although I prefer the latter.” Hank goes to touch Cordelia’s hand and instantly Cordelia screams awake – and sees everything that Hank did to the redheaded girl last episode.

"Well, shit."

The next morning, it’s time for clean-up, which always sucks on November 1st, but really sucks now because it involves burning dead bodies. “Maybe we should get some more cedar chips to cover the stench?” Zoe suggests to Nan as they throw more body parts onto a fire in the backyard. Fiona thanks Zoe for what she did to keep the Coven safe and just then, the Council arrives. Again. Time for more Witch Court!

Myrtle Snow should really know by now that Witch Court against Fiona is never going to go the way she wants it to.  Yes, Madison is still missing. Cordelia is assaulted. The Council insists that since everything’s happened since Fiona has come back to New Orleans, Fiona needs to abandon her position as Supreme and give authority of the Coven to the Council. Fiona, however, claims that Myrtle is up to more than she let’s on. “Our enemy hides in plain sight,” she insists and names that enemy as Myrtle herself, accusing her of being the person in the robe who attacked Cordelia and reveals that Myrtle was even in town before Madison went missing, hiding out in a cheap hotel and plotting to overthrow Fiona, even maintaining a serial killer wall of pictures of Fiona, which Fiona has helpfully gotten pictures of on her cell phone. As the final proof, Fiona yanks off Myrtle’s glove to reveal that her hand is burned and disfigured by the same acid that was used to attack Cordelia. “You give us no choice,” the Council members say when confronted with the evidence. “Burn the witch.”

Myrtle resigns herself, saying she’s been swimming against the tide all her life and she will go proudly to the fire. The thing is, this is all very literal. The next day, Myrtle is marched out to a quarry with a pitch that’s already been set up. The Council, Fiona, the students and the albino black men cart Myrtle up to the pitch and douse her with kerosene. (Sidebar, I kind of love that this is so matter-of-fact. Like, this is such a normal part of witch life that there’s just a pitch already made up for these occasions.) Myrtle uses her last words to decry everyone as being like toads in a pot that Fiona is slowly bringing to a boil. “I’d rather burn that boil,” Myrtle declares just before Fiona lights her up with her cigarette LIKE A BOSS.

"Come on, Baby, light my fire…"

Later, the truth (such as it is) comes out. Queenie comes to Fiona and tells her that she’s not sure they did the right thing. Turns out, those burns on Myrtle’s hands? They were made by Queenie burning her own hands in the acid and putting the wounds on Myrtle. Queenie is doubting her actions, but Fiona sweet talks her, complimenting her on her strength and her bright future. “You could arise to heights you dare not imagine,” Fiona tells her. “Maybe that’s what this Coven needs – a Supreme of color.”

Upstairs, meanwhile, Spaulding is covering his attic of dolls with disinfectant and deodorant, covering the stench of Madison’s rapidly decaying body. When he tries to her move her from the chest he’s got her stored in, he accidently rips off one of her arms. Comedy!

Back at the burning pitch, meanwhile, who should stumble onto the charred remains of Myrtle snow but Misty Day, out from the swamp on her…I don’t know, constitutional? Or something? Earth child Misty bends down, places her hands on Myrtle’s charred corpse and Myrtle opens her eyes.

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