Monday, December 02, 2013

Recapping AHS: Never Trust Someone Calling Himself "Axeman"

Hi all! Sorry to be behind on the recaps. Here's the first of three new ones coming from me this week (I hope). 

Right, kids – story time. Seems that in New Orleans, back in 1919, there was once the Axeman, a serial killer who entered people’s houses and slaughtered them with an axe before writing taunting letters to the police about he would never be caught. We begin tonight with said Axeman drafting a letter to the police stating that the next Tuesday night, he will kill someone in town, though anyone playing a live jazz band at midnight will be spared. At Miss Robicheaux’s, the quaint young witches of the Edwardian age are all a-flummox over what to do with this information. Should they play a Victrola? Should they critique his grammar when he insists that the citizens “jazz it”? (“His prose could use refinement,” one witch states disapprovingly.) Nay! They shall take action! “Ladies, we are powerful,” one student reminds her fellows. “Not only are decedents of Salem, but we are Suffragettes! No man can make us cower in our home.”

"This is almost as scandalous as when they tried to make the French Bob happen here."

That Tuesday, Joe, the Axeman himself, closes up his restaurant and heads out onto the street to the sound of Jazz music coming from every home. Every home, of course, but Witch House, which has opted for Puccini. Target sighted, Axeman Joe enters the school, ascends the stairs and finds the Suffragette witch sitting in a dark room, reading tarot cards on the floor. She reveals the Death card just as the Axeman brings his axe into her back, but suddenly she is standing behind him instead. “That reading was for you,” she tells him as she and the other witches fall onto the Axeman, attacking him with knives and Jazz-Age Girl Power.

In the modern day, Zoe is going through Madison’s things when she discovers a cubby hole in Madison’s closet. Inside is a box full of old photographs and a Ouija board. Bringing the items to Nan and Queenie, Zoe points out how much the student body has diminished in 100 years, from several dozen students now to just the three of them. The three decide to find out where Madison is, all Band-of-Brothers-style, using the Ouija Board to contact Madison or anyone else they can find. Queenie isn’t keen on the idea, pointing out how Ouija boards bring forth angry spirits if they’re not careful. Good thing there’s no evil spirit in this house, right! HAHA kidding they totally make contact with the Axeman’s spirit after only, like, three seconds. And boy does he seem pissed…

"Couldn't we just ask him who we're going to marry or how many kids we're going to have to sacrifice to the devil someday or something?"

Fiona meanwhile is undergoing chemotherapy when she suddenly develops the ability to read minds, something she’s never been able to do. Listening to the fearful thoughts of the patients next to her, she tries to leave but is stopped by her doctor. Fiona admits that the only reason she’s even going through with treatment is because Delia needs her now. As more chemo is put into her, she laments how she wishes she could have “one more great love affair” before she goes.

At the school, Zoe is Googling “New Orleans Axeman” and discovering the sick world of fan sites and blogs and the weirdoes who write them. (ZING!) She wants to ask him about Madison, but Queenie is strongly against it, pointing out that spirits will say and do anything to get released from where they’re trapped. Zoe, however, won’t be stopped and goes back to communicate with the Axeman herself. She promises him release if he’ll help her find Madison. At this point I feel compelled to mention that we have yet to see any of these girls actually attending a class, which I feel is germane given the utterly stupid thing that Zoe is doing here. I’m skeptical of Miss Robichaux’s accreditation by the Louisiana Department of Education is what I’m saying.  Whatever, Axeman fesses up and directs Zoe to the attic where she finds Spaulding’s creepy doll room. And Madison’s badly decomposing body stuffed in a trunk. And Spaulding standing behind her, natch.

It doesn’t last long, though. Nan and Queenie arrive quickly enough and subdue Spaulding before tying him up to begin the interrogation. Nan translates Spaulding’s thoughts as Zoe questions him and Queenie burns herself with a hot spatula, transferring the pain to Spaulding. Still protecting Fiona, Spaulding lies to Nan, telling them that he killed Madison specifically to have sex with her dead body. Spaulding kind of has the girls in a bind – what are they going to do? Report him and bring about ruin to the coven? Zoe also isn’t convinced that he’s telling the truth. “He grew up in a house full of witches,” she reminds Nan when Nan insists that she read his mind correctly. “I bet he picked up a few tricks.”

Also, dolls. Lots of dolls.

Downstairs, Delia has arrived home with Hank in tow helping her to her room. Delia’s upset because of the roses in her room, which pull in love, and demands chrysanthemums, which are used for strength and protection. Every time Hank tries to touch her, Delia sees flashes of what he did to the redheaded woman. The same thing happens when Fiona touches her as Delia sees what she did to Myrtle Snow. Fiona doesn’t apologize, though, saying that she did it for what Myrtle did to Delia. Fiona says Delia’s sudden gift of The Sight “is the greatest gift to have and the hardest one to live with.”

In the swamp, Misty tends her dead person garden, slowly growing Myrtle back to life under a mound of mud, when Kyle returns, still non-verbal as ever. She tries to bring him inside her cabin to give him a bath, but Kyle’s having PTSD issues with older women touching his naked body thanks to his mom. He gets violent, trashing her cabin and breaking her tape player, which is to say her only access to Stevie Nicks music. And that, my friends, is a Bridge Too Far for Misty who sends Kyle away just as Zoe arrives, telling Misty she needs her help.

Zoe brings Misty to Delia’s greenhouse and shows her Madison’s corpse. “She’s already rotting,” Misty tells her. “Plus she’s missing an arm.” Armlessness be damned, Zoe is insistent. Misty tries, but she needs Zoe’s help, telling her to push on Madison’s stomach. CorpseMadison begins to vomit blood, roaches and other horrible things before springing back to life. “I need a cigarette,” Madison says finally.

"I'm gonna need some extra time in the makeup trailer on my next picture…"

At the Hair Salon, who should approach Marie Laveau but Hank himself. He’s angry at Marie for ordering the acid attack on Delia, but Marie claims ignorance. “Do I look like the Taliban to you?,” She asks him. “If I wanted to blind your little wifey, I wouldn’t have to leave my room.” Turns out Hank has been playing the long con with Marie – she hired him six years ago as a professional witch-hunter to infiltrate the house and take it down, along with all the Salem decedents, which Hank swears he’s been doing.

Flashback! Remember the redhead that Hank slept with and murdered? Turns out her name was Kaylee and she was, wait for it, a witch! She even was recruited by Delia to attend the school after being charged with being an arsonist after she magically set her last boyfriend on fire when he wouldn’t marry her. Delia wants her to learn to develop her gifts, but Kaylee says she just wants to find a husband. “I think I have a good shot,” she tells Delia. “I work out. And I play fantasy football.”

"Should I also work on desperation? Men like desperation, right?"

And that’s how Hank got that particularly connection. Kaylee was one of five Salem decedents that he killed for Marie, but Marie accuses him of falling in love with Delia and ruining Marie’s plans. “When I plant a fat-ass cracka in the ground I expect her to stay there,” Marie thunders, referring to Delphine (I hope), “Not come back up like some kind of ragweed.” Marie gives Hank a new mission – “you bring me their heads, all of them, then you burn that place to the ground.”

In the School, Zoe now has two living dead bodies to care for and Misty wants nothing to do with either of them. “I thought you were looking for your tribe,” Zoe says when Misty turns down the offer to stay. “I am,” Misty admits, “But this ain’t it. There’s something foul in this house.”

Could that foul thing be, maybe, the Axeman? But of course! Delia is stumbling blind in her room when she suddenly “sees” the Axeman sitting near her bed.  He didn’t really like witches before, what with the murder and all that, but now he’s really pissed that Zoe promised to release him and then went back on her word. Delia refuses to release him and begins to scream, which brings the girls running. The girls can’t get in, so Zoe goes hunting for a spell in the library of books that they have, magically finding one. The girls begin to chant and upstairs the Axeman vanishes only to emerge from the school and walk out into the night.

At a bar, Fiona has gotten used to rejection from the younger men and it’s about to get worse and she notices that her hair is beginning to fall out from the chemo. Suddenly a man sits next to her. “Well hello, Pretty Lady,” the Axeman smiles at her.

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