Monday, February 17, 2014

Recapping AHS: To Hell and Back

So after 10 long episodes (and some of them felt longer than others) we finally get to learn about The Seven Wonders via an old-timey silent movie style classroom infomercial. AHS is nothing if not stylized. For those keeping count at home, the Seven Wonders are defined as seven act of significantly advanced magic. They include telekinesis, consilium (mind control), transmutation, divination, vitum vitalis (bringing the dead back to life through breath) descensum (“a perilous descent into the nether worlds of afterlife), and pyrokinesis. Attempting them can kill you, but successfully performing all of them will make you the next Supreme.

Cordelia and her freaky fucking eye sockets comes to Madison to see what Madison knows about Misty’s disappearing act. Madison is cagey as hell, refusing to let Cordelia touch her and possibly see what she’s done, but eventually relents only to find that Cordelia apparently still hasn’t regained her sight. Kinda makes that eye thing a problem.

GAH! Sunglasses, woman!

Meanwhile, Queenie finds a bloody mess in the conservatory and hears Marie’s murderous thoughts, but can’t find a body. Queenie decides to practice some early Seven Wonders training and invokes Papa Legba, but finds herself back in the fried chicken joint she left back in Detroit. There’s a line literally around the block and no one else working. Confused, she begins to help the eerily quiet customers before seeing Papa Legba in the corner who tells her that she’s been brought to her own private hell – no power, no respect, stuck in a place where no one thinks she can do anything. Papa is impressed that she made it to Hell, however, praising her ability. He tells her that if she can’t get out of Hell by morning, she’ll be stuck there forever. Pulling herself out, Queenie finds Papa in her room who tells her what’s happened to Marie – Delphine dismembered her and spread her body parts all around. Queenie still needs Papas help. Thinking quickly, Queenie points out that Marie is now going to be in breach of her contract, which removes her from the equation of what’s about to come. That means that Delphine needs to be removed too…

Weirdest employee review ever.

At Delphine’s old house-turned-tourist attraction, the original docent has been replaced by someone much more…Delphine-looking. Delphine has taken up the revisionist history banner, telling her version of her “the elegant and universally admired Delphine LaLaurie” to the tourists while posing as a tour guide in the house. When pressed about the murders and the attic torture chamber, she coldly tells the tourists that attic is off the tour and anyway it was all lies and the attic was only for “firm, but humane” correctional behavior. She praises herself as “a visionary ahead of her time” thus securing her a future contract with Fox News.

When the tourists leave, Queenie confronts Delphine who admits to murdering the old docent after she critized her tactics and, worse, her entertaining. “Nobody’s going to waste their time on some uppity Negro when there’s a fabulous party,” she mutters when the docent tells the group that oftentimes the murders happened while revelries were going on downstairs. Priorities. Queenie tries to give Delphine one last attempt at redeption, hilariously by suggesting that she volunteer with the Urban League. Delphine, however, has been watching the news about Paula Dean and Anthony Weiner(seriously) and thinks this redemption shit is bunk. Seeing that it’s not going to work, Queenie plunges a dagger into Delphine’s chest.

Part of me really hopes Kathy Bates just did this in real life to screw with people. 

In the school, Fiona is finally getting her portrait done under Myrtle’s artistic eye and realizing her mortality is closing in. She attempts a final honest connection with Cordelia, telling her that her power is still inside of her and she can’t lose it or regain it. She also gives her an old necklace that was her mother’s. When Cordelia puts on the necklace she suddenly sees the house, the girls all laying slaughtered and mutilated on the floors and impaled on the walls. In her vision, Cordelia sees a hale and healthy Fiona pull the necklace off Cordelia’s own dead body and leave the house.

Cordelia hightails it to the Axeman’s apartment. Cordelia tells the Axeman that she also saw Fiona with a plane ticket in her purse, fleeing the country with her new health and leaving him behind. The flight leaves in two days and, given that he doesn’t exactly have a passport, clearly she’s not planning on him joining her.

Knocking things off the To-Do list, Cordelia then divines from Misty’s shalls that she is entombed in the cemetery. Cordelia brings Queenie to the crypt and has her pull the coffin from the grave. Misty’s body is still inside, but she isn’t breathing. At Cordelia’s urging, Queenie breathes life back into Misty, bringing her back from the dead.

At the school, Zoe and Kyle have returned: apparently Florida didn’t agree with them when Kyle angrily killed a homeless man and Zoe had to bring him back to life. Par for the course for that relationship, really, but Zoe is now convinced that she may be the next Supreme. Just then, Misty returns and begins to literally bitch-slap Madison across the house. What follows is a seriously awesome girl fight through the house that was one of the only real exciting moments this entire season. The awesome gets even better when the Axeman interrupts the fight to kill the girls and the girls collectively throw him across the room LIKE A BOSS. He’s covered n blood, which Cordelia divines is Fiona’s.

In a flashback we see Fiona coming to the Axeman after Cordelia left him. Axeman tells Fiona that he wants to take her out of town to go catfishing – he has a vision of them living together forever in a cabin by the river. Fiona laughs it off and tries to change the subject, but the jig she is up. Axeman finds the plane ticket in her purse, just like Cordelia said, and confronts her angrily. Fiona points out that with the next Supreme dead she has 30 more years of vitality – it’s not like she’s going to waste it in a rustic cabin by a river with him. And that’s when the Axeman lived up to his name, buring his axe into Fiona’s back over and over again before throwing her body into the swamp

Cordelia sees the entire scene. She tells the girls that Fiona really is gone, her body was thrown into the swamps and fed to the alligators. “Even I can’t bring back someone once they’re gator shit,” Misty demurs. The girls(and Kyle) are pleased that he’s gotten rid of Fiona for them, but they’re not about to let the Axeman go free either.  They descend on him, cutting him literally to pieces together in what almost passes for sisterhood.


Somewhere else, Delphine is thrown being thrown into the cages in her own house, although she is dressed in 1830s clothes. Delphine screams as a fully unharmed Marie Laveau stands waiting with a white hot poker while standing over Delphine’s daughter, also imprisoned in a cage. When the daughter complains of being thirsty, Marie cuts Delphine’s throat and gives her the blood to drink. Marie is confused, though – she doesn’t want to torture Marie’s daughter and doesn’t know why she’s doing it or even how she got there. “You will do as you are commanded,” Papa Legba suddenly appears. Turns out, Hell is a funny place and Marie and Delphine are both condemned to spend theirs together. “Eventually,” Papa says. “Everybody pays. Everybody suffers.”

In the school, Fiona’s portrait is hung with care as Myrtle and Cordelia tell the girls that Fiona shirked her responsibility to name a successor. Which means each of the girls will be tested – they’re all going to have to compete in the Seven Wonders. 

And may the best witch win.

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