American Horror Story: Coven." Proceed with caution.Warning: This recap contains major character and storyline spoilers for "The Replacements" episode of "
Sex sells, right? More like sex scares! Episode 3 of "American Horror Story: Coven" terrified the pants off of us with several twisted sex-centric plot lines that will surely haunt viewers.
But we shouldn't be surprised: "Horror Story" has tackled infidelity, bondage and sadomasochism, and sexual assault in the past — so why not incest and an act akin to bestiality? Yup, "The Replacements" goes there, so it's no wonder our terror meter went haywire. Also shocking: A main witch is killed off! (But in the land of "Coven," what does that really mean?) Even losing a central character isn't nearly as alarming as Kyle's abusive storyline, which will surely have critics and viewers up in arms.
Here are the most disturbing moments from "The Replacements."The witching biz is cutthroat, and we mean that literally. In the opening sequence, viewers meet a young Fiona in 1971. She's brimming with the same sassy and ruthless attitude she never outgrows. (She does remind us of another opinionated young witch in the present day, but more on that later.)
"When did you know you were destined to become the next Supreme?" Fiona asks Anna Leigh (Christine Ebersole), the existing Supreme at the time, who's made visibly uncomfortable by the question. And for good reason: We learn that once a new Supreme rises, her predecessor weakens.
Anna Leigh tells the gifted beauty that in order to become the Supreme, she must be selected to perform "The Seven Wonders": a test of her magical abilities. If she passes, then she is the Supreme. But Anna Leigh isn't sold on giving Fiona the opportunity, insisting that she's still too young.
Fiona disagrees and calls out Anna Leigh: "You don't want to be replaced by me." And she's right. Anna Leigh is fading fast, struggling with a slew of medical ailments.
A fight breaks out, slaps and all. "You vicious little gash. I've seen the ruin you will bring this coven if you're allowed to take power now. And I will make it my mission to ensure you never take the throne. I'll see you burn in hell first," Anna Leigh fires off.
Her mission lasts, oh, five seconds. Fiona slices open Anna Leigh's throat, killing her on the spot.
Sheltered Luke is pleased with the neighborly gesture, particularly from Nan, which leaves cocky Madison shocked (he's never heard of the movie star), but not as shocked as Luke's mom, devout Christian Joan Ramsey (Patti LuPone). She is clearly not a fan, but when things get nasty between her and Madison, the future of the coven changes on a dime.
"You know that's all a crock of s--t, right?" Madison says, referring to the Ramseys' religion. "Why wait for some phony happily-ever-after, when you can have your piece now, I say?"
Madison goes to cut the cake, and when Joan grabs the knife, Madison evokes her power and sends the knife sailing inches from Joan's head and into the wall. But that's nothing compared to igniting their curtains with her thoughts as she and Nan stroll out the door. Did we know she could do that? Nope, and neither did Madison.Growing old gracefully is easier said than done, particularly for supervain Fiona. She visits a plastic surgeon, but he tells her that she's too ill to undergo surgery, and it's clear that she's in the same position as her forerunner, Anna Leigh.
So who's the Supreme in waiting, tipping the scales? Madison. Fiona finds out about the curtains catching fire and knows what's manifesting in the young witch. She opts to bond with the girl over conversation and many drinks. And while we sense a tinge of jealousy in Fiona as she watches men in the room gawk at the starlet, she looks more like a proud mama, even telling Madison later that evening, "You're the next Supreme."
Their drunken night takes a deathly turn back at the school. Fiona shares the story of slitting Anna Leigh's throat, and now Fiona wants to re-create the scene, but a scared Madison aggressively refuses to kill Fiona. A struggle ensues, and history repeats itself… kind of. Fiona slits Madison's throat, seemingly by accident, killing her. A clever smile comes across Fiona's face; she'll get to keep her powers after all (at least for now). She instructs creepy butler Spalding to bury Madison deep in the yard and says, "This coven doesn't need a new Supreme. It needs a new rug."We knew that the minotaur was coming back to seek revenge on Madame Delphine LaLaurie, and he does just that, which is chilling enough, but surprisingly it's Queenie's actions that send shivers down our spines.
When Fiona makes LaLaurie the housemaid (and, more specifically, Queenie's personal servant), the tables are turned on the former slave torturer, big time. (Hey, at least she's finally out of the putrid Miss Pittypat getup.)
Queenie tests out her new peon's cooking skills, when LaLaurie sees a large shadow pass by the window, scaring her. She's right to be jumpy, because the creature lurking outside sniffed its way to LaLaurie using the scent of her blood. It's sweet justice to see LaLaurie grovel at Queenie's feet, asking for her help, and Queenie agrees to handle this problem. But first, the living voodoo doll takes a smear of LaLaurie's blood to lure the animal away from the house and into a shed-like area.
Then, in an abrupt and bizarre turn of events, a desperate and earnest Queenie, who we learned earlier is a virgin (or so she told Nan), tries to seduce the beast: "She told me what you did to her daughter. You just wanted love, and that makes you a beast. They called me that, too. But that's not who we are. We both deserve love like everybody else."
Queenie then pulls up her skirt, touches herself, and asks, "Don't you want to love me?" The minotaur comes up behind her and places his hoof-hand on her shoulder, his horn caressing her face, leading us to think this might actually go down. (Cringe!) But instead, he suddenly covers her mouth, terrifying her and everyone else!
Umm, yeah — that just happened, leaving us with a list of questions we're nervous to get answered.If you thought Queenie's moonlit rendezvous was bad, hold on to your pointy witch hat; things are about to take an even grimmer and more appalling turn.
Franken-Kyle has been recovering at Misty's abode, and his stitches look remarkably healed. Misty cuddles him in her bed, singing Stevie Nicks' praises to an anxious-looking Kyle.
In the meantime, Zoe visits Kyle's mom (Mare Winningham), who reveals that she was about to hang herself when she received Zoe's call. A guilt-ridden Zoe assures her that she'll see her son again and heads to Misty's to retrieve her love interest. Misty is lonely and objects to them leaving, but they do anyway, assuring the hippie witch that they'll return.
Kyle still has little control over his limbs (he can't talk, either) and has to essentially be carried around and propped up, which is exactly what Zoe does when dropping him off at his mom's house. He shoots Zoe a horrified look as he's leaned against the front door. Little did she know that she was delivering him to evil.
As he and his mom lie in bed side by side, she comments on his vastly different body, but that doesn't stop her from molesting him, as she's clearly done for years. "We're together again," she tells him. Ugh, will Kyle ever get a moment's peace?!
Later, poor Kyle is rocking on the floor of his room, when his mom comes in, informs him Zoe's coming for dinner, and proceeds to enter "girlfriend" mode: "I've been possessive. I do know that. I never meant for it to go so far, go on for so long… No one knows you like I do. She doesn't know how to please you. Mama knows how to please you." This horror finally spurs Kyle to act, and he grabs a trophy from his shelf and beats her head in. (Is it OK to cheer him on?) His disgust at seeing Madison raped in the premiere takes on new layers of meaning.
Zoe shows up for dinner to find the house darkened and empty. As she walks into Kyle's bedroom, she comes across his mom's dead body and spins around to see a bloodied Kyle yielding the weapon. Now she's really going to believe she's created a monster.
Bonus Bizarre Moment
Cordelia — who hit another major impasse to motherhood, discovering she's barren despite her snake-filled procreation attempt in "Boy Parts" — swings by Marie Laveau's place and gets a peek at the voodoo queen's surefire baby-making spell, which involves a Mason jar of "baby gravy," the hottest pepper on earth, and a sacrificial goat whose throat would be slashed over Cordelia's body. Nonetheless, she was ready to sign on the dotted line, but it's a no-go for Laveau, who says, "You're the daughter of my sworn enemy! [Fiona] done messed with the wrong witch, and she knows it... and now you know it."
"American Horror Story: Coven" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.
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