American Horror Story: Coven -“Burn, Witch. Burn!” Season 3 Episode 5 Review

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This was perhaps the scariest episode the entire series of American Horror Story has yet to deliver.

Beginning with a flashback to Madame LaLaurie’s “chamber of horrors” and torture of her own daughters, the episode escalated quickly. Quickly, and effectively. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a scarier zombie attack scene on television. While it was shot in the fashion of a typical zombie movie, the way they executed the attack felt incredibly modern, and incredibly real. All the ladies in the house step up to the plate, Madame LaLaurie killing her own (zombie) daughter, Nan displaying foolish bravery to save their hot Christian neighbor…and Zoe. Zoe was incredible. Fighting off an army of zombies with a chainsaw, and displaying a breadth of power we have yet to see from her. Could she be the next supreme? Based on her ability to halt the zombies, and Marie Laveau’s reaction, it would certainly seem that poor Madison died in vain, and Zoe is indeed the supreme in waiting. That’s still speculation of course, because as we know, with this show anything can happen.

Anything can happen, and does. After Cordelia’s accident, the scenes of Fiona wandering in the ER range from bizarre to downright disturbing to oddly hopeful.

Cordelia was blinded by the acid thrust in her face at the bar, but it seems that her blindness has given her a new power of vision, and with that the ability to see the truth about Hank. What, precisely, that truth is, I’m still not one hundred percent clear on, but I can’t wait for this new power to develop more fully, and for Cordelia to use it to put Hank in his place. And maybe even to reveal the truth about Fiona.

When it comes to Fiona, the truth is a very abstract concept. She had the council, and me, fully convinced that it was Myrtle who attacked Cordelia. So convinced, in fact, that Myrtle was burned at the stake with shockingly little resistance. I guess when you’ve been bested by Fiona so many times it becomes too exhausting to fight back. But maybe her will to fight will be restored along with her life, courtesy of Misty.

Fiona’s manipulation of Queenie’s power to frame Myrtle was nothing short of brilliant, and her evil cunning is revealing itself more and more with each episode. But so is a stranger, softer side of Fiona. The side that feels genuine guilt about the kind of mother she’s been, the side that brought a stillborn baby back to life.

The many facets of the main characters of this show are what keep the audience on our toes. Well, that, and the terrifying zombie sequence. I’m probably going to have nightmares tonight. So, Ryan Murphy is doing his job horrifying us. Grade: A

By: Meghan Coan


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