American Horror Story: Coven- “The Replacements” Season 3 Episode 3 Review

Well, Coven continues to be the best part of my week.

Here’s the only thing I’m skeptical about, having learned this from past seasons…their tendency to do too much too fast tends to have pretty dire consequences on the whole season. And considering how much has already gone on by the third episode, I think we may have some reason to worry. But my concern cannot take away from what a fantastic episode this was.

We learned a lot about Fiona this week. That she killed the previous reigning supreme to secure her spot, that she is dying of cancer, and that she voted for Obama. Twice. (And watching Madame Lalaurie sob over the broadcast of President Obama’s inauguration was also so spot on and hilarious.)

This week, after an incident with the coven’s new devout Christian neighbors, a new power of Madison’s, the power of fire, comes to light. And Fiona realizes that Madison is the next reigning supreme of the coven, and takes her under her wing. Their unexpectedly fantastic chemistry was the best thing about the episode. And the unexpected twist with the two of them at the end was really only unexpected because it’s only the third episode. I cannot wait to see where they take things…but based on the season so far, nothing seems final.

Cordelia’s health seems to be failing her too, when her doctor tells her she definitely can’t have children. In desperation, she goes to see the fabulous voodoo priestess Marie, and Angela Bassett is once again fantastic, describing her fertility spell (which is bizarrely amazing) and then denying her outright, due to her feud with Fiona.

Misty was back this week for a short scene, but they managed to squeeze in some Steve Nicks talk, so it was long enough to be great. Of all the actresses on this show, Lily Rabe’s roles have been the most diverse season to season, and her range is really impressive, and so much fun, to watch.

Zoe, wanting nothing more than to do the right thing, takes a healed Kyle back to his broken mother. Now, this seemed like a bad idea to begin with, but when we learn that Kyle’s mother was actually sexually abusive, even to her now near comatose son who’s been brought back from the dead, we see just how disastrous it is. But Franken-Kyle gets his revenge, even if he’s not entirely conscious of what’s happening. Poor Zoe has a lot on her hands.

Madame LaLaurie has to become Queenie’s personal slave, and only American Horror Story could make the blatant level of racism in the scenes hilarious, due in no small part to the tremendous abilities of both actresses. In the end, LaLaurie’s former house boy turned Minotaur comes for her, but ends up with Queenie…after she tries to seduce him.

Incest, something close to bestiality, murder. This episode was not short on drama. But once again, it was the interactions between the actresses that made the episode so enchanting. I cannot think of another show I watch that relies solely on its strong female leads, and succeeds to this extent, and it’s such a breath of fresh air. Aside from this, there are two other striking elements of Coven. One is that in its own offbeat way, this just might be the funniest show on TV right now. The combination of obvious pop culture references (no one can tell me Madison Montgomery is not Lindsay Lohan) and the silly one liners is the perfect juxtaposition to the dramatic storylines. The other is that in a show about witches and dark magic, the most disturbing scenes have been a date rape and a mother molesting her son…two entirely human induced horrors. This is why creator Ryan Murphy is an absolute genius. Grade: A

By: Meghan Coan

 

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