Friday, January 24, 2014

American Horror Story, Season 3, Episode 12: Go To Hell

American Horror Story has gone all silent movie on us – explaining the test of the Seven Wonders that the Supreme has to pass (at last, it’s been so vaguely defined!) The tests are: Telekinesis, Concilium (mind control), Transmutation (teleportation), Divination, Vitalum Vitalis (sharing/exchanging life force), Descensum (entering the afterlife) and Pyrokinesis

Since all of these are going to be used heavily, I’m going to make ‘em all red

I can shenanigans – where has Fiona’s Divination been?

Fiona adds that the Seven Wonders are dangerous – while Queenie cynically (and accurately) believes that Fiona only wants the Seven Wonders to happen so she can kill the next Supreme. She also wants to know where Marie has disappeared to – and takes issue with Fiona’s highly disrespectful description of Papa Legba; in turn Fiona lashes out at her for not bowing and scraping to Fiona’s racially charged contemptuous commentary.

Upstairs, the newly blinded Cordelia is trying to get her visions back – trying to touch Madison to find out what happened to Misty (after Madison killed her) and Madison Transmutes away; Cordelia is quick to tell her that doesn’t make her Supreme (witches powers peak when they’re under crisis). When Cordelia insists on touching her, Madison makes a homophobic joke, but Cordelia won’t be distracted. When she touches Madison though she has no vision. Her sight hasn’t returned.

Queenie continues to look for Leveau and casts a spell to take her too him – and ends up back in the fried chicken shop where she used to work (her own personal hell – when people treated her like crap, she got no respect and saw no future ahead of her). She talks to Legba who tells her that Marie isn’t there. And yes, this means Queenie just pulled off Descensum. Queenie returns from Hell, proving her power – and finds Legba waiting for her. She wants answers

We see Leveau being tortured by Madame LaLaurie – being chopped up and scattered around the city, and Queenie asks how she kills Lalaurie; apparently impossible while Leveau herself is still alive which Legba cannot change because he and Leveau have a deal. Queenie pokes out a dubious loophole – with Leveau chopped up she cannot perform an annual service for Legba so, in theory, she is in breech (a little dubious – you can call it a breach on the argument that Leveau’s breach is inevitable but the counter argument she will be in breach NEXT YEAR and “inevitable” is questionable).

Cut to Lalaurie who has apparently taken over tours of her house and is now doing her best to cover up her actions and pretend she was never a serial killer. Queenie tracks her down (not hard) and is not impressed, and tells LaLaurie to let the old (and now injured) tour guide go. Or she will offer LaLaurie a second chance (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The last thing LALAURIE deserves is another chance!) She gives Lalaurie a chance to try and do something to try and redress what she’s done. Lalaurie laughs at the very idea – repentance, redemption? She has seen what that means in the modern world – it means going on television and saying sorry, shedding a few tears, saying some empty words and not meaning a word of it (with a montage to Anthony Weiner and Paula Dean).

My gods, who would have thought that I’d actually agree with something Lalaurie said on this show?

Of course she follows that up by telling Queenie that, no, Queenie wasn’t getting to her, she was crying and sad because the modern world was “lying” about “equality”.

Queenie stabs her in the heart. “I don’t want to die!” “Shit, who does.” Go Queenie.

At the Academy, Fiona is having a portrait taken and thinks about only having weeks to live. When she speaks to Cordelia she is kind and asks for the same back – telling Cordelia that she could never lose her power, they’re inherent and not a gift from Fiona. She gives Cordelia her mother’s necklace – and Cordelia realises that Fiona is saying goodbye. She puts the necklace on Cordelia – and the sight kicks in: Fiona walking through the Academy, past the brutally murdered bodies of everyone in there, to rip the necklace from the throat of Cordelia’s corpse.

So much for the touching goodbye scene.

Cordelia goes to see the Axeman to warn him of the perils of loving Fiona and uses her Sight to bring home the truth: Fiona isn’t going to run away with him. Fiona doesn’t love him. Fiona does not intend to move to his farm – she used him. Cordelia shows him a plane ticket – Fiona is going, very soon, alone and she’s not even told him, there’s no way he will be ready. Cordelia sums it up – when Fiona has her powers back she’s not going to waste her life on a half-way-decent musician in a $12 suit.

Damn, Cordelia goes for the jugular when she needs to. And caps it off with an awesome line: “you feel that, that empty, heartbroken feeling? That’s what it feels like to be close to Fiona.”


Cordelia’s on a role – now collecting Misty’s things she has a vision of where she is (singing Stevie Nicks in her coffin. Of course she is). Time to take Queenie to use Telekinesis to crack open the tomb – but Misty isn’t breathing. Queenie uses Vitalum Vitalis to bring Misty back to life.

Back at the Academy, Myrtle’s being Myrtle and Zoe is back from her road trip – after Kyle killed someone and she brought him back to live using Vitalum Vitalis she realised she couldn’t stop being a witch and came back because she is the Supreme (oh please, bringing people back to life? Everyone’s done that one!) Which is when Misty arrives and attacks Madison with her fists (Myrtle is rather unconcerned but considers it vulgar). Misty easily lays the unholy smackdown on Madison and everyone watches before Kyle breaks it up. Then – because the show is getting really random now – the Axeman barges in, covered in blood – to witch the collected witches send him flying across the room with Telekinesis (which they all have, even Cordelia). The blood he’s covered with is Fiona’s.

Flashback to the Axeman and Fiona and Fiona pretty much admitting everything – he’s a nice distraction but she doesn’t really get love. He’s outraged and upset and grabs her and forces a kiss on her while she struggles and pushes him off. She walks away to get a drink, again repeating she doesn’t do love and he axe murders her, in the back. Really, she turned her back on him? What happened to that Divination power?

And he fed her to the alligators, even Misty can’t fix that. Fiona be dead. To business at hand, Queenie points out someone has to kill the Axeman (Myrtle disapproves). Kyle steps forward to do it, but Madison takes the axe and does it herself – as Misty excellently says “we really don’t need a man to protect us.” The 4 would be Supremes take kitchen knives and have a big stabbing frenzy while Myrtle and Cordelia huddle in the next room.

To hell – where LaLaurie is reunited with her daughter Borquita, both of them in separate cages where Marie Leveau tortures them – until she comes to her senses and throws away the hot iron – she doesn’t want to be there, doesn’t want to torture them – certainly not Borquita who has never wronged her.

They’re in hell, as Papa Legba explains. And for her crimes, LaLaurie will spend eternity there. And Marie is there despite her life of helping and protecting people because of all the sacrifices to Legba – she’s in hell forced to eternally torture them

The coven hangs up Fiona’s portrait while they all lie about how awesome she was until Cordelia brings a reality check. And adds that since Fiona failed to identify a successor, all the girls need to take the test of the 7 Wonders.

Should I be running a score sheet on which girl has completed the most of the 7 wonders? Y’know, it hardly even matters who the Supreme is any more, because this generation of witches must be remarkable – either that or Cordelia and Myrtle were at the back of the queue in their generation

Were it a show that actually develops its world building I would ask what about the other talents? Is there a reason these 7? If a witch had 7 talents but not these (say mind reading, voodoo doll and the lethal-abstinence-only-vagina and a few more, would she not count as a Supreme?) But AHS, as part of changing every season, never delves into their worlds. Kind of like how it never keeps its storylines stable (Misty not able to resurrect herself, for example).

Fiona is finally dead – I knew it was coming though; but I think her exit lacked drama. But I think it was meant to – the whole commentary on Fiona has been the glorious, mighty, magnificent Supreme brought low, becoming old and weak and sick, losing peers, losing the pretence of affection and finally coming to an end that was almost seedy, anti-climactic and lacking any pretence of glamour. Fiona’s story was one of dissipation, of wastage – which fits most unpleasantly with the ongoing theme of the perils of the aging woman that AHS has maintained.

The scene with Cordelia and Myrtle huddling while the potential supremes stab the Axeman is a pretty powerful one – it shows what the Academy has done. It has trained the new Supremes to be powerful and confident and determined – but it has also trained them to be ruthless and brutal.

LaLaurie finally dead? Excellent, and points for it being Queenie to finally finish her off. But Marie dying as well and them sharing the same hell? Eternally angry Black woman is now, quite literally, the eternally angry Black woman in Hell? The rest of her eternity is being cursed to be angry and vengeful and vicious?

And why is Papa Legba reigning over hell? I’m pretty sure he isn’t a loa affiliated with the afterlife.