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Having nothing to do for a week or so, other than a few family get togethers, I thought it would be a good time to binge on AHS:Coven and try to take notes.

Trying to comment on every awesome scene or aspect of this phenomenal show would turn this in to a book. So I will have to make do with an abridged version.

I really want to talk a lot about the credit sequence. But it renders me speechless every time i watch it.

1. Bitchcraft

The pilot sets the tone immediately with that brutal flashback. It separates the men (of both sexes) from the mice. If you can handle this, it says, you're in for a hell of a ride. If not, switch channels now!

The whole pilot is a tour-de-force of introduction. Every major character gets chance to show off. Not a second is wasted.

Fiona, our Supreme's first appearance is something I want to dwell on. From the first shot: A shiny, long, black, high-heeled, boot stepping out of a limo, to the drug induced raving, underscored by In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, it is truly a supreme performance.

The Frat party was beautiful and disturbing, let's just leave it at that.
"I don't mind being reduced to a stereotype but I'm on a scholarship. Besides, didn't you come here with a movie star?"

"Now, I've read all your files and you are never going to become great women of our clan, sitting around here at Hogwarts."
"Wear something black!"

Five witches walking down the street. That was really all it was, but I had to watch that scene three times.
What did I just see?
What did she say?
Did they go there?
Their first school excursion was to be a visit to Pop's fountain, a holy place for the order, that was damaged during Katrina.
But when Nan was distracted by LaLauries house everyone, apparently, forgot about it, and Fiona set about finding LaLaurie.

"Don't make me drop a house on you!"

All in all an exceptional pilot. To give it full justice would have taken several more pages.

The costume designers' fondness for heels is all ready apparent in this first outing. something that will reach the level of fetishism in the subsequent episodes.
I remember being worried that they had set the bar too high for themselves and that the
following episodes would let us down. Boy, was I wrong. In fact, I don't think I've ever been so glad to be so wrong.

2. Boy Parts

Boy Parts starts with a proper introduction of what appears to be the only good witch: Misty Day, the swamp witch. She really doesn't like people killing animals. Misty may not be The Supreme, but she certainly is sublime.

"I'm Fiona Goode. I'm in charge everywhere."
Would you drink Jessica's spit? We get a small hint that there may be men with powers as well. Even if he isn't able to withstand Fiona.

"In this whole wide wicked world. The only thing you have to be afraid of is me!"
Fiona laying down the law.

I really don't know why. But Fiona eating chicken...

Then comes the actual 'Boy Parts' scene. In which we get an example of just how bizarre the FCC rules are.
Two teenage girls in morgue. Several bodies, literally torn to pieces. The girls select 'the best parts' to build a new boy toy, sewing the pieces together. It doesn't get much more bloody and gruesome. And yet when they show the final result, his penis is censored out.
That's just weird.

Finally we have the first round of the title match for Queen B(w)itch.
They start out easy, feeling each other out.

"You know exactly who I am and what I'm capable of. Just like I know exactly what you are, Witch."
"Well I didn't expect you to like me."
Fiona shows her weakness in this first round, even while trying to appear superior. They are definitely both getting to each other.

Misty Day doing her thing is about the only warm and comfortable aspect of the whole show. Her Stevie Nicks soundtrack doesn't hurt. But it does hurt to see her so lonely.

It is astonishing, the amount of story they manage to cram into each episode.

3. The Replacements

Fiona's feeling morbidly nostalgic. The visual style of this show. I may simply be wacky camera movements but it is incredibly powerful.

Every room in the house seems like a vast cavern.

A lot can happen in 180 years. While Lalaurie has a lot of trouble dealing with a black president, she seems to be handling the transition quite well.

Kyle is really not dealing well at all. Misty was just lonely, most guys would have loved the chance to comfort her.

Misty has nice dancer's legs. But wearing spiked heels in a swamp cabin?

Speaking of heels and legs. Madison may be a skinny white girl, that blue dress and those heels are definitely working for her.

And even though she is clearly trying too hard, her efforts are appreciated.

When you can pull off a 'tude like that, while playing computer solitaire, you're seriously badass.

Was that a reference to the Voodoo princess Solitaire in the Bond movie 'Live and Let Die'?

But Cordelia is clearly not the brightest spark in the coven.
Even though Fiona did set something of a precedence, showing weakness like that to your adversary, truce or not, is not very smart.
And Marie took full advantage.
Marie says to bring the 'baby-gravy' in a Mason jar, but the visuals clearly shows it in a glass jar. It's unusual to see that kind of inconsistency in this show.

"We're not here for a long time. We're here for a good time."

I'd like to visit that Café sometime.
Fiona is feeling out the competition. I can't figure out if Fiona was sincere when she was talking about teaching Madison.

Did Queenie finally loose her virginity or was she just gutted?

I still maintain that Fiona killing Madison was accidental.

And, again, the shoes.

4. Fearful Pranks Ensue

A show like this had better have a Halloween special lined up. It did not disappoint. Dedicating not one, but two episodes to a witch's (and my) favorite holiday.

Another opening to just remind us, this isn't for kids.

I don't know where one normally keeps rat poison, I've never had any. But it seems odd to have it right next to the kitchen scales.

Fiona doing what she does best, coping with a bad situation.

The shoes, oh the shoes. Somebody in charge of this show has a serious shoe fetish.
And I have to admit, it's catching.

"Who's the baddest witch in town!"

Oh, Fiona. You are definitely a bad witch.

Then there was this bit a, rather startling, hint about who Hank really is.

It was odd re-watching that first part of Hanks real introduction. At that point he was still just a cheating bastard.

They really do live in a beautiful house.

"If she's dead, it's probably because she got wasted and offered the grim reaper a hand job."
- Queenie on Madison.

"I do. I do think I'm very clever. I am, after all, the Supreme."
- Fiona

Before intermission we are reminded that Marie isn't taking it lying down.

Spalding and his tea party was creepy enough to begin with. I think I saw that last bit on Criminal Minds once.

I usually don't care much for zombies, but that was a nice touch.
Quite a family reunion.

5. Burn, Witch, Burn!

It oscillates wildly from the ridiculous to the sublime, while never leaving a level of awsomeness I don't believe has ever been achieved on television before.

Zoe in particular swings from badass bitch to silly girl and back several times during the episode.

Marie, meanwhile, is taking it lying down.

Someone who can play computer solitaire on a bone throne doesn't need to be conscious to do battle.

Fiona's hospital trip.
She certainly knows what pills to go for.
An old psychic man in a diaper.
She saves a baby and her mother, because she couldn't protect her own. Was she selfish or kind? It was touching either way.

Zoe banging pans. Kinda brave, but the silly girl hadn't considered what to do when they started chasing her instead of Nan and Luke.
Locking yourself in a dark shed... thank the gods for random chainsaws.

Delphine meeting her daughters again. We see the first glimmers of her wish for redemption.

Apparently shooting Marie's Zombies repeatedly has no effect, but sticking them with a fireplace poker kills them.

Then, of course there was Zoe's new power. Marie was not too happy about it.

Burning corpses in the back yard. The Coven must have some very tolerant neighbors.

The Myrtle - Fiona bouts may not quite be on the level of Marie - Fiona. They are, however, still very good.
"I beg your pardon!"
"Oh, yes. You will beg, but you will not be pardoned, Myrtle Snow."

Execution or not, a witch is always dressed to the nines. It's not just shoes, the hats are simply fabulous.

"You are all a bunch of little toads in a pot, that Fiona is slowly bringing to a boil. You won't even feel it till it is too late. I'd rather burn than boil."
Famous last words.

We round off the celebration with another reminder of what a nasty, yet pathetic, person Spalding is. I can't help wondering if his character is also based on an historical figure.

And just to make sure we all have a happy Halloween, here's Misty to save the day. For all of being a swamp witch, she sure has trouble picking footwear suitable for the terrain. It's a wonder she didn't break her ankles.

6. The Axeman Cometh

I don't know, I really think the Axeman is a rather pathetic figure. No doubt he was scary for the people at the time, but as an incarnation of a demon he's kind of ridiculous.

Zoe finding Spalding's tongue. No one has looked in that closet for forty years? Bit of a cheap shot. They could have come up with a better discovery.

I called the Axeman pathetic, but he has nothing on Spalding in that regard. As creepy as he is, Spalding is a withered weakling with absolutely no redeeming qualities.

Misty Day in her garden. I'm a gardener, a pretty good one I believe. But I'm sure I could learn a lot from Misty. I would love to be apprenticed to her for a while. I've got a few tricks I'd like to show her too.

"If I wanted to blind your little wifey, I wouldn't have to leave my room."
"When I plant a fat-ass, cracker, bitch I expect her to stay planted. Not come back up like goddamn ragweed."
What is a cracker? Is it a racial slur, like honkey, or does it have some other meaning?

I think Misty is the smartest person on the show. She was aware enough to know that staying in the witches house is bad for your health. Grab all the food you can carry and get the hell out of there, that's the way to do it.

Fiona has gotten kind of easy in her later years. I imagine it took a bit more than "Hello, pretty lady." to make her giggle when she was in her prime.

7. The Dead

Just in case we didn't already feel sorry enough for Kyle.
And Toto is a prime example of what was wrong with music in the Eighties.

I can't tell if Madison's monologue is deep or trite. But she sure looks good posing on the stairs.

Zoe really doesn't know what she wants. She brings a gun, presumably to kill Kyle. Then when he takes it, to do it for her, she stops him.
It really does look like Zoe deflects the bullet.

If Madison and Cordelia keep on like that, they're going to run out of crystal pretty soon.

Is the Axeman really going to be the last great love affair Fiona was lamenting for? Her standards have really slipped, even if he is good at seduction. Celestial creature, indeed.

I really get a kick out of seeing the different approaches Zoe and Madison take to Kyle's education. Zoe being all rational and pedagogic.
Madison's method is more direct: I've got something you want, why don't you just come and get it? It didn't, exactly, get him to talk. It just changed him from an angry grunt to a happy grunt. A definite improvement.

Marie is one hardcore racist and a master manipulator. She did, however, make a good point when she suggested that Queenie ask Delphine about the worst thing she did. At that point I thought it was stuffing her daughter's mouth with shit.

"Locked, loaded, and looking at you."
"So if she even thinks you're next, you're next."

Happy Grunting. Who wouldn't be happy in that situation.
And again Zoe's reaction is really strange.

If the Axeman wasn't bad enough to begin with, his story about watching Fiona growing up put him on a whole other level of creepy.

Fortunately for Zoe she has another creepy critter to pass the time with. Spalding's reaction to having a tongue again is priceless. And his self delusion is astounding. He believed himself to be a strong and loyal guardian of Fiona and the coven. He claimed that his family had served the coven for ten generations and yet he died without heirs.
That is the very definition of a failure.

Delphie confessing her worst deed is truly hard to watch. Killing a new mother's baby and then forcing her to help use the baby's blood as a beauty treatment. I don't think I could imagine anything more vile, nor do I want to try.
Queenie was understandably shocked. And Delphine's claim of contrition did not make one bit of difference. Though I'm Queenie will regret loosing her personal cook.

And there it is! The bathroom fireplace. And it's not just a small coal-grate to make up for the lack of central heating. It is a full on open fireplace, with marble mantlepiece and everything. I missed it first time around. I was distracted by what the girls were talking about. And I was puzzled by all the raving comments on the review page.
I get it now.

It helps to remember that they are not actually zombies, just actors pretending.

And speaking of actors, Kathy Bates is fantastic. The look on Delphine's face when she realizes who's hair salon Queenie has taken her to. That shot alone is worthy of an award.

The final shot of Marie. Does it show that she is as bad a Delphine, or how are we supposed to interpret it?

8. The Sacred Taking.

A very depressing opening. Queenie is as clueless as the rest, and at least as dangerous. Fiona may look good but she really isn't a nice person.

Luke's mom is in serious denial. I hope. If not then she is one hardcore sadist. That enema! I really doubt that, in real life, anyone could survive something like that without immediate medical attention.

"What the hell happened to the staff in this house."
Even with her new sight, Cordelia is still out of the loop.

Hank really is a asshole.

I mean, who would want to hurt that?
Fortunately he is also incompetent.
"I saw the assasin when he nearly stepped on my face."

Myrtle proclaims Misty as the next supreme. Misty is not thrilled, she just wanted a safe place to stay.

The Sacred Taking was, it seems, invented by spanish nuns. It is a great testament to the quality of the production and the talents of the actresses, that, not only, didn't it look completely ridiculous, it actually seemed, somewhat, meaningful.

Poor Misty. She is being railroaded. She is the only one that really doesn't want it. Which means she'll probably be a very good Supreme.

'The Season of the Witch'. Another scene of stunning visuals. They may be a bunch of evil manipulators, but at least, they are really good at it.

Nan may not feel appreciated by her fellow witches, but she seems to be the only one that's getting laid, by an actual person, on a regular basis.

Myrtle's a magpie! Another surprise out of left field.

Did Nan say that Luke was the Supreme? It sounded like it. Do we know anything that would prevent the Supreme from being a man?

Misty, among many other talents, has a great sense of timing.
But resurrecting Luke's mom, was a mistake, I'm sure of it.

Great family dynamic. All Cordelia had to do to win Fiona's approval, was to try to kill her.
And an outside enemy is always good for internal harmony.

9. Head

Was the opening supposed to make us feel sorry for Hank? If so I don't think it worked.

Fiona and Marie one-on-one makes some of the best parts of this. Fiona is not a nice person, nor is she a good witch, but at least she isn't a racist. Unlike Marie and Delphine.

So, is the Delphi Trust a division of the pre-renaissance Christian church? That's where the notion of evil witches comes from.
It's good to know that they aren't infallible. Blinding Cordelia was a big mistake.

I've never needed nor wanted a melon-baller. Now I don't know how much longer I can live without one.
I wonder if Myrtle knew that Cordelia would loose her second sight by getting new eyes.

My, oh my, oh my. Those outfits! Whoever dressed the girls tonight deserves the highest award. All three outfits did what they did to perfection.

Zoe and Madison slinking down the hospital corridor was indescribable. In principle they were both perfectly modestly covered. But they weren't, oh no they weren't. Right there, on the fine line, between elegant and slutty. Slinky, slinky, slinky. Oh, my!
I'm sorry, but that is one of the greatest things I've ever seen on TV.

It's about time Queenie had an independent thought. Her education/torture of Delphine was inspired.

Zoe and Madison have a lot to learn when it comes to building boys. A couple of hours with Fiona and he has been spruced up. His speech appears to be back to normal and he will attack on command. That may or may not be a good thing. Depends on who is giving the commands.

The final montage to that Freedom song (I don't know the title) was powerful. I'm pretty sure it wasn't one of Hank's guns Queenie shot herself with so she could be ok.

The patient security on New Orleans hospital is appalling. Aren't those heart monitors hooked up to anything?

No one looks smug quite like Fiona.

Ok wow, this got a lot bigger than I expected. I hope you liked it.
Comments (19)
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Jan 06, 2014
I think its weird that I decided to watch AHs s3 last night. I havent seen it since the season one finale, and I didnt know Angela Basset was on the show. Hell, I didnt even know Jessica Lange and Jamie Brewer were still on it. They were my favorite characters from season one. After watching s3- e1-3, I must say this is so much better than season one. This show has become a fast favorite. The clashes between Queenie and Madame LaLaurie are funny and the show has influences from everything from ''Carrie'', to ''The Zombies of Sugar Hill'', I wasn't expecting that bus to get flipped over, but when those bug eyed black zombies came out of the ground, it caught me off guard. AHS has become pure gold, certified genius. Now this show is worthy of FX.
Jan 09, 2014
You should watch season 2 as well, its far superior to season 1.
Jan 09, 2014
I believe you, I'll check iot out. I am waiting to finish season 3 first. There's so much suckvision tv these days, I have to save the unwatched eps for as long as possible so I'll have something fresh to watch when tv goes lame again. I still have unwatched eps of Orphan Black, Orange is New Black, Almost Human, And The Blacklist.
Jul 15, 2014
I have now checked out Orange is the new black, which is addictive.. Did u ever catch season 2 of AHS? if so, thoughts?
Jul 15, 2014
thanks for reminding me. gonna download it right now.
Jan 04, 2014
Hm. I don't think Spalding was delusional when he mentioned his family. It's the show's way of building history, or so how I read it. I'm personally more interested in learning more but I doubt we'll get anything. Far too much time is wasted on Hank, in my opinion. Anyway, I digress. Point was: If there's Witch Hunters, it stands to reason there's a group with opposing interests, that is, to protect the coven (and/or do their dishes, y'know).

And he *has* been protecting Fiona and the Coven. The fact that he sacrificed his own tongue to keep her murderous secret safe, thus ensuring she would be the next Supreme, is proof enough.
Jan 04, 2014
I'm sure it's true that Spalding's family had served the coven for ten generations. I don't think that he was deluded about that. My point was that he died without heirs, thus ending the line and betraying the nine generations that came before. That is the greatest failure.
On the other hand I think he was misguided in his belief that covering up Fiona's bad deeds was helping the coven. What is good for the supreme is not, necessarily, good for the coven.
Jan 03, 2014
wow, awesome post! I've been keeping up with this season (and loving it) but now I want to re-watch it and the season hasn't even finished yet!
Shoes to die
Thank you for reminding me how much I have been missing AHS~I've missed the show during the holidays and hopefully it comes back on soon.
Jan 03, 2014
Thank you. It was my pleasure. Watching all nine episodes in close succession was very intense. I recommend it, if you have the time.
High heels can often look silly, but when done properly, wow!
And thanks for the clarification about cracker.
Jan 03, 2014
I wish I'd had time to binge watch anything. I'm a shoe slut so I definitely noticed the heels, although it was partly because I haven't been allowed to wear them (apparently that's frowned upon when you break your ankle/leg). This show can be absurd sometimes but it's always in the best possible way.
Jan 03, 2014
In some ways I wish I hadn't had the time. It was a lot more work than I anticipated ;)
I've never before considered myself a connoisseur of women's footwear. In fact I've often thought that what the ladies do to their feet looks both painful and ridiculous.
Now I recognize that when it is done properly, shoes can be quite fantastic.
Did you break your ankle by wearing heels? I'm often surprised, it doesn't happen more often.
Jan 03, 2014
Didn't break it in heels, although I've rolled both ankles quite a few times (several sprains during my cheerleading years definitely weakened them). Alas, I was barefoot and slipped on my stairs.
Jan 03, 2014
Yes I did like it, very entertaining read. You even sounded like Price saying that hallway scene was one of the greatest scenes you've seen. Glad I'm not the only one who noticed all those high heels.
Jan 03, 2014
Glad you liked it. I sound like Price? I'm not sure what that means, but thank you, in any case.
Jan 03, 2014
Price Peterson? He's part of the staff here in He does the reviews of American Horror Story in the form of photo recaps (they're really funny) and he usually says stuff like 'that was the best thing I've seen all year'.
Jan 03, 2014
Awesome post! I just promoted it to the homepage so look for it there. You found some great images to embed in your story but I did have to add Main Images so I could feature it. Check out our how-to to add those yourself! Keep up the great work.
Jan 03, 2014
Thank you. I appreciate the promotion.
I thought I had a Main Image. Thanks for fixing it.
In doing this I've gained a whole new appreciation of the work the reviewers do here. And a better understanding of why it sometimes takes a whole day before a review/recap is posted for an episode.
Jan 03, 2014
I believe you did have an image up, but they have to be particular sizes to work when a post is promoted. That post should explain it all but let me know if you have any questions!
Jan 03, 2014
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