This season of American Horror Story is impossible to nail down. Coven is halfway over now, and I have no idea what I’m supposed to be taking away from it. Is the main theme here the battle between younger and older generations? Or is it about the fragility and inconsequential nature of life and the indifference that occurs over time? Maybe as “The Dead” suggests, it’s about race issues that are still a problem. Nah, at this point I think it’s just about undead three-ways and enchanted tongues.
By now, it does seem most likely a witch war is coming, and it’ll probably be against Fiona, since both sides are continually finding new reasons to hate her. Allegiances are constantly changing—Queenie and LaLaurie have started bonding over late night fast food, but Marie Laveau wants Queenie to turn in her super-sizing partner-in-crime. Queenie seems conflicted about it, so she asks LaLaurie what the worst thing she’s ever done is. Well, it turns out she killed a baby that her husband fathered with one of her slaves and has used the baby’s blood for her face treatments. So yeah…that little story of awfulness makes Queenie’s mind up for her, as she takes her to Laveau’s, where LaLaurie is quickly put into the traps she once put her own slaves in.
But the real insanity is going on at the school. Zoe is trying to teach Kyle how to speak again using flash cards, even though he’s always Hulk angry. Meanwhile, Madison is rummaging around the kitchen eating potion ingredients until she doesn’t look dead, and it actually works. Speaking of bringing things back to life, Zoe resurrects Spalding’s tongue, because of course that’s not ridiculous. Spalding’s speaking long enough to explain he didn’t kill Madison and that Fiona did, before Zoe stabs him in the throat and Spalding dies. But that doesn’t mean anything. I mean, Madison was killed a few weeks ago and now she’s running around eating everything she can shove down her throat.
After Cordelia touches Zoe and finds out that Fiona killed Madison, and after Cordelia talks to her witch-hunting husband—who is surrounded by guns—on the the phone, Zoe walks in on Kyle and Madison having sex. Very easily, Madison talks Zoe into having a three-way with both her and Kyle, leaving Zoe the only person involved with a heartbeat.
Also getting it on is Fiona and the Axeman, who has apparently been watching Fiona since she was eight. Continuing the theme of creepy sex, he used to see her as the daughter he never had, but those feelings have clearly passed so now he sleeps with her. Also, how is the Axeman getting gigs?? Clearly he’s well known in the community of New Orleans, as he did threaten the entire town to literally play jazz or die. I hope he’s signing his jazz gig checks “Axeman.”
I realize it’s sort of futile to look for theme, purpose and understanding in a show that has featured Anne Frank in a mental institution, minotaur rape, and now zombie tongues, but past seasons have always had more to grasp onto. That being said, past seasons have also made all the craziness work by the end and actually concluded with quite touching finales, so there is still hope for Coven. As for now, it’s still rough to make heads or tails of everything going on. It’ll surely all come together sooner or later, but until then, all we’ve got are resurrected tongues.