So sinister. So twisted. So darn perfect.
Coven is just so wonderfully confident in tone, that every scene frequently feels like its bursting with purpose and creativity. I downright loved this episode – even moreso than the fantastic season premiere.
The episode’s crown jewel is undoubtedly the epic verbal face-off between Fiona Goode and Marie Lavaeu in the hair salon. I’ve been dying to see what a scene between these two heavyweights would look like, but little did I know that Jessica Lange and Angela Bassett coming head-to-head would create such a powerhouse sequence. On a superficial level, the zingers are on-point and amusing, but beneath the banter is a fascinating debate concerning the true origins of witchcraft (Voodoo, Shamans, Salem etc..) Both Lange and Bassett do a spectacular job with material that stunningly tackles different layers of racism and slavery. It’s a joy to behold, culminating with Lange’s Fiona bargaining for Marie Laveau’s secrets of immortality. This war’s going to be a good one.
But Lange and Bassett aren’t the only women with incredible chemistry, because the dynamic between Lange and Kathy Bates just might become my most favorite thing on television this year. The episode’s final scene is the perfect embodiment of that, as two women from very different times come together, utterly exhausted by their circumstances. It’s also a revelatory sequence as we realize that even Fiona draws a line at Delphine’s special brand of cruelty, and basically turns the tables on the psychopath by making her her slave. There’s some terrific symmetry with Delphine uttering the words “Yes, ma’am” to Fiona. I can’t wait to see where this goes next.
Sadly, Cordelia was off with her own subplot this week as we saw her and her husband take matters into their own hands when they couldn’t conceive a baby. I hope this storyline intertwines with our main arc soon as I’m not a fan of superfluous subplots, and Sarah Paulson is much more effective when she’s butting heads with Lange. Nevertheless, we got a suitably sickening and memorable scene with Delia and her husband having wicked sex surrounded by flames, snakes and general creepiness. This can’t be good.
As for the young ones, Madison’s guilt over Kyle’s death got her and Zoe bringing (and building) the boytoy back to life. Their ritual was strangely engrossing (and I hope we’ll get a fresh twist on the Frankenstein shtick) while also bringing necromancer Misty into town. Lile Rabe was a revelation on the show last year, so I’m eager to see her interact with the rest of the cast. Did anyone detect some sexual tension between her and Zoe though? Creepy.
– Gruesome teaser with Misty bringing the alligators back to life as they viciously mutilate the hunters.
– Fiona keeping Delphine tied up was too funny. I particularly loved the slap.
– Brilliant little flashback with Queenie burning her hand to get back at the rude customer. I’m hoping for a ton of similar revelatory flashbacks for each of the girls.
– Fiona had too many awesome moments this week; I especially loved her spitting in the cups to make the detectives forget everything they’d heard, before flinging Madison and Zoe at a wall and giving them that great speech (found below) about witches. Superiority complex much?
– Madison’s car – Damn!
– Standout sequence: Delphine opening her door to the “nigger witch” and her army. The horrifying sight of her hung family is extremely powerful, and Bassett just owns the scene – perfectly imbuing her character with terrifying power.
– Funniest monent of the hour: Fiona telling Delphine she’s sorry for her loss and taking a bite of the chicken. I died.
– Loved that it was Nan who let Delphine escape after hearing her thoughts. The madwoman then hilariously calls Queenie a “slave” and knocks her out.
– I must mention that the hair salon face-off is quite exceptional from a cinematography perspective. There are some superb close-up shots of the women’s lips as they throw barbs at one another. These cuts do an impeccable job of elevating the tension within the scene.
– Uh-oh. Marie has kept her minotaur-lover alive. He’s already giving him me nightmares.
Queenie: I grew up on white-girl shit like Charmed and Sabrina The Teenage Cracker.
Queenie: (to Madison) Bitch I will eat you.
Cop: Are you in charge here?
Fiona: I’m Fiona Good. I’m in charge everywhere.
Fiona: Idiots. Have you any idea what’s going on out there? Now I forgave your ham-fisted mass murder with the bus over exuberance of youth and all that, but if you had the goddamn brains to know that when strangers come asking questions, we close ranks – then I fear our line is truly at an end.
Zoe: But they knew so much already.
Fiona: I couldn’t toast a piece of bread with the heat they were putting on you. You are soft. You’re emotional. You care what people think. Now there’s one thing you learn before leaving this place, it’s that we – even the weakest among us – are better than the best of them.
Zoe: Are we gonna get arrested?
Fiona: You are missing the point.
Madison: Which is?
Fiona: The point is, in this whole wide wicked world, the only thing you have to be afraid of… is me.
Fiona: She couldn’t tell a love potion from a recipe for chocolate chip cookies.
Fiona: (to Marie) Such a lovely place you have here. I mean maybe in another century, maybe you could have TWO shit-hole salons.
Zoe: Did we just marry the Devil? Because I don’t know if I’m down with that.
Fiona: You’re not remembered fondly. But I guess that beats not being remembered… at all.
Delphine: I was a woman of my time.
Fiona: That is a crock of shit; you’ve got a mean streak wider than your backside.
Delphine: I don’t care what kind of monster people think I am. I loved my girls in my own way. Even the ugly one – the moment she came out of my belly she was a shame to me…. she had the face of a damn hippo.
Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac
Witty and deliciously sinister, Boy Parts is an outstanding hour of American Horror Story.