Although Coven is American Horror Story‘s highest rated season (numbers-wise), it’s also been the subject of quite a bit of criticism from critics and viewers alike. While I didn’t find the season to be as uneven and muddled as most would have you believe, I will admit that it didn’t end up being the perfect roller-coaster ride I was expecting (particularly since it began with such marvelous potential).
One of the show’s biggest fumbles this year was the decision to end Marie and Delphine’s storylines in the penultimate episode. Both Bassett and Bates were such enormously entertaining components of the season, that it felt like a disservice to end their respective journeys with such an anticlimax. Even Fiona felt detached from the finale’s proceedings (at least until the final ten minutes), and that’s an unfathomable decision in my opinion. These powerhouse veterans could have carried the entire season on their own, as they were infinitely more compelling than the coven’s newer generation. And in the end, the three women were wasted during the most crucial part of the season. A true pity.
On the bright side, I was ecstatic when it was revealed that Fiona did indeed fake her death last week. I hated seeing her fall victim to the Axeman in such a brutal manner, so it was a relief to see she had orchestrated the entire plot. However, her eventual fate didn’t end up being that much better. For a show that’s been preaching supposed female empowerment since the beginning, an alarming number of its female leads ended up surprisingly powerless against the men in their lives. So the former Supreme is doomed to get slapped around for eternity by her supposed love in Papa Legba’s specialized hell (the countryside)? On the bright side, we got a hell of a powerful final scene between Fiona and Cordelia as they finally tackled their relationship’s massive emotional baggage. Paulson and Lange have been killing it since Asylum, and this sequence was no different. It was touching, poignant, and so very gut-wrenching.
Which brings me to Cordelia being crowned Supreme. I wasn’t disappointed, but I do wish Delia had a coherent storyline this year besides having to suffer from incessant vision problems. The season as a whole seemed to lose track of the Supreme storyline; I guess the multitude of random subplots (Spalding, the zombies, Nan and the neighbors etc…) didn’t exactly help. This doesn’t detract from the fact that this season is still one of the most entertaining creations I’ve ever watched; I just wish it was more consistently executed.
One character that thankfully avoided any missteps in the finale was Myrtle Snow. Frances Conroy got to play one heck of a character this year, and it was especially heartwarming to witness her layered maternal dynamic with Delia. Yes having her burn at the stake again felt kind of repetitive, but Myrtle nonetheless made her final moments extremely memorable (“Balenciaagaaaaa”). Please give this woman an Emmy; she’s a bonafide national treasure.
– Great opening with Stevie Nicks singing.
– Love the young ones during the seven wonders test. I was especially amused by all the mind control tricks, particularly Madison playing dirty and involving Kyle.
– Misty’s hell (killing and bringing the frog back to life) was extremely gruesome. Did we really need to see it so many times?
– Cordelia crying over Misty’s dead body and trying to bring her back was very touching.
– How random was Zoe impaling herself? That really came out of left field.
– Loved Delia’s sight returning… those scarred eyes were making me sick.
– Although Cordelia outing the witches on TV was an interesting move, having it be a parallel to hate crimes was a tad too on the nose.
– So you’re tell me that super-powered Madison couldn’t telekinetically fling Kyle off her? So much for woman-power (and cheers to inconsistent writing).
– Spalding turned out to be useless in the end. Madison’s body is his now? Seriously, ew.
– Love Cordelia, Zoe and Queenie forming the new council. At least the latter two have a purpose now.
– Fiona spitting in the Axeman’s mouth made me laugh.
– Fiona dying in Delia’s arms during their final embrace was tremendously sad. And the makeup used on Lange? Horrifyingly effective.
– The season’s final moment with Delia’s smile was low-key yet an admittedly satisfying bookend to the year.
Madison: Who knew the test came in brail?
Madison: Either crown me, or kiss my ass.
Madison: I’m going back to Hollywood where people are normal.
Fiona: (to Delia) You took my power the minute I gave birth to you.
Cordelia: (to Fiona) No powers, no magic, just a woman facing the inevitable… a divine being having a human experience.
Seven Wonders by Fleetwood Mac
Silver Springs by Fleetwood Mac
The Seven Wonders is a solid albeit unspectacular season finale.