American Horror Story: Coven Season 3 Review “Head”

American Horror Story Season Episode 9 Head (1)

When a show like “American Horror Story: Coven” names an episode “Head,” you never know what you’re gonna get, but thankfully, one of them was not a role-reversal spin on the infamous “The Re-animator” scene with Kathy Bates’ head. Not sure they could get away with that one, even on FX. (On a semi-related side note: how great was it seeing the star of that film, Barbara Crampton in not one, but two pretty decent genre efforts this year- the also witch-related “Lords of Salem” and the even better twisty home invasion flick “You’re Next”?)

Anyway, we did get a few different interpretations of that title throughout the episode, including the naughty one, via the tale Nan told of Luke’s father; and the amusing and ultimately sort-of oddly touching business with LaLaurie and Queenie’s forced history lesson. (Well, Laveau did say: “I got six more heads waiting for me up front. That one you can keep.”) It’s also where Queenie shot herself, or rather Hank, when he went all Rambo on Laveau and her peeps. You could also read it into Hank’s father turning out to be the “head” of the Corporation, aka those in charge of hunting down and killing witches, as well as of the Atlanta-based company, the Delphi Trust. So, lots of room for interpretation on that title, to be sure.

This being the final episode of the year, potential offings were to be expected, and we got some- maybe. The biggies were Queenie and Luke possibly, and definitely Hank, with the pictures sent to his father to prove it. As Joan merely smothered her son, I suspect a revival there with Misty’s help should be pretty easy doing- all the better for him to get revenge on his murderous mother. Queenie, though…I mean, she slit her throat and lived before, so there’s that, but blowing her brains out? I’m not sure you can come back from that one, but we’ll see, I guess. This is “American Horror Story” we’re talking about. Near-half the cast is technically “dead” after all.

On other fronts: Delia got her sight back, and in a wonderfully gruesome fashion, with Myrtle using a melon ball thingee to literally scoop out the Council’s eyes- or one each, at least. That was a nice touch, having Fiona find the eyes looked familiar. Myrtle ended up chopping the rest of the Council into little pieces, so despite her claims that it wasn’t revenge she was after, it sure looked that way. Lesson learned: never burn an innocent witch- even if you are one.

The only really negative aspect of all this was that Delia lost her second sight, which might have come in handy again at some point. We also learned that the Corporation was the one who sent someone to blind her, not Myrtle, as she had insisted all along. It was Hank that stalked Misty that time in the swamp, however. It was also their idea to plant him at the Academy, not Laveau’s.

However, it was not their idea for him to align himself with Laveau, but in the end, that’s who he opted to try and take out, after Laveau worked some voodoo on him and threatened to kill him if he didn’t kill the Academy witches. Something good did come out of it, as the whole sordid affair did finally drive Laveau to reach out to Fiona, after initially rejecting her. I’m not sure if she knew that Hank was the head of the Corporation’s son, but someone sent those pictures to him, and either way, a war is definitely coming, and it’s no longer about black or white anymore.

As per usual, some great touches throughout: the sarcastic motions of LaLaurie’s headless body’s arms as Fiona and Laveau quarreled over her head (pun definitely intended); the bizarre staging of Myrtle’s revenge on the Council; the revolving Dutch angle of the camera as the girls walked through the hospital corridor; Patti Lupone’s serenade of her son (you just knew Ryan “Glee” Murphy was going to find a way to make her sing somehow at some point); Queenie’s movie choices, which included “Mandingo”– not the most politically-correct choice in the world- and, of all things, “B.A.P.S.” (and was that a sly “Precious” reference they snuck in there: “Based on the best-selling novel by…Alex Haley” I see what you did there, AHS.); the look of delight on Misty’s face when she revived the plant (plus more Stevie!); Joan’s odd method of killing her husband (oh no, not the bees!); Kyle’s surprising rejuvenation by Fiona (even after he killed poor “Endora”!); and, as ever, the fashion, which ran the gamut from high- the fabulous fedora Laveau was sporting, the witches’ hospital frocks (see pic above)- to low- the hilarious t-shirt Queenie was wearing: “Check Meowt” with a picture of a hipster cat in sunglasses…must have!

As ever, some great dialogue throughout as well:

Madison, as she smokes in a hospital: “Sick people gross me out.”

Joan: “You’re mocking my grief.”
Madison: “Not your grief. Maybe the outfit.”

Hank, after Fiona asks him why she bought a female guard dog: “Because bitches stick together?”

Good stuff, all, and plenty to mull over during Christmas break. Oh, and here’s one more. The next episode’s title? “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks” Can I get an amen, Stevie lovers? CANNOT WAIT! That is going to be epic personified.

So, what did you think of the latest episode of “American Horror Story: Coven”? Satisfied with the way things are playing out? Glad that Fiona and Laveau are finally joining forces? Will it work out, or will they kill each other in the process? Who will make it out alive, if anyone? What role will Stevie Nicks play in the next episode, besides herself, that is? As in how will she figure into the plot at hand? Is Queenie dead for real? Or Luke? Will he come back, zombie-style and avenge his father? Will there be a full-on battle between the witches and the Corporation? Is LaLaurie’s head still about? So many questions, so much time until the next episode…until, I witch you a merry Christmas and a happy, horror-free (except the fictional kind, of course) New Year!