American Horror Story Season 3 Review “The Seven Wonders”

American Horror Story Season Episode 13 The Seven Wonders (11)

We have a winner! Yep, it was finally time to unveil the next Supreme…and I totally called it! You have to understand what a banner moment this was for me. I’m one of those people that never gets stuff like this right. No one I pull for on competition shows ever wins, and I’m almost never right about who done it on anything but the occasional crime procedural, and that’s only because there’s a formula to it. On “American Horror Story: Coven,” the only formula is all-crazy, all the time, so when I predicted some time ago that Cordelia would ultimately come out on top, a lot of people thought I was out of my mind.

Not that I blame them. It certainly didn’t look good for her, event through about the halfway mark of this episode, and this was the season finale. But damned if she didn’t pull it out in the end. One of the best things about this episode was that it allowed me to have my cake and eat her too, if you’ll pardon the pun. As my loyal readers know, my favorite character on the show is the gloriously demented Madison Montgomery, so when it appeared she had won the whole shebang, I was thrilled at first, but then I realized something: as much as I love the character, I never really wanted her to be the Supreme, and I think the show-runners secretly knew that, too.

So, they gave us just enough of a taste of Madison winning for us to realize how unsatisfying it was, and then changed the game on us in the last half, which was a smart move. Madison is great in a love-to-hate-her kind of way, but did any of her fans really want her to be Supreme? Not even I really wanted that, and I adore her. The reason being, no one wants to see the Mean Girl come out on top. It’s just not fun, and it’s certainly not wish fulfillment for anyone that’s ever been on the receiving in of being mistreated by someone like that, but this is “AHS” that we’re talking about, so good doesn’t always triumph in the end.

I suspect a lot of people wanted Misty to come out on top, but I had a feeling that was never going to happen. However, even I didn’t suspect that she’d go down first. That said, her own personal Hell told us exactly why she was all wrong for the job. We saw Misty in her younger, school days, forced to dissect a frog for class, as her fellow students weighed in about what a freak she was. No sooner was she forced than she used her healing powers to bring it back- and then had to do it all over, again and again. It was like her “Carrie” period moment, frozen in time.

To someone like Misty, who is a child of the Earth, a “Swamp Witch,” this was the worst possible thing she could imagine. Remember, she even resurrected Madison, knowing that she was bad, and that nothing good would come of it, and indeed, it almost cost her everything. Sure, she put a beat-down on her Madison wouldn’t soon forget, but when all the chips were down, Misty was just too sweet-natured to win the big prize. It’s awful to think she’ll be reliving that awful scenario over and over for eternity, but that’s “AHS” for you. Nobody said it was ever gonna be easy.

Likewise, Zoe’s naivety and love of life got her in the end, nearly costing her everything, including her life. We’ve seen glimpses of her dark side, such as her revenge rape on the Frat guy, or her take-down of the zombies, but overall, Zoe was too kind-hearted to win, either. This girl just wanted to have fun, plain and simple, and it nearly killed her, but it did teach her a valuable lesson in the process, so nothing ventured, nothing gained, I suppose.

Queenie, meanwhile, genuinely wanted it- and a lot of people I know wanted it for her. I certainly wouldn’t have hated it if she’d passed the tests, but I thought the way they did it was perfect. The test that evaded her was bringing back someone from the dead, in this case, Zoe. As much as she cared for Zoe on certain levels, she also has always hated most everyone in the house as well, even Delia. That lack of love cost her in the end, and she just couldn’t care enough to bring someone back, even the one she has less against than most.

So, in the end, it came down to Madison, who was determined to win on her terms, everyone else be damned. When she realized that bringing Zoe back would put her back in the game, she refused, hilariously killing a fly and bringing that back instead. Bam! Instant winner! And in such a Madison way, am I right? But it had to happen this way, because Delia needed that extra push to get her to join in the proceedings. After all, it was either that or-shudder- Madison, the Supreme.

So, Delia stepped up to the plate, and knocked out each challenge one by one, until Madison had no choice but to get herself involved again. I loved Delia’s reaction to her own personal Hell, which was (of course) being berated by her mother for all eternity- been there, done that, pass. Gotta love it. (Queenie had a similar reaction to her return to the fast food nightmare, which was funny, too.)

In the end, it all came down to Divination, and Madison just couldn’t do it. She’s never taken being a witch as seriously as she should, and in the end, that’s what cost her. She just couldn’t help but roll her eyes at the task at hand, and ended up quitting. “I’m going back to Hollywood, where people are normal!” she raged, storming out, promising to tell the media everything. She never got that chance, as Franken-Kyle, upset she didn’t revive Zoe, choked her to death, and then stashed the body, no doubt in Spalding’s attic, where she’s back to playing living doll for him for eternity, a variation of Hell, to be sure. (How great, and wonderfully Madison- not to mention Ryan Murphy- that her actual personal Hell was being relegated to a small role in a television production of…wait for it… “Sound of Music” LOL.)

The one thing I did have a bit of a problem with was that Madison didn’t fight back more against Kyle. Sure, she tried the whole “I did it out of love for you” gambit, which was to be expected, but the girl was almost the next Supreme! She couldn’t have just tossed him aside like a rag doll? Even Zoe managed that. The only thing that makes sense to me was that, as Cordelia healed Zoe, the power was drained out of Madison at the same time, just enough to keep her from fighting back. Otherwise, that just didn’t make sense to me. I did, however, like the foreshadowing of it, which I didn’t notice until a second viewing. Did you see how she kept pulling at her neck throughout the episode? Nice touch, that.

But Delia wasn’t quite done. She still had some unfinished business to attend to. As much as Myrtle was her “real” mother, she had nonetheless killed off the Council, even if her reasons weren’t entirely vengeful. Still, she knew Delia had to step up to the plate and show people she meant business, and something like that was one of the biggest crimes one can make in the world of witches, so Myrtle sacrificed herself so that Delia could reign in good faith. It was a heartbreaking scene, scored to one of the great “lost” Fleetwood Mac tracks, “Silver Springs,” and at least Myrtle went out looking fabulous.

Last but not least was a resolution of her mommy issues. Yep, just when you thought she was out…along came Fiona for one last tête-à-tête with her daughter. On the whole, it was actually a touching moment, but I don’t know about you, I was fully expecting her to pull one last fast one with that knife. Instead, we got what might have been the lone genuine moment between the two, which was nice. (Although Fiona couldn’t resist one last dig: “God knows you’ll do a better job than I ever did, though you won’t look half as good doing it.”)

Love how this show zigs when you think it will zag. Still, Fiona did get what was coming to her in the end, and it was just as I suspected: her personal Hell was actually ending up on that farm with the Axeman, devoid of power, glamour, and living like a rube. That seems about right for her, I think.

We ended with a media blitz. Perhaps inspired by Madison, or at the very least, smart enough to cut her off at the pass which she didn’t know was never going to be a problem in the first place, Delia met with the media and flat-out announced she was a witch and invited all those others who were to join them at the Academy, where she and Zoe and Queenie became the new Council. That seems fitting to me, and it was great to see Delia looking better than ever, all dressed up and ready to rule with a fair, even hand.

I couldn’t have been more satisfied with this episode. From the beginning cameo by Stevie Nicks, performing- what else?- “Seven Wonders,” as everyone got ready for the big finale, to that last greeting of the new students, this was pretty much perfection. Aside from that minor quibble with Madison’s death being a bit too clean, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Everything fell into place perfectly, I thought, and I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed with this. After all, who suffered more than Delia? Who made more sacrifices than her?

In many ways, this episode drove home the real underlying theme, which was a retelling of the Christ story, with witches. You had the all-powerful Fiona, giving birth to the flawed but nonetheless exceptional Cordelia, who went through Hell and back, literally, to be reborn as the ruler she was always meant to be. The other girls had their issues, but Delia’s were life-long and never-ending, so who earned this more than her?

I loved the “Last Supper” foreshadowing, and Myrtle’s crucifixion-esque send-off, plus Delia’s “Sermon on the Mount”-style speeches to the Media and her new followers at the Academy. This was a boon for those who grew up Christian, an amusing flip-flop of Jesus’ story in witchy form, and I loved every minute of it, blasphemy be damned.

What did you think of the big finale of “American Horror Story: Coven”? Did everything pan out the way you hoped it would? Were you satisfied with the overall outcome? How did your favorite characters fare? Was there something you wished they’d done differently? Let me know in the comments section, and hopefully I’ll be here for the next season, whatever craziness they have in store for us next!