American Horror Story: Coven Episode (3×01) Review – “Bitchcraft”


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American Horror Story: Coven’s Adds to The Horror and the Fun by Using Real Historical Witches

Each season Ryan Murphy and Co. dig up true crimes and bizarre historical figures, and use them as the inspiration for American Horror Story. In season one they told ghost stories and in season 2 they focused on scientific experimentation, aliens, and demons. This season they’ve decided to focus on witchcraft. We were introduced to a bevy of new characters living at Ms. Robicheaud’s Academy for Exceptional Ladies, which is really a school for witchcraft. Zoe Benson is a new arrival to this world and it’s through her we are introduced to the assortment of interesting women and stories. At the heart of the new season are two famous historical witches – Madam Laveau and Madam LaLaurie. The writers weave in past stories of famous/infamous New Orleans’ witches in with fictitious ones in a way that makes it more palatable to digest the terrifying things these real life women had done in their day.

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“Shut up before I rip it open and stuff more shit in there.” The show kicks off with honestly one of the most disturbing scenes I’ve seen on television in probably ever. Madam LaLaurie walks in on her daughter alone in her bedroom with one of her slaves. She decides to handle it by deciding to put the story out that the slave tried to rape her daughter, and then leading the man down into her dungeon where she proceeded to fit him with a severed bull’s head. The lives of slaves weren’t exactly what anyone would call idyllic, but LaLaurie takes torture to new extremes. The offending slave isn’t her only victim. As he’s lead to the place where he’s to be handcuffed, we are treated to slaves who have been mutilated and kept in the most horrifying conditions imaginable. Later in the episode we learn of other crimes she committed against her slaves, and since she was believed to been killed in 1842 after her crimes were discovered, the writers put their own twist on how LaLaurie ended up.

“It’s a cliche, but like all cliches it’s the truth.”

American Horror Story Coven 3x01 - Bitchcraft

“Did you do something wicked, or do you suck at going down?” The Academy is a bizarre pace even if the people within the walls weren’t witched. Zoe kills people she has sex with by… having sex with them. Madison, the movie star, is a straight up killer. Nan is a clairvoyant. Queenie is a human voodoo doll. In charge of the whole operation is Cordelia Foxx, a headmistress who doesn’t want to teach the girls how to become powerful, but hide their gifts to avoid persecution. While the premiere episode gave us a look at these women’s powers, the powers the most on display was that of Cordelia’s mother, Fiona Goode. Fiona is one of the most powerful witches ever, and it appears he power has corrupted. Not only did we see her drain a man of his youth so she could stay young, but she also freed LaLaurie from her tomb so she could extract her secrets of how to cheat death. All of the girls in the Academy have exhibited a great power, and Goode’s story seems to be a warning to which ever one of them will turn out to be as powerful as Fiona. Power corrupts and it corrupts absolutely.

“When are you going to die and stop ruining my life?”

“The world’s not going to miss a bunch of assholes in Ed Hardy t-shirts.” Though most of the episode was spent on introducing the characters, that didn’t mean there was nothing important happening. Aside from LaLaurie’s resurrection, we also got introduced to Marie Laveau and the vendetta she has against LaLaurie for her slave serial killings. Most notably Laveau’s lover in the bull’s head. The mean girl (Madison) gets gang raped at a party and in a state of vengeance kills her offenders(except the ring leader) and the hero who tried to save her. I thought the Evan Peters/Taissa Farmiga reunion was going to be short-lived until I saw the promo for next week. Can’t wait to see what they do with the Frankenstein story!

“I have half a mind to enchant the locks on you.”

“Don’t make me drop a house on you.”

American Horror Story Coven 3x01 - Bitchcraft 2

“Come on, Mary Todd Lincoln, I’ll buy you a drink.” The season premiere was off the chain, and I’m excited about this season. While I enjoyed last season, it didn’t hold my interest as much as season 1, and I’m glad to see the show go back to being something I’m sad to see end. I love snappy dialogue, and this episode was riddled with it. If I wasn’t cringing from LaLaurie’s perversions, then I was roaring laughing from Jessica Lange’s dialogue. When LaLaurie was last above ground blacks were enslaved. Now in 2013, we have a black president. I’m curious to see how she handles all of the changes, and can’t wait to see more than a few brief glances of Angela Bassett’s Marie Laveau. The rivalry between these two women is bound to keep viewers on the edge of our seats, and now that Fiona has sided with LaLaurie, I’m sure these women will bring hell on earth to those around them. Those bible thumpers who burnt that young Cajun witch at the stake better watch out!

American Horror Story: Coven Episode 3×02, “Boy Parts,” Airs Wednesday, October 16 at 10PM only on FX.