Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Review: American Horror Story: Coven "Boy Parts"

Non Spoiler Review:
Boy Parts finds Zoe's guilt placing the school in danger, while Madison has an idea to pay her back for her kindness. Fiona seeks to learn the newly uncovered LaLaurie's secret to immortality as her daughter embarks on a solution for her own infertility. 

Death and resurrection plays heavily this week in a variety of ways. Fiona continues to search for eternal youth and finds a variety of options open to her if she can just secure them. Madison and Zoe and Delia strive to create life in their own ways. All of these avenues are certain to come with their respective consequences, of course, and it looks like the season will deal with those in short order.

There's nothing really to complain about with Boy Parts, aside from a few twists that could be seen coming. But the series is not really about avoiding expectations, just turning them on their ear. It continues to be a fun watch.

Spoilers Now!
On the swamp two alligator hunters returning to shore find a woman wandering about their camp, declaring it's all wrong. She's none other than the very much alive Misty Day, who warns them not to kill God's creatures. As one man pulls his gun on her, one of the dead alligators comes back to life and bites him, while another drags off his friend.

Delia wakes up the girls for morning gathering. Zoe is still mourning Kyle and feels he wasn't like his frat brothers, despite what Madison says. Madison suggests he was living on borrowed time anyways given Zoe's black widow status.

Fiona has Delphine in her room, bound and gagged, warning her not to scream. She wants to know how she's still alive. But she's called down to the gathering and plans to continue their chat later.

A flashback to 2012 finds Queenie working in a fast food restaurant, where she uses her sympathetic magic to burn the hand of a troublesome customer in hot oil. She didn't get in trouble for it, but the story made the newspaper which led Delia to find her. She since learned she's an heir to Tituba, the first slave to be accused of witchcraft in Salem.

The gathering is interrupted by the police, who have information movie star Madison was at the frat party and was witnessed with the boys. They feel she might be involved in the bus crash. And Zoe was later spotted at the hospital. That boy died after she left. They followed up with her own history and learned another boy died in the same manner. Zoe breaks down under the accusations and confesses the men gang-raped Madison and she can do things with her mind because they're all witches. Delia steps in and explains she's suffered a mental break. Fiona interrupts and sends the girls away, declaring she's in charge. She hands the men a glass of water (which she spits in) and orders them to drink. One of the police fights the compulsion and while Delia urges her mother to stop, Fiona tells her to shut up and cranks up her power until he takes the glass and drinks. Under her command, she orders them to turn over all their information and never to speak of it again.

Fiona walks in on the girls and sends them flying against the walls. She berates both Madison and Zoe for not closing ranks when they were threatened. Zoe is soft, she adds. Even the weakest of their kind are better than the best of them. The only thing they have to be afraid of is her.

Delia is at the hospital with her husband Hank, hoping she's fertile to have a baby. Unfortunately that's not the case. Hank will support her if she wants to go on fertility drugs but doesn't get her desire for it. He's aware of her magic and wonders why she won't use it to help herself. Delia doesn't want to play God.

Fiona brings Delphine some food, though she suspects she must be immortal by now. Delphine tries to come to grips with the knowledge she's been buried for 180 years, realizing she was tricked by Marie Laveau. Once she took the potion she awoke only to find Laveau and the slaves waiting outside for her. Marie showed Delphine the remains of her family—all strung up in the courtyard. Marie then explained she gave her life everlasting in that potion, and had her put in a coffin and buried, damning her to live forever.

Zoe and Madison break into the morgue. Madison plans to pay Zoe back for what she did for her (killing the rapist). She has a spell of resurrection she took from the school. They find the bodies of the crash victims, including Kyle's dismembered parts. Zoe is mortified, but Madison sees potential in mixing and matching the best of the corpses and build her the perfect boyfriend.

The girls sow together the various limbs and perform the ritual, part of which is their declaration of allegiance to the lord of the underworld. After an intense spell casting, the patched up Kyle seems lifeless. Zoe supposes they just aren't powerful enough. Madison heads out to the car while Zoe remains to tell him he's sorry. Someone drives up so Madison leaves her. Zoe kisses Kyle, but she runs off when she hears the door open. The coroner arrives and finds the assembled body, as well as Zoe. Behind him Kyle sits up and proceeds to beat him to death. Zoe calms him down. In the woods, wandering Misty gets a picture of the morgue in her head.

Fiona is getting her hair cut at a black salon when Marie Laveau walks in and tells everyone to go home, as she'll finish this one herself. Both women toy with one another before revealing their true identities. Laveau reminds Fiona everything they got they got from them, and their kind have been at odds for centuries. Tituba learned her secrets from a line of shamans, giving it to the white girls of Salem. Fiona doubts that, but wants what Marie has—what has kept her young. And she has something in exchange. She leaves her with the promise she'll be back.

At the school Nan is overwhelmed by Delphine's voice in her head so goes up to her room and sets her free, telling her to get out. Delphine runs into Queenie, calling her a slave, and knocks her out.

Delia attempts to make a potion to help her conceive while Hank waits impatiently. She creates an elaborate ritual with an egg and proceeds to have sex with him in the magic circle. The egg breaks and a snake emerges.

Zoe flees with Kyle, but he remains unresponsive. Misty pops up in the back seat claiming she drew her out there. She takes them back to the cabin in the swamp and Misty starts using he knowledge to heal Kyle, just as Mother Nature healed her from being burned alive, she explains. Zoe remains on edge, but recognizes her, informing her that everyone thinks her dead. Misty heard the call of Zoe's magic and is pleased she's not alone. She seems to believe Stevie Nicks is a white witch and listens to her music. Zoe has to get back to the school, but Misty wants to keep Kyle with her so she can heal him, and the promise that Zoe will return.

Back at home Marie tells someone he won't believe who is back. They have some business to attend to, and she unchains Bastian, the minotaur. Meanwhile, Fiona finds Delphine sitting on a bench in front of her former home. Fiona suggests she deserved every minute she spent under the dirt if even a few of the rumours about her are true. Delphine doesn't care who thinks she was a monster, but hopes Fiona is a witch so she'll know how to kill her. Fiona won't kill her today, but warns her to behave or it's back in the box. They go home together.

The Verdict:
Boy Parts was another fun, full episode. Kyle's Frankenstein revival wasn't too much of a surprise, and similar to the infantata from season one, but it will likely play out very different. With Misty Day's return, as well, I'm sure the two of them will make quite the pair. Misty seems to be a very important character and a wild card at this point. Given Fiona's quest for immortality, her resurrection powers could prove valuable.

Fiona's exchange with Marie was one of the episode's highlights and I'm anxious to see Kathy Bates enter the fray with the two of them. Marie possesses what Fiona wants—a secret to immortality and youth. And she's also preserved her minotaur lover. I'm under the impression that the bull's head is now his head? If so, did Delphine have some hand in that, because we've not yet seen any indication that Madame LaLaurie possesses any sort of witchcraft.

I wonder how the rivalry will unfold—will each woman go to war with the other? Or will Fiona and Marie team up for their mutual benefit? It looks like Queenie, given her ties to Tituba, could prove a recruit for Marie in the future.

I get the impression Zoe and Madison's cavalier deal with the Devil is going to come back to haunt them soon. And the same can be said for Delia's magical dalliance with Hank. Interesting how at ease her husband is with her true nature.

Like the first episode, I do enjoy how Murphy is playing with the use of magic...nothing too fantastical, but telekinesis, mind control and that sort of thing. The rituals shown this week had enough bizarre mystery to them that they didn't come across as cheesy at all. The history of witchcraft we get here is also novel—the conflict between its African origins and the later evolution of the Salem witches. That raises the question if we'll be seeing some male witches or the like, and how they fit into Murphy's new cosmology.

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