Thursday, December 19, 2013

Revew: American Horror Story: Coven "The Sacred Taking"

Non Spoiler Review:
Misty Day appears at the school, bringing a resurrected Myrtle eager to exact revenge on Fiona. With the coven in chaos, Delia decides on an ancient ritual to reveal the identity of the supreme. Meanwhile, Delphine realizes being immortal doesn't necessarily mean she's invulnerable to Marie's torture.

Sacred Taking was an enjoyable episode steeped in ritual and some further hints at the backstory of the witches. Luke and his mother remain a confusing and weak storyline, though, so hopefully this does go somewhere (and doesn't fizzle out like the aliens from last season). 

The season is speeding by, but the series continues at a brisk pace, advancing a lot of plot as far as bringing the various players together for the final act of the season.

Spoilers Now!
Queenie wanders through a sketchy area of town and dispatches with a would be attacker using her magic. Zoe and Madison arrive, wanting her back in the coven even though admitting it's a mess right now. Queenie doesn't believe their spiel, nor the idea that a new supreme is rising, and proceeds to kill the attacker and gut him. As they watch in horror, she explains he raped three girls. Marie needs a dark heart for a spell, and she plans to give it to her. She rips his heart out. Voodoo and witchcraft—war is coming, and they're going to lose, Queenie tells them.

Bedridden Fiona muses over the cancer that has infected her spine and she laments the loss of her beauty. Delia has no sympathy for her, so she's sought solace in Axeman. But she doesn't want him watching her decay. She just needs to figure out which of the girls is coming into the supreme.

Luke's dealing with his mother's outrage with the girl's next door over his wounds from Halloween. She insists he must cleanse himself and gives him an enema (!) to clean him from the inside out. At the school Nan can sense she's hurting him, but Delia orders her to sit down and lectures the girls that no one else can slip through the cracks. Queenie is now dead to her. And they have one shot to kill Fiona.

Delia remains unaware Spalding is dead and Zoe goes to answer the door to find Misty, who declares she's in danger. Myrtle had woken from her healing slumber and warned Misty an assassin was circling the cabin. Misty leaped for cover as a gunman fired inside and the two of them hid in the swamps. Delia asks who is there and takes Misty's hand, getting a vision of her burning and resurrection. She welcomes her into the coven. Misty then asks if her friend can stay and leads them to the greenhouse where they find Myrtle. Delia is elated to find her again and warns her the coven has fallen on hard times. Myrtle declares Misty Day is the next supreme.

Zoe and Madison have been sharing Kyle. Zoe wants him to relearn things so he can have a life while Maddie is not so forward thinking. They have a busy night ahead of him so she leaves him with his lesson. Myrtle and Delia are performing a ceremony called the sacred taking to learn the identity of the supreme. Myrtle is certain of Misty's credentials. Misty doesn't want to be the supreme, but Delia warns her no one gets to choose. 

They join hands, and Delia explains the ritual has been invoked three times in their history—the first was the Salem witch trials when the coven fled south. The supreme was too weak to make the journey so invoked the sacred taking. She took her own life to allow a new supreme to arise to lead them. 

Fiona is sick and delirious. She wanders out of her bathroom to find Maddie dancing there, taunting her that she'll soon be moving into her room. Fiona asks who brought her back, but Maddie says she brought herself back. And they're going to burn her at the stake. She can leave the world that way, or take an overdose of her pills and go to sleep. Maddie leaves and Fiona throws the pills away, but finds Myrtle there.

Myrtle explains she's been resurrected by Madison. Fiona plans to depart the country and wants to leave with the man she's found. Myrtle reminds her she just has two choices and Fiona's dream is just a nasty trick—she'll die alone and disappointed. 

Downstairs the girls await the results of their spell, and when Nan wonders if she could be the next supreme all of them insult her with their silence. She leaves and goes next door, breaking inside to find Luke. She hears his muffled moans and opens the door to the closet to find him tied up inside.

Myrtle continues her temptation, but Fiona won't lament over past regrets. She knows when the party's over and has accepted her fate. She asks her to look after her Delia. Then she takes the pills and asks Myrtle to ensure they hang her portrait in the place she chose and lies on the bed. Myrtle leaves her to die. 

Fiona hears Spalding telling her to wake up. He only has voice in the spirit world now, but sees everything. He offers her a medicine, but she refuses, saying she's finally doing something good for the coven. He tells her she's giving up and has been tricked. He won't permit it. Madison is not the next supreme. She was brought back by another witch. He gives her the medicine that makes her throw up the pills. 

Meanwhile, Queenie goes to see Delphine in her cage, giving her some take out. All they've been doing is bleeding her, she explains, when Queenie asks if she's been fed. She asks what she did to deserve the betrayal. Marie comes in and berates Queenie for feeding her, sending her away. Marie tells Delphine it gives her great pleasure just to know she's in a cage. Delphine taunts her—she can't kill her because she can't die. She suggests Marie throw her back in the box because she's had enough of the world. The natural order will be restored in a century. Marie warns her she has more choices than that and cuts off Delphine's hand. 

Nan leads Luke downstairs but he warns her they can't go next door. His mother finds them, and gets on the phone to the police. He tells her they're leaving and she can't stop them. That's when someone shoots both her and Luke.

The girls wait downstairs as Myrtle plays the piano. But Misty feels no signs of something changing. Fiona arrives, explaining that the signs of the supreme were a migraine for her and asks to talk to the gifted swamp witch

Alerted to the commotion next door, Misty heads over where the paramedics take Luke away. Fiona glamors the officer, explaining the mother is dead and they're waiting on the coroner. She suggests Misty use her talent on the woman. The rest of the girls watch the scene from outside. Delia senses something, finds a bullet and has a vision of Hank. Misty lays her hands on Luke's mother and raises her from the dead.

Zoe returns to her room and Kyle, and explains they're under attack. Kyle speaks—he says this road goes two ways. He loves her. She loves him too. And Maddie listens in.

In the morning Fiona joins her daughter for coffee. Delia demands they not play games. They both know she orchestrated the spell the night before. Fiona compliments her on demonstrating real grit and finally she has hope for the coven. And she's proud of her daughter. Fiona notices the silver bullet Delia found. Fiona senses it's blessed—meaning witch hunters. Delia realizes they need her mother now more than ever. Fiona goes outside and finds a large box on the porch. She brings it inside and opens it up with Delia. It's Delphine's head. Her eyes open and she mouth's help.

The Verdict:
Another action-packed episode even if Jessica Lange's fate was never in doubt. I do wonder what will happen with the Axeman, or if he's simply been left as a loose end to the storyline. Perhaps he may be of help in the coming war with the witch hunters.

The Luke storyline was the weakest and most erratic—his mother's abrupt turn into full blown crazy didn't really feel organic, nor did the sudden closet rescue and shooting. The cut from that to the paramedics seemed like a poor edit. And I won't even go into the comet enema...which surely raises the bar for most disturbing scene of the season.

All the pieces seem to be moving into place for a more unified coven to face their greater threat—Kyle, Misty and Myrtle are all under one roof now. That may mean an alliance with Marie might be close at hand, as well. I could see the series ending with a true peace and unification between the two factions.

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