I am quite impressed with the first episode of American Horror Story: Coven. It is a far more sophisticated start to the season than any of the seasons before - but that’s not to say that it lacks any of the violence, gore, sex, or shocks that fans have come to expect from the series. I am anticipating a top-notch year with Coven. Here are six things to whet your appetite for the season premiere, October 9th on FX.
(Warning! Minor spoilers ahead!)
Kathy Bates does indeed play Madame LaLaurie, the real-life New Orleans socialite who was found to have been an especially cruel slave owner. She tormented her slaves, kept them chained up in the attic and mutilated them. Though there was never any proof, the stories of her tortures worsened to include flayed skin, intestines worn like belts, and mouths filled with excrement and sewn shut. Naturally, AHS chooses this direction to portray, and the results are disturbing.
Witchcraft is Genetic, and Each Girl Has a Specific Skill
In AHS, witches are a genetic anomaly. It sometimes skips a generation, and not every woman in a family will get the gene. Those that do each have a specific talent: telekinesis, clairvoyance, “human voodoo doll,” etc. In every generation, there is one witch who is a supreme. This witch embodies “countless gifts,” which I suppose means she has multiple powers - or all the different powers. The witches are literally dying out because many women who discovered they had this gene decided not to procreate.
Emma Roberts is the Ultimate Mean Girl
She plays Madison, a movie star who was sent to the boarding school by her agent as a sort of rehab. Madison is the stereotypical starlet-gone-bad. In the first episode you see a lot of Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus, and even Emma Roberts in her character. While she is just a spoiled brat right now, you can see that her character will likely go evil very soon.
Jessica Lange is the Modern Day Elizabeth Bathory
The direct reference is never made, but she is obsessed with finding the secret to eternal youth. Another indirect reference to Bathory’s penchant for bathing in the blood of virgins leads me to believe that we may very well see her pop up at some point this season.
The School Was Built by Salem Witches
The women killed during the infamous Salem witch trials were not actually witches, but it scared the real witches out of town. Most went south and took up residency in New Orleans. The school - Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies - was built in 1790 as a traditional boarding school. It was used as a hospital during the Civil War, and after, it was purchased by a supreme witch named Marion Warton, who made it a safe haven for witches. In its heyday, the school housed as many as 60 witches at a time; now, it is only four.
Denis O’Hare is Unrecognizable
He plays Spaulding, and he has no tongue. You can’t miss him.