Review

Review

TV Recap: 'American Horror Story: Coven' Episode 303 - 'The Replacements'

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American Horror Story: Coven Episode 103
“The Replacements”
Written By: James Wong
Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Original Airdate: 23 October 2013

In This Episode...

The coven is getting new neighbors: Joan Ramsay and her son Luke. Joan is a religious zealot who is offended when she sees the girls watching Luke unpack boxes. Nan and Madison later bring over a welcome cake. Nan is sweet as can be, but Madison really sluts it up and doesn’t veil her flirting. She is offended that Luke seems more interested in plain-Jane Nan. Joan is furious when she sees Madison and demands both the girls leave. Madison picks up the cake knife and “throws it” (with her mind) at Joan, missing her on purpose. Joan screams at them to leave, and on the way out, her curtains go up in flames. “I didn’t know you could do that,” Nan whispers. “I didn’t either,” she admits. Joan later visits Fiona - with a Bible - and in no uncertain terms demands she keep her girls away from them. In this tirade, Joan mentions arson, and this - and this alone - piques Fiona’s interest.

Fiona is falling apart. Through flashbacks, we learn that her generation’s supreme, Annalee, was dead set against Fiona rising to supreme. So Fiona killed her. The butler saw, so Fiona took his tongue so he couldn’t tattle. But now that Fiona has found out about Madison’s new ability, she wants to become something of a mentor to the girl. She wasn’t a good mother, and Madison’s mother is a vaguely fictionalized version of Lindsay Lohan’s mother. Fiona has identified Madison as the next supreme, and wants to nurture her talents.  She reveals that she is dying of cancer, but refuses chemo because she doesn’t want to die bald and shriveled. Her essence is flowing out of her and into Madison. The ladies go out for drinks at a pool hall. Fiona, earlier in the episode, was disappointed that the guys didn’t come flocking to her anymore, and that doesn’t change with Madison around. Fiona sees a lot of herself in Madison. She buys the girl lots of drinks - but pours out every one she buys for herself.

The women come home, one drunk and stumbling; the other fake-drunk and fake-stumbling. Fiona reveals how she killed her supreme, a revered woman, in this very room with a small dagger. She gives the dagger to Madison, wanting her to have it, and to use it to kill her. Madison refuses the dagger, the ladies struggle, and Madison ends up dead with a slit throat. And once again, the butler sees everything.

Queenie admits that she (unlike Nan) is still a virgin. She claims that she is just saving herself, but you get the distinct feeling that no one has been interested. Madame Lalaurie doesn’t appreciate the idea of being a maid, but she flat-out refuses to serve Queenie - so of course, Fiona makes Lalaurie Queenie’s personal slave. Queenie is quite pleased by this turn of events and wastes no time in getting Lalaurie to cook for her, and delights in calling Lalaurie a slave. Lalaurie has had enough and erupts at Queenie. Queenie does not take kindly to this, and once she remembers the tour they took of Madame Lalaurie’s house and she draws the connection, she has no qualms with beating the hell out of her. But there is a clanging at the door. Lalaurie peeks out the window and sees the minotaur prowling around. She freaks out and is so terrified of the creature that she actually begs Queenie - on her hands and knees - to save her, claiming this was once her houseboy - until she found him taking advantage of her daughter. Queenie will take care of this. She slices open Lalaurie’s arm, thereby linking the two of them, and charges out to meet the beast. The beast is gentle, and Queenie believes he is just looking for love. She starts to masturbate, and the minotaur comes around behind her. But rather than joining in the fun, he puts a hand-hoof over her mouth.

Zoe pays Kyle’s mom, Alicia, a visit. The woman was about to hang herself out of anguish when Zoe called. She misses her son terribly, but Zoe promises they will see each other again soon. Alicia thinks she means in the afterlife, but no - she means for real. Zoe returns to Misty and discovers Kyle is all healed up. Misty begs them to stay, but Zoe really wants to bring Kyle home. So they leave a pissed off Misty in the bayou and head to Kyle’s house. She leaves him on the porch and runs, and Alicia nearly has a heart attack when she sees her son. She puts him to bed, thinking he needs a nap, but of course Frankenstein’s monsters don’t need sleep. She checks on him, lays beside him, telling him how much she missed him. The sweet talk turns to wholly inappropriate kissing, which turns into a hand job. After, Alicia comments on how different he is, how it is not his body. Since Kyle is now the strong, silent type, she keeps rambling: what happened to you? This isn’t you. What has Zoe done to you? Why didn’t you tell me about her? Did you think I wouldn’t approve? But then she misses him again and whispers sweet nothings and rubs up behind him. Kyle finally finds his voice, screams no, and bludgeons her to death with a trophy.

Cordelia discovers that she will never be able to have children, and is heartbroken. The only thing she can think to do now is turn to witchcraft. She goes to Marie Laveau, who sits upon a throne of animal skulls and pelts, and begs for the spell, which would require two ounces of Hank’s “baby gravy,” one of the hottest peppers in the world, and for a goat to be sacrificed over Cordelia’s naked body. She agrees, desperately, and Marie laughs. “I wouldn’t do it for any amount of money,” she cackles, “not for my sworn enemy’s child. She messed with the wrong witch and she knows it. Now you know it, too.”

Dig It or Bury It?

Murder, incest, masturbation, bestiality .. what more could you possibly want from a TV show?

So Madison is dead. Not sure how I feel about that. She was a bitch, but she was fun to watch. Who will fuck around with the neighbor boy now? And we’ve got another religious zealot this season, with the next door neighbor. She seems particularly crazy, so I’m looking forward to that. And then there is Misty. Poor, crazy Misty. I just know she is going to burn the school down by season’s end. I wonder if she was crazy before she died, or if this was a symptom of coming back from the dead.

I still am not sure if Fiona really wanted to die by Madison’s hand, or if it was all a setup to kill her. It was clearly established that Fiona wasn’t drunk, but there must be easier ways to engineer a murder than that.

Prophecies?

Queenie’s encounter with the minotaur is not without its consequences; neither is Fiona’s encounter with Madison.

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