TV Recap: 'American Horror Story: Coven' Episode 309 - 'Head'


American Horror Story: Coven Episode 310
Written By: Tim Minear
Directed By: Howard Deutch
Original Airdate: 11 December 2013

In This Episode...

Fiona brings Delphine’s head back to Marie in hopes that she can use it as a bargaining chip. She wants an alliance between the two covens; Marie laughs. Even hearing about the witch hunters doesn’t change her mind. “That is the white woman’s worry.” Fiona thinks she is crazy if she doesn’t think the hunters will come for her next, but Marie will worry about that when they do come for her. Fiona leaves Delphine’s head, which Marie instructs Queenie to burn.

Myrtle invites the other two council members over for a sumptuous lunch. Quentin and Pendie kiss her ass mightily to make up for the whole “burning her at the stake” thing. They think this lunch is a sign of forgiveness, but clearly it’s not. The melon balls she serves them are dosed with monkswood, an herb that causes temporary paralysis that makes you feel like you are a stone statue. Muscles atrophy and feel heavy; your veins feel frozen, and you can’t move. If that isn’t bad enough, Myrtle grabs the melon baller and scoops out an eyeball from each of them. Their eyes are for Cordelia. Myrtle has always thought of Cordelia as her own daughter, and Cordelia doesn’t need to use her second sight to know that Myrtle didn’t call for the attack on her. Whatever it is that Myrtle did, it worked: Cordelia can see. Fiona is both impressed and dubious, but Myrtle claims that being burned at the stake gave her new insights. Cordelia’s sight came with the loss of her second sight - a fact that seemed surprising to her, yet seemed obvious to me.

Nan has been at the hospital all night, waiting to see Luke. Joan won’t let her in. Madison, crazy bitch that she is, storms in with Nan and Zoe. Joan blames the girls and their ties to the devil for her son being in a coma. Nan reads Luke’s thoughts for Joan, telling her that he liked when she sang to him. Joan claims she never sang to him and thinks Nan is mocking her beliefs. Luke gives Nan all the details: it was a song she sang when he was eight and broke his arm. The girls start to leave, and Joan begins to sing. Just like that, she loves Nan and holds her hand as she sings to Luke. So now Nan is a miracle to Joan, giving her a ray of hope. She has another message from Luke: there is a god, and he is judging Joan for killing his father. It seems that Luke’s dad was in love with another woman and planned on leaving Joan. Dad was highly allergic to bees, so when he died of anaphylaxis, it didn’t seem so unusual. But god knows that Joan released the bees into his car. God says Joan is going to pay, and she reverts back to anger and hatred, and screams at Nan to leave. When Luke comes out of his coma, the first words out of his mouth are, “You killed dad.” She urges him to go back to sleep - and smothers him with a pillow.

The producers try to make Hank a sympathetic character tonight. We see his childhood, how his father took him into the woods at age 10 to teach him how to hunt witches; how he pussied out and didn’t kill the scared witch who begged for her life; how she retaliated with a fire bolt that ended with his father badly burned while saving him. Nowadays, daddy runs the Delphi group, a witch hunter corporation. His father is cold to him since he wasn’t very good at the family business. Hank is hurt that another man, David, was hired to be his dad’s right hand - he thought the position belonged to him. We learn that Hank is supposed to be the “inside man” since he is inept at the wet work, but he is desperate to prove himself to daddy - that is why he killed that redhead in the hotel. Of course, David had to send up a clean-up crew and kill two innocent bystanders because they could ID Hank. He married Cordelia for the job, but when he finds out that his dad ordered the blinding of his wife, he is hurt - a sign of weakness. (FYI, the blinding was supposed to make Cordelia more dependent on Hank. Epic fail.) Joining sides with Marie Laveau was another no-no. So Hank is a failure in his father’s eyes. 

Queenie never burned Delphine’s head. Delphine wants to die; Queenie wants her to die, but she doesn’t want her to die with so much hatred and bigotry in her heart. She plants Delphine’s head down for a marathon of movies: Roots, Roots II, The Color Purple, Mandingo, and Queenie’s favorite, B.A.P.S. Delphine puts up a fight, closing her eyes and singing aloud to drown out the sounds of the television. She is proud that she can shut her eyes on Roots, so Queenie changes tact and puts on footage of the freedom marches, paired with protest and gospel songs. 

While Delphine slowly gives in to enlightenment, Queenie is down in the salon, answering phones. Hank strolls in with an armory on him, and starts firing. Several salon workers are shot. Queenie takes one to the gut and drops, but she doesn’t die. Hank corners Marie and she tries to deflect his bullet. It succeeds, but she is still nicked. Hank moves forward for the kill shot, and Queenie grabs one of his discarded guns. With no clear shot, she eats the muzzle and voodoo dolls Hank. 

That night, Fiona is woken by an insistent banging at the front door. Marie is there. She is not happy about this, but clearly she needs the help of Fiona’s coven.

Dig It or Bury It?

Joan seemed to accept Nan’s “gift” without question (until, of course, that gift turned against her). It was too easy. Maybe a person of devout faith just accepts things like that easily, without question. I’m not really sure what she hoped to accomplish by killing her son. He has no proof that she killed her husband, and killing him isn’t going to improve her standing with her god.

Whatever happened to the Axeman? Will we see him again? We have to - he hasn’t served much of a purpose thus far, other than adding to the local color.


American Horror Story is on hiatus until January 8th. When we return, Fiona and Marie are forced to unite to bring down the “hive” of witch hunters.