TV Recap: 'American Horror Story: Coven' Episode 311 - 'Protect the Coven'


american horror story: covenAmerican Horror Story: Coven Episode 311
“Protect the Coven”
Written By: Jennifer Salt
Directed By: Bradley Buecker
Original Airdate: 15 January 2014

In This Episode…

Queenie is an unexpected guest at Nan’s funeral. She has brought an even more unexpected guest: Delphine. Her head is sewn back onto her body, and Queenie has her on a leash. They resume their roles in the household, with Queenie feeling like she was forced out - only to discover Marie has teamed up with Fiona. Delphine is back back as the maid, but she is tired of her role and reflects on her life in 1830. Back then, she was not happy to have left Paris in favor of this frontier land. She is bored and, being surrounded by slaves and her most despised daughter, feels that everyone is beneath her. Since the kitchen staff has not yet arrived, she and her daughter were going to have to slaughter a chicken for dinner. (Not sure why she didn’t have the slave do it.) The daughter is too scared, so Delphine does it - and is fascinated by the blood. Later that night she goes up to the attic and finds one of her slaves has injured himself badly. Again, she is drawn to the blood. She knocks him unconscious, ties him up by the wrists, and beats and bloodies him. “I think I’m going to like it here,” she announces in voice over.

In the present day, Delphine is forced to do menial jobs: give Fiona a pedicure; clean the toilets; make dinner; pour drinks. When the (black) gardener, James, comes into the house with a palm slit open by his shears, that spark is reignited in Delphine, and she offers to clean him up. Instead, she takes him up to the butler’s former room, ties James up, and tortures him to death. We see her cut off his toes, one by one, and by the time she is done, his intestines are spilling out of his ripped-open gut. She is disappointed that he didn’t last very long. The butler appears, giving Delphine a fright, but he is there to admire her “artwork.” She quickly realizes that he is a spirit, but she takes him up on his offer to help her defeat Marie. She goes and retrieves for him a very rare, very expensive porcelain doll, and in return she gets a package of pills that will render Marie mortal and therefore, killable. So she slips the pills to Marie, then stabs her with a butcher knife. Marie laughs and Delphine is stunned. Marie laughs - the butler gave her benadryl. It was all a ruse. Marie promises retribution and laughs herself to bed, but is stopped when the butler knocks her on the head and she tumbles down the stairs. The butler wasn’t trying to get Delphine hurt; he just wanted Marie out of his hair. He suggests that Delphine bury Marie alive - but make it so she can’t dig herself out (I assume by dismembering her). The butler’s ultimate goal seems to be taking care of the baby that Marie kidnapped - he wants a living, breathing baby doll to play with.

Fiona and Marie agree to meet with Harrison and his men to negotiate a peace between the witches and the hunters. Harrison offers to pay Marie for the damages to her shop, in exchange for getting the government off his tail and letting his company reopen. He also offers up a 100 year cease fire between the hunters and the witches. Fiona and Marie counter by requesting Harrison shut the company for good, give them houses and jets and the whole nine. The women can’t stop laughing when Harrison gets offended and refuses. That is the signal. During this time, the Axeman, who had been serving drinks, had locked the doors. He now takes out his weapon of choice and butchers all of Harrison’s men. Harrison calmly pours himself some coffee and assures her that killing them won’t stop the hunters as a whole. Fiona doesn’t care, and her boyfriend lets her do the honors, unleashing a river of blood from Harrison’s jugular.

Also: Myrtle convinces Zoe that she must leave this house at once, for her own safety. She gives her an expensive bauble she can pawn, and bus tickets to Orlando and insists that she and Kyle run. Kyle is afraid he will hurt her - he has “bad thoughts” but ultimately they run off together. Cordelia is desperate to regain her second sight, and takes every potion and spell she can find to restore it. She gets desperate and gouges out her own eyes with the gardening shears.

Dig It or Bury It?

I loved learning more about Delphine. She is the most fascinating of all the characters this season. Maybe it is because she represents a world I cannot understand; maybe it is because she is so unrepentantly evil; maybe it is because Kathy Bates is amazing. Whatever it is, I want more.


It is time for one lucky witch to perform the seven wonders and gain the title of supreme.