American Horror Story - S3, E10 and E11 (2014)

"The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks" and "Protect the Coven"

Before I get started: hello and Happy New Year, horror fans.  Please excuse my month-long hiatus from blogging as I was back stateside for the holidays.  While I continued watching horror movies/ shows and put a lot of thought into blogging about them, the laziness and distractions that come with being home during the most wonderful time of the year proved too strong and I barely touched my laptop.  Now I'm back to my relaxed Euro lifestyle and eager to continue with The Horror Blog at full force.  New Year's Resolution?  Not to leave the blog behind for so long as I did last spring and summer.

GENERAL INFO:
Creators:  Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk
Producers:  20th Century Fox
Channel:  FX
Starring:  Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Emma Roberts, Frances Conroy, Taissa Farmiga, Jamie Brewer, Gabourey Sidibe, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters; ft. Stevie Nicks, Patti LuPone, Danny Huston, Denis O'Hare, Michael Cristofer
TV Rating:  MA LSV
Genre:  television, horror, terror, drama, witches, magic, voodoo, serial killer
Scare score:  C+
Rating:  A-


Plot overview: Considering the imminent danger of the witch hunters and accepting that no magical woman is safe, Fiona (Lange) and Marie Laveau (Bassett) form a pact that seems to be more between the two of them than between their respective clans.  Laveau's presence as a welcome guest at Miss Robichaux's, however, widens the rift that continues splitting apart the Coven based on feelings of distrust and suspicion as well as on personal vendettas.  Practically all of the young witches in the household believe themselves to be the next Supreme, which leads to more bitterness between the girls - especially Madison (Roberts) and Misty Day (Rabe) - who begin to turn violent.  Several of the girls mysteriously disappear.
Queenie (Sidibe) and LaLaurie (Bates) return, shocking Laveau and the Coven by returning not only alive but in one piece (literally).  Tensions between Laveau and LaLaurie are as high as ever, and each makes attempts on the other's life.  Delia (Paulson) makes a sacrifice in order to regain her gift of sight and help the Coven.  Fiona and Laveau meet with the witch hunters headed by Harrison Renard (Cristofer) to reach a peace pact or other ultimatum.  One witch leaves the Coven for her own protection.

These two episodes have been really satisfying: filled with action and plot development.  In general, I'd have to say my least favorite thing that is continuously happening (and leading the Coven in a downward spiral) is the rapidly growing distrust and hate between the various witches (as well as Marie Laveau).  Not that the young and gifted ladies of Miss Robichaux's were ever besties, but still.  How do you discipline a hoard of young, powerful, hormonal girls?  Fiona does nothing, Delia has been all but totally absent, and we saw how Madison affronted Myrtle (Conroy) when she tried to lay down a firm hand.  This lack of discipline and increasing acceptance of the usage of violent magic might be the end of the Coven.

*SPOILER ALERT*

Is the Coven itself all I care about at this point?  Characters keep changing (a little too rapidly and without any basis, says me [I'm watching you, screenwriters]), and everyone is becoming too negative. This makes me prematurely conclude that the Coven will self destruct, save for one or two diva witches (Fiona…?)  I still like Fiona although we even saw from the creepy doorman of voodoo gods, Papa Legba (Lance Reddick) - who we should be expecting to see more from - that the woman has no soul.  Lange looks like she's really having fun this season, especially in the big bloodbath scene on E11.

Taissa Farmiga charmed me from E1, and Zoe is a character I think it's easy for us to root for.  We have the zombie Romeo & Juliet going on with her and and Kyle (Peters) who are now escaping for Disney World.  Questions Horror Buff- Will they live out their days in a separate peace?  Could there be a little zombie/ witch baby on the way or does Zoe's "curse" affect even those who have already died?  And did Myrtle send them away for their own good, as she said?  Or is this some plot to get them out of the house for unknown reasons?  Myrtle is still unstable at this point, although Conroy portrays a fascinatingly abstract and bizarre, colorful woman reborn.

Part of me still roots for Delia - if she regains the sight will they use her as some sort of arbiter to see who is worthy and honest within the Coven (not too many of those)?  Bassett continues her magnificent performance as a sassy, wizened black woman and queen of her dying race.  

Otherwise, I'm not loving anybody right now.  I never really liked Queenie or Nan (Brewer) this season and as I believe I called, both of them have been killed off at this point (or not, but you know how this season loves to play with necromancy and reanimation).  I hated Nan's random evil bender shortly before she died, even if she was reenacting revenge upon the wicked.  What is with all these moral-less witches?  Also I think the fact that each one of them seems to be gaining new powers ten-fold is a red herring that doesn't necessarily imply budding supremacy.  I cannot wait to see the Seven Wonders if the final episode does, as it seems, show them being performed.  

I suppose I have to comment on Stevie Nick's cameo on the show, playing herself but as a witch.  It has been an ongoing thing all season, and I've read about how big a fan the creators of the show are of her, etc etc etc.  While I don't know how I feel about bridging this real life fantasy with plot, she was really great on the program and her whole episode turned into something beautiful, musical, and nostalgic that we hadn't seen until now.  Her performances were great both on piano and vocally.

The entire exchange between Delphine and Spalding (O'Hare) was a bit bizarre this week; I'm still waiting to see what the whole deal with this kidnapped baby is; we're looking at the possibility of a witch and a voodoo queen being buried alive on the next episode; Papa Legba still has to come back and that is so creepy; and most importantly - there's only two episodes left.  So much to yet to happen.

Final critique:  This season is great.  Horror Buff is a big fan of witchcraft, and this season continuously delivers with fantastic spells and magic that enchants the audience just as much as its victims on the show.  For the final two episodes, I can only expect tons of treachery, a few more deaths,  some gore, and hopefully some beautiful displays of magic.  As I mentioned, I don't think it's likely that too many witches are going to walk out of this season alive, or at least not united in a Coven.  I do perhaps see the rise of a new Supreme in her glory, or perhaps the humble rise of one who has, for example, escaped to Florida.  A lot of revenge and witch-bitchiness remains to be seen, and I think the question on everyone's mind is: will Fiona maintain her order?