American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 305: “Burn, Witch, Burn!”

I’ve come to expect a certain level of cheesiness from Coven. I’m still annoyed by the painful one-liners (“She done mess with the wrong witch” being perhaps the most repellant thus far), but I can tolerate them. What I cannot tolerate from this show, however, is predictability, and “Burn, Witch, Burn!” contains some surprisingly clichéd moments.

I will say that the remaining survivors on The Walking Dead really need to find a chainsaw, because that was the most entertaining act of zombie annihilation that I have seen since the early days of The Walking Dead. After the massacre, Zoe is on the brink of her own annihilation by the one remaining zombie when she utters some magic words and stops both him and Laveau in their tracks. This inspires some great dialogue on Laveau’s end – “they got some real power in that witch house now.” Classic. So now Zoe has a new skill, which has me concerned that she is being set up as the new Supreme, which is what everyone is expecting, which is why this would be a huge mistake. There is time to rectify this situation, but the heavy-handed foreshadowing has me distressed.

And then there’s Cordelia, who is blind. This, of course, necessitates her acquisition of the ability to see people for what they truly are just by touching them. She’s blind, but now she can truly see. How original. Ok, rant over. Now for the good stuff, which, as always, is far more plentiful.

There was a huge focus on resurrection this week. Huge. Everyone was in on it – Marie, Fiona, Misty – heck, even Spalding might be trying to bring back Madison since she’s all fresh and Febreezed now. The multitude of resurrection is intriguing, but what’s really notable are the varying methods that the women use to bring these people back.

Marie has resurrected a hoard of long-dead people. Since these are traditional Haitian zombies, their actions are all controlled by Marie. They have no free will or personality, they are just empty vessels at Marie’s disposal. We see Marie floating around in her lair, her eyes entirely white and creepy. She needs these bodies to enact her revenge, not to return to who they were in life.

Fiona is motivated by a strong emotion as well, but her impetus is surprisingly tender. Fiona is devastated by Cordelia’s diagnosis, so she heavily medicates herself with every drug at her disposal. She’s at a hospital, and she’s the Supreme, so she basically consumes an entire pharmacopoeia. Also, every time I hear the word “Supreme” on this show, I can’t help but think of tacos and gorditas, but I digress. As Fiona roams around the hospital, she stumbles into the room of a woman and her newly-delivered stillborn daughter. Fiona is drawn to the child, and instructs the grieving woman to talk to the baby and tell the infant that she is beautiful and that “I’ll be your mother until the day your die.” With that, the baby is alive. This scene is quite intense – the woman does not want to hold her dead baby, and Fiona is insistent, saying “she’s your daughter.” Jessica Lange is brilliant here, letting Fiona’s anguish come through not only on her face, but in her voice.

Fiona’s resurrection is one of brand new life – she is giving this child a second shot. Everything about this rebirth opposes that of Marie’s. Marie is out for vengeance and the zombies are merely her puppets. Fiona is a mother in pain, and she chooses to ease the pain of another mother. We obviously don’t know how this baby will turn out, but Fiona’s spell is blatantly more polished than the one that Zoe and Madison tried on Kyle. But, she is also completely inebriated. One has to wonder if she would have done such a thing while sober. Then again, perhaps her powers are dulled by the drugs and she is capable of much, much more.

Fiona’s act is definitely impressive, but it still might not quite match the regenerative powers of Misty Day. This woman resurrected herself. She brought crocodiles back from the great beyond. And now, she has brought back Myrtle Snow (whose last name, I just realized, is quite ironic considering her death). Misty, too, was burnt at the stake, but she looks fine and dandy. Presumably, she’ll be able to help Myrtle in the cosmetic department as well. Her powers extend beyond resurrection to restoration. I hope this lady is the next Taco Supreme. Her or Stevie Nicks, both are far more acceptable than Zoe. Nevertheless, it seems that Misty may be the most adept in this area – I’m curious to see how Myrtle turns out.

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