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American Horror Story: Coven Episode 13 Recap

American Horror Story: Coven Episode 13 Recap

American-Horror-Story-Coven-Recap‘The Seven Wonders’

This week sees the end of a fantastic series of American Horror Story, a series that took a more character driven approach than Murderhouse and Asylum, which acted as one big shock fest. That’s not to say this hasn’t been shocking, violent and at times pretty sick, but the characters in Coven have been truly memorable.

The great thing about these last two episodes is that the pacing is really fast; there’s absolutely no room for filler. It did however show that some of the other story lines in the series have meandered and how many tangents probably weren’t actually needed. This is the well-focused finale we were all hoping for.

The episode sees each of the young witches attempt the seven wonders, a sort of witch Olympics to find the next supreme. It started strong with the fabulous Stevie Nicks singing ‘Seven Wonders’ to the witches, whilst twirling around Robichaux academy.

The first witch they lose is Misty. She can’t get out of hell with her magic and is stuck for eternity dissecting a live frog. It’s a bit of a shocking anti-climax for the hippy witch but the pace kept going and the Transmutation tag was soon afoot. When the girls attempt to have some fun with their powers it ends shockingly fast with Zoe impaling herself (or was it Madison somehow?) on the iron gates of the academy. Zoe’s shock death brings us to just Madison and Queenie in the running and when Queenie can’t resurrect Zoe and Madison flat out refuses to, there’s only one more logical choice left, Cordelia.

Madison fails at divination and storms off, leaving Cordelia to take supremacy. She brings Zoe back from the dead and a new life force floats into the academy. Kyle, angry with Madison for not bothering to bring Zoe back, strangles her. These two characters were the only real disappointment of the series. At the beginning I was really encouraged at how the writers were dealing with sexual violence and Madison was looking like she was going to be complex character. The same with Kyle, with his abusive mother, but the conclusion of him descending into just being a killer for hire, unable to control his anger, and Madison turning out to be a two dimensional bitch was a frustrating end to their story. This is the fault of the writers for not following that thread in previous episodes.

Back to this episode and Cordelia’s new supreme powers bring her eyes back and therefore her confidence, and we see her a being interviewed for a news station taking the witches out of the shadows and into the spotlight (there’s a great little bit of campy humour on the ticker at the bottom “Liza Minnelli talks about her hip”.)

Myrtle is burnt once again, which felt slightly unnecessary but was a fabulous conclusion to her story, with her last word being, “Balenciaga”.

The winding up of Fiona and Cordelia’s storyline is surprisingly touching. Fiona of course lied and hadn’t been killed by her axe man lover but with Cordelia’s powers being so strong, she’s looking less than glamorous. Sat smoking in a chair I was still expecting her to stab Cordelia in the back, but instead we’re left with incredible performances from the actresses. With the two of them hugging you see just how they’ve switched roles and Fiona has to deal with the human feeling of being a mother in that moment.

The series ends with a line of black-clad girls around the block waiting to have a place in the academy – you just know most of them are tumblr teens wishing they were witches but hey! Zoe and Queenie become Cordelias council and it finally seems like all is well in the academy. I actually found myself feeling sorry for Fiona, who ends up in her ‘every day’ hell with the violent axe man frying up catfish and dealing with an eternity without powers.

Coven was overall fantastic; it’s the only American Horror Story that I don’t want to end. I want to know what happens next in these witches’ lives and although some character arcs seemed unfinished, it was a good finale. I’d still wish Queenie had been crowned as supreme though!

★★★★

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