‘Burn, Witch, Burn’
This episode of AHS borrows its title from the 1962 horror classic Burn,Witch,Burn and explores the theme of motherhood in a (predictably) less than conventional way. The episode begins with a flashback to LaLaurie’s past and her torturous behaviour towards her daughters. Locking them up in her slave dungeon and threatening to fill one of their mouths with excrement (great parenting skills there LaLaurie!), this serves to once again emphasise her current state of purgatory and the weak, timid woman she’s become.
After the titles we’re back to the academy and the zombies from last week are awaiting instruction. Marie Laveau is flashed onto the next scene and, levitating with a flick of her eyes, she booms “begin”. The zombies have been awakened and start to move toward the house. With just the girls, Luke (the attractive Christian) and the meek LaLaurie residing inside, it’s up to them to defend the academy. Luke runs out presuming the zombies are just teenagers in really good make up and unsurprisingly gets injured (thankfully not bitten) but Zoe and Nan rescue him. Zoe’s character has some serious changes from this moment, going from the overly cautious girl in previous episodes to the a courageous young witch.
This episode is like a love letter to the zombie movies of old. It’s littered with references from Romero’s horror masterpieces and the highlight of the episode is definitely Zoe with her bloody chainsaw ripping though zombies; it’s a great horror pastiche and she looks quite frankly badass! When the power in the chainsaw fails and she becomes cornered by zombies, she instinctively whispers one phrase and every zombie becomes lifeless once again. Back in her hair salon Marie has realised that this is some powerful magic that’s just been demonstrated. Could Zoe be the next supreme?
Back inside the house LaLaurie’s zombie daughter, Borquita, attempts to kill her mother and greets her pathetic pleading by trying to strangle her and then attacks Queenie and Spalding. Queenie’s voodoo doll attempts on the zombie fail with nothing but dust escaping from the corpse, so it’s up to LaLaurie to re-kill her un-dead daughter.
Elsewhere the mother/daughter theme is continued with Fiona and Cordelia. Cordelia’s still in hospital after the mysterious acid attack and it turns out she’ll be blind for life, but her eyes are still physically in tact. With this news Fiona looses it and ends up on a prescription drug binge, finding, in what I hope to be a dream sequence, a room where a woman has been left with her dead baby (I’m pretty sure this would never happen but it serves as a good tool for a metaphor) and to make up for her awful mothering skills she revives the baby and gives it to the distraught mother.
Cordelia has gained an amazing power with her blindness and when her husband turns up at the hospital she sees all his vile murderous behaviour from the week before. It seems that Cordelia, like Zoe, has gained some serious powers through this attack.
The storyline of the council is still ploughing on and they turn up to the academy when the zombies are being burnt in a huge bonfire. They attempt to dethrone Fiona as supreme but she manages to completely frame Myrtle, who’s then sentenced to the most horrific of witchy deaths: death by fire. So off on a fun school trip they go, to witness Myrtle go up in flames. With a camp horror moment of pure genius, Fiona lights the fire with her cigarette and turns her back on her life long enemy. Or so she thinks. Once Myrtle is turned into a heap of ash the flouncy Misty Day comes along to resurrect her (creating her own coven of the un-dead?)
After all this we find out that Fiona used Queenie’s voodoo doll power to frame Myrtle and we witness a very manipulative moment of false mothering between the two. This is a great episode as it was hammy, gruesome and had some much needed character development running through it. I’m really loving the varied character traits each of these women are displaying and can’t wait till next weeks offering.