American Horror Story: Coven: Go To Hell, Review

Queenie and Marie Laveau go to Hell in the penultimate episode to a series that's long been there.

Tonight’s episode of American Horror Story: Coven was plenty messy. Sure, it was messy in the sense of corn syrup blood spurting like geysers, but it was also a disjointed, erratic mess in terms of plot and pace. That really could be said of the season as a whole. Coven has spent its run of episodes unsure of what it wants to be. Sometimes it wants to tackle race issues or the experience of womanhood, other times it enjoys being a campy, winking, Stevie Nicks toting grab bag of soap opera ultra-violence.  The cast is too large, the plot is too unfocused, and the lines of good and evil have blurred and blended together like a fourth grader’s pastel painting. Finally, it appears as if the ultimate storyline of the show has been to find out who the next Supreme is, and if you think I’m dense for not realizing that the entire time, well how could I have? Between the zombies, character deaths, character resurrections, witch hunters, and Ax Men, it’s been a head-scratching journey figuring out just what the main conflict of this season has been.  With only one episode remaining, your guess for what could happen is as good as mine. You’d probably need to gouge your eyes out like Cordelia and gain the power of sight to accurately tell me what will go down in the finale. Tonight’s cold open gave us a little black and white home movie showing us exactly just how one finds out if they are the next Supreme. It’s maddening that we’re only getting this information in episode twelve, but the throwback filmmaking used to produce the scene is pretty neat, with it’s unsettling Cabinet of Dr. Cagliari choppiness. We then cut to Queenie being told by Fiona that she’s the next Supreme, which we’ve heard her say to almost every character at this point. Anyway, Queenie is more interested on the whereabouts of Marie Laveau, and for some reason she has to take a trip to hell to talk to Papa Legba to find out. It’s not really explained why this is necessary, but the AHS portrayal of hell, a very personally brutal version, is pretty fun, and the Legba scenes always pop. Queenie finds out Delphine is behind the whole ordeal, and that Laveau had been cut up into little pieces. Without going into to much extraneous, Kathy-Bates-shaking-her-head-at-Anthony-Weiner bizarre detail, Queenie kills Delphine and her and Marie Laveau find themselves in hell. Now, Laveau’s spot in hell is easily explained; unable to fulfill her duties to Legba, Laveau’s immortality is over and she must pay for all the children that she sacrificed to live forever. But though we all know Delphine deserves hell, it’s never explicitly explained how she becomes mortal again to be killed by Queenie. Regardless, their shared hell scene is the creepiest thing this show has offered up in weeks. The rest of the episode finds Cordelia seeing a sight of her mother offing the entire coven and leaving the Ax Man. She hunts down Misty to get her entire coven back together, and even Zoe and Kyle return, with some weak explanation. These scenes are largely uninteresting, poorly acted and would seem more at home on a network like the CW. Just as I was getting particularly annoyed by the cutesy convenience of everyone rounding up together in the final minutes, we got a CAAAAAATTTT FIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGHHHHTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh man, I’ve been waiting for a good catfight all season, and Misty and Madison’s spat didn’t disappoint, but a raging Ax Man, covered in Fiona’s blood, interrupts it! Yep, the Ax Man, after a long, melodramatic, fight butchers Fiona. Once again, the show unceremoniously kills off their Big Bad. It would have been so much better to see the Coven fight off Fiona, but instead I’m sure we’ll watch them squabble with each other, like we have all season. Another squandered opportunity, but once again, you can probably say that about this season as a whole.