American Horror Story: Coven: The Replacements Review

American Horror Story: Coven proves once again that it is the most depraved and shocking show on TV with an unexpected death and the type of mother-son relationship that makes the skin crawl.

Well, after two seasons of American Horror Story, I guess you can say I grew a little familiar. I sat through brain dinners, Murder Santas, McDermott ass, and way too many rapes to count, and I guess you could say that I thought AHS didn’t have the capacity to shock me anymore. I thought that I had seen it all. How naïve, because after tonight’s episode American Horror Story: Coven, I guess you can say I thought wrong. I must admit, I wasn’t crazy about last week’s episode. Unlike last week’s reviewer David Crow (filling in graciously due to some tech issues), I found last week to be rather dull, and at times, insufferable. I appreciated the work of the older actresses and the menace that was brewing between Lange, Bates, and Bassett, but the younger actresses’ performances and plot were leaving much to be desired. I didn’t get, and still don’t understand, Zoe’s emotional tie to Kyle after a two-hour max conversation. That’s like Romeo and Juliet where Romeo falls off the balcony on his climb up; it just doesn’t work for me. But that was just one of the many issues I found last week, and this week’s episode was sporting very few. What a surprising turnaround for American Horror Story. So what had me all flustered during my lead? Oh, how about, I don’t know, mother-on-son incest?! Goat-blood smeared lady parts?! A mason jar of “baby gravy”?! Gabourey Sidibe pleasing herself to the sight of a minotaur?! Come on now! This could only mean one of two things: Either the rest of the season is in trouble because all of the whacky ideas were used tonight, or this is just a warm-up. If this is just a warm-up, remind me to skip dinner the night a more shocking episode of American Horror Story: Coven is slated to air. The episode wasn’t only all shock and no awe. Tonight’s episode managed to move the plot forward quite a bit while also supplying healthy amounts of backstory and exposition. Having the cold open show the audience Fiona as a young woman to understand her ascent to power was pretty slick work, made even slicker by director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. In my opinion, Gomez-Rejon is the mastermind behind some of American Horror Story’s most memorable episode, and tonight his fishbowl shots and unorthodox angles only enhanced the horror onscreen. He gets extra credit for setting the exact scene as the cold open in the final shot. That final shot was big too. After coming to her wits, Fiona realizes that Madison is the next Supreme and offs her by slitting her throat just like the Supreme before her. I couldn’t be happier. Madison, as portrayed by Emma Roberts, was the worst part of the program. Roberts is a one-note actress who has a history of muddling up horror franchises with her shoddy performances as “the bitch” (Scream 4). Compared to the other actresses she was sharing the screen with, her Nickelodeon acting lessons just weren’t up to snuff. Good riddance. I was beginning to think the Sidibe would be the first casualty of the regulars, but I believe Minotaur man is taking Voodoo-based Queenie back to Laveau’s tribe. Zoe’s storyline is still troublesome, but boy, did all that incest distract me! In pure horror I had to stomach lines like “she doesn’t know how to please you,” delivered by a character’s mother whilst grinding on her son’s (or is it her son’s?) crotch, so excuse me if I forgot about how dull all this Kyle business really is. The only thing interesting here is the brewing of a misunderstanding between Misty, who is still giving out life lessons via Fleetwood Mac this week, and Zoe. After a barely vital episode, American Horror Story: Coven came back this week guns blaring.  Just like its previous iterations, I guess this season of American Horror Story is going to be hit and miss sometimes too. All I know is that tonight’s episode was a hit, now leave me be so I can try to get Cordelia’s hypothetical fertilization out of my head.  Den of Geek Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars