American Horror Story Coven – The Seven Wonders, Finale Review

A season that began with such bewitching promise ends just like the one before it: a bloody, screaming mess.

Another season of American Horror Story, and another finale review lamenting all the wasted potential. Anyone else noticing a trend here? Once again, Ryan Murphy and company offered up thirteen episodes of initially intriguing, yet ultimately disappointing television. If you’ve been following along for only the last couple of weeks, then you probably think that I despise the show, but no, I’m just bitter. Going back to the beginning of this season’s American Horror Story: Coven reviews lets you know that the program originally enthralled me! It was a strong premise backed by some incredible older actresses camping it up and fighting ferociously for dominance. As the season went on, these power struggles became tedious, and the series kept doing away with any form of a threat to the status quo. Eventually, we wound up here at a finale that not only doesn’t feel climactic, but is downright boring! What a shame, but I guess there’s always next year. One of the main reasons why this finale felt so hollow and lifeless is that it was missing its biggest players: Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, and Kathy Bates were the heart of this season. Sure, there were a lot of times when the writers didn’t know what to do with them, particularly Bassett and Bates, but the actresses brought their A-game and infused every scene in which they appeared with insurmountable energy. With them out of the picture, this left the finale in the hands of the younger witches, and they just couldn’t fill the void. This is partly because these characters are so flat and poorly fleshed out. Madison’s a bitch, Queenie’s tough, and Zoe is, well, Zoe likes Kyle. That’s all there really is, and without knowing much about these characters, and adding the fact that they’ve died and come back to life so regularly, I don’t really care what happens to them, and I’m not worried about their fate, because the show erases the stakes every chance that it gets. The main problem out of the young cast is Zoe. If you look at my first two reviews of the season, you’d find that Zoe was one of the only aspects of the show that I took issue with. She was boring, nothing more than big eyes and big questions about her newfound powers. But then Zoe sort of disappears in my critiques. That’s mainly because the show pretty much moves Zoe, and the rest of girls, to the background as the middle of the season focuses mainly on Fiona. But now there’s no one else to focus our attention on, and my problems with Zoe are pushed once more into the forefront. She’s been a blank slate all season, only focused on a guy that she met at a party and talked to for a few hours. She’s such a one note character that when she dies, and she’s offered her own personalized Hell, all that happens is that Kyle breaks up with her over and over on loop. How laughable, and appropriate, is that? For a show that was supposed to be about female empowerment (or race, or something, who knows?), Zoe is a pretty terrible character. As far as what happens in this American Horror Story: Coven, it’s pretty straightforward; the girls are asked to perform the seven wonders after a weird Stevie Nicks music video. Misty unceremoniously passes during the trials, and Zoe dies as well, but she’s brought back in yet another example of this show’s non-existent stakes (also, Cordelia gets her eyesight back for the second time!?). Madison is strangled by Kyle, a character whose only reason for existing this season was to give the female viewers at home something to look at. Cordelia realizes, after the entire season, that hey, maybe I’m the Supreme. And shocker: she is. Of course, Fiona pops back up in the twist that everyone saw coming to give a “motherhood is mortality” sermon, and then she dies for good, only because there are no episodes left to bring her back in next week. The whole finale felt entirely anti-climactic. They would have been better off ending the season with last week’s episode, because it at least had some tension. No one really knows what Ryan Murphy has in store for next season, but a few things are certain; it will have Jessica Lange, and if the seasons proceeding it give any indication, it will completely fall into ruin by about the eighth episode. Camp, gore, and one-liners are not enough to get you by. Writers must actually develop characters to have some sort of semblance of plot in order to make a great television show. American Horror Story: Coven has ended, and the only thing truly terrifying about it is just how mediocre it ended up being. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all news updates related to the world of geek. And Google+, if that’s your thing!


2 out of 5