American Horror Story: Coven 3×06 Review: The Axeman Cometh
This week’s episode continued the mother-daughter dynamic between Fiona and Cordelia, and brought in another urban legend into play. Nothing much happened in the episode, but what did happen still packed a punch. There was a good amount of character development (which is always welcome) as well as some revelations that allowed the previous episodes to make more sense.
I knew this season was going to look at the witches of Salem and the voodoo practitioners of New Orleans. What I didn’t know was how well the whole thing would be connected together. The writers of the show have done a splendid job combining the past and the present in such a seamless manner. The American Horror Story has played around with ‘real-life’ events in the past as well. AHS: Murder House talked about the famous Black Dahlia case, the murder of Elizabeth Short, and AHS: Asylum talked about the abuse prevalent in mental facilities, Anne Frank, and things that connected back to the Nazis. Coven gave us Delphine LaLaurie, who was a real serial killer. That’s why the introduction of ‘The Axeman of New Orleans’ was something that was bound to happen sooner or later.
The episode gave us a little history about the axe-wielding murderer and what became of him, because he was never caught by the authorities. As it turns out, the coven of 1919 decided to use their powers of witchcraft (and feminism) to kill the murderer. And judging by the scene, a bunch of witches equipped with knives are far terrifying than an old man with an axe.
The writers didn’t forget that Zoe is supposed to be one of the leads. I was impressed by her last week and this week wasn’t any different. The young witch decided to look for Madison Montgomery and wasn’t going to take no for answer. Nan and Queenie help her contact a spirit who turns out to be the Axeman still trapped inside the house. I guess by now we should all realize that no one truly dies in AHS. This episode was all about Zoe. I liked how the writers showed us a teenager who would do anything to get what she wants, even if it meant lying to an angry spirit. She even takes down Spalding and tortures him to speak the truth about Madison. Her leadership skills were awesome in this episode. I can’t figure out if Zoe was meant to be like this from the start or the writers have given her a full personality makeover. Whatever the reason, the young witch is well on her way to becoming the next Supreme.
Another nice surprise was Madison’s resurrection, with Misty’s help. I was expecting her to be a shell of her former self like Kyle. I let out a laugh when the teenager came back to life and asked for a cigarette. Good to know the season won’t be doing a ‘memory-loss’ episode with her character. She knows who she is and I feel it’s only a matter of time before she remembers what Fiona did to her. I missed Emma Robert’s character and I’m looking forward to more of her in upcoming episodes.
Meanwhile, Fiona is trying everything to become a good mother. She even decides to go for chemotherapy, even though she might lose her hair, because her daughter needs her . This leads her to discover a new gift of telepathy during the treatment. Maybe it runs in the family? Fiona is now able to read minds and Cordelia has ‘true clarity’ after she went blind. Talk about good genetics!
The biggest surprise was the revelation that Cordelia’s husband, Hank Foxx, is actually a professional witch-hunter who has been hired by Marie Laveau to get rid of all the Salem witches. The coven has been decreasing in numbers every year, and it looks like Hank is the reason. The red-headed girl he murdered was actually a witch who came to talk to Fiona some time back. He had been going around killing witches before they even make it to the coven. I was expecting Hank to have some sort of mental problem in which killing women gave him peace, but the whole ‘witch-hunter who is hired by Laveau’ storyline is just as exciting. More so because Hank truly loves Cordelia and I’m eager to see if he keeps serving the Voodoo Queen or tries to save his wife. With everything that has been going on, I can’t figure out what Laveau’s problem is. She seems to be out for blood where the witches are concerned. What did the witches ever do to her to make her angry for so long?
The only character that seems out of place is Kyle. What do the writers want to do with him? It’s been almost half a season. All I know is that Zoe liked him, brought him back to life, and he has some issues with his mother. I feel he needs to have more than that in order to become interesting and add more to the story.
The episode ended with a lot of questions. Will Cordelia talk to Zoe about why she released the Axeman? Where do Hank’s loyalties lie? Will Myrtle and Misty team-up against the coven? Will Madison remember what happened? And will Fiona realize the Axeman was flirting with her in the bar?
Yes, the episode felt slow, but it was still a treat. Every witch showed us her power and Zoe seems to be on the right track to becoming the main character. It’s good to see a show that has strong female characters. I’m looking forward to how all the stories come together in the end.
all images copyright FX
Farid has a Masters in Psychology and an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Arousing the Legacy, Missing in Somerville, The Game Master of Somerville, and The Escaped Murderer of Somerville. He gives us insight on comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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