American Horror Story: Coven Finale Recap: America’s Next Top Supreme
It’s the end of days here at Miss Robichaux’s. With half of our main characters having bit the dust last week, we are left with the young, up-and-coming Supreme candidates as they embark on their completion of the Seven Wonders. They first prepare for these tasks privately while Stevie Nicks twirls around the house singing “Seven Wonders,” because this is Coven and it must be as ridiculous as possible.
My room mate who had never seen the show before described it as some strange 80s music video. I asserted an 80s music video would probably have a plot that makes more sense then this entire season.
Anyway, whoever completes all Seven Wonders successfully without dying will be the next Supreme since Fiona was too narcissistic/murder-y to designate one before she was axe murdered. Too bad Death by Vagina isn’t a Wonder. Zoe would have had this one in the bag.
The first wonder is telekinesis. The girls must summon a candlestick into their hand and blow out the flame, which all of them do with ease.
The “Descent into the Netherworld” is the second task; the girls must visit their own personal Hell and then escape on their own before the hourglass runs out.
Queenie returns first from her Fast Food Worker level of Hell.
Madison returns next with an example of why this show’s absurdity often kills its ability to be affecting or engaging. Madison’s “Personal Hell” was apparently being on a TV version of Sound of Music, and worse yet as Liesl and not Maria. Remember, Madison started out as a troubled celebrity who was both raped and murdered and this is her Hell? The writers reduced what could have been a revealing moment into a *wink wink, nudge nudge* inside joke at the audience. What a waste of a layered character and anything more for Emma Roberts to do than throw out a snarky, referential retort every time she has a line. She’s not a bad actress, but she was reduced to whiny bitchiness and little more.
Zoe is next, her personal Hell apparently consisting of Kyle breaking up with her over and over. Kyle, the zombie boyfriend with barely any emotion that she only met a few months ago, if that. Glad all these girls’ priorities are in place. Misty’s Hell digs a little deeper. She’s trapped in a science classroom where she’s forced to kill a frog she keeps bringing back to life during the lesson in dissection. She doesn’t want to kill a living thing, but her teacher keeps forcing her to tear into it. She can’t escape. The timer runs out and Misty Day, basically the only remotely likeable character, disintegrates to dust, stuck in Frog Hell.
Before the girls move on transmutation, they take world’s shortest moment to remember Misty. They then start a rousing game of teleportation tag outside. Cordelia warns them to be careful, but they laugh and Zoe exclaims, “Can’t we just have a little fun?” No, Zoe! Did you not just watch Misty turn to dust and forever be stuck in Hell?? Is now really the time for fun, girls? At this point, they all are basically asking to die, so it’s not too heart wrenching when Zoe accidentally transmutates onto a fence and is impaled.
Cordelia and Queenie both try tearfully to bring her back, but both fail. Cordelia begs Madison to revive Zoe because no one wants Madison to be the next Supreme, but Madison refuses. She kills a fly and then revives that, demonstrating that she would be capable of reviving Zoe, but she won fair and square. Myrtle tells Madison she doesn’t deserve to be the next Supreme if she won’t bring Zoe back. Madison obviously couldn’t care less.
Cordelia’s now pretty bummed that everything went to shit and Madison’s looking like Miss Supreme 2014. In fact, she feels like if Madison is all that’s left maybe witches deserve to die out. The women concede that Madison’s probably the next Supreme (at some point Queenie apparently dropped out of the running), but just as they’re about to lose hope Myrtle realizes that Cordelia herself could, and probably is, the next Supreme and insists she join in on the Seven Wonders. Shoulda realized that 20 minutes earlier, Myrtle, before all the good characters died. Cordelia joins the challenges and quickly succeeds by setting lots of things on fire, making Queenie dance, levitating a piano, and returning from her Hell of trying to get Fiona’s approval and getting bitch-slapped for it.
Now that Cordelia is caught up, the games continue. The sixth wonder is divination. Cordelia and Madison must find the items belonging to former Supremes that are hidden around the house using only pebbles. Cordelia knocks this out of the park in moments. Madison goes next, but her reaction to divination is much like mine in high school to physics tests, and she freaks out, insisting the task is stupid and she’d rather go bring Zoe back to life to prove herself.
Instead of taking the opportunity to revive poor impaled Zoe, Myrtle tells Madison that if she doesn’t divine in the pebbles she’ll fail, so Madison gives it another shot. Her guesses are more blind than Cordelia, however, and when she fails she dramatically lights a cigarette, claims the house is just a “jacked up version of Celebrity Rehab,” and threatens to expose the Coven to TMZ.
Kyle interrupts her weepy bag-packing, furious at her for letting Zoe die. So furious he grabs her neck and starts to strangle her to death. She tearfully explains she did it for them, because she loves him. “You’re not that good an actress,” Kyle tells her before tightening his grip. Girl, did you forget you are a witch? Did you forget you can just magically throw him off you? You’re in a tough spot, I get it, but geez, you were all, “I’m the next Supreme, watch me burn the house down!” two seconds ago! While Kyle strangles Madison, Cordelia continues trying to bring Zoe back to life downstairs. Kyle succeeds in murdering Madison, and just as she dies Zoe shoots back to life.
We hear Fiona’s voice over reminding us “The hallmark of a rising Supreme is glowing, radiant health,” as gorgeous, not-stabby-eyed Sarah Paulson returns to her usual radiant form post Zoe-resurrection. “Behold, the one true Supreme!” Myrtle announces. But there’s still 20 minutes left! Just enough time for everyone to be tortured and everything to go horribly wrong.
Flash forward (would it really be a AHS finale without a flash forward?) to Cordelia giving a televised interview about the Coven and the existence of witches. She discusses how being a witch isn’t a choice, and that now that they’re visible more young witches will be able to see that it’s normal to have powers (score 1 for queer metaphors!).
The school and the Coven are thriving, but Myrtle still has one issue; being alive. She tells Cordelia that the penalty for harming another witch is death. Remember that time Myrtle melon balled her fellow council members eyes out? She does, and now that her life’s work is fulfilled, Myrtle feels it’s about time to be burned at the stake for her actions. Cordelia doesn’t want to light her mother figure on fire, but Myrtle won’t let her be hypocrite and so we get yet another Myrtle music video/burning at the stake scene. Deja vu, been there done that. Is this really all Coven’s got to offer?
There’s still 15 minutes left, though. Don’t get too comfy. And for the record, Myrtle’s last word is “Balenciaga.” I give up.
There are now droves of new students arriving to Miss Robichaux’s, and Cordelia declares that in this time of resurrection for the school, Zoe and Queenie will be her right hands. First, however, she has to deal with the randomly alive Fiona (bummer, since frankly having the ever-so-stagnant Trio of Misery out of the picture was a breath of fresh air). Oh my, a plot twist! Turns out Fiona had everything under control all along and knew that once she was out of the picture Cordelia would make the group do the Seven Wonders. Once the Supreme was officially declared, Fiona could finally actually kill her. It was she who knocked Axeman out, covered him in blood, and implanted false memories in his mind so the girls would be forced to kill him.
As she explains her plan, Cordelia steps closer and sees Fiona’s finally lost her Jessica Lange-y good looks and is dying for real this time. Cordelia feels the plot twist enough that she’s the next Supreme and is confident that Fiona won’t try to kill her own daughter. Fiona explains that ever since she gave birth to Cordelia she has been taking her powers, and that’s why they had so many mother/daughter issues. Fiona now has to die for Cordelia to thrive as Supreme. As Cordelia belittles Fiona for destroying her life, Fiona grabs a knife and tries to get Cordelia to kill her. Cordelia instead hugs her, telling her that now she’s finally having a human experience and she should finally accept and feel the fear of death.
Cordelia and Fiona share what may actually be a real hug, and Fiona wakes up in bed at a farmhouse.
For a moment I was about to be like, “Damn, Fiona gets heaven after being the absolute most horrible demon-lady?” but it’s quickly revealed that living on a quaint farm with an abusive, bitter Axeman is actually her Personal Hell. Fiona gets to spend eternity waking up in a supernatural Tennessee Williams play while Papa Legba laughs and laughs. Quite the happy ending to that story.
Back in real time, Cordelia, Zoe, Queenie, and new butler Kyle open the doors to the new student witches of Miss Robichaux’s. Cordelia proudly explains the history of the school to the girls. “What’s a Supreme?” one of the girls asks. “You’re looking at her,” Queenie tells them as Cordelia grins triumphantly, and we fade to black.
And that’s it. Coven is done, and all its attic torture, disjointed plotlines, nonexistent character development, and endless repetitiveness is finished with it. This season seemed to forget most of its characters were people and just went where it felt like for the sake of shock value, star power, or just plan weirdness. And yet it hooked many viewers and will probably get lots of Emmy nominations, so kudos! And as much as I rant, I will probably at least try to tune in next season which is rumored to be set in a 1950s circus and is certain have many long, dramatic monologues. I do hope you all enjoyed Coven, avid viewers. Now, let’s take a much longer moment to remember Misty Day.