‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Episode 11 Recap: “Protect the Coven”

We’re back in 1830 again. Delphine is angry she’s had to return to New Orleans from Paris. She wanders around a courtyard complaining about black people’s inadequate company. “I fear becoming feeble,” she tells her daughter. But in the meantime, while they wait for the kitchen staff to arrive, she and her daughter have to butcher their very own chicken. “You’ve never done it yourself, mother, you’ve always had the cooks do your dirty work,” the daughter complains. But Delphine, impatient, doesn’t let inexperience stop her; she neatly chops the chicken’s head off. Then she takes a kind of sensual pleasure in the blood. Which, in a choppy edit, she also promptly does in marvelling over a slave’s leg injury? And then killing him? We get it by now, Ryan Murphy, Delphine was evil and tortured black people. Not sure I needed that point driven further home.

But thanks?

Back in the present Fiona has brought the small, increasingly kind of ragtag-looking coven to the cemetery. “We must say goodbye to Nan,” she intones, “who fell in the tub.” (Is that the epitaph?) A surprise guest arrives: Queenie. “You left me for dead,” she accuses everyone and no one. “Girl, I thought you were,” replies Marie Laveau. Delphine’s come along with Queenie, on a leash. She is still wearing the awesome tiger sweatshirt. So there’s that.

Once back at Miss Robichaux’s, Delphine gets back into her French maid’s uniform to clip some witch toenails. A voiceover tells us that Delphine is a survivor, or something like that. Definitely more words. She’s being treated like crap by all the wishes, particularly Madison-Emma, wo instructs Delphine to flush the toilet in her stead. Delphine is angry about how she’s being treated, so she serves the witches a soup seasoned with Madison-Emma’s shit. There’s also a lot of complaining in the voiceover about how much sex all these licentious witches are having.

All of the witches are doing their standard self-absorbed witch stuff.. Cordelia is drinking kale smoothies, smearing potions on her face, and stabbing her own eyeballs out in an effort to recover her Sight. Myrtle is calling figs brown “jewels” and wearing yellow pleather gloves. Queenie is angry with everyone for not rescuing her, which you really think she should have come to expect by now.

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Slightly more interesting: Zoe-Taissa tries to cast a spell with aid of bathtub to find out what happened to Nan. A much-recovered-looking FrankenKyle looks on. He even seems to have discovered hair product.  It turns out he no longer wants to sleep with Madison-Emma, because he’s in love with Zoe-Taissa. Madison-Emma throws a fit, which gives  Myrtle her cue to burst onto the scene, and tell Madison-Emma she’s a cliché, “a bobblehead with crotchless panties.” To which Madison-Emma replies: “You’re a dried up old hot-pocket, but I don’t judge.” (At least the insults on the show are still lively.) Madison-Emma resolves to take her revenge, and storms out.

Myrtle tries to encourage Zoe-Taissa to leave Miss Robichaux’s with Kyle, and never come back. Myrtle does this by detailing her own affair with a von Furstenberg, as in Diane von Furstenberg, and then rhapsodizes about the invention of the wrap dress. Zoe-Taissa finds this convincing for some reason and plans to go. Though FrankenKyle resists at first they ultimately find themselves running through a bus depot to cheap techno music, as one does. And they’re off!

So, given that things are pretty quiet, Delphine starts carving up the gardener for fun, hiding him in Spalding’s old attic apartment-thing. The gardener, needless to say, is black. She plays “this little piggy” in selecting a toe to cut off. Did we mention that Delphine is an evil racist who hates black people? The show just wants to be clear on that one point. Eventually she runs into the ghost of Spalding up in the attic, though not before she’s pretty much killed the gardener. He tells Delphine he’s been watching her, that she lives a life without purpose. And he also tells her he knows how to end her curse of immortal life. He also says he can help her kill Marie. As payment, he wants a particular doll for his collection, which she promptly procures.

Meanwhile, Fiona hangs out with the Axeman while he plays Jazz (I feel he would capitalize the word Jazz, so I do it here) before going with Marie to meet with the Delphi Trust men in suits. The Delphi Trust guys have drawn up a contract in which they agree to give up the fight for a hundred years. Fiona and Marie have other demands, including a cessation of hostilities for all time. Then, the Axeman, who happens to be in the room, hacks all the Delphi Trust men to death. Oh, sorry, to be precise: and shoots one of them.

The only one left alive is Hank’s father. He says, “You know, killing us is not gonna end this war.” But Marie says it’ll be fun anyway. Then Fiona axes him in the next. Marie takes an iPhone photo. Not a selfie, though. Then they celebrate with champagne in the gothic Nancy Meyers kitchen at home. Fiona goes out alone, leaving Marie alone with a clearly scheming Delphine. Kathy Bates brings out her best Misery bitchface for the occasion. It’s rather wonderful, to be honest.

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First, she lets Marie get drunker and drunker on the champagne. Then she stabs Marie with a giant butcher knife. Marie chases Delphine out to the stairs, where Spalding clubs her with the doll. He reveals Marie’s still immortal, and won’t die. But he also tells Delphine was she must do is bury Marie somewhere she can’t get out. Then there’s creepy stuff with Spalding and the baby Marie stole from that hospital ward. Creepy stuff involving matching bonnets.