Jessica Lange as Fiona Goode in Episode 4 of 'American Horror Story: Coven' Photo Credit: FX

‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Episode 4 Recap ‘Fearful Pranks Ensue’

Show creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk certainly pulled out all the stops for tonight’s Halloween episode of American Horror Story: Coven. Dare I say that this is by far the best episode so far this season? There is no sense in delaying this any longer. Let’s take a look at tonight’s episode of American Horror Story: Coven entitled ‘Fearful Pranks Ensue’.

Flashback: The Necromancer

The episode starts off as just a normal day. We flash back to New Orleans in 1961.

A young black boy in his crisp, clean school uniform rides his bike home from school. Almost out of nowhere, three men in a car begin to pursue the boy.

Faster and faster he rides, but as you know, no bicycle is faster than a speeding car.

He cuts through an alleyway in an attempt to lose his pursuers; however, that idea backfires when he meets with a rather tall fence.

We come to find out that this is the son of one of the hairdressers under the employ of Miss Marie Laveau. She tells the shop that she it is her son’s first day of high school, and that she has enrolled him in one of the newly integrated schools. Even though her colleagues, including Marie, feel that this is a bad idea; however, she has a real hope for the future.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe that hope is going to last very much longer.

Apparently, young Henry’s assailants found it necessary to hang the young man by his neck from a tree in the woods. It is rather unfortunate, but that sort of violence was prevalent during that era, no matter how wrong it may have been.

This is where we start to find out a little more about Miss Laveau.

Sweet Revenge

After seeing her friend in such pain over the loss of her dear son, Marie knew exactly what needed to be done.

We see her in her room preparing to perform a very powerful spell; one that would give new “life” to the deceased. After drawing the proper symbols on the floor below her, and shedding the blood of the proper serpent, she began her spell.

Somewhere else in town, those same men were congregated in a barn. They discussed how they had done their duty that night. It still amazes me that people ever believed that kind of hatred was acceptable, let alone warranted.

Suddenly, in a nearby graveyard, there was movement in graves that had been still for many years.

Marie had risen them from the dead in order to exact her revenge on the man who had wronged her friend’s son Henry. At once, there is a loud banging on the wall of the barn.

The men rise from their seats with their weapons drawn. However, it would be of no use. The undead are impervious to such weaponry. Soon, these zombies are tearing these men to pieces.

There is nothing like Civil War zombies to kick off a Halloween episode.

The Witness

Now back in modern times, we see Spaulding sitting down for a proper tea party with his dolls. Yes, I said dolls. Don’t ask. Suddenly, he hears loud noises coming from downstairs.

He puts on his jacket and heads down the stairs only to find Fiona and Madison arguing. As you know from last week’s episode, this is where Fiona, whether on purpose or by happy accident, slits Madison’s throat.

He watches as Madison falls to the ground in a bloody heap.

“She would have made a lousy Supreme.” Fiona says. “Something we just can’t afford in this moment in history.”

Oh, if she only knew how true the latter part of that statement was.

The Wrath of the Supreme

Just as she finishes speaking to Spaulding, she hears the sound of glass breaking outside. Fiona tells Spaulding to deal with Madison as she head outside to see what the disturbance was.

There are broken windows in the arboretum. Fiona calls out for Cordelia, fearful something has befallen her daughter. It is then that she finds Queenie on the floor with a rather large hole in her.

Fiona asks her what did this to her. Just as soon as she asks that, the Minotaur appears behind Fiona. One could only assume that the Supreme would make short work of the Minotaur.

Fiona brings Queenie back into the house and goes to wake Cordelia. She mocks her for not taking better care of her charges. Cordelia asks Fiona who could have done this. Fiona tells her that the only person who could have perpetrated this is Marie Laveau.

The two of them argue over each other’s contact with the Voodoo Queen. Fiona feels that Cordelia undermined her by showing weakness. Cordelia feels that it is Fiona who angered the Voodoo Queen to take such actions.

Cordelia sits by Queenie’s bedside mixing herbs to assist in her healing when Queenie stops breathing. Fiona pushes Cordelia out of the way and stands over Queenie’s lifeless body. Fiona opens her mouth and gently breathes on Queenie. It would seem as if Fiona breathed new life into Queenie as she suddenly began to breathe once again.

Cordelia suggests that they get Queenie to a hospital, to which Fiona quickly refuses. She says that they will be handling everything internally from  now on, unless of course Cordelia wants the council coming down on her for incompetence.

The Trials of the New Maid

After finishing with Cordelia, Fiona heads back to her room, only to find Madame LaLaurie hiding in her closet.. She is extremely terrified of the monster that came calling for her head.

She tells Fiona that the monster was indeed there for her, and how Queenie saved her life. She tells her that the beast is actually Bastien, her  house boy coming back for her.

Fiona tells her that she is already aware of this, and that she is to keep that information to herself.

She immediately tells her to get out of her room. Before she leaves, she asks Fiona what would happen if it came back for her. Fiona assured her that it wouldn’t. Uh oh…what did Fiona do to the Voodoo Queen’s lover?

Special Delivery

The next day, we  pick up in Marie’s salon. She is working on someone special, a longtime friend. Just as the woman is about to leave, a rather large package is delivered. Marie is puzzled as they are not expecting a hair delivery from India until next month.

One of her shop girls tells her that the package isn’t from India. Marie tells her to open it up. As soon as she does, the girl jumps back in a panic. Oh, Lord…did she? Yep…she did.

Marie walks over and opens the box only to find the head of her beloved Bastien, still moving might I add, looking up at her. Marie screams in horror. I have a horrible feeling that this war is about to be kicked into high gear.

Zoe and Her Slightly Less Decayed Zombie

Oh, poor Kyle. He still hasn’t regained his ability to speak, or even clearly understand people. I am wondering if he is ever going to be back to normal again. Maybe if she had left him with Misty a little longer, she could have further helped him.

Zoe walks into the bathroom to find a bloody Kyle banging his head against the tub.

She stops him, and tries to help him clean his face. She continually apologizes to him for what happened to him. She begins to cry. Kyle gently wipes the tear from her eye.

She tells him that he needs to eat something, so she heads into the kitchen and starts to make him some Tuna salad. When she looks up into the cabinet, she sees a box of Rat Poison. Has she decided to kill Kyle and allow him to finally rest in peace?

She reaches for the box, but we never actually see her put the poison into the food.

When she gets back into the bathroom, she realizes that Kyle is long gone. She runs outside in the hopes of finding him, but all she finds is a street littered with treat or treaters, all wearing masks. This situation is going to get really interesting rather quickly.

The Baddest Witch In Town

Fiona is preparing for Halloween. She is putting on a beautiful black dress when she asks Delphine to assist her with her zipper. Fiona tells her that today is her favorite day; Halloween.

Suddenly, Delphine is a little worried.

“Is it the end of harvest already?” she asks. “I suppose you’ll want be lighting the bonfires and putting out food to keep the demons at bay. Evil spirits walk the Earth this day. The dead shall rise and fearful pranks ensue should we fail to protect ourselves.”

Fiona tells her that the times have changed and that the bonfires are now Jack-O-Lanterns and the food is just candy.

She is ready to let the whole world get a look at her tonight.

“Who’s the baddest witch in town?” she asks as she looks into the mirror and walks out of the room.

The Voodoo Queen’s Revenge

Marie Laveau is preparing to raise the dead once again.

Her friend is pleading with her not to do this. She reminds her of the blood shed of the past, telling her that she was the hero of the story when she brokered the peace between the two tribes.

Marie tells her that the truce is over.

“I know you mean well, but the truce is over.” Marie says. “If we don’t fight back, we might as well lay down in our beds and wait for death, because that’s what is at stake. I don’t have time to argue with you. You’re either with me or against me, and if it’s the latter you best stay out of my way.”

Now that’s not how you speak to a friend. How rude!

The Dirty Cheating Husband

Cordelia is on the phone with her husband. He claims to be out of town on a business trip.

She asks him when her meeting with Phil Underwood was. Suddenly, there is a knock at his door. He tells her that he has just arrived. He tells her that he’ll call her later, and they hang up the phone.

This is where things get rather interesting. Apparently, Phil Underwood is a young, attractive red-head. I do believe there is about to be a serious disturbance in the force.

Based on the title of this section, you can assume for yourself what happened next.

I have a feeling that something wicked this way comes when Cordelia or Fiona hears of his transgression.

Later on, she is making soup for the two of them.

They talk a while over their food. Apparently, the two of them met in an online community for people who collect Thomas Kinkade paintings.

Hank pours the two of them a drink and begins to come on to her once again. He gently caresses her hair. She tells him that she really likes him. He asks her if this is a problem.

“Only if you plan to break my heart.” She says.

Oh, he plans to do more than that. For some unexplained reason, he found that this was the proper time to blow her head off. Excuse me for a minute while I say, Excuse me?

The Recovering Voodoo Doll

Cordelia is tending to Queenie when she suddenly wakes. Patiently, Delphine has been waiting by her side,

When Cordelia leaves to get her a fresh towel, Delphine tells her that she doesn’t know how to thank her for saving her life.

“I guess you’ll just have to work on that, huh?” Queenie says.

Just as Cordelia comes back into the room, Nan comes walking in.

“They’re here.” Nan says. “The girls are back?” Cordelia asks. “Not the girls.”

Uh oh…this can’t be good.

The Angry Council

Cordelia runs down the hallways only to find the council on her doorstep. Once inside, they tell her that the council only meets under the gravest of circumstances.

Cordelia explains to them how the attack on Queenie was a horrific tragedy, but she assures them that she is resting comfortably. Unfortunately, this is not why they are here.

Cordelia really needs to learn when to stop talking. One of the council members tells her that they have been alerted to a much more potentially dangerous situation.

All of a sudden, Cordelia starts talking about how she should have never gone to see Marie Laveau. Just as they council decides it is time to have a formal meeting, Fiona walks in. She tells Cordelia to stop talking, which is probably a very good idea.

Myrtle tells Fiona that they were summoned by one of her students. Just as Fiona asks which one, Nan walks into the room. She tells her that it was her. She says that she can no longer hear Madison, and that she must be dead.

Myrtle says that this is why they are there.

The Official Meeting

The council starts to interview the entire school. Almost everyone has horrible things to say about her. No one seems to be surprised that she is gone.

The council starts to ask if she had developed any new powers lately. Everyone tells her no. Everyone except for Nan. She explains what happened when they were at the neighbor’s house. They ask her who knew about this. Nan just smiles. However, we know that it was just Madison, Nan and Fiona that know of this.

In the middle of the interview, Cordelia realizes that her rug is missing.

Now that they have completed their interviews, they move on in the proceedings. Myrtle begins to scold Fiona about her lack of leadership over the last 40 years. It’s clear that these two are not friends.

Myrtle tells her that this is the second time that a witch has gone missing while she was under this roof, and in each case, Fiona was the last one to see them alive.

We flash back to 1971 and a younger Fiona. We see her crying over the disappearance of her mentor, the Supreme of the time. The council at the time tells her that she must be dead as none of the witches or warlocks can feel her presence any longer.

They inform her that she is to be the new Supreme.

In front of the entire school, they announce her to be the Supreme elect. They tell them that under the light of the full moon, Fiona would begin the tests of the seven wonders.

We see a young Myrtle conjuring a spell. She puts an enchantment on Spaulding’s tongue so that he cannot tell a lie. She tells her friend that if anyone would know what Fiona had done, it would be him. She also says that she knows that he is being called in front of the council tomorrow morning, and that the truth would come out.

Later in the evening, you see girls running through the halls and screaming. Spaulding lie on the floor in the bathroom. Blood is everywhere. His tongue has been removed from his mouth. The council clears everyone out of the room and demands that everyone return to their bedrooms.

Back in the modern day, Myrtle is determined to hang Fiona for the “crimes she committed.”

She calls Spaulding as her final witness. She asks him to write down the name of the witch who attacked him.

Spaulding walks over to the table and begins to write. Just when you think he is about to turn on Fiona, something completely different happens.

The name he writes on the paper is Myrtle Snow.

They flash back once again to 1971. Apparently, Spaulding overheard Myrtle telling her friend what she had done, and knew that he could not turn in Fiona.

Later in the evening, he would call Fiona to the bathroom. With his last words, he tells Fiona that he has always loved her. Then, he takes a razor in his hand and cuts out his own tongue. Now that is dedication!

In the modern time, Myrtle goes into a fit of rage. She contends that Fiona killed Anna Lee so that she could become the Supreme, and that she has not killed Madison so that she could stay Supreme. She is SO angry that Fiona continues to “get away with it.”

Cordelia stands behind her and tells Myrtle that she is wrong.

Apparently, Madison had a heart murmur that she never told anyone about. She continues that she monitored it by herself as to keep it quiet. This means that there is no way that Madison was in line to be supreme, and that for 40 years, Myrtle has been barking up the wrong tree.

“My Mother is the Supreme for a reason.”

The Real Life Doll

Back in his room, we see Spaulding in his dressing gown. He is looking in the mirror as he puts a bonnet on his head. He heads into the closet and removes a dress. Just when you think things are going to get weird, they get ten times weirder than you expected.

In the corner, he has Madison sitting in a chair, he hair all styled, just waiting on the dress that Spaulding brought for her.

Ok, I think this train made a sudden stop in creepy town.

Mother/Daughter Bonding

At a bar, Fiona and Cordelia sit and have drinks together. This is the most cordial that they have ever been to each other.

Cordelia wants to play a game. She says that they will each ask the other 3 questions, and they have to swear to answer them honestly.

First Cordelia asks Fiona why she hates Hank. Fiona tells her that he reek for BS, and she doesn’t understand how Cordelia doesn’t see it. Then, she asks her if she killed Madison. Fiona calmly tells her no.

Fiona asks her who she thinks is the next Supreme, but Cordelia cuts her off, telling her that it is still her turn.

A little later, Cordelia finds herself in the bathroom throwing up the copious amount of alcohol she consumed. While she is standing at the sink washing up, and strange hooded person walks through the door carrying a glass. They walk up to Cordelia, and without saying a word, throws the contents of the glass in Cordelia’s face.

From her reaction, one could only assume that those contents were some sort of acid.

Who in the world is this mysterious hooded person?

The Sweetest Revenge of All

After the sun begins to set, Marie begins her ritual. The same ritual she performed so many years ago to avenge young Henry’s death.

Suddenly, bodies begin to rise from the Earth once again.

Back at the school, Delphine is handing out candy to the little children. It is weird to see her acting like such a kind and loving person, knowing everything she has done in the past. I guess even the most evil of people can change over a couple hundred years.

The next time the door rings, Delphine opens it and gives the new set of children their candy. She tells Luke that he doesn’t get any. He tells her that he is the neighbor next door. He tells her that he came to drop off something.

Nan asks him if those are for Madison. He tells her that they are for her. She is really excited. He says that he wants to repay her for the cake that she brought over to him.

Just then a very ominous knock comes from the door. Delphine grabs the bowl of candy and heads to open the door. This time, instead of finding fresh-faced children in costumes, she sees three living dead. Very quickly, she recognizes one of them. It is her daughters back from the dead.

In total shock she drops the bowl and closes the door behind her.

As the camera shifts to outside the house, you see a number of other living dead mindlessly roaming the yard. This is most definitely not going to end well.


This war between the tribes has definitely escalated to a whole new level. One can only imagine what is going to happen when Fiona hears about this; especially after what just happened to Cordelia.

While this episode cleared up a lot of misconceptions, it definitely produced even more questions.

What is the next step in the war between the two tribes? I guess we will have to watch next week to find out for sure.

Here is a peek at next week’s episode of American Horror Story: Coven.

Make sure to check back with us next week as we take a look at Episode 5 of American Horror Story: Coven entitled ‘Burn, Witch. Burn!’.

American Horror Story: Coven airs on Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m. on FX.

Tags: American Horror Story American Horror Story Coven FX TV Show TV Shows

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