Jessica Lange as Fiona Goode in Episode 5 of 'American Horror Story: Coven'. Photo Credit: FX

‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Episode 5 Recap ‘Burn, Witch. Burn!’

Tonight’s episode of American Horror Story: Coven is definitely different than the rest. New powers will be uncovered and a traitor will be revealed…or will they? Let’s take a closer look at tonight’s episode of American Horror Story: Coven entitled ‘Burn, Witch. Burn!’

All Hallows Eve

We start tonight’s episode on All Hallows’ Eve in 1833. Madame LaLaurie is hosting one of her many social events. The Governor presents his son to Madame LaLaurie. Madame presents her oldest daughter Borquita.

Madame asks him if he is brave enough to visit her chamber of horrors. He tells her that he will be able to make it through with Borquita by his side. Madame LaLaurie leads him into a dark, red room. She slightly lifts the lid off of a bowl and asks him to guess what’s in the bowl.

Madame LaLaurie, it must’ve take you all afternoon to peel these grapes.” He says.

When she lifts the lid, he sees a bowl full of human eyeballs. They were extracted from her slaves earlier in the day. She takes him to the next station and asks him if he would like to try his hand at the next surprise. She tells him that they are long, wet, and very slippery. What would you guess they are? Jacques ventures to guess that they are a string of sausages. Well, he’s almost right. They are her slaves’ intestines.

Unable to take anymore he flees. Madame LaLaurie laughs and says that he is not man enough for her Borquita lest her Chamber of Horrors.

Hatching a Plan

Upstairs, the Madame’s daughter discuss how evil their mother is. Borquita complains that she will never have a husband as long as their mother is around. They determine that no one would ever suspect foul play from the grieving daughters of their beloved mother’s untimely death.

Before they could decide how, Madame LaLaurie comes bursting into the room. She tells them that they need to be festive and come back downstairs to the party. She tells them that dessert is about to be served.

After she exits the room, she is met at the stairwell by her husband Louis. The party guests have been asking for her. She tells him to bring her Bastien and two strong slaves. Uh oh…this can’t be good.

The Price to be Paid

One of the slaves snatches her daughter out of bed, and brings her to the Madame’s real chamber of horrors.

Madame LaLaurie already has her other two daughters bound in the room. She tells the slave to throw her in the cage, breaking her leg if he has to. Borquita screams as the door is closed on her leg.

One of her other daughters tells her that they were never going to do anything, and that it was all just silly talk, but Madame LaLaurie is not buying it.

It is because of my love for your plain faces that you still draw breath.” Madame LaLaurie tells her daughter.

She walks over to Borquita. She tells her that she will set them free in a year, just I time for next Hallows’ Eve. She tells Borquita that because she was the ring leader of the feeble minded that she has a special gift for her. She tells her that on Christmas morning, she is going to stuff her mouth full of excrement. That is not exactly how she chose to phrase that, but you get my point all the same.

As I told you before, Madame LaLaurie is truly one of the most evil women to have ever walked this Earth.

The Ghosts of the Past

We now flash back to modern time. We pick up with Madame LaLaurie right where we left her in the last episode. She is standing at the front door, and when she opens it, she sees the rotting, yet standing, corpses of her three daughters staring back at her. In an instant, she recognizes who is standing before her.

She drops the glass bowl, shattering it to pieces. She begins to weep as she closes the door. She tells everyone that it is too late, that not even lighting the bonfires could help them at this point. Madame LaLaurie tells them that all hell has opened up on their doorstep. And that it has…Marie Laveau’s army of the undead marches upon Miss Robichaux’s Academy.

The Damage Is Done

Finally, we catch up with Fiona, who last we saw her was at a bar bonding with her daughter Cordelia. Fiona looks up from the bar as she hears a woman screaming. Immediately, she knows it is her daughter Cordelia. She runs into the bathroom to find her daughter huddled on the floor grasping her face. Fiona demands that Cordelia het her see it. When he moves her hands, what Fiona sees is simply horrifying.

Cordelia’s face is all but melting away. Someone has thrown acid in her face.

At the hospital, the doctor tells her that they have done everything they can, but they were not able to save her optical nerve. Cordelia will never see again.

Fiona loses it on the doctor and begins to beat on him. Security pulls her off of him, but the doctor refuses to press charges, so she is let go,

The Evil Dead

Zoe orders everyone away from the windows. They try to contact Fiona or Cordelia, but for obvious reasons they are not yet aware of, they get voicemail.

Zoe suggests that they call the cops, but Queenie refuses.

No. Fiona wouldn’t like it, and I’d be more scared of her than the things outside.” Queenie replies.

Queenie is clearly not recovered from her injuries she received at the hands of the Minotaur.

Luke, the next door neighbor is determined that the “people” on the front yard are a bunch of neighborhood kids, and he asserts that he can handle them. He charges out the door not knowing what awaits him outside.

In a short cut scene, you will see that it is indeed Marie Laveau controlling these undead.

Luke tells them that they have successfully scared a house full of young girls, but now it is time to go. Two adolescent neighbor boys walk up and start to assess the “makeup” of the undead. I think it is at this point that Luke realizes that these are not neighborhood children after all.

Marie gives the order for the chaos to begin, and boy does it ever ensue.

Needless to say, the adolescent neighborhood kid doesn’t make it out alive. In fact, the zombies go all World War Z on him.

Luke makes a run for the house, but he is caught in the back with what looks like an axe. Nan cries his name from inside the house.

They girls determine that they are surrounded. Zoe says that if they can’t go out, they’ll go up. She calls out for Spalding. Before Spalding can make it down the stairs, Zoe sees Madame LaLaurie heading for the door. Madame LaLaurie starts to open the door, but Zoe slams it shut. She tells her that her daughters are dead, and if she opens that door, she’ll end up dead too.

She leads Madame LaLaurie back to the staircase. We now see Spalding walking down the stairs. She tells everyone to head up to Spalding’s room and that they can barricade themselves inside. Spalding gives this look of horror and signals no to everyone coming in his room. Zoe gives in and tells him to just pick a room.

Zoe turns around to find Nan, and she sees the front door is open. Nan has run outside to save Luke.

She is able to get Luke up and the two of them make it to a car, locking the door behind them. They have a brief illusion of safety, but not for long as the zombies start to close in on them.

Soon, the zombies are breaking in the windows of the car. Just as they are about to reach Luke and Nan, Zoe starts banging two pots together in order to draw the attention away from them. As usual in these situations, I don’t think Zoe thought this through all the way. Suddenly, they are chasing her.

Running from the oncoming horde, she finds herself backed into a corner with nothing between her and the zombie horde but a wooden door.

Zoe back away down the hallway.

Back in the house, Queenie has made it back to bed. Spalding is helping her settle in. Madame LaLaurie reprimands Queenie for getting out of bed. She tells Spalding to make sure that she stays in bed while Madame LaLaurie heads downstairs to get some ice.

While collecting the ice, she hears a scraping at the door. She grabs a knife and calls out for whoever it is that is at their door. Through the glass, she can see that it is Borquita. Madame LaLaurie begins to cry for her child. Like a crazy person, she unlocks the door and lets her in. The guilt of the way that she treated her children is starting to eat away at her.

She pleads for her daughter to come back to her, promising to make amends.

Unfortunately, the dead lack the ability to care. Borquita grabs Madame LaLaurie by the throat and begins to choke the life out of her.

When Madame LaLaurie doesn’t return, Queenie sends Spalding to see what is keeping her. Spalding abides and heads out the door, closing it behind him. Suddenly, we hear a loud thud, and what sounds like Spalding hitting the floor. Alarmed, Queenie gets out of bed and heads for the door. She sees Spalding on the ground and in pain after being struck in the head with a candelabrum.

Queenie panics, unwittingly drawing the attention of zombie Borquita. Queenie runs back into her room and closes the door behind her. That doesn’t really do her a lot of good, as Borquita breaks down the door rather easily. Queenie attempts to use her powers against Borquita, but nothing seems to be working. Even when Queenie slices her own throat, while Borquita does bleed, well…more like dust, but that is beside the point, she does not die. It isn’t until Madame LaLaurie drives a poker through her chest that she falls lifeless to the ground.

Madame LaLaurie is having her realization. She realizes that she was a monster to her children, and they deserved better than what she gave them. She begins to weep, and Queenie takes her into her arms and consoles her. Could someone as evil as Madame LaLaurie really make such a drastic turn around?

Back in the car, Luke is starting to pass out from lack of blood. Nan tells him that she is not going to let him die. She gets out of the car and heads to Luke’s side, helping him out. He is having just as hard of a time walking as Nan is carrying him. Nan is using every ounce of her strength to pull him to safety, but she is just not strong enough. Just when it seemed like all was lost and they were about to be eaten, Zoe shows up.

This scene seriously reminded me of something out of the Evil Dead movies. Zoe, wielding a chainsaw, cut the head off of the zombie that was about to eat Nan and Luke.

Zoe yells for her to get him inside. Then the real fun begins.

Zoe goes on an all-out zombie killing rampage. She even slices one straight down the middle like a piece of cake. Just when she thinks that she is finished, one more surprises her from behind. When she goes to slice it with her trusty chainsaw, the power cuts out, and it is nothing more than an oversized butter knife.

As is par for the course in any horror movie, she trips and falls to the ground.

Just as the zombie is closing in on her and it looks like all is about to be lost, Zoe puts her hands in the airs and speaks a few words in a foreign tongue. Suddenly, the zombie falls lifelessly to the ground. Back in her voodoo room, you see Marie Laveau fall from the sky as if all of her power has been zapped away and the spell ended.

Marie is taken aback by this.

I don’t know what that was, but they got some real power in that witch house now.” Marie says.

So…Zoe has a new power; a strong one at that. Could she be the one meant to succeed Fiona?

The Wounded Headmistress and the Supreme

In the hospital, we finally see the extent of Cordelia’s injuries. Her face looks as if it were forced into a boiling lobster pot. Her eyelids are a dark purple. She lies sleeping in bed as Fiona watches over her.

I think Fiona is truly starting to feel the pain of motherhood. Looking at what this mystery person has done to her daughter is really weighing on her. For a small moment in time, Fiona looks almost human.

Fiona begins to walk the halls with no rhyme or reason. She tries to make her way into the medicine room, but the door is locked. Of course, being one of the most powerful witches in the world, she uses her magic to get inside, cleaning them out of any “necessary” pills.

She stumbles down the hallway passing a number of patients that look better suited for last season of American Horror Story.

Further down the hallway, she sees a hooded figure cross her path. Seemingly the same hooded figure that threw the acid in Cordelia’s face.

Fiona speeds up in an attempt to catch the figure, but she is stopped by a patient.

You didn’t throw the acid, but you may as well have.” The patient says to Fiona.

Fiona passes the room of a woman strapped to a bed and screaming. There is blood at the apex of her legs. Her stillborn baby lay silently in a crib next to the bed.

Fiona wanders into the room. She puts her purse down on the table and starts to look at the baby. She asks the mother if it was stillborn or if it died afterwards. The woman tells her that it was stillborn.

Fiona lifts the deceased child from her bed and holds the baby in her arms. She brings the baby to her mother, but the mother screams that she doesn’t want to look at her. Fiona tells her that she needs to hold her. She tells her that she is her daughter, and that she needs to keep her close so she feels safe.

Fiona tells her to talk to the baby. The girl doesn’t understand why Fiona is doing this, her baby is dead. Fiona pleads with her to speak to the baby.

Tell her, I love you more than the whole world.” Fiona says. The girl repeats after her. “You’re the most beautiful baby. Tell her how beautiful she is.” Fiona continues. The woman abides. “Now say, I’ll never leave you. I’ll be your mother until you die.” She says. The young woman repeats after her. Fiona puts her hand on the baby, and suddenly, the baby starts to breathe. The young woman is utterly elated that her baby has come back to life. Fiona silently leaves the room.

I would be lying to you if I told you that I didn’t cry during that scene. That is one of the most real, and unaltered emotions that I have ever seen on this show. This is a defining moment for Fiona. It shows that she does indeed have a human side underneath her lust for power and control. If only this side of her would show more often, she would be truly unstoppable.

Finally back in Cordelia’s room, Fiona is sitting in a chair by her bedside when Hank walks in. Instantly, Fiona and Hank begin to have a war of words. As we have seen in the past, there is most definitely no love lost between these two. Hank believes that Fiona has been a horrible mother to Cordelia and has no place by her side. Fiona believes that while she hasn’t been the best mother, she can smell his BS from a mile away.

Before the fight can spin out of control, a nurse walks in. She tells them that one of them, she didn’t care which one, was leaving or she was calling security. Fiona tells Hank that he has 15 minutes, and then she would be back. She tells him that when she returns that he will disappear, whether on his own or her way.

When Fiona leaves the room Hank walks over to Cordelia and takes her hand. Just then, her eyes open and she is jerked awake by a vision. She sees all of Hank’s indiscretions. The woman he cheated on her with, and everything. I guess when she lost the power of sight; a new power was bestowed upon her. This is not going to end well for Hank.

Cleaning Up the Aftermath

Back at the house, we see a tall pile of burning bodies in the front yard. The smell must be absolutely unbearable. Nan and Zoe are working to clean up the carnage from the night before. Fiona is supervising.

Zoe asks Nan how Luke is doing. She tells her that he is still sleeping. Zoë tells her that they have to get him out of there. Nan tells her that he isn’t well enough yet. Zoe demands that he can’t stay there. Fiona interjects and tells her that he can and will stay there. She says that there is no sense in rushing him back to his Holy Roller mother until he fully recovers. She is sure that his mother will just call the cops, and this is something that they certainly do not need.

Nan thanks her as she runs off to see Luke.

I like a witch who knows how to fight. You’ve done this Coven a great service, Zoe. I won’t forget it.” She says as she sends Zoe back into the house.

Madame LaLaurie and Fiona have a short conversation about their recent revelations. It would seem that the two of them have a lot in common.

Just then, Fiona looks up and sees the council members standing at the front of the drive.

The Witch Trial

The council has convened in an effort to strip Fiona of control of the Coven. They lay out a number of reasons that Fiona is not fit to serve as Supreme. It is their ruling that she abdicate her role as Supreme, and that the Coven shall fall under the guidance of the council.

Fiona is simply not having this.

Fiona says that because she could not inherit the Supremacy that Myrtle has enlisted her lap dogs to help her steal it. Myrtle tells her that the council’s decision is unanimous and final. She tells her that she will not sit…

It is just then that Fiona interrupts her, sending her back into her chair and screaming that she will sit. The other council members carry a distinct look of worry on their faces.

She says that the Coven has been under attack, but that it is not from the outside; it is from the inside.

Our enemy hides in plain sight.” Fiona says. “It walks freely among us unseen. Out enemy has a face, and I have seen this face. This face has a name; Myrtle Snow.”

Myrtle is outraged by this. Fiona tells her that the love Myrtle had for the Coven and for Cordelia is eclipsed by her hatred of Fiona. Myrtle is doing everything in her power to convince the council otherwise.

Fiona tells the council that Myrtle was in town at the time when Madison went missing. Fiona tells the council that Myrtle was using the name Jennifer Wooley as the witness alias at a hotel during the time of Madison’s disappearance. Fiona and Spalding followed her to the hotel, and when she left they entered her room only to find picture of Fiona all over the wall with symbols drawn on them.

Fiona even has pictures on her cell phone of the display on the wall, of which she all too eagerly showed to the council. The other members of the council are outraged. One of the other witches asks Myrtle if her outburst is a confession. She confesses to nothing. Fiona tells her that she doesn’t need a confession, because she has been caught red handed.

She removes one of Myrtle’s gloves only to find acid burn marks on her hand; the same kind of marks that Cordelia has on her face.

The other two members of the council vote to burn Myrtle at the stake.

The decision of this council is unanimous and final.” Fiona says to Myrtle.

Myrtle tells her that she will not resist. She says she goes proudly to the flame.

Burn, Witch. Burn!

The entire Coven, with the accompaniment of the council, heads out to a remote location where there is a tall stake mounted in the ground. Two men who accompanied the Coven tie Myrtle to the stake.

All of the members of the Coven are dressed in black, while Myrtle is dressed in a plain white gown.

The two men tie Myrtle to the stake and begin to pour gasoline on her. Once she is completely soaked, Fiona asks her if she has any last words.

You’re all bunch of little toads in a pot that Fiona is slowly bringing to a boil.” She said. “You won’t even feel it until it’s too late. I’d rather burn than boil.”

With that being said, Fiona throws her lit cigarette at Myrtle, and she lights up like a Christmas tree. She is screaming and writing in agony as the flames eat away at her humanity.

Silently, Fiona turns and walks away. We see the flames dancing in Zoe’s eyes. What could this mean for her and the future of the Coven?

The Guilty Conscience

Back at the house, Queenie comes to see Fiona.

She tells Fiona that she needs a question answered. She asks her if she helped her frame a guilty woman or an innocent one. Apparently, what we did not see before is that the acid burns on Myrtle’s hands came at the hands of the human voodoo doll Queenie, who was standing silently behind the wall.

Fiona said that none of them are innocent.

Queenie says that when Fiona first came to her she felt like she owed her one for saving her life; however, she thought that they were going to oust her, not roast her. Queenie tells her that she is not sure if she can live with this.

Fiona tells her that she can already feel a change in her. She is beginning to make Queenie think that she may be the next Supreme of the Coven. It would seem like the evil, deceptive part of Fiona is still alive and well.

Fiona tells her that she has to trust her and follow her instruction to the letter and she will be fine. Queenie agrees. Fiona then closes the door behind her.

The Doll Collection

Back in Spalding’s room, we see him dancing around the room in a white nightgown, black boots, and his favorite bonnet. He is spraying air freshener all over the room to mask the smell of Madison’s decaying body, which he has stored in a chest.

He moves the teddy bears off of the chest, and opens it to reveal Madison’s body. He attempts to lift her out of the box, but her body doesn’t seem to want to move. Suddenly, we hear a cracking noise and Madison’s arm comes clean off. It is at that exact moment that his record stops playing. Talk about perfect timing.

Food for the Animals

As the evening comes to a close, we see Misty wandering through the barren land. She sees two wolves picking at the remains of Myrtle’s charred body. Slowly, she walks up to her. The wolves seem to clear away without hesitation. She kneels beside her and places her hands on Myrtle’s head. Suddenly, Myrtle opens her eyes.

This can’t be good; especially if Fiona is setting her up.


Tonight’s episode was one of the better of the season. It had a fair mix of action with the healthy dose of storyline. We saw a completely different side to both Fiona and Madame LaLaurie. It would seem that under all of their hate and rage that there could possibly be a good person there after all.

Furthermore, what will Cordelia’s new power bring her? More than that, how is she going to react now that she knows about Hank’s indiscretions?

There are a lot of questions that were left unanswered by this episode. I guess that is the driving force behind why we will all be back next week.

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 the all-new episode of American Horror Story: Coven entitled ‘The Axeman Cometh.’

Need to catch up on the series, or maybe just refresh yourself on a few details? You can read all of our previous episode recaps right here.

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

Tags: American Horror Story American Horror Story Coven Burn Witch Burn! FX TV Show TV Shows

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