If there is anything that the American Horror Story franchise knows how to do, it is leave us begging for more. That is exactly what they did in this week’s Winter Finale episode of American Horror Story: Coven. Just when you think you know exactly what is about to happen next, they flip the script on you and go a whole new direction. Let’s take a look at this week’s all-new episode of American Horror Story: Coven entitled “Head.”
Becoming the Monster
As this week’s episode begins, we are in the Chattahoochee National Forest in 1991. We see a young Hank and his father out in the woods hunting. Under normal circumstances, this would be just another day out in the woods between a father and a son. Well, it would be if they were hunting deer, ducks, or some other form of game; however, when the game you hunt are witches, that is something different altogether.
His father tells him that his family has been hunters for generations, and that he will be just fine. Hank takes the bullet from his father and loads it into the gun without missing a beat. Then, they take off into the woods to hunt for their prey.
Finally, they spot their prey. Dad heads off to send it into the clearing so Hank can take his shot. After a shot rings out, and the birds fly into the air, a young witch comes out from behind the trees. She seems incredibly scared and wounded. She finally falls to her knees, and pleads him to spare her life. Never being in this situation before, Hank hesitates.
In a last ditch attempt to spare her life, she sends a line of fire shooting at Hank. His father gets him out of the way, ends up catching his arm on fire, and taking the shot he was hoping for his son to take. He gets the young witch right in the center of the forehead.
Hank apologizes to his father. He tells Hank to never forget what they are, and to never show any mercy.
It would seem that this is a message that has stuck with Hank throughout the years.
The Would-Be Alliance
Fiona pays a visit to the Voodoo Queen. She tells Marie that they need to talk. I think it is safe to say that Marie has nothing to say to Fiona; however, when Fiona threatens to take Delphine’s head out of the box for everyone in the shop to see, she calls one of her girls over to start work on her customer while she and Fiona go off to have a more private conversation.
Fiona sets the box containing Delphine’s head on the counter. She seems a little taken aback when she sees Delphine’s headless body locked inside the coffin-sized cage.
Marie tells her that she is free to keep Delphine’s head. When Fiona tells her that she doesn’t want her, Marie asks her why she dug her up. Fiona says that she was using her for information. Marie is pretty certain that the only reason Fiona kept her around was to use her as a bargaining chip with Marie.
She may be right, but we all know Fiona will never admit to this.
Fiona tells Marie that she has come to talk term with her. Marie just laughs in her face. Marie mocks her when she says that Fiona must think it is so easy that she can just stroll on in there and they can fix the truce.
Oh, to hell with the truce; what I am looking for is an alliance.” Fiona says.
Delphine chimes in from inside the box. She asks Fiona if she is insane. She tells her that she can’t make a deal with a “darkie.”
Fiona shoves a rag in Marie’s mouth and tells her to shut up. Marie just laughs. Fiona tells Marie that they have bigger problems than what goes on between the two of them.
She goes on to explain the attack from the witch hunters. Unfortunately, Fiona doesn’t know that Marie is well aware of the witch hunters, as she has been working with Cordelia’s husband Hank for some time now.
Because of their alliance, she is pretty certain that she doesn’t need Fiona’s help. She mocks Fiona for being weak and unable to protect her Coven and accuses her of coming to Marie to pick up the slack for her. Oh, if she only knew.
Marie calls in Queenie. She tells Queenie to take Marie’s head outside and burn it. She says that she never wants to see it again. Quietly, she takes the box and heads out the back door.
It looks like this alliance was not meant to be; at least not today.
Back at the Academy, we see Cordelia slowly making her way into the kitchen. She is having difficulty adjusting to not having her normal sight. Of course, her second sight is a gift, to be sure, but being able to see where you are walking and to whom you are speaking is something that we all take for granted every day.
In the process of trying to make herself some breakfast, she ends up dropping a carton of eggs on the floor. She screams for people in the house to stop moving things. Myrtle rushes in and tries to help her, but Cordelia tells her to let her do it.
Myrtle tells her that she needs to know for certain that she does not believe that it was her who took her sight from her. She tells Cordelia that she has always loved her like a daughter. She asks he to put her arms around her and use her newfound power to see for certain that she would never do this to her. She tells Myrtle that she will not. She says that she doesn’t need magic to show her what she already knows.
She says that she never doubted her for a second. She tells her that Fiona set Myrtle up.
Cordelia tells her that’s he appreciates the new power that has been bestowed upon her, but she says that this power is no good to her when there are witch hunters right outside the door.
Myrtle tells her that she would pluck her own eyes from her head and give them to her if she could.
The Sacred Order
We now find ourselves in Atlanta, Georgia at a building for a company called Delphi Trust.
Hank sits patiently in the waiting room. Finally, he sees a familiar face; a man named David, who he believed to be in Europe. Apparently, he was able to wrap up business rather quickly. Nothing a few silver bullets can’t fix after all.
Hank says that the corporation must be keeping him busy since his father named him as the official right hand man. David says that he knows that Hank was hoping to be named, but that at least Hank will always be his son.
They both head in for a meeting with Hank’s father.
Apparently, Hank and his father have come a long way from their days in the woods. Hank’s father has quite an exquisite office.
It is quite apparent that his father is not happy with his progress in New Orleans. He understands that Hank is no longer living in the Academy. Hank tells his father that a lot of things have been happening, things out of his control.
His father is quick to call him to task about his alignment with Marie Laveau. He tells his father that he was taking the initiative, and that he had a plan that would allow him to take out both sides. Hank’s father tells him to never “take initiative,” and that his only job is to gather intelligence. This is the entire reason that he is married to Cordelia.
Hank tells his father that he is much more capable than he thinks.
Hank tries to use his success in Baton Rouge; however, his father is quick to tear that down. David tries to explain to him that not only is his father the head of their secret organization, but he is also the head of a multi-national financial institution. He says that Hank’s recklessness puts everything that they have been working for at risk.
His father tells him that they need him back inside that house. Hank tells him that they have a problem. He explains that someone has blinded Cordelia. It turns out that it wasn’t just any someone. Apparently, that was something that the organization planned out so that Cordelia would “need” Hank more.
Deep inside, it would seem that Hank is developing actual feelings for Cordelia, as he admonishes his father for blinding “his wife.” His father is very taken aback by his familiar tone in regards to Cordelia. He tells her that he cannot become attached to the target, because there will come a time when they will have to put her down as well.
As his father is admonishing him, he takes a look at his father’s hand. He still has the burn marks from that day so many years ago. His father asks him if he has forgotten who he is. Hanks says that he is a part of a secret order, a solider in a shadow war, one that has been going since before the days of Salem. Basically, they are out to purge the world of witch-kind.
He tells Hank that he cannot become attached to the target, because there will come a time when they will have to put her down as well.
The Dinner Party
Back at the Academy, it would seem that Myrtle is hosting quite the dinner party. The other two members of the council join her as if they have never missed a beat. They tell her that they simply must know how she has made such a miraculous recovery.
They talk a little about the old days and reminisce about the past. That is, until the poison that Myrtle slipped into their food has taken effect. Something Myrtle calls “Human Statue Syndrome.”
She muses that they must have found it odd that she left the melon baller I the bowl when she served them. It turns out that this is no coincidence. You see, when she said that she would pluck out her own eyes in order to give them to Cordelia, she wasn’t entirely honest. She wouldn’t pluck out her own eyes, but she would certainly take donations from her beloved “friends.”
Seeing the Light
In a quick turnaround, we see Cordelia lying in her bed. Myrtle is telling her of a cat she once had that had two different colored eyes. It would turn out that this was no random conversation, as Cordelia now shared this with Myrtle’s old cat. She now has two different colored eyes.
Cordelia opens her eyes. It takes a few moments for everything to come into focus, but she quickly comes to realize that she can see once again.
When Fiona comes in the door, she overhears a conversation between Myrtle and Cordelia. Cordelia says that she knows that she had the best of intentions, but she could have asked her first.
Fiona is shocked that Cordelia is able to see again. Myrtle tells her that it was she who restored their beloved Cordelia. Fiona tells Myrtle that she isn’t witch enough to accomplish such a feat.
Of course, the first thing that Fiona notices is that Cordelia’s eyes don’t match. When Fiona inquires about where Myrtle got the eyes from, she tells her that the “generous donors” wish to remain anonymous.
In a quick flashback, we see Myrtle playing like a child with some bloody dismembered body parts. That is, before dropping them into a vat of acid. I guess we now know what became of the rest of Quinton and Pemby.
This, of course, starts a new round of petty bickering between the two elder witches. Finally, Cordelia has to step in. She reminds Myrtle that Fiona is still the Supreme of the Coven and that she needs to treat her with a little more respect. She tells Fiona that she needs to stop accusing Myrtle of something that they both know she didn’t do.
She says that the real danger lies outside of these walls.
She tells the two of them that she is tired and needs to go lie down. She says that when the girls come in to make sure that they stay in. It isn’t safe out there after all.
When she goes to leave, Myrtle gives Cordelia a hug. It is then that Cordelia realizes that with the return of her actual sight, her second sight is gone.
Paying Love a Visit
At the hospital, we see Zoe and Madison quickly marching down the hallway. They have come to collect Nan, who they find sleeping in a chair. She tells them that she is not leaving until she sees Luke. They tell her that she has been there all night and ask her how she hasn’t already seen him. Nan tells her that Luke’s mother won’t allow her to see him.
Infuriated by the nonsense, they walk Nan down the hall to Luke’s room and they barge inside. Quickly, Luke’s mother throws a fit, telling them to get out.
She tells Nan that it is her fault that her son is in a coma, and that it was her who brought this darkness into their lives. Nan tells her that Luke says to calm down and not have a fit like she did at the lake last summer. She demands to know when Luke told her that. She calls her a liar when she says that she is talking to him right now.
Luke’s mother goes on about them consorting with demons. Zoe tells her that Nan is not talking to a demon that she is talking to her son Luke. She still refuses to believe it. She accuses them of mocking her grief.
Nan tells her that he likes the song that she sang to him earlier. She says that this proves that Nan is a fraud because she didn’t sing to him, she read to him from Deuteronomy. She tells her that it is a song that she sang to him when he was eight and he broke his arm.
She asks Nan how she knows that. Madison cuts in again.
We told you, she’s a mind reader. We’re witches. Haven’t you figured that out by now?” Madison says.
Zoe tells Nan to come on, and that Joan doesn’t deserve her help. Just as they reach the door, Joan begins to sing. The girls stop and come back into the room. Nan slowly approaches the bed and takes Joan’s hand.
Now in tears, Luke’s mother gives Nan a big hug. Unfortunately, the love fest would not last for very long.
The Lesson in History
Back at Marie’s, Delphine’s head is sitting on a TV tray as Queenie walks into the room. She asks her if she has brought her “nibbles.” Queenie tells her that she doesn’t have any stomach.
Queenie tells her that she is going to give her some sensitivity training. Queenie tells her that she is going to watch and learn the horrible atrocities that her people had to endure at the hands of people like Madame LaLaurie. She tells her that she is going to start by watching all 8 hours of Roots, then she would move on to the sequel Roots: The Next Generation.
Marie tells her that she wants to die. Queenie tells her that she would love nothing more than to melt her face right off of her head, but that she is not leaving this Earth until she educates her about the people that she tortured; her people.
Queenie tells her that they are going to have themselves a little film festival. Queenie tells Delphine that she is going to watch Mandingo, The Color Purple, and then her personal favorite, B.A.P.S. However, first she would watch the epic tale of one family’s rise from slavery to freedom.
She turns on the television. As soon as the music starts, Delphine starts to beg her to turn it off. Queenie tells her to enjoy and walks out of the room. Delphine is keeping her eyes shut as she continues to sing…really loudly.
The Unwilling Puppet
We see Hank sitting all alone in a dingy hotel room eating what one could assume is Chinese takeout. All of a sudden, his arm slams into the table and begins to bleed profusely. He screams as he is thrown to the floor. He starts to flail around as if he is being controlled by some dark power.
However, he is not being controlled by just any dark power. He is being controlled by the Voodoo Queen herself. Suddenly, we well fir black man kicks in the door and tells Hank that Marie Laveau sends her regards.
Hank asks what is happening to him. The man tells him that he is feeling the wrath of broken promises. He asks Hank where the heads of the white witches are. He screams that he is trying.
Just then, his phone starts to ring. The man answers the call and holds the phone to Hank’s ear. Of course, it is Marie on the other line. She tells him that if he does not do as she pleases; the next needle she uses will put a hole in his heart. I guess his “initiative” is starting to bite him in the butt.
Back at the Academy, Misty is working with Cordelia down in the greenhouse. They are making a concoction that will serve as both protection and to ward off evil. Cordelia tells her that they are never to use this except in extreme circumstances.
Cordelia puts some of the paste onto a dead plant. Misty asks her if she can try to incantation this time. Cordelia tells her to go for it. Misty takes a step back and tries her hand at the incantation, but nothing happens. Cordelia tells her to try it again, but with stronger intent.
Misty tries the incantation once more, but this time with much more confidence. Suddenly, the once dead plant sprung back to life right before their eyes. Cordelia tells Misty that the two of them make a great team.
You’re such as awesome leader, Miss Cordelia. I’ve got so much to learn from you.” Misty says with a smile on her face. “Fiona is the leader of this Coven.” Cordelia tells her.
Cordelia can sense that there is someone else in the room with them. Hank finally makes himself know. Cordelia is visibly not pleased by this. She tells him that she meant to change the locks. He is amazed that she can see once again.
He hugs her, but she has absolutely no response to his touch. She tells him to let go of her. He makes a valiant attempt to make his way back into the house, but she is not having any of it. When Misty walks up, he asks Cordelia who she is. Misty introduces herself to him. Suddenly, he realizes that she is the witch that he thought he murdered just a few short nights ago.
He asks if they can speak privately, but as Misty goes to leave, Cordelia stops her. Cordelia tells him that she has told him how she feels and that he needs to take his stuff and leave. He tells her that he is still her husband and that this is where he belongs. She tells him that she has contacted a lawyer and that she will be filing for divorce. This is not going to sit well with Daddy.
Hank is even more visibly upset now, but this doesn’t deter Cordelia one bit. She tells him that his things are in a box in the closet and tells him to get his things and get out of her house.
As Hank is making his way out of the house, he is cornered by a dog. This dog clearly doesn’t like Hank, but then again…why would she? He has tried to kill almost every person in that house. Fiona comes up the stairs and asks him what he is doing there.
She calms the dog down. Fiona tells him that they needed some protection around the house; hence the dog. She tells him that she got a female dog because they are more aggressive than males when protecting their families.
She tells Hank that it is good to see him and walks away leaving him to pick up the items she unceremoniously knocked out of his hands.
As Fiona and the dog make their way down the hallway, the dog senses something out of place in one of the other rooms. Fiona opens the door to find Kyle sitting on the floor. The dog walks right up to Kyle. The dog starts to kiss Kyle, and it looks like the two of them are playing well together. However, as soon as Fiona turns her back you hear the dog whelp and what sounds like breaking bones. Whether he meant to do it or not, I am pretty sure Kyle just murdered the house dog.
Back at the hospital, Nan is sitting quietly with Luke when Joan comes walking in. She tells Nan that she is a miracle, and she is not sure how to thank her for what she has given to her. She hands Nan some food. She tells her that she has given her a gift that can never be repaid.
Nan smiles and looks back at her. She tells her that Luke says that there is a God and that he is judging her. She asks it is because of her lack of faith. Nan says that it is because of what she did to Luke’s father. She tells her that his father died of anaphylactic shock. Luke tells Nan that God has told him that it was his mother.
We flash back to the moment that Luke’s father died. He is on the phone with Luke’s mother, and getting into his car. He is basically telling her that their relationship is no longer working and that he is leaving her.
Out of nowhere, there is suddenly a swarm of bees in the car with him. Even when he tries to swat them away, they still manage to sting him, causing the anaphylactic shock that ultimately took his life.
He says that he knows that it was her who put the bee in the car because she knew that he was allergic and couldn’t stand the thought of him leaving her for another woman. You can see her sitting a few cars away making sure that the alarm locked the doors so that he could not escape his fate.
Luke tells her that God has told him that this was all her doing. He says that the other woman was in her book club. He says that she wasn’t younger or prettier; she just loved him for who he was. Nan tells her that God says that she is going to pay for what she has done.
Joan tells Nan that she doesn’t speak for her son and that he has been in that bed fighting for his life. She tells Nan that this has all been some dark sided trick. She demands that Nan gets out.
It looks as if Hank is about to kick things into high gear. We see him back in his hotel room loading his many weapons. He has artillery ay above his pay grade. This is definitely company issue.
He finishes loading the weapons, puts on his coat and heads out the door.
The New Protection
When the girls finally get back from the hospital, they see Fiona sitting with Kyle. They see the two of them playing cards. Kyle is talking more fluently and able to understand more complex issues.
Madison asks Fiona what she did to him. Fiona says that she took the liberty of sprucing him up just a bit. Zoe says that she fixed him. Fiona says that’s he wouldn’t go that far. She says that he’s not all there, but that he is ok. Kyle sits there and smiles back at Fiona.
She tells the girls that they are in need of a guard dog that will attack on command.
Lessons Not Learned
When Queenie walks back into the room, Delphine tells her that she kept her eyes closed the entire time. She tells Queenie that she didn’t see a bit of it. Queenie tells her that’s he is not surprised. She says that she kept her eyes closed her entire life. Queenie tells her that she can’t keep her ears closed, especially with no hands to cover them.
Queenie puts something else on the television. Delphine asks her what all the caterwauling was. Queenie tells her that it is something that her Grandmother used to listen to. She tells Delphine that if this doesn’t touch her soul, then she doesn’t have one.
Delphine asks when her perdition will end. Queenie tells her that she has to go, and heads out the door, closing it behind her.
Queenie comes back downstairs to start her shift. Marie reprimands her.
Queenie, in my shop when you early, you on time, and when you on time, you late.” Marie says. “What you been doing upstairs.” She asks. “Watching TV,” Queenie says.
Marie tells her to get to work, and that telephone isn’t going to answer itself.
Back upstairs, it would seem that Delphine has finally started watching some of the educational material that Queenie has left for her. Seeing some of the torture that these people were made to endure is actually bringing tears to her eyes. Is this a breakthrough? We shall see.
However, downstairs, it is a whole new tragedy.
Hank busts through the door with his guns blazing. He tears through the entire house, shooting every single person in his path. Everyone is scrambling trying to get away. He shoots Queenie right in the stomach.
Hank continues to make his way through the house, gunning down every single person he passes. Queenie is fighting to get across the room. She comes across a gun that Hank has discarded. She crawls on her hands and knees down the hallway,
He fires a shot that hits Marie in the arm. She holds up her hand to protect herself. Unfortunately, this is not going to do a whole lot of good against the kind of weapon he is brandishing. He pauses for a moment, taking in the sense of accomplishment for what he is about to do. He prepares to pull the trigger when the unexpected happens.
Queenie puts the gun into her mouth and pulls the trigger, sending the contents of Hanks head splattering all over Marie’s walls and floor. Hank falls to the floor with a sizable hole in his head. What we do not know is what this means for Queenie. Normally, she is not affected by whatever she projects onto other people; however, after the shot rang out, Queenie hit the floor and remained motionless.
The scene pans out, and you see everyone in the house lying dead on the floor in various positions.
Back at his father’s office, it would seem as if he had surveillance on Marie’s shop, as he already seems to have the news of his son’s success and ultimate failure. He begins to cry at the loss of his son. I am certain that this is not the last that we have seen of the witch hunters. If nothing else, I am sure that they are going to come with even more force now.
Back at the hospital, Luke wakes up from his coma. The very first thing he says to his mother is that she murdered his father. He begins to cry. Joan tries to calm him down, but it is not doing a whole lot of good. She tells him to go back to sleep. Suddenly, we see her place a pillow over his head and try to suck the life out of him.
The New Alliance
With her tribe essentially wiped out, the Voodoo Queen is now knocking at the door to the Academy. It would seem that she needs Fiona’s help after all.
Fiona opens the door and stands aside allowing Marie entry into the house. As she closes the door, she cracks a smile knowing that she has ultimately gotten her way.
This is where they will leave us this good night.
While we have found resolution to some very old issues; Cordelia’s sight, Kyle’s deficiencies, Nan’s love for Luke, the essential obliteration of Marie’s tribe, and even cracking the shell of the infamous Madame Delphine LaLaurie.
However, now we have a whole new set of issues to contend with. There are many questions to be answered. What will become of Queenie? Will they ever put Humpty Dumpty, I mean Delphine, back together again? Will this new “alliance” between Marie and Fiona really work? Will Luke make it out from under the clutches of his murderous mother? Most importantly, what are they going to do about these pesky witch hunters?
Unfortunately, as I mentioned previously, this week is the American Horror Story: Coven Winter Finale. We will not get to see another episode until January 8th.
When the show does commence, we will be introduced to a new character. His name is Papa Legba. As we reported earlier, Fringe’s Lance Reddick has been cast in that role. He will play a very interesting part in the story arc of the Voodoo Queen.
While we begin the long wait for the next episode to come, here is a look at the upcoming episode of American Horror Story entitled “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks.”
American Horror Story: Coven will return on Wednesday, January 8th at 10:00 p.m. on FX.