What other show on cable television would have death by witch sex, a love triangle with a cute Frankensteined boy, and a tongue-less servant who likes to have tea parties with dead girls?
“American Horror Story: Coven” marks the third season of the hit FX series and wow has it been a wild ride filled with “oh no they didn’t” moments and jaw-dropping plot turns.
This Wednesday, the Emmy-winning thriller returns from its winter hiatus and we couldn’t be more excited! That’s why we’ve put together a refresher of what’s happened so far this season for your enjoyment.
Part One of our wrap-up covers episodes one through five.
Episode 1: Bitchcraft
Let’s go back, way back to 1834 New Orleans where we meet Kathy Bates’ Madame Delphine LaLaurie, a woman who enjoys at-home blood facials and torturing black servants in her basement.
After hosting a coming out party for her three daughters, she is horrified to learn that one of them has taken up with one of her slaves.
As punishment, she chains the man (who pleads his innocence) in her dungeon of doom and covers his head with that of a severed bull’s. The whole nausea-inducing moment serves as a tribute to the mythical creature the Minotaur (shout out to “True Blood” season 2!).
Her evil ways are put to an end when Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) — the slave’s lover — gives her poison disguised as a love potion, which we later learn made her immortal.
And “why would anyone want to make such a batshit crazy torturer immortal?” you ask.
So she can be conscious for eternity after she’s buried alive, that’s why!
Cut to the present day, where a young woman, Zoe (Taissa Farminga), and her (boyfriend?) Charlie are getting hot and heavy until he dies suddenly of a gruesomely bloody brain aneurysm.
Turns out, as Zoe’s mother explains, she carries a “genetic mutation” that has been passed down to her from previous generations. In other words, she’s a witch and anyone who engages in coitus with her will die. Talk about a boner shrinker.
Zoe is sent to live at Miss Robichaux’s School for Exceptional Young Ladies in New Orleans, a place where witches learn to channel their powers properly. As Zoe explains, the real witches weren’t killed during the Salem witch trials, they fled to New Orleans.
At the school, Zoe meets Headmistress Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson), an unkempt servant named Spalding (Denis O’Hare), a rehab-hopping movie star with telekinetic powers, Madison (Emma Roberts), a self-described “human voodoo doll,” Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), and the mind-reading Nan (Jamie Brewer).
Delia tells the girls the recent story of Misty Day (Lilly Rabe), a witch with the power of resurgence (the ability to bring the dead back to life) who was burned to death because of her powers. Her death is proof that the members of the coven are under threat and will soon be dying out.
Meanwhile, Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) meets with Dr. David Zhong (Ian Anthony Dale) and demands that he provide her with an anti-aging treatment that has yet to be approved.
He obliges (she’s funding much of his research, so he basically has no choice) but when he refuses to give her more than she’s already used up, she turns him into a decomposing corpse via an erotic kiss. What is it with death by intimate contact on this show?
Fiona, who we learn is the “Supreme” witch and Cordelia’s mother, returns to the academy and starts to take over, teaching the girls her way of doing things. Later, she digs up Madame Delphine LaLaurie for what we can only assume is something freakin’ nuts.
Madison takes Zoe to a frat party, where they are introduced to Kyle (Evan Peters), who she finds to be considerate and responsible–thus not fitting in with typical frat boy stereotypes.
As Zoe locks eyes with Kyle from across the room, Madison is being violated by Kyle’s douchey frat brothers, who roofied her drink.
When Kyle attempts to rescue her, he is knocked out and ushered into the frat bus, which they drive off in. An angry Madison follows after the bus and blows it up with her powers (“Carrie” style, bitch!).
Zoe later visits the hospital and is devastated to learn that Kyle was not one of the two survivors of the explosion. To her horror, the ring leader of the rape brigade made it out alive.
And How do you solve a problem like a surviving rapist? Why, you use your witchy sex powers to give him an aneurysm, of course.
Talk about a mind-blowing sexual experience.
Fiona: “The world’s not going to miss a bunch of assholes in Ed Hardy t-shirts.”
Episode 2: “Boy Parts”
Oh, how this episode earns its title. As Zoe mourns the loss of her exploded boy crush, Fiona discovers that Marie Laveau made MDL immortal before she put her in the ground over 180 years ago.
Nan is unable to deal with the now restrained MDL’s bad vibes, so she lets her free and tells her to leave. When MDL runs into Queenie, she assumes she’s a slave and knocks her out. This, however, doesn’t sit well with Fiona, who makes MDL work as Queenie’s slave.
After a couple of cops attempt to grill Madison and Zoe about the crash survivor that died after Zoe visited the hospital, Fiona uses a spell to erase their memories.
For whatever reason, Madison then helps Zoe break into the morgue where Kyle’s remains are. She wants to bring him back from the dead, but he’s been blown to pieces, so she chooses the “best boy parts” of all the crash victims to put him back together again.
Using an elaborate spell, she brings Kyle back to life. Only, he’s not the sweet party boy Zoe fell for. Now he’s just a confrontational Franken-freak. Still pretty cute though, that is, if you can get past the thick stitches that now hold together his limbs.
Zoe flees with her resurrected boy toy when Misty appears and provides them with refuge while using moss and alligator dung to lessen his wounds. Oh yeah, and she plays A LOT of Stevie Nicks.
Meanwhile, we learn that Delia and her seemingly concerned husband are desperate to have a child but have hit a dead end. At her spouse’s urging, and after exhausting all other options, she agrees to use her witchy powers to get pregnant … which ends up not working.
As expected, Marie isn’t too happy that MDL has risen from her grave and guess who she confides in about it? The Minotaur, of course! But not just any Minotaur, her Minotaur.
Zoe: “Did we just marry the Devil? Because I’m not down with that.”
Episode 3: The Replacements
In a flashback sequence, we learn that a young Fiona killed the former Supreme Anna- Leigh Leighton (Christine Ebersole) by slitting her throat. Of course, no one other than the tongueless Spalding knew this, so she was able to get away with it.
Back in the present, Nan and Madison welcome their sexy new neighbor Luke (Alexander Dreymon) to town by bringing him a cake.
Their shirt-shy new friend isn’t the least bit interested in the flirtatious Madison. Instead, he keeps his attention fixed on Nan. When his beyond overbearing mother Joan (Patti LuPone) rudely tells them to leave, while quoting scripture no less, Madison sets her curtains on fire.
Upon learning of this, Fiona takes Madison out for drinks and tries to gauge the true extent of her powers. Fiona reveals that she has cancer and will be dead within the next year or so.
She also claims that she can feel her own powers pouring out of her and into Madison. Drawing the conclusion that Madison must be the next supreme, she slits her throat and asks the ever-faithful Spalding to roll her body up in the rug and get rid of it.
In another shocking turn of events, Zoe drops her Frankenboy toy off at his distraught mother’s house, which seems like a good idea in “theory,” but it really isn’t.
You see, the thing is, she’s been molesting her son and creepily knows that his body is different than it was after interrupting him in the shower.
You’d think maybe she’d wait a day or two after her son’s “miraculous,” yet “mysterious” reappearance before sexually assaulting him, but she doesn’t.
In absolutely no time at all, this becomes too much for him to bear and he bludgeons his mother to death. A short while later, Zoe arrives to find the dead woman, who now has no face left, and a bloody Kyle.
In a bit of ironic hilarity, MDL being Queenie’s slave continues to play out, but is disrupted when the Minotaur shows up. Queenie decides to fight him off by attempting having voodoo relations with him, until he nearly fatally attacks her.
Still desperate to have a child, Delia visits Marie and asks her to perform a ritual that would help her. After bullshitting her by letting her believe she’ll agree to help for $50,000, Marie wickedly laughs in her face and says that she won’t help anyone on Fiona’s side … EVER.
Fiona: “This coven doesn’t need a new supreme, it needs a new rug.”
Episode 4: “Fearful Pranks Ensue”
Following Madison’s death, the Council — Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy), Quentin (Leslie Jordan) and Cecily (Robin Bartlett), visit the Academy to inquire as to her whereabouts.
Fiona and Spalding continue to hide what really happened, so no one is aware that Spalding is now having a tea party with Madison’s lifeless body.
Oh yeah, and as it turns out, in 1971 Spalding cut his tongue (ON PURPOSE) out to avoid telling the truth about Fiona killing Anna Leigh after a spell was placed on him that would have assured he couldn’t lie.
As Fiona’s innocence is called into question by the council, she faces the threat of being burned at the stake.
Myrtle believes that Fiona killed Madison because she was the next supreme. This is debunked by Delia, who reveals that Madison was not the next supreme.
Later while having drinks with her mother, Delia is blinded in an acid attack carried out by an anonymous cloaked stranger.
Meanwhile, Delia’s husband Hank is having some serious headboard rattling sex with a chick he met online. If that wasn’t shocking enough, when she tells him she likes him, he responds by shooting her in the head. Way to let a girl down easy, Casanova.
Marie is pretty livid when she discovers the severed head of her Minotaur and thus uses her vast powers to raise hoards of dead folk, including MDL’s three daughters, all of which she abused in horrific ways.
Years ago, Marie and Anna Leigh had a truce and agreed to stay off one another’s land. Since that has clearly been broken, it looks like no form of revenge is off limits.
Zoe prepares a meal of poisoned tuna for her blood-soaked Franken cutie but before she can feed it to him, he runs off.
Thankfully for the witches, none of what’s going on should bring too much attention to them because it’s Halloween.
Queenie: “Madison Montgomery is a stone-cold bitch who loves hard drinking, big dicks and trouble. If she’s dead, it’s probably ’cause she got wasted and offered the Grim Reaper a hand job or something.”
Episode 5: “Burn, Witch. Burn!”
Back in 1833, MDL proved to be so nuts, so her daughters wanted to kill her. This led to the girls being locked up in their mother’s “Chamber of Horrors.”
Cut to the present day and she is fighting off the understandably pissed off zombie versions of the three girls and a few extra members of the undead. A spectacular battle ensues and Queenie, Zoe and Nan successfully fight them off.
As Delia reels from the acid attack, doctors inform Fiona that there is nothing they can do to save her sight. FiFi then goes on a spree of awesomeness, bringing a stillborn baby back to life and telling off Hank, the two-timing murderer, after he shows up at the hospital to see his wife.
When Hank appears at Delia’s bedside, she is able to see images of him cheating on her and she sends him away.
Fiona appears before the council and accuses Myrtle of being behind the attack on Delia, and she is able to backup her claim by showing the remnants of acid on Myrtle’s hands.
This leads to Myrtle getting burned to death as the rest of the witches look on–while all fabulously decked out in black.
We then learn that Fiona orchestrated the whole thing by having Queenie use her voodoo powers to put those markings there. Queenie did this without asking questions initially, but following Myrtle’s death, she confronts Fi about whether or not she helped frame an innocent woman.
Misty, who is sporting some fabulous boots, goes to the site of Myrtle’s charred corpse and places her life-giving hands over her. I’m sure at this point you know what happens next.
Fiona: “Any last words?”
Myrtle: “You’re all a bunch of little toads in a pot that Fiona is bringing to a boil. You won’t even know it until it’s too late. I’d rather burn than boil.”
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our wrap-up, which covers episodes 6-9!
“American Horror Story: Coven” airs Wednesdays at 10pm EST on FX.