Simultaneously more focused and more outlandish than past installments, “American Horror Story: Coven” might not represent the week’s best hour of television, but it surely represents its most intriguing.
Things only get more engrossing in this week’s “Fearful Pranks Ensue,” which serves as the first of a two-part Halloween special. Its content might not rival the shock value produced by last week’s instances of incest, bestiality and exploding jars of semen, but it definitely rewards viewers with compelling moments.
Here are five things to expect in Wednesday’s episode, which airs at 10PM on FX. Not wanting to deprive viewers of the tabula rasa experience we had Tuesday, we have worked to avoid spoiling any major reveals. That noted, the below breakdown does touch loosely on plot points, and one looking to approach Wednesday’s episode from a completely fresh perspective is asked to proceed with caution.
Connections to “American Horror Story: Murder House”
Wednesday’s episode contains very tangible echoes of the first “American Horror Story” season. One of the season’s cast members makes a guest turn. The episode features at least one visual homage to the game-changing first season. And, in addition to mirroring the first season’s two-part Halloween special in concept, the episode also ends with a similar (albeit not identical) sort of cliffhanger.
Updates on Madison, Queenie and the Minotaur
In the closing moments of last week’s episode, Fiona (Jessica Lange) murdered Madison (Emma Roberts) to retain her standing as the Supreme.
Madison’s death certainly appeared legitimate, but few viewers accepted the climactic scene as confirmation that the character’s run had come to an end.
Emma Roberts, after all, is billed as a series regular rather than as a guest star. And given the existence of resurrection in the “Coven” universe (and the shenanigans inherent to any edition “American Horror Story”), why should anyone treat death as definitive?
How she figures into the remainder of the season is not precisely answered Wednesday, but viewers will absolutely get a (startling) update on the status of “Coven”‘s brattiest witch.
Wednesday’s “AHS” also updates viewers on Queenie and the Minotaur following their confrontation in last week’s installment.
Did you really think Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story” would resist? Wednesday’s episode features the “Coven” debut of “voodoo zombies,” some of whom are instantly–and horrifyingly–recognizable by one of the series’ key characters.
The Secret Life of … Yet Another Character
Deception is inherent to “AHS”–and, really, any good horror story–and viewers find themselves introduced to the secret life of one of the series’ auxiliary characters.
That secret life brings the character into violence…and not all of it of the angry sexual variety.
And though the specifics of this character’s dealings remain mysterious, at least one central character is astute enough to passively suspect he or she is not being entirely forthright.
Backstory and Context for Lavaeu, Fiona, Spalding and Myrtle
Need more context on the relationship between the witches and Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett)? Want to know how Fiona ascended to the role of Supreme after killing the position’s previous occupant? Curious about the tense, complicated history between Fiona and Council member Myrtle (Frances Conroy)? Dying to know what happened to Spalding’s (Denis O’Hare) tongue?
Through flashbacks and present-day exposition, this week’s episode answers all those questions as it arms viewers with a better sense of the mysterious–and highly contentious–”Coven” universe.