Recap/Review: ‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Episode 1 ‘Bitchcraft’

american-horror-story-coven-sliceLast night’s premier of ‘American Horror Story: Coven‘ marked the third season of the FX hit show.  This season it is not ghosts or depraved nuns hanging out in an asylum, but a group of young witches brought together at Miss Robichaux’s Academy For Exceptional Young Ladies under Head Mistress Cordelia Fox (Sarah Paulson) and later joined by Cordelia’s mother, Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange).

Recap:

american-horror-story-coven-05Bitchcraft‘ opens in 1834 New Orleans.  The first nasty character we meet is Madame Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates).  Madame LaLaurie wanted to be younger because of her husbands transgressions with the younger women around town.  In order to do this, she used the Elizabeth Bathory method of putting blood all over herself.  To obtain the blood, she would lock slaves that misbehaved in a dank dungeon and torture them.  During a dinner party, one of the slaves was caught messing around with her youngest daughter, so Madame LaLaurie had him locked up with the others.  Once he was chained up, LaLaurie told him if he wanted to act like a beast, they would treat him like one.  They placed a bull’s head over his and made him a living Minotaur.  She realized when she was back in her room that she needed fresh blood, so she returned to the cellar and tortured her new Minotaur.

The first young witch we meet is a face that is familiar to ‘American Horror Story‘, Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga).  Zoe is unaware of her “gift” until she and her boyfriend have a very intimate moment and she accidentally kills him.  Her mother finds out what really happened, and american-horror-story-coven-08she tells Zoe about her less than awesome “gift”.  After their conversation, Zoe is pretty much kidnapped by some strange guys in black suits that whisk her away to Miss Robichaux’s Academy For Exceptional Young Ladies.

Once at the academy, Zoe meets her new “classmates” and fellow witches.  Each girl posses a different power, Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) a telekinetic, Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) a human voodoo doll, and another ‘American Horror Story‘ familiar face, Nan (Jamie Brewer) a clairvoyant.

-american-horror-sto31The lovely Jessica Lange makes her return, making this the third season she has made an appearance, as the bitchiest of the witches, Fiona Goode.  Fiona is an aging “supreme witch”, she has every power, and she is desperate, like Madame LaLaurie, to look younger.  She wants to try an experimental drug, but when the drug does not work, she uses her magic to aide her.  She sucks the youth from the young doctor that has been helping her. She decides to head to the academy to “help” her daughter teach the new crop of young witches.

Madison is a party girl, and she talks Zoe into attending a frat party with her.  At the party, yet another familiar face makes a return, Evan american-horror-story-coven-07Peters as frat boy Kyle Spencer.  Zoe catches Kyle‘s eye, much like Violet and Tate in season one, They talk and Zoe really takes a liking to Kyle.  Madison disappears and goes drinking with some of the other frat boys and ends up getting drunk, drugged and raped.  Kyle finds her and saves her, but his frat buddies run to their party bus and Zoe goes after them.  As the bus pulls off, Madison joins her and Madison flips the bus killing Kyle and 6 more of the frat boys.

Fiona decides to take the girls on a little “field trip” to help them learn a little about their heritage as witches.

american-horror-story-coven-04We then enter another flash back with Madame LaLaurie. What she did not know was that the man she had just killed was the lover of one of history’s most well known voodoo priestesses, Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett).  Marie pays Madame LaLaurie a visit offering her a “love potion” to help make her husband want only her, but the potion was really poison and Madame LaLaurie had paid the ultimate cost for love and beauty.

While on the field trip, Nan breaks free of the group and finds a tour of the Madame LaLaurie house.  The others catch up to find her, and when they do, she is channeling Madame LaLaurie.american-horror-story-coven-06

Once the little trip is over, Zoe goes to the hospital to see if Kyle survived, but he did not.  She sees that the one that did survive was the head of the guys that raped Madison, so she decides to use her odd “gift” and kill him.

At the end of ‘Bitchcraft‘, Fiona raises someone from the dead that may be able to help the girls, but does Fiona have a hidden agenda?

Review:

It is hard to believe that ‘American Horror Story‘ is on its third season already.  I must say that I like the direction they took with ‘Coven‘ making the show about witches and black magic.  I was not a huge fan of their previous season ‘Asylum‘, but ‘Coven‘ is showing some promise.

The casting for this season is great.  Who better to play some of histories scariest ladies than Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett?  I like that they are continuing to bring back people that had played in the previous seasons.  The premise of the show itself has the likelihood of becoming a bit confusing and adding a whole new cast would just add to things we’d have to catch up on.

I think ‘American Horror Story: Coven‘ has all the opportunity to become the best season yet.

 

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