AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN Recap: The Axeman Cometh
By Matt Cohen on November 14, 2013
I guess the big question going into this week’s episode is if there’s any way it could live up to the absurd awesomeness that was last week’s show! Let’s jump right into it, my witchy and warlocky friends, with another edition of the American Horror Story recap!
Episode 6: The Axeman Cometh
Part One: Stab Happy
We start things off in “Nawlins” of old (1919), with a shadowy figure and an ominous narration. This mystery man with a briefcase (who is giving me shades of Jack The Ripper) is the titular “Axeman,” which I hope means that he will hit someone in the face with an axe, and it’s not like this show hasn’t done that before. Through a montage of his confession, we learn that the Axeman is a prolific serial killer. We are then taken into 1919 Hogwitches to see a group of witchy gals we have yet to meet, reading the killer’s written confession and warning in the newspaper. The Axeman claims that any house playing jazz music will be spared his murderous rage; this dude LOVES jazz! One of the ladies gives a rousing and empowering “we’re witches and we should do witch stuff” speech that sets the tone for what seems to be a fun episode. We see the Axeman (working as a bartender) being asked to escort a beautiful woman home; he obliges, with suitcase in hand. It’s Axe time! Maybe I was a bit premature with the whole “Axe time” thing, as the home he is led to is none other than Hogwitches. Axeman climbs the steps to get to “Axin'”, but is met with a no-nonsense looking witch in a circle of candles, using tarot cards. After a fairly ominous “I’m a bad guy” speech, the Axeman is stabbed like A MILLION TIMES by SO MANY witches that appear out of the shadows. THIS SHOW!!! AND THAT WAS ALL PRE-CREDITS!!!
Part Two: In-Treatment
Back in modern day Hogwitches, Zoe unpacks a box of personal belongings but is led mysteriously to an open closet, in the back of which is a crawlspace. Zoe enters, ’cause she’s badass. Inside the hiding spot, Zoe finds photos from the 1919 witches and a vintage period ouija board. The current Coven (sans Fiona and her daughter) discuss the seemingly dwindling numbers of witches over the years. Zoe is like, “Hey, remember our friend who died? Let’s not let that happen again,” and Queenie is like, “Step off Zoe. I’m good.” Witch tension! The girls all do a shot of booze and decide it’d be a great idea to contact Madison through the Ouija board, which can only NOT be a good idea. The ladies manage to get some movement out of the board, and manage to contact a spirit who was murdered in Hogwitches. Could it be Madison? Nope… it’s the Axeman, hence the clever title. We cut to a hospital, where Fiona is hearing voices and being very Fiona like, and when I say hearing voices, I mean reading minds, which concerns Fiona, as she’d never had that power before. A doctor comes to talk to her and tell her to sit down and finish her “treatment,” and Fiona snaps at him but ultimately obliges with tears in her eyes. Fiona has cancer, and is being treated for it, “aggressively,” in the doctor’s word. Back at Hogwitches, the girls are researching their new buddy the Axeman, and discover that he had killed 8 women and was never caught… and we know why. Nan realizes that the Axeman thinks the current day coven is the same that murdered him so long ago, to which the girls are like, “Uh, oh.” Zoe wants to contact his spirit to look for Madison, and the other witches aren’t as keen. Seance part two, and Zoe tries to contact the dead serial killer to find her dead friend. Zoe is led to the attic, where she discovers Spalding’s creepy dollhouse of horror, and Madison’s rotting corpse. At the same time, Spalding discovers Zoe. Uh, oh, indeed.
Part 3: Creepshow
Fiona is reunited with her now blind and disfigured daughter Cordelia, who is “down,” to say the least. Oh and Murder-Husband is here, and every time Cordelia touches him, she gets a flash vision of his adulterous ways. Cordelia demands to know who the “redhead” is, and Murder-Husband denies, denies, denies. Cordelia reads him the riot act, and telekinetically shows him the door. Fiona embraces her daughter, and Cordelia gets flashes of the Myrtle Burning of last episode. Okay, she can see stuff in her mind. We get it. Cordelia is bummed about the burning, and Fiona tries to defend her actions; Then, she decides her daughter might need some “space.” Back in the attic, the young coven has Spalding tied up and tries to get a telekinetic (thanks Nan) confession out of the butler for the death of Madison. When he doesn’t feel like “talking” (get it? He’s mute!), Zoe encourages him with a scalding hot spatula. Spalding takes the blame for Madison’s death (cause he’s SOOOOO in love with Fiona), and creepily confesses to the gals. Queenie voodoo-dolls her face with the spatula and Spalding goes down. Zoe isn’t so sure of the confession, and has her thoughts as to the real killer of Madison. We cut to a bayou garden, where the loopy Misty is slowing “gardening” Myrtle back to life, which is weird and awesome at the same time. She is interrupted by FrankenEvanPeters, who apparently still can’t talk. Misty bathes the walking zombie (to the tune of Fleetwood Mac, of course), when he gets a flash of his now dead mother, and freaks the hell out, trashing Misty’s cabin before Zoe pops in to enlist their help.
Part 4: Murder-Husband
Murder-Husband and Marie Laveau are apparently good pals, as he arrives at her place declaring that “they have a problem”. Back at the Hogwitches botany lab, Zoe is reunited with her monster boyfriend and creepy Misty; she asks for Misty’s help to bring Madison back to life, which will be tough, as she’s sans body parts. Misty is hesitant at first, but agrees and begins the process of “mudding” Madison to health, but finds difficulty because the girl is “too dead”. After a hard-fought effort, Madison breathes her first breathe in a minute and we learn that this show really has no consequences as long as Misty is around. Madison is back, and rotting, and pissed. Back at Marie’s, Murder-Husband fights with the voodoo queen, where it’s revealed that Murder-Husband is an undercover professional witch hunter, tasked to destroy ALL the Salem descendants. We see a flash back of Alexandra Breckenridge’s character almsot attending the coven, explaining Murder-Husband’s murder of her (we also get to see her burn her ex-fiance to death, which is cool, too). Marie is pissed, and demands the head of every witch in the coven, and that Hogwitches be burnt to the ground. Boom. And we’re off.
Back at the school, Zoe explains to the girls why they need to keep Madison’s revival a secret from Fiona. Misty decides to leave rather than stay the night due to “bad vibes” (hippie). Cordelia meanwhile blindly heads to bed, where Axeman is somehow sitting at the foot of it! Madison continues to fight back to life with the help of her friends (kind of). Cordelia is obviously bothered by the murderous stranger in her room, who goes into “murderous ghost stranger evil monologue” mode. Axeman pulls out an axe, Cordelia screams, and the young coven rushes to her aid, and gets mad at Zoe for releasing the Axeman’s spirit in the first place. Cordelia and the Axeman tussle as the girls look for a spell to get rid of the bad ghost man. Zoe reads a spell from a book and weird witch stuff starts happening, and Axeman goes bye bye. The episode ends with Fiona drinking at a bar, when she’s chatted up by a handsome stranger… who happens to be the Axeman.
Not the strongest episode of the season, but enough fun and crazy stuff to keep me thoroughly entertained and excited for the next installment. This show rocks.