This American Horror Story: Protect the Coven review is all about bad blood. This episode peels away layers. Showing what really drives Madame LaLaurie; how the innocuous beheading of a chicken revealed what motivates Delphine. This particular story is about more than the blood lust that drives LaLaurie to commit atrocities that revolt the most impartial of observers.
In this week’s witchly offering more things are revealed in this New Orlean’s coven its members; both voluntary and involuntary. Truths become apparent. Ghosts lie; Madison is not just mad, but madly murderous; the junior witches are all more powerful than previously thought and salvation can be found in Orlando, Florida.
With the previous episodes in season three dancing around the edge of death and destruction with only a mild taste of the gruesome, this latest installment gives glimpses of the past and a blood letting that would make Al Capone proud.
It there was ever any doubt that Delphine LaLaurie was not a nice person, it was dispelled when more of this racist creature’s backstory was revealed. The revelation that she began her fascination with blood and torture from experimenting on helpless animals could be straight from serial killer 101. The power of the writers of this macabre show shines in LaLaurie and her ability to make the viewer almost feel sorry for her character only to yank that particular rug out from under the audience with this show.
As mentioned before, however, this show is all about bad blood. The tainted blood that courses through Delphine’s veins and the bad blood that exists between the witch hunters and the witches; on top of the tensions between the members of the coven. As usual, there is a touch of black humor when dealing with LaLaurie and her servitude to the the witches.
Writers of the show can be forgiven, a little, for the implication that Delphine is feeding the witches Madison’s excrement a la the 2011 film The Help because the action is gloriously, blackly funny. A little humor was needed in the timeline of LaLaurie’s backstory otherwise it would have been too revolting to endure.
American Horror Story: Protect the Coven shows its audience all the bad blood between all the players in a review of each one in this latest season of the popular FX series. Of course black humor does run rampant throughout the show. Between Zoe’s incantation to find out what really happened to Nan, including a term that sounds suspiciously like “pastry box,” and the belief of Madame LaLaurie that Benadryl will render Marie Laveau mortal so she can kill the Voodoo queen; a strong vein of black comedy runs throughout the episode.
What is interesting about the tale’s summation of all the bad blood between various members of the coven, within and without, is the teaming of Fiona, The Supreme and Laveau, Voodoo queen. There has always been bad feelings and downright animosity between these two strong women. Their uneasy truce, which came out of the necessity of destroying the witch hunters, quickly turned murderous in their appeasement of Papa Legba.
Protect the Coven continues the American Horror Story tradition of firing on all cylinders. There are enough plots and subplots to keep the story cracking along at breakneck pace. As many questions as answers crop up in each episode. In last night’s installment, Misty has not been found and, after all this is a dark tale, so she may never be.
In another interesting development, Queenie appears to be invincible to the witch-killing silver bullets, but not invincible to becoming someone with an even worse attitude than before her “near death.” With all the novice witches in the coven becoming more powerful with each passing episode it is beginning to look like they may all be upcoming Supremes.
A short pause to pay tribute to what has got to be the most cringeworthy, and “gag-worthy,” moment in this season; Cordelia’s Oedipal moment. Fiona’s daughter willfully blinds herself with a set of garden secateurs, short bladed shears, with little gore and a lot of screaming. Goosebumps and revulsion compete to be the most violent reaction to this scene.
The episode ends on a questioning note. Focussing on the bad blood between Delphine and Laveau, along with the butler’s lie and how LaLaurie will deal with that, the audience is left wondering just what will happen to the Voodoo priestess and her inert body.
This American Horror Story: Protect the Coven review was all about bad blood. The tensions, hates, and feuds continue with no real end in sight. While the witch hunters have been vanquished, there is still the feeling of waiting for that other shoe to drop.
By Michael Smith