‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Breakdown: ‘Burn, Witch. Burn!”

AHSC - Burn Witch Burn

(SPOILERS AHEAD, so witch your step, Coven fans!)

Season Three, Episode Five: “Burn, Witch. Burn!”

Written by: Jessica Sharzer; Directed by: Jeremy Podeswa

The Halloween horrors are extended into this week’s episode. Fiona’s control of the Coven is tested once again, and it seems she’s still a threat to all who defy her. And I think we get our answer for who the new Supreme will be.

Quick Breakdown

This week’s horrific opener is back in 1833 on All Hallow’s Eve. LaLaurie is having a grand party when a young suitor comes to court one her daughters. She takes him to her Chamber of Horrors to test his constitution, and after he sticks his hand in a bowl of slave eyeballs and intestines, he flees. The sisters gather together to plot against their mother, who won’t allow them to date. LaLaurie hears and has her slaves ties them up in her attic where she tortures them.

In the present, her daughters are now leading the zombie pack outside the manor. Zoe goes into leader mode and tries to hide their presence within the house. Luke thinks the zombies are just prankster kids and goes out to shoo them away. Laveau awakens them, and they attack Luke. Nan runs out to save him, but the best she can do is trap them within a parked car. Zoe ushers the others upstairs before going out to save Nan and Luke.

She goes into chainsaw massacre mode to hack up the zombie horde — but the chainsaw runs out of juice just as a final zombie comes bearing down on her. Through seeming instinct, Zoe sticks up her hand and chants something. The zombie collapses as does Laveau, having been repelled. Laveau is impressed with whatever power stopped her. Does this mean Zoe is the new Supreme?

In the house, LaLaurie confronts one of her zombie daughters. She begs for forgiveness. Being underground for 200 years, she hasn’t seen any zombie movies and doesn’t realize that she’s speaking to a brain-dead corpse. After attacking LaLaurie, she bludgeons Spalding with a candlestick before attacking Queenie. Her voodoo powers are useless here, but LaLaurie shows up in time to stake her daughter.

Fiona rushes Cordelia to the hospital, where she learns that Cordelia has been blinded by the sulfuric acid attack. As Fiona mourns, she takes a delusional walk around the hospital. She pilfers pills from the hospital’s medicine closet and revives a stillborn baby. Hank shows up and fights with Fiona. When he grabs his wife’s hand, she awakes with remembrances of her relationship with him. Maybe she’s able to see through touch?

Fiona comes back and helps the girls burn the pile of zombie bodies. Before that fire is out, the Council returns with new accusations against Fiona. They charge her with neglect and attempt to force her abdication of the Supremacy. Fiona laughs in their faces and tells them this is all a result of Myrtle’s plotting against her.

Turns out, Myrtle has been holed up in New Orleans under the alias Jennifer Wooley (from the film I Married a Witch, Quentin is happy to point out) at a motel where she has a shrine of Fiona photos marked up in red a la Emily Thorne. Fiona then removes Myrtle’s glove to reveal that she has burn marks to match Cordelia’s face. The other Council members are shocked and sentence Myrtle to be burned at the stake.

Before being set on fire, Myrtle warns everyone that they are frogs in Fiona’s pot. She is slowly turning up the heat, and they won’t realize it until it’s too late. “I’d rather burn than boil!”, she screams defiantly before going up in flames.

Back home, Fiona smokes a victory cigarette as Queenie stops by for council. Apparently she helped frame Myrtle by using her voodoo powers to burn her hand. She’s feeling guilty, not realizing the consequences she brought on Myrtle. Fiona masterfully soothes her by whispering thoughts of Supremacy in her ear.

Misty pops up at the end, visiting Myrtle’s crisply burnt body. She does her thing and awakens Myrtle.



The zombie attack that takes up much of the beginning of the episode is drawn out. It seems like LaLaurie is on some redemptive story arc, but I’m not sure I want that for her (She was a pretty horrible person). Once Fiona takes over the story, however, it improves significantly. Her manipulations of everyone and every moment show some frightening forethought. But her little delusional episode in the hospital might allude to a deterioration of her mind. How long can she remain in control?

Now for some random thoughts and my favorite moments of the night…

An almost comedic moment occurs when a nurse interrupts Hank and Fiona as they scream at each other over Cordelia. She rebukes them, saying one of them has to leave.

“I like a witch who knows how to fight.” – Fiona to Zoe

Zoe’s outfit to the witch burning was flawless.

“I thought we were going to oust her not roast her.” – Queenie to Fiona, feeling guilty about Myrtle’s death

There’s a quick scene with Spalding playing dress up with Madison’s corpse. It has decayed to the point that he accidentally rips her arm off. This scene screams “Don’t forget about Madison!”

With Madison dead, Franken-Kyle MIA, and a crispy Myrtle, you have to wonder why they get to be series regulars but Queenie and Nan are mere guest stars.

Frances Conroy has been busy this week between clashing with Robin on HIMYM and burning at the stake on Coven.

Related Content

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide