(SPOILERS AHEAD, so witch your step, Coven fans!)
Season Three, Episode 10: “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks”
Written by: James Wong; Directed by: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
American Horror Story is back from Christmas break! With four episodes left this season, Ryan Murphy will be going full-fledged into zany storytelling as we try to find America’s Next Supreme. This week, Murphy draws from Cloud Atlas and Stevie Nicks lore to inspire his coven.
We pick up where we left off, with Laveau seeking shelter at Chez Robichaux. She says some heartfelt words to Fiona, but how much do we trust her? (She could be trying to destroy them from the inside, right?) When Fiona leaves her to rest, a haunting figure emerges. An unrecognizable Lance Reddick appears as a voodoo-ized Old Georgie (the demonic Hugo Weaving character in Cloud Atlas) seeking his annual offering. Laveau rises out of bed and steals a baby from the hospital.
In the morning, Laveau comes clean about hiring Hank to murder the coven. Fiona slaps Cordelia for being so stupid as to marry a witch hunter. (I guess all the pride she earned from trying to murder Fiona has faded.) Laveau and Fiona decide to team up to take down these witch hunters — but first, there’s a visitor at the door.
Fiona pops into Misty’s room, acting strangely cheerful. Misty isn’t buying it, though; she knows Fiona just wants to kill her because someone said she could be the next Supreme. Fiona says that’s all poppycock and that she actually has a surprise for her favorite witch. Apparently, her white witch friend has stopped by for a visit. No, it’s not Tilda Swinton; it’s Misty’s idol Stevie Nicks (How exactly she’s such a gal pal with Fiona is left unexplained).
With Stevie in the house, the only thing she could do is sing. She performs “Rhiannon” while Misty prances about the living room. The girls — Madison, Zoe, Nan — return to the house and Madison is not amused with Fiona’s latest ploy. She’s instantly jealous of Misty and begins her own plotting. Before Stevie leaves, she gives her shawl to Misty. (Does she even know that they’re all witches? Is she really a “white witch?” What does that even mean?)
Nan and Zoe stroll into the hospital to visit Luke, but he has died. His body has been removed before Nan can get some closure, so the girls run over to the Ramsey house to find the body (and resurrect it). With some quick mind-reading interrogation, Nan learns that Joan has cremated her son (Not even Misty day could bring a pile of ashes back to life…right?). Nan becomes infuriated, seeing in Joan’s mind that she smothered her son with a pillow. She punishes Joan with a little mind control, forcing her to take a little bleach cleanse. Zoe looks on, horrified, paralyzed by Nan’s growing power.
Strolling along on a funeral march, Madison and Misty enjoy some grim girl time. Madison warns Misty that all these gifts she’s getting are down payments on favors from the future Supreme. Misty calls her cynical and jealous. Madison then reveals that she is a viable Supreme candidate, now that she’s been resurrected without a heart murmur. (Does that make her a viable candidate? Is being the Supreme not a preordained disposition?) She shows off her power by reviving the dead man in the casket, about to be buried. She then tells Misty to shed that awful shawl Stevie gave her and embrace her own identity as Misty Day. She hesitates, and Madison knocks her out with a brick. Misty’s body falls perfectly into the open, empty casket. Madison snags the shawl and closes the casket. She then orders the bewitched men to seal up the casket in its tomb.
Cordelia discovers the witch hunter hive. Hank’s father runs Delphi Trust, a suspicious corporation that they immediately surmise is the witch hunter control center. Fiona mocks Cordelia for not knowing that Hank had living family members (Apparently she never googled her own husband). Fiona and Laveau get to work on a nice spell to take down the hunters. Using a rat maze, a mousetrap, and wads of $100 bills, they curse Delphi Trust. As the SEC invades, Hank’s father quickly realizes the witches are to blame (I suppose he’ll be invading Robichaux’s next week).
After getting kicked out of the room during the Delphi Trust curse, Cordelia’s inadequacy issues grow exponentially. She feels like a useless witch, unsure of her place in the world. Myrtle tries to cheer up with eerie, soothing music and career advice. But Cordelia just throws vases on the ground instead.
In the midst of casting the spell, Fiona has a spill. Laveau takes her turn nursing Fiona. She asks Laveau how she can obtain the immortality that Laveau and LaLaurie have. Laveau reveals the truth about the voodoo man who visited her: His name is Papa Legba, and he’s a powerful demonic force who gave Laveau eternal life in exchange for her child’s life. Now, every year, he requests an innocent soul as payment. Lavaeu regrets selling her soul to him, and advises Fiona not to make the same mistake.
Fiona, of course, wants immortality more than anything, and summons the demon. He tells her she’ll have to kill someone she loves and give him her soul in order to obtain immortality. But when he makes out with her to steal her soul, he discovers she doesn’t have one. The deal is off, and he vanishes. Left with the realization that she is soulless, Fiona vows to just murder off all the girls vying for the Supremacy.
Nan, glowing in the death of Joan Ramsey, hears a baby’s cries. She finds a child locked in Laveau’s wardrobe and tries to shield the baby from Laveau’s murderous attempts. Fiona steps in, seeing an opportunity to exert her soullessness. She tells Laveau they could murder Nan for her (mostly) innocent soul and save the baby’s life. After a quick drowning, Papa Legba appears and the witches beg him to accept Nan’s tainted soul as his annual offering. He calls the two of them “big trouble” but takes Nan under his wing. She accepts her fate, and seems to make the most of an afterlife with Papa Legba.
The episode ends with a tagged on performance by Stevie Nicks (She had to appear again). She’s just hanging out with Fiona, serenading her with “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You.” While Fiona may not be able to answer that question in the affirmative, Jessica Lange certainly can — she’s playing that character right now.
The addition of Stevie Nicks was delightful if squeezed into the episode, and Lance Reddick’s guest appearance provided some humanity for Laveau, a character that deserves it much more than LaLaurie. She and Fiona make a wonderful pair. Madison is proving herself to be as soulless as Fiona, and I can’t wait for their inevitable showdown. And I can’t wait to see who the Supreme will turn out to be. I don’t even want to guess; I just want Murphy to surprise me as much as possible.
Now for some random thoughts and my favorite moments of the night…
For those wondering about Queenie’s fate, the girls have a couple throwaway lines to establish that her demise is unconfirmed. I expect her to pop up soon (undead or alive).
After Misty faints upon seeing Stevie Nicks in the living room, Fiona says: “You owe me five bucks. I told you she was gonna do that.”
“I’m a huge Eminem fan. When’s he get here?” – Madison to Fiona
“It was clearly my destiny to die and be reborn just like our Lord and Savior.” – Madison
“Players only love you when they’re playing.” – Madison throwing
some Fleetwood Mac lyrics in Misty’s face