‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Breakdown: ‘Go to Hell’

AHSC Go to Hell

SPOILERS AHEAD, so witch your step, Coven fans!

Season Three, Episode 12: “Go to Hell”

Written by: Jessica Sharzer; Directed by: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

This week on Coven, loose story ends get tied up (through death, obviously) as the season readies itself for the finale next week. Next week’s episode is called “The Seven Wonders,” so we know to temper our expectations for any Supreme reveals this week; but we do end the episode with the final contestants who’ll be battling it out for America’s Next Supreme.

Quick Breakdown

The episode starts with a silent film depicting the Seven Wonders that a witch must perform to become the next Supreme. The trials are telekinesis; concilium (control of the mind); transmutation; divination; vitalum vitalis (balance of the scales in life); descensum (descent into the nether worlds of the afterlife); and pyrokinesis. So far, the witches have each performed one or more of these Wonders, and tonight they’ll perform even more as they try to prove to themselves that they are the next Supreme.

Cordelia has been playing with Misty’s leftover things, trying to channel her second sight to find where she is. But her sight is lacking, so she seeks out Madison who helped her tap into her powers last time. When she finally convinces Madison to let her touch her (despite Madison’s fear that she’ll learn what she did to Misty), Cordelia is still unable to see anything. It seems going Oedipal on her eyes didn’t really help.

Queenie is determined to find Laveau since she’s the only fellow black witch and she’s gone missing. Using the grimoire, Queenie tries to get in touch with Papa Legba. She awakes in Chubbie’s, the fried chicken restaurant where she used to work. She hasn’t returned for real, instead this is her own personal hell that’s she’s descended into. Papa Legba visits her, saying he’ll give her some answers if she can escape.

She does manage to escape, and Papa Legba tells her that LaLaurie chopped up Laveau into 50-odd pieces, burying them around the city. Queenie wants his help to finally destroy LaLaurie, but her immortality is tied to Laveau’s. With some legal maneuvering, she proves that Laveau can no longer uphold her deal to Papa Legba because she’s in pieces, and thus her immortality should be revoked, thus making LaLaurie vulnerable. Papa Legba laughs, impressed, and grants her wish.

Having destroyed her nemesis, LaLaurie is now giving tours at her home (and she’s wearing modern clothes!). She uses the tours to clean up her image. Queenie shows up, asking LaLaurie to follow the path of repentance to redemption. LaLaurie delivers a little monologue about how repentance nowadays is so superficial it’s laughable (“I won’t profess to be sorry because I’m not”). And with that she has failed Queenie’s test. Queenie grabs a nearby knife and stabs LaLaurie in the heart — she bleeds out, surprised that her immortality has come to such an abrupt end.

As Fiona gets her portrait painted for the Wall of Supremes, she has a sudden realization that she has about two weeks left to live, before the cancer finally kills her. She sits in her room going through heirlooms when Cordelia walks in. Fiona gives her a surprising pep talk, saying that it was stupid of her to gouge her eyes when her powers were within her all along (maybe she should have clicked her heels three times instead?). She gives Cordelia a black necklace that belonged to her mother, and when she puts it on, Cordelia has a dark and startling vision.

A darkened manor is spattered with blood. Madison’s head is impaled on the second floor landing, her blood dripping onto the first floor the only sound. Zoe is impaled on a stake up on the wall. Misty is dead on the piano. Queenie has a stake in the head. And poor Cordelia looks like she was shot at point blank. Looming over her body is Fiona, who snatches the necklace back off her daughter. (For some reason Myrtle is not there; I assume because she could never be the next Supreme.)

Cordelia awakes from the vision back in her mother’s bedroom. She calmly asks for the matching ring for the necklace. A plan is born in her mind, however, and she goes to the Axeman. She warns him about Fiona’s plan, mocking him for falling in love with her heartless (and soulless!) mother. He’s apprehensive about her warnings.

With her confidence back, Cordelia grabs Misty’s things again, calling out for her. She pricks herself with Misty’s earring and locates her in the cemetery. Being blind, she brings along Queenie for the labor portion (“When the rest of the world sees a wall, we see a window”). She coaches Queenie, convincing her to bust open the tomb. With a little concentration she brings the coffin right out of the wall. But Misty isn’t breathing, so Queenie uses a little vitalum vitalis (the witch’s equivalent of CPR apparently).

At the manor, Madison is complaining to Myrtle about the place being so empty. In storms Zoe, with Franken-Kyle behind her. Myrtle berates her for returning from their lovefest, but Zoe says they don’t belong in the real world — her place is here as the Supreme (She performed a little vitalum vitalis on a homeless man that Kyle killed). Madison doesn’t have enough time to craft a snarky remark before Misty storms in.

She attacks Madison, and they have a little catfight. The withes let them pummel each other for awhile until Kyle finally breaks them up. Before they take another breath, the Axeman comes charging at them out of nowhere, ax raised in the air. The witches all hold their palms up at him and sing “Stop! In the Name of Love.” Well, they don’t really sing, but with their powers in sync they send him flying across the room into the staircase. Myrtle asks about the trail of blood left in his wake, and Cordelia investigates with her second sight — it’s Fiona’s.

Fiona came to visit the Axeman as Cordelia told him she would. He rifles through her purse and finds her single plane ticket. They argue, but Fiona tells him he was just a little distraction as she was dying from cancer, nothing more. When her back is turned, he lands his ax right into her, continuing to hack away at her until she’s fully dead. Cordelia relates that he then chopped her up and fed her to the alligators (just as Sean and Christian did in Nip/Tuck). As vengeance for Fiona’s death (even though they themselves were plotting it), the women go Julius Caesar on him, each of them taking turns to stab him to death.

Suddenly, a flashback: Laveau has locked LaLaurie up in her attic torture chamber, a few feet away from one of LaLaurie’s daughters. The daughter cries out for water, and Laveau feeds her LaLaurie’s blood. She grabs a hot poker, ready to stab it into the daughter as LaLaurie watches. Suddenly Laveau snaps out of her angry reverie, wondering what is going on, not wanting to harm the innocent daughter of her nemesis. This isn’t a flashback. Papa Legba appears, revealing to the both of them that they are now trapped in this personal hell he’s devised for them, since their immortality has been taken away. “Eventually, everybody pays. Everybody suffers.”

The coven gathers around Fiona’s newly hung portrait. Cordelia gives a mini-eulogy, deriding Fiona for not doing her job properly, appointing a new Supreme before her passing. So, Cordelia says that everyone will be performing the Seven Wonders: “By next week, we will have a new Supreme.”



With all the villains culled from the coven, it’s time for the witches to prove themselves to each other. Assuming they don’t go all Hunger Games on each other next week, most of them should be ready to thrive under the next Supreme’s reign (once they deal with their hurt pride). But as a season finale, Ryan Murphy could easily kill off any and everyone. That’s what makes this show so much fun.

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

“Respect is something that is definitely lacking round here.” – Fiona

“A man shouldn’t be disturbed when playing with his instrument.” – The Axeman to Cordelia when she barges in on him wailing on his sax.

“I wouldn’t sniff around unless you’re looking for a bout of delirium.” –Myrtle to Madison before she smells a bouquet of nightshade.

“What is the world coming to when the Supreme’s daughter has to outsource her own killings.” – Fiona to the Axeman when he tells her he assumed Cordelia visited him to convince him to take care of Fiona.

When they debate killing the Axeman, Madison says it’s justified because “he’s a psycho mass murderer.” Myrtle retorts, “Is there anyone here of whom that cannot be said?”

Let’s place bets on who’ll be America’s Next Supreme. I’m placing the odds on Zoe.

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