American Horror Story: Coven: “Bitchcraft” (S3Ep1)

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Because I love this show so much after last season and there has been so much hype during the year-long break, I decided I was going to use my first watching of this episode just to react to it. I decided to write this post as a reaction and more than a recap because I don’t know if I am going to watch it again.

Before I started watching it, my sister had told me the opening and theme song was so scary she couldn’t watch anymore. So, I was going into this episode expecting to be terrified. And for the first 15 minutes, I really was.

Madame LaLaurie, played by new cast member Kathy Bates, rubbing blood on her face in the 1700s: terrifying. Her attic filled with torture, maimed slaves, both dead and alive: terrifying.  A man getting a cow head put over his face as Madame LaLaurie and her husband get hot: terrifying and fucked up. The new title sequence: the most terrifying.  Zoe, played by returner from season one Taissa Flamiga, killing her boyfriend by having sex with him: wait, isn’t this just a bloodier version of how Rogue killed her boyfriend in the first X-Men movie?

From that point forward, the episode stopped being terrifying. Creepy and fucked up, yes. Was I uncomfortable? Yes, watching a former Nickelodeon star get date raped can do that. Was I scared? No, not really.

Especially not, when shortly after Zoe had killer sex with her boyfriend, guys march in like the Men in Black followed by returner Francis Conroy dressed like a crazy old lady with rooster red hair. Ryan Murphy, is this a joke? That is how you are utilizing, Francis Conroy? They take Zoe off to a boarding school for witches in New Orleans, which is where all the witches fled to after the Salem Witch trials.

From all the promo I was assuming Fiona, played by returner superstar Jessica Lange, would be the leader of the boarding school/evil Xavier’s School of Gifted Youngsters/evil Hogwarts. But it turned out to be her timid, soft-spoken chemist daughter Cordelia, played by returner Sarah Paulson.

Fiona is the superior, who is the most powerful of all the witches. She has all the powers while everyone else has only one. But, she is a bitchy, alcoholic, drug addict who is obsessed with trying to get young again. She also completely takes over the boarding house by the end of the episode.

Zoe gets attached to Madison Montgomery, played by new comer Emma Roberts, who is a B-list actress with angry issues, who can move things with her mind. They sneak out and go to a frat party. Zoe then meets Kyle, played by returner Evan Peters, through an ice sculpture in a weird shootout to the 1996 Romeo and Juliet fish tank scene.

Kyle is the head of a rival frat of assholes, but he actually is a good guy. Meanwhile, the rest of his frat is upstairs date raping Madison. Kyle breaks its up and the frat flees on their party bus. But, Madison can make things move with her mind and flips the bus and it explodes. All but two of the boys died, Kyle wasn’t one of them. But the leaders of the rapists was, so Zoe has killer sex with him.

Back in the late 1700s, LaLaurie is also trying to get young again and a voodoo expert named Marie Leveau, played by newcomer Angela Bassett, finds her and helps her. But then she kills her because the cow head guy was her boyfriend. But, she ends up not being dead only made immortal and buried in the back yard. Fiona is able to find her with the help of mind-reading witch-student Nan, played by returned from season one Jamie Brewer.

It was a good episode, but after the first 15 minutes not really scary. It was creepy, but not really as much as the first episode of last season. It did set up a lot of things rather well. Zoe, who did voice overs that are first for the show, said no real witches were killed in Salem because the real ones were smart enough to hide.  Cordelia is on that side and Fiona is on a more take-what-is-yours-with-fire-and-blood kind of side.

I don’t think Kyle is actually dead because Evan Peters is a cast member. Lily Rabe was also killed in the episode. She is playing a hippie witch named MIsty in the 1960s, I think. But Fiona did see on TV that she went missing recently and Cordelia said she was burned at the stake in Baton Rouge last month. Misty has the power of resurrection, which I’m assuming she can also use on herself? And possibly Kyle? Also Gabourey Sidibe is a human voodoo doll with-student named Queenie and Denis O’Hare is the possibly mute housemaid named Spalding.

I’m not as impressed by it as I thought I would be, but I’m still interested to see what happens next week.

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