American Horror Story: Coven Review: “Fearful Pranks Ensue” (Season 3, Episode 4)


American Horror Story: Coven Review: "Fearful Pranks Ensue" (Season 3, Episode 4)

Ever since the first season, the Halloween episodes of American Horror Story have consistently been among the best of the bunch. Even though there were a bit too many cliffhangers leaving me wanting more, American Horror Story: Coven matches previous seasons’ level of crazy, perhaps even exceeding it.

On this week’s episode, Fiona finds herself in the spotlight once again after Madison’s disappearance draws the attention of her schoolmates and a council of VIP witches. The council’s investigation, while interesting, felt awkwardly placed in between scenes that seemed to hint that a full-on war between the witches and the voodoo clan was about to spark. It’s hard to follow a scene involving a decapitated minotaur with something just as exciting, and council meetings definitely don’t add up.

The upside to the council’s appearance is that we got to see more of Fiona’s past immediately after she murdered the previous Supreme, which lead to a few classic American Horror Story style scenes. Ever wonder why Spalding was so reserved? Watching him cut his tongue out so he couldn’t testify against the love of his love is a powerful enough answer. As much as the time jumps used to get on my nerve, this season has managed to make them feel necessary and coherent, like they belong for more than short bursts of vintage costuming.

Speaking of time jumps, the opener found Laveau summoning an army of zombies to mutilate a group of racists responsible for lynching a friend’s son. Not content to take a decapitation lying down, she pulls the same stunt, sending her horde to the school this time. It was a fantastic way to end the episode, and the promise of a two-part Halloween night saga is too generous.

Zoe hasn’t been the focus since the premiere, and her role this week was even smaller, as was Kyle’s. After attempting to poison him and send him back to the dead, Kyle escapes into the night, and then is promptly never mentioned again. Seriously, is nobody worried that Frankenstein is loose on this particular night? It gives Zoe something to do, but chances are she won’t be going too far what with those pesky zombies blocking all of the exits.

On the sidelines, Queenie is recovering from her encounter with the minotaur and providing a constant flow of comedic relief in a show that’s not exactly lacking humor. Nan has somehow managed to win the affections of the hunky neighbor boy, but that hasn’t been elaborated on yet. Maybe she’s the next Supreme? It’s said that they can attract anybody they want to, so it’s possible.

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