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

american horror story: coven

It also helps that Delia revealed that Madison was most definitely not the next Supreme due to a heart condition she suffered from. Apparently Supremes are supposed to be in top shape, so Madison was never a candidate. It’s a nice twist, but it would have been helpful if the actual Supreme had been pointed out by the end of the night. Fiona seems extra desperate to figure out who the next Supreme is, but her intentions aren’t entirely clear. The council has made it clear that they suspect her, not only in Madison’s death but also in that of the previous Supreme.

Frances Conroy makes a splendid return as Myrtle, a council member and former classmate of Fiona’s who wants to see her burned at the stake. As if that weren’t exciting enough, Conroy’s counterpart Alexandra Breckenridge makes a guest appearance at long last, but only long enough to show up, be good looking and then die.

In a sign of relapse, American Horror Story: Coven adds another subplot to the mix as we discover that Delia’s husband is a serial killer who meets girls online in different cities before killing them. Props to him for finally becoming interesting, but I’m not looking forward to anymore surprise plotlines weighing down the mostly excellent season.

Poor Delia isn’t getting away from this war unscathed. Not only was she denied a fertility spell from the voodoo clan, but she gets a face full of acid in a bar bathroom. It seems like she gets the brunt of the bad luck, while Fiona commits two murders and hardly gets a slap on the wrist.

I mentioned Spalding earlier, and he gets a surprising amount of camera time for Halloween, and for good reason. The silent butler is mostly out of the way, but there’s something perversely intimate about watching him set up a tea party for himself and a table full of dolls. It’s kind of endearing until the camera pans to the corner, showing Madison’s dolled up corpse waiting to join. We’re also treated to his final words, which are the confession that he loves Fiona dearly, which explains why he’s so willing to ignore all the murders. It’s a sweet little aside that worked wonders for characterizing Spalding as something other than a mute prop.

I’ve already said it in past reviews, but American Horror Story: Coven could easily be the best season yet if it keeps the momentum going and absurd stories at a minimum. I’m already dying to watch next week’s episode, especially now that the war between clans is heating up. If this first half of the two-part episode is meant to tease, then it does so wonderfully.