American Horror Story: Coven Review: “Head” (Season 3, Episode 9)


I don’t really have anything clever to say anymore when American Horror Story: Coven has a good episode. While Head wasn’t a revelation or an exercise in perfection, it was another well-done episode full of twists, turns, great performances and the occasional flat moment. Like I said, it wasn’t perfect.

The episode starts with a fantastic scene involving Hank and his father hunting witches. It’s short, sweet and definitely builds a nice sense of character for Hank that’s been missing this far into the season. Watching Hank as a child hesitate to kill a witch and his father’s willingness to take some heat for him adds a new dimension to the amateur witch hunter, even if it is too much too late seeing how Hank ends up a corpse in the end.

It only took nine episodes to introduce the witch-hunting brotherhood known as the Delphi Trust, run by Hank’s father and apparently powerful enough to murder numerous people around the world without drawing attention to themselves. They’re also able to blind Cordelia as a warning. Although Hank only has two scenes with his father, both of them are highlights of the episode, especially once it becomes clear how the dynamic has changed in the years between them. For only just now entering the scene, Hank’s dad has made an impressive debut.

This week, Myrtle takes center stage at the academy, finally taking some sweet revenge on the obnoxious council she used to work with. She also took a few eyeballs in one of the more disgusting scenes of the season. Honestly, it feels good to be grossed out by American Horror Story again. The more subdued nature of this season (yeah, really) hasn’t made room for the usual amount of grotesque images, but it’s never too late to start. Just like Ferris Bueller, Myrtle took their eyes and donated them to a more worthy candidate: Cordelia.

I’m glad Cordelia can see again, but her ability to see everybody’s secrets was way more interesting and useful, so I doubt that this will turn out for the best. However, this little twist did manage to elaborate on Myrtle’s maternal attitude towards Cordlia, which will hopefully end in a jealousy-fueled duel between Fiona and Myrtle. You can’t say that wouldn’t be a genuinely surprising ending to the season.

Fiona’s sole contribution to the episode is her discovery of Kyle, which apparently leads to her being able to rehabilitate in one shot. Not that this is a bad thing, because Kyle’s story was becoming a bit stagnant, but his jump from killing dogs to playing civilized and boring card games was a bit sudden. Hopefully the show actually has something planned for him other than standing around being handsome.