American Horror Story: Coven Review: “The Replacements” (Season 3, Episode 3)

american horror story: coven

For as much as I have to understand about the world of American Horror Story: Coven, I’m hoping that more background on the Supremes gets integrated at some point. Do they work like Highlanders, or is it possible for there to be more than one Supreme per generation? Have Supremes latched onto their power before and refused to give up their reign? And do they all have to be arrogant and hostile to keep their powers?

I’m not complaining about Fiona’s role as the Supreme, because she’s an intelligent, cunning predator who I can’t wait to watch for the rest of the season. But I was left with quite a few questions once the requisite AHS surprise murder was thrown out and took me completely off guard. I always thought that everyone was hinting at the fact that Zoe was the next Supreme, but all along it was Madison, the snobby pop-culture queen.

Just as I was starting to wrap my head around that revelation and enjoy the master/grasshopper relationship budding between Fiona and Madison, it was quickly crushed by yet another twist. We saw Fiona killing the previous Supreme when she was still young, taking the power for herself. While this speaks volumes to her character, it’s even more telling that Fiona sees it fit to off Madison as well. Make that two generations of Supremes that Fiona has dealt with personally.

Admittedly, Fiona’s choice with Madison didn’t seem premeditated. Rather, it came off as a rash decision that, while regrettable, isn’t exactly leaving Fiona in tears. This comes back to my questions from the beginning though. Just before she kills Madison, Fiona reveals that she has terminal cancer, a result of her failing body because of her proximity to the next Supreme. From that, we learn that new Supremes leech the strength out of their predecessors, but does that mean that Fiona will return to full strength now that Madison is gone?

Some new neighbors have moved in next door, mostly as a plot device to get Madison to reveal her growing powers. Whether or not they’ll stick around is debatable, although the barbs exchanged between Fiona and the extremely religious mother were entertaining enough to warrant at least one more appearance.

As intriguing as this plot was, though, it was far from the only pressing matter facing the coven. Zoe’s experiment with Kyle has worked (to a degree), although his return home is far from touching and heartwarming. His grief-stricken, pot-smoking mother (Mare Winningham) is ecstatic to have her son back, but the elation is dulled somewhat around the first time she molests him while he watches silently. Frankenstein hasn’t quite regained the ability to speak, but his wide eyes and terrified expression hint at a history that’s far from heartwarming. Seeing as how Kyle kills her three times over by the end of the episode, it’s safe to say he was never happy with his situation.

I’ve been curious as to whether or not Kyle was ever going to return to full sanity or remain a Frankenstein-esque zombie, but whichever route is taken, I can already smell a budding romance occurring. It wouldn’t be American Horror Story without some sort of awkward relationship, right?