Thursday, October 17, 2013

'American Horror Story: Coven' Recap: 'Boy Parts'

BY KARL PFEIFFER

Following the smash premiere of the third season of "American Horror Story" (the numbers registered at five and a half million viewers, more than doubling season two's finale), episode two, "Boy Parts," hits the ground running, as the season's plots begin to take off (like a witch on a broomstick, perhaps?)

Picking up where we left off, Fiona is keeping Delphine LaLaurie under lock and key, her motivations made clear that she's after whatever potion is at the heart of LaLaurie's apparent immortality. Fiona follows the story to Marie Laveau's hair salon, where the two women exchange a back-and-forth that downright sizzles. It's a testament to the writing staff as much as the actresses, with the hard-to-miss parallels between historical issues and racism paired alongside the witchy banter.

Meanwhile though, we have Zoe and Madison being called on the carpet for their possible involvement with the flipping of the bus during the frat party the episode before. The detective's investigation seems unwarranted, but we go with it. Zoe flips, spilling everything about the "Coven" before Fiona slinks in and does her own version of the "Men in Black" Neuralyzer on the two cops.

But not before Madison learns of Zoe's lethal sexcapades in the hospital the day prior.

It's this information that prompts Madison to do her roomie a solid, casting a spell to resurrect Kyle after putting him back together with a hodgepodge of parts from his fellow brothers (it goes without saying that he vould have an enormous schwanzstücker). The spell doesn't work, but the reappearance of Lily Rabe's Misty Day does the job... more or less. Zoe, Kyle, and Misty rendezvous at Misty's small cabin, where she's happy to learn she's not as lonely a witch as she might've thought. She promises Kyle will be good as new within days.

The episode fills out with the escape of LaLaurie, who doesn't go far in a world 180 years beyond her, before she's swept up again by Fiona. All the while, our headmistress Cordelia tries some phantom-snake-spell-work in the bedroom in order to conceive with her husband after a year of modern medicine failing to help them.

Overall, another great episode. I'm still loving the music (the EDM is just over the top enough to match the more sexy feel of the season with the dutch-angled camera shots), as well as the thematic direction (though we're likely to slow burn on those for a while as Murphy sets us up for the plot to unfold before the season's end brings it all together). And my worries are still in the bright, chipper feel, and not enough creep-factor. But tastes are tastes and I love the feel of the season regardless.

But now that we've taken two steps in, it's a good time to start thinking on the future. What's to come?

Well, I can guarantee you two things: one; Fiona and LaLaurie might be getting along splendidly now, but settle in to watch this one explode. Ryan Murphy didn't hold back in early interviews about where their relationship was going, and it's not going to be pretty.

Also, if you wondered whether all this work in necromancy and resurrection -- along with Murphy and Falchuk's favoring of multiple horror tropes per season -- was leading to something undead and groaning for brains, then you'd be on the right track.

Get ready for some "Walking Dead," AHS style. "The Hollywood Reporter" has already gotten an inside look at the fifth episode, in which it seems Zoe is going to be doing some zombie-dispatching Ash-Williams-chainsaw-style. (I think it's a safe bet Kyle won't be amidst the ranks though, but it's certainly unclear as to where his plot direction is going, as he's kind of just a Fido at this point).

We've also seen a trend in seasons one and two with babies going bad, and this season has twice hinted at pregnancy set-ups (from the rape at the frat party to Cordelia's romp in the bedroom). Hopeful as pregnancies often are, I'm thinking I smell bad news for Cordelia on this one.

And finally, while this one is more out there, and despite Murphy's insistence that the only rules of the show are "No werewolves and no vampires," I can't help but notice an eerie similarity to the first season of our other southern-tinged favorite, "True Blood," in the season's album (and likely forthcoming DVD) art. Just a nod to southern horror shows? Or something more overt? Time will tell...

But what do you guys think is on the way for this season of "American Horror Story"? Do you think Murphy and Falchuk will learn from season 2 and leave it at zombies and witches, or do you see something else coming down the pipe?

Catch next week's episode of "American Horror Story: Coven," "The Replacements," Wednesday October 23 at 10 p.m. EST only on FX.

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