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'American Horror Story: Coven' Recap: 'Protect the Coven'

This week's episode of American Horror Story: Coven opened back in time, where we are introduced to Delphine's (Kathy Bates) obsession with blood, spurred on by cutting off the head of chicken. Taking this to the next level, she found a man whom she has enslaved who has an injured leg. He ended up hanging in a bloody mess as Delphine stood there to watch him die. It's a nice reminder why we shouldn't feel bad for the predicament that Delphine is in now.

Speaking of having some sort of empathy for any of the characters on the show, we have Naan who undeservedly met her death by drowning at the hands of Fiona (Jessica Lange) and Marie (Angela Bassett). The flashforward to present day showed the Coven (along with Fiona's new best friend Marie, apparently), having a funeral for her. Zoe seemed to be the only one looking around thinking something is wrong, so she cast a spell at home in front of the bathtub and found out what we all already knew. With Zoe now informed of Fiona and Marie's involvement in Naan's drowning, the dissension among the Coven started to escalate rapidly. This was only exacerbated by the return of Queenie, who brings Delphine on a leash. They're both pretty pissed. Queenie because Cordelia's husband shot her and she had to shoot herself in the skull to kill him, and Delphine because of the whole head cutting off thing. Queenie somehow managed to put her back together though.

Hank met his demise at the hair salon when he shot up the place, but his father was still around looking to regain control of whatever was left of the company. He arranged to have a meeting with the witches, who we soon found out to be Fiona and Marie. Fiona and Marie had other plans that involve the Axeman though — we'll get to that later.

Delphine fed the entire coven poop soup. This was an ingredient left by Madison (Emma Roberts), which appeard to be the final straw for Delphine. The intense anger Delphine had with everyone she's now working for only fed her strong urge to act out her morbid addiction to watching people bleed to death. When she did this with an unlucky handyman working around the house, Spaulding found her in the attic viewing the man she just killed. Spaulding told Delphine that he knew how to kill Marie and will do so if Delphine bought him another weird doll that he can smell. Weird guy. Delphine obliged and he gave her Benadryl.

Cordelia (Sarah Paulson), feeling powerless in a Coven full of young girls gaining new powers, cut her new eyes out. She did this in an effort to regain her ability to see people's truth. We don't see whether or not this was successful, but I'm sure we will in the next episode.

In one of the best scenes of the show, the culmination of the planning between Fiona, Marie and the Axeman was seen in a conference room with Hank's father and executive team. It started out with cordial introductions with the bartender pouring everyone drinks. Getting right to business, Hank's father laid out a deal that calls for a 100-year truce between him and the witches. In a display of their opinion of such deal, the "bartender" revealed himself to be the Axeman and sliced all the businessmen up. After it was all done, Hank's father calmly pours himself a drink, sits down in the chair and says, "Well played." As a final insult to the witches, he spits at them .. and then the Axeman slit his throat. Both Fiona and Marie might be despicably evil sometimes, but their ability to show their sense of confidence and power without using any magic made me give them a couple of points. Marie and Fiona went back to the Coven to celebrate, and after Fiona left to show her appreciation for the Axeman, Delphine tested the effectiveness of the Benadryl that she spiked Marie's drink with by stabbing her in the heart. In a slightly enhanced ability to breathe through her nasal passages, Marie laughed at Delphine's stupidity. Marie chased after Delphine, only to be stopped when Spaulding came out and hit her on the head, knocking her unconscious. Spaulding told Delphine that you can't kill Marie, but you can bury her in a place where she can't climb out. This got Delphine thinking ...

With the Coven in shambles, Myrtle convinced Zoe to leave. She took Kyle, and we last saw them jumping on a bus to Orlando, Fla. They appear to come back next episode, however, when the young witches are all tested to be the next Supreme.

The conference room scene was the biggest reason I gave this episode a "B" for this week. Otherwise, it was another episode of mostly lackluster events that didn't have significant impact on the advancement of the storyline. With that said, however, there are only two episodes left and there continues to be mounting curiosity to see how the show will end.

Popculturology Score: B
'American Horror Story: Coven' Recap: 'Protect the Coven' Reviewed by Anton Ali on 1/16/2014 Rating: 5

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