TVTV Recaps

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN “Head” Recap

Merry Christmas horror fans! The holidays aren’t
exactly the prime time for witchcraft, voodoo, and decapitations,
so we’ve had a bit of a break from our favorite horror show.
However before it returns on January 8th, let’s make sure we’re all
up-to-speed. This last episode was a game changer, and should
really propel us right into the fray of the final four episodes. We
open in 1991 in Chattahoochee National Forest. A young Hank
is on a hunting trip with his father. His dad offers him
coffee, though Hank doesn’t like it. Very quickly learn that
father and son aren’t hunting wildlife…they’re hunting
witches. When young Hank is confronted face-to-face with a
witch he is unable to pull the trigger of his rifle in a moment of
doubt, and the witch shoots fire at him. Hank’s father pushes
his son out of the way, and kills the witch himself. “No
mercy, never forget what they are,” he tells the young boy. Back in
the present day, Fiona goes to visit Laveau. As they enter
her back room, LaLaurie’s (headless) body shoos flies away from its
neck. Laveau asks Fiona if she wants a truce, but Fiona does
not…she wants an alliance, showing Laveau the
silver bullet. In the box, LaLaurie’s head
protests, and so does Laveau, sending Fiona away. Laveau then
asks Queenie to set fire to LaLaurie’s head. Back at the coven,
Cordelia blindly feels her way around the house, making
breakfast. Myrtle watches silently. When Cordelia
spills the eggs Myrtle moves to help, asking Cordelia if she thinks
she was the one who blinded her. In flashback we see that
Cordelia even asked Myrtle to be her mother. Myrtle asks that
Cordelia use her magic to prove she could not have been the one,
but Cordelia refuses, knowing Fiona was the one to set her
up. Myrtle admits she would give her own eyes to help
Cordelia if she could. At this point I still suspected Myrtle
was lying, though we’ll discover soon enough if I was right or not…
Meanwhile in the city of Atlanta, Hank meets with with associates
at a witch-hunting corporation called “Delphi”, which is run by his
father. He refuses coffee when it is offered it to him (a
nice nod to the opening scene). It turns out they aren’t
happy with his progress; they’d rather he follow orders rather than
take initiative, and they want him to infiltrate the coven
further. We learn that they were
responsible for blinding Cordelia, the intention being that she
would need Hank around more because of it (that
didn’t work out so well, did it?). When Hank shows
his concern, they worry that he has developed feelings for her.
Back at the coven, Myrtle serves a melon bowl palate cleanser to
the other two council members. They are curious about hearing
more about Misty Day and her resurrection, and Myrtle obliges at
first. Suddenly however, the two council members are unable
to talk…or even move. Myrtle has poisoned them with the
melon, causing paralysis. She is furious that they tried to
burn her, and she uses the melon baller to PLUCK OUT THEIR EYES
(whoa!), one for each of them. A moment later we see her
giving the eyes to Cordelia. They don’t match (like a cat!),
but Cordelia can see again!

It's the David Bowie look!
It’s the David Bowie
look!
Fiona returns, shocked to discover her daughter has
sight yet again. We see (in flashback) that Myrtle sliced up
the bodies of the council members. Fiona and Myrtle
immediately get to quarreling again, but Cordelia demands that they
stop, reminding them of real witch hunter threat. Cordelia
gives Fiona a hug, only to realize her “secret sight” has
disappeared. I guess she isn’t able to foresee where
her new eyes came from… Madison and Chloe approach Nan,
who has been waiting outside Luke’s room at the hospital.
Luke’s mom won’t let Nan inside. Madison bursts through the
door anyway to approach Luke’s angry mother. Nan is able to
read Luke’s thoughts even though he’s unconscious, seeing the abuse
Luke has undergone. The three young witches start to leave,
when Luke’s mother starts to sing a song, causing them to
stop. Nan goes to the mother’s side as she continues to sing,
and they hug (lots of hugging in the episode). Even among the
non-witch world, the themes of abusive mothers permeates the show.
In Queenie’s bedroom at Laveau’s, we see that she has not
burned LaLaurie’s head as Laveau instructed. Before
doing so, Queenie forces LaLaurie to watch a black history “film
festival,” starting with the classic TV series, “Roots.” As
Queenie turns on the television and leaves LaLaurie’s head behind,
LaLaurie tries to shut her eyes, screaming the verses to
“Dixieland” at the top of her lungs. This is definitely one
of my favorite delightfully batty scenes we’ve had on the show thus
far, and that’s saying something.
When people are trying to get rid of white heads they usually
mean something else...
When people are trying to
get rid of white heads they usually mean something
else…
In a motel room, Hank eats Chinese food, when
suddenly in a horrifically brutal sequence bloody marks appear
across his body. We see Laveau at her home pinning a voodoo
doll, causing him to twist and writhe in agony. A black man
shows up at his room, reminding him that “Marie Laveau sends her
regards.” Just then Laveau calls on the telephone, telling
him, “They die tonight, or the next needle I use will put a hole in
your heart.” Hank better get moving… In the nursery,
Cordelia helps Misty Day make a protective potion while listening
to more Stevie Nicks (of course). Misty tries reading the
incantation to revive a dead plant. The first time she fails,
but Cordelia asks her to read it again with a stronger
intent. This time the flowers come to
life. Misty tells Cordelia she’s an awesome leader, but
Cordelia corrects her: Fiona is the leader. Just
as Misty leaves the room briefly, Hank returns, delighted to see
her vision returned. He hugs her, but Cordelia isn’t happy;
she can smell the alcohol on his breath. When Misty comes
back into the room, Hank recognizes her as the witch he tried to
kill in the swamp (luckily she doesn’t recognize Hank).
Cordelia tells Hank she’s filing for divorce, and that she has his
things in a box in the closet. As Hank goes to pick up his things
and go, he is confronted by an angry dog. Fiona shows up,
saying she bought the dog as a protector. “You know why I got
a female attack dog?” she asks. “Because bitches stick
together?” retorts Hank. Fiona chuckles and responds,
“Because females are more loyal and aggressive at protecting their
families.” The dog, meanwhile, rushes to another room and
Fiona follows. It paws at the door, revealing Kyle (this is
the first time Fiona has seen him). Kyle smiles, hugs the
dog, and snaps its neck…whoops! Back at the hospital, Luke’s mother
thanks Nan, calling her a miracle. All seems well, until Nan
calls the woman out for what she did to Luke’s father. In
flashback we see that Hank’s mother filled his car with BEES for
being unfaithful, as he was allergic (as someone allergic to bees
myself this is seriously my worst nightmare). Luke’s mother
grows furious, shouting at Nan to get out. In a brief chilling
scene, we see Hank drinking and loading up his guns. Time to
get to work… The younger girls return to the coven. They find
Fiona playing cards with Kyle, who is now speaking in full
sentences
due to her help. The witches need a
protector…now they have one….in Zoe’s Franken-boyfriend. At the
voodoo house, LaLaurie has kept her eyes closed through all eight
hours of “Roots.” Queenie isn’t surprised, but this time
plays some old black gospel music for Laveau, with images of the
Civil Rights marches in Selma. Queenie returns downstairs to
help Laveau. Just then, BOOM, Hank arrives. While the gospel
music plays, Hank blasts the voodoo witches away. Just as he
is about to kill Laveau, Queenie turns a discarded gun on herself
and FIRES INTO HER OWN MOUTH. Being a self-inflicting voodoo
witch, this causes Hank to die as well, a huge hole in the back of
his head (no definitive word on whether or not this killed Queenie
too). Meanwhile, upstairs, LaLaurie can’t help but burst into tears
at the soulful music, perhaps finally feeling some remorse.
At the Delphi company, we see that Hank’s father has learned of his
son’s death, and in the hospital, when Luke awakens to ask his
mother about how she killed his father, she smothers him with a
pillow. A high body count in this episode! In the final
scene, Fiona gets a knock at her door. A wounded, stern-faced
Laveau is there, her voodoo coven now in shambles. Now,
she is the one who must ask for help. Quite an
exciting episode, full of delicious horror and humor. I’m
very excited to see where things go from here. And if you
missed the last recap, read it here!

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The Author

Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson grew up in Santa Barbara, CA. Son of an archaeologist, he spent his childhood years developing a fondness of nature and the outdoors, which was rivaled only for his love of filmmaking and storytelling.
In 2008 he graduated from the University of Southern California's film program, and currently makes a living as an editor in addition to working on his own creative projects.
He has a weakness for redheads, seafood pasta, and dinosaurs.