The third to last episode of this crazy fucking batshit season of American Horror Story could easily have been all set-up, but I guess we can wait until next week for that. No, this week we got some sweet, sweet, gruesome action. Murphy & Co. have delivered handsomely.
Remember how there was a terrible lack of Kathy Bates last week? We’re all good now. This episode was practically an ode to the horrifying Delphine, and Bates has just begun to play her deliciously evil, blood-addicted side. (Get this woman an Emmy, please!) We flash back to her Batman-style origin story, where she decapitates a chicken for dinner on her first night in New Orleans (naturally, dressed in her finest silks for chicken slaughter). When she finds an injured slave in her future torture den, also known as her attic, she leaps at the opportunity, stringing him up from the ceiling like a spider about to eat her prey. Fan-fucking-tastic. Bates is BACK.
In present day, we’re at Nan’s insanely brief funeral, complete with some phenomenal hats. Just as everyone is ready to head out, Queenie shows up with a re-headed Delphine on a leash (complete with the tiger sweatshirt!) and bitches everyone out, including Marie, left her for dead. Before we can revel in this particular ridiculousness, we find ourselves at Bitch Hunter HQ, where everyone is incredibly mopey. Whatever.
Luckily, this is followed by an incredible monologue by Delphine, told in voiceover as she performs her duties as a maid for the coven, all the while resenting every single one of them, about her sordid past and her true purpose in life (which is mutilating African-American people. As far as “true purposes” go, I’d rank that one pretty low), which culminates in her “patching up” the house’s gardener up in Spalding’s attic. Well, an addict’s an addict, I guess! Plus, we get a Misery throwback for our trouble, with the gardener’s foot all ready to play with. They play the all-time worst game of This Little Piggy, and after Delphine’s done playing, Ghost Spalding shows up to admire her art project. He can help her, for sure, but only if she kills Marie, who she definitely can’t keep serving. The funniest joke of the entire season happens here, when Spalding presents a murderous Delphine with a box of Benadryl, telling her it will make Marie un-immortal. My notes here: “Benadryl. HAHAHAHA LOLOLOLOL”
We come back to Zombie Three-Way, which is quickly turning into Warm Bodies, starring Zoe and FrankenKyle. Zoe is making the tub show her its memories or something, and figures out how Nan died, and promptly does nothing about it. Madison, after getting sexually rejected by FrankenKyle (seriously, Evan Peters is even choosing to move in just the doofiest goddamn way possible), threatens both of their lives and storms out, but not before calling Myrtle both “Carrot Top” and a “dried-up old Hot Pocket.” Thank god SOMEONE is still making quips, especially at Myrtle’s expense, who does nothing but mumble, shriek, and breathe loudly. Later, Zoe subjects herself to some voluntary torture by going to hang out with Myrtle, who rambles about topazes and Diane von Furstenberg before getting to the point, which consists of her breathing, “Youuuuuuu aaandddd Kyyylleeeee muuussstttt leeeeaaveee theeee covennnnnn.” (Did Frances Conroy take diction lessons from a snake for this show?! I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.) She’s bought them some bus tickets to Epcot, though, and FrankenKyle lurches around for a while before finally agreeing to run away with his baby giraffe girlfriend. Okay, cool, whatever again.
I am incredibly over the Axeman, so I was distinctly un-psyched about another loungey post-coital scene between him and Fiona, mostly because Fiona is decidedly less fabulous when she’s mooning. He wants them to go live an idyllic farm life, which I imagine would be difficult, since he’s really just a corporeal, vengeful spirit and she’s Queen of the Fucking World. Annnnnd I’m done with these scenes.
Meanwhile, Boring Cordelia wants “the sight” back and stabs out her own eyes. Sarah Paulson, I love you, but come on. Come back strong next season, please.
But finally, with all that out of the way, we find the Bitch Hunters and Fiona having a little meeting, in what is not just the best scene of the season, but maybe the best scene AHS has ever pulled off, thanks mostly to Angela Bassett and Jessica Lange playing the hilariousness and utter diva-ness of the whole situation. The ladies order their drinks – a “filthy” martini for Fiona and a diet sprite for Marie – and settle in for a little talk before their dinner engagement with Emeril. The Bitch Hunters are at a loss, since these women are such bad bitches, and are offering up a 100-year truce if the witches just restore their company. The witches have other plans, especially with a nefarious and unidentified waiter slinking around and locking the door (don’t these guys watch Game of Thrones?! This is literally the Red Wedding all over again). Obviously, the waiter is the Axeman, who tears the “merry troupe of assholes” to pieces, leaving Big Daddy for dessert. The Axeman has kind of redeemed himself for me, but the real stars, as usual, are Fiona and Marie, who are chewing this scene like only Bassett and Lange possibly can. While everyone dies, Marie is literally sitting there sipping her Sprite and playing QuizUp, and after Fiona delivers Daddy Bitch Hunter’s final blow, Marie totally Instagrams the whole thing while Fiona reaches over the dead body for her cocktail. Yes. Yes forever.
After Fiona and Marie drink fabulously, Fiona leaves fabulously, and Delphine decides it’s time to… make Marie a little drowsy and help with her hay fever. Obviously, this does nothing, and neither does stabbing Marie in the chest. Spalding hits her with a doll and throws her down the stairs, telling Delphine she might as well bury her alive. Yeah, that’ll DEFINITELY work. The woman can FLOAT, for fuck’s sake. I can’t wait to see how that mess turns out. What I’m a little concerned about is Spalding having a baby, or as he puts it, “a real live doll.” OH MY GOD, WHY.
Will Delphine actually be able to bury Marie alive, or will she just voodoo that old racist straight into next season? Will the Axeman just… stop being? Do we have to watch Cordelia stumble around and break some more shit again? (GREAT.) And most importantly, can Spalding and Delphine get their own buddy-cop spin-off or something? We’ve only got two episodes left, and Murphy and Falchuk are going to make them count.
NOTE: I’ll be out of town for a week starting on Sunday, so we’ll get a few Coven recaps all at once, for the three of you that read this! Cheers.