Well, that was better, right? I wasn't entirely onboard with the first episode of American Horror Story: Coven, but I'm fully onboard now. Franken-boyfriends! Lange-Bassett showdowns! Witch Stevie Nicks*! Yes, yes and yes. This is all ridiculous, all amazing.
So who was this week's Baddest Witch? Let's rank 'em and decide.
Queenie was left out of last week's ranking because, while her power is undeniably awesome (she's a human voodoo doll!), she wasn't given much plot-wise — unless you count a late night refrigerator raid (yes, they went there and, yes, UGHHHH) as the beginning of a new and exciting story arc. That's all still true for this week, but we did get a little more of her backstory and it's definitely worth talking about.
Queenie, it turns out, shares a bloodline with Tituba. Tituba was a slave in 17th century Salem (IRL) and — according the AHS universe — she was America's first witch. It was through her teachings that European white witches were introduced to magic. More on that in a bit, but now, back to Queenie.
"I grew up on white girl shit, like Charmed and Sabrina the Teenage Cracker," she says, speaking of her initial reluctance to attend Miss Robichaux's. "I didn't know that there even were black witches."
Turns out, there are plenty non-white witches — and if next week's trailer is to be believed, Queenie will be meeting them very soon.
Why she's the baddest: Did I mention that she's a human voodoo doll? (50 points) In a flashback to her recent past, we see Queenie working at a fast food joint in Detroit and dealing with difficult customers. When one asshole goes too far — not only does he try to bully her into giving him free food, but he also questions her math skills (Queenie is a math genius, by the way — +10 points) — Queenie breaks out her special powers by sticking her hand in boiling frying oil and practically burning the guy's arm off. (30 points) Total points: 90
Why she's not: She still doesn't have a lot to do in the current plot (-5 points) and she gets knocked-the-fuck-out by Madame LeLaurie without putting up much of a fight — not that she really had a chance. (-5 points) Total points: -10
Final Verdict: 80 points. Don't stick a fork in her yet — she's not quite done (and it will only hurt you.)
Madison is continuing to reveal herself as one of the most unlikeable witches on the planet, but she is undeniably BAD. When the cops show up at Miss Robichaux's to ask her and Zoe questions about the frat boy massacre/bus crash, she lies easily — not that she actually has anything to worry about. The fact that the cops are even there is idiotic seeing as she caused the bus crash with her MAGICKS and there couldn't feasibly be any evidence connecting her to the "accident." Oh, well. Disbelief suspended.
Next, to thank Zoe for magic vagina-ing her rapist to death, Madison goes to the morgue to piece Kyle — Zoe's frat boy love interest — back together and resurrect him so that the two can reunite. Think of it like Build-a-Bear, only you're actually assembling the perfect Evan Peters (who is just normal Evan Peters, guys — because he's amazing, just the way he iiiiiiiiiis.)
Why she's the baddest: Madison is willing to do what it takes no matter how messy and bloody it is. (+30) She also has some concept of a bartering system (you kill my rapist, I'll bring your boyfriend back from the dead). It's a warped system, but a system all the same. (+25)
Why she's not: She's a brat and in my ranking, brats get nothing. (-20) She also keeps giving Jessica Lange lip (-100) and she ditched Zoe at the morgue in a moment of trouble. (-10) Total points: -130
Final Verdict: -105. Boooooooo, Madison. Booooooo.
I won't even hold out for suspense for this one — Zoe loses this week's Baddest Witch ranking and she will continue to lose until she toughens the fuck up. Whereas Madison didn't give away anything while being questioned by police, Zoe cracked within seconds. "I couldn't toast a piece of bread with the heat they were putting on you," Fiona (Jessica Lange) spits at her after the interrogation and it's true. All the detective had to do was look at her questioningly and she exposed the entire fucking coven.
THANKFULLY, Lange was there to clean up the mess and glamour the confession — along with any evidence — right out of the cops' minds.
The good Zoe news is that — thanks to Madison's reckless spirit — she's now reunited with Kyle the Frankenteen. These two have chemistry for days.
Why she's the baddest: She's isn't. Total points: ZERO
Why she's not: All of the above. (-500) Total points: -500
Final Verdict: -500. Get wit(c)h it, girl.
Fiona talked the talk way more than she walked the walk this week. Sure, she helped Madison and Zoe out of their little mass murder problem, but then she went to track down Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) and her power only crumbled from there. (See video at the top.)
The witch community is fraught with racial tension — mostly because, back in the Salem days, white witches learned magic from black witches and then, instead of saying "thank you," treated black witches like shit for centuries — and Fiona is the absolute embodiment of White Witch Privilege.
"Your kind and my kind have been going after each other for centuries," she snipes at Laveau after waltzing into her hair salon to demand the key to eternal youth. "Though it is kind of like a hammer going after a nail."
Luckily Laveau is ready with the perfect comeback: "The hammer wants the nails magic."
Why she's the baddest: Fiona is undeniably powerful (+60) and sharp (+45). She's willing to protect her own kind (+25), but she doesn't have a very broad perspective on what her own kind includes. She also slaps LaLaurie across the face at one point, which I think was a fun moment for all of us. (+90) Total points: 220
Why she's not: She's really fucking racist (-200) and she definitely loses her verbal sparring match with Laveau. (-100) Total points: -300
Final Verdict: -80. Check your witch privilege, Lange.
So Marie is still around after all of these centuries. She also wears leopard body suits and continues to shack up with her minotaur boyfriend. Yes. Great. I love it. I love it all.
Why she's the baddest: Laveau sees Fiona for exactly what she is the minute she walks into her salon. (+30) She then bests her in a war of words (+50) and is seemingly immortal. (+300) Total points: 380
Why she's not: Fiona did get a couple good zingers in there (-20), like when she points out that Laveau has been alive and practicing magic for centuries, but only has one salon to show for it. (IT'S BECAUSE OF SYSTEMIC OPPRESSION. Jesus, Fiona. Pick up a book.) Total points: -20
Final Verdict: 360. And next week's trailer makes it look like she's rallying the troops, so expect that score to go up.
Yessssssss. I am SO into this Fleetwood Mac witch. From the second she stepped out of the woods and I excitedly whispered "Stevie," she became the best thing to ever happen to us.
Last we saw Misty (Lily Rabe), she was being burned at the stake for her witchy tendencies/power to make things that were once dead come alive again. Apparently, that goes for her, too. Yeah, SHE RESURRECTED HERSELF. And came back with perfect smokey eye makeup and an enviable leather/lace wardrobe. (Was I the only one who woke up this morning wishing I had a bigger collection of kimonos?)
Now that she's back on the mortal coil, witch has work to do. First, she needs to kill some way-too-aggressive alligator hunters, which — CHECK — happens almost immediately. Next, she needs to connect with her own witchy kind. She doesn't have to search too long thanks to Madison and Zoe's resurrection spell. It draws her to the morgue where she convinces Zoe to bring the newly assembled Kyle to her cabin in the woods for healing. Once there, she talks reverently about Stevie Nicks (this is starting to get a little heavy handed, but sure) and then agrees to take nurse Kyle back to health while Zoe is away at school.
Can we trust Misty? Probably not! Something is definitely off and I cannot wait to find out what it is/hear more Rumours on the American Horror Story soundtrack.
Why she's the baddest: Everything listed above. Total points: 10,000
Why she's not: I got nothing.
Final Verdict: 10,000 points. RHIAAAAAAAAAAANNON, you are the winner.
(Left off the list: Nan because, once again, she didn't have much to do, Madame LaLaurie for the same reason and Cordelia Foxx because she's such a drip.)
* "Witch Stevie Nicks" is redundant. Apologies to the entire Nicks coven.