Finally! American Horror Story: Coven has its very own serial killer! Season one had the nurse murderer and [spoiler], season 2 had Bloody Face and Swearengen Claus and season 3 has (drumrolllllllll) THE AXEMAN — and yes, if you are singing "I'm an axe man" to the tune of "I'm a Scatman," you are doing everything right.
The Axeman (played by Danny Huston) is a (very real) serial killer who terrorized New Orleans circa 1919. In the Coven world, he's got a thing for jazz and dames and saxophones and if you happen to not like jazz and dames and saxophones, he will bury an axe in your head. Or at least he WOULD bury an axe in your head if it wasn't for the magically inclined gals of Miss Robichaux's — specifically a witchy Grace Gummer, who happens to be the offspring of Meryl Streep (is EVERYTHING Meryl makes magic?) These Progressive era witches — with their Gibson Girl hair — are sick of the Axe Man thinking he owns the place so they defeat him with some good old fashioned spellwork…and also with knives.
SMASHCUT to nearly 100 years later when Zoe is snooping around Miss Minchin's School for Ghouls and discovers an old ouija board along with several class photos that make it evident just how much the number of witches has dwindled in recent years. Still amped from last week's zombie blood bath, she decides that now is the time to unite and take a stand against whoever (or whatever) it is that's been picking them off.
If she wants to become a true coven, she'll need the other girls' help. This means convincing a reluctant Queenie and Nan to help her use the ouija to contact Madison/see if Madison is actually dead. Queenie is reluctant because she once saw her grandma use a ouija board and it resulted in a demon burning the house down and burning off half her grandma's face.
Queenie eventually agrees to help out and the girl's immediately make contact with a spirit, but it's not the one they're looking for. It's the Axeman! (He's the axeman! Ski bi di bi di do bap do! Do bam do!) Zoe makes a dirty deal with him by saying she'll release his ghost if he tells her where Madison is. Ghost Murderer is all, "Go to the weird butler's doll attic, you'll find her there" and Zoe's all "Thanks, but also psych about that whole letting you free thing."
She does end up finding Madison in the attic, as well as Spalding, who she — with the help of Nan and Queenie — interrogates to find out Madison's cause of death. Spalding gets real nasty, confessing to the murder and talking about dead pussy and all that, but Zoe doesn't believe him. Good, great, cool. Glad you tortured this weirdo in a nightgown all so that you could reject his confession. What are you, AMERICA?
Zoe then heads off to the bayou to find Fleetwitch Mac for a little revival magic, but Kyle the Frankenboyfriend beats her there. Fleetwitch, with her beautiful fringe-y scarves and caring nature, tries to clean Frankenboyfriend up with a basin bath, but Frankenboyfriend does not like that very much. FAIR ENOUGH — his (now murdered) mother molested him in the shower for his entire childhood. But then he goes and breaks the radio that Fleetwitch uses to dance to Stevie Nicks all day everyday and she's like, "Hell no. GTFO with your broken puzzle body already."
Fortunately, that's the exact moment that Zoe shows up to bring both of them back to Miss Robichaux's where she locks Frankenboyfriend (who has a weird thing about touching ladies' hair, btw) in chains and gets Frankenwitch to bring Madison's rotten old corpse back from dead. I'm feeling pretty :-[ about the return of Emma Roberts, but at least this was fun:
Meanwhile, Cordelia has returned from the hospital after being blinded by acid. She looks pretty good considering what happened to her. Too good, some conspiracy theorists (me) might say:
WHY ARE HER EYEBROWS STILL THERE???
Anyway, while she's lost one sight, she's been blessed with another — THE SECOND SIGHT.
Cordelia is now able to see into other people's pasts, which is how she finds out that her Wonder Bread farmer husband is actually up to no good. In a different scene, we discover he was hired by Marie Laveau as a witch hunter, meant to efficiently kill off the witches of Salem (Cordelia doesn't know this yet). But here's something in ADDITION to the eyebrow thing that makes no sense: Laveau scoffs when he accuses her of throwing acid in Cordelia's face and says that she's a powerful enough witch to take her eyes through magic and not chemicals. But if that's the case then why does she need this idiot's help picking the witches off? Why can't she murder them using voodoo and leave the assassin — who is as interesting as unseasoned mashed potatoes even when we know he's a murderer — completely out of it? Eh, whatever.
But back to Cordelia. With her new second sight, she is also given the ability to see ghosts. One particular ghost, at least — the Axeman.
The Axeman is a real dick to Cordelia (HASN'T SHE BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH???) and throws her all over the place, making a big mess of her bedroom. The young witches of the coven intervene to help and Zoe's (probable) supreme powers emerge once again when she's able to summon the book that contains the perfect spell to get the Axeman out of their perfect, perfect hair. Unfortunately, it also brings him back to life and let's him loose on the poor people of New Orleans (HAVEN'T THEY BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH???).
And who should he find first? None other than a super horny Jessica Lange who is ready to sex away her sorrow. Good luck, you two. I'm sure you'll be very happy together.
Now, who's this week's baddest witch?
Why she's the baddest: Zoe issues a call to arms while everybody else is being super dumb and complacent. (+500) Her powers are also growing by the day (100) and she fought off Spalding using a doll. (50) She's really pushing for a more tightly-knit witch family, which could only do everyone a lot of good. (250) Total points: 900
Why she's not: She rushes into things without thinking (-100) and for someone who's all about togetherness, she's pretty quick to shut down the concerns of other people. (-200) Also, she didn't wear any good hats this week. (-100) Total points: 400
Final Verdict: 500 points.
Why she's the baddest: She knew the ouija board was a bad idea from the get-go.... (200) Total points: 200
Why she's not: ...but she wasn't very proactive about stopping them from using it. (-25) In fact she's not really proactive about anything unless it's minotaur sex or murdering Spalding. (-75) Total points: -100
That said, she is the first person to compare Spalding to Riff Raff (this one, not that one) and that alone is worth 50 bonus points.
Final Verdict: 150 points.
Why she's the baddest: Second sight, bitches! (100) She also is quick to throw out her husband once she realizes he was unfaithful and probably violent. (100) Also, her new blind marble eyes are super cool. (25) Total points: 225
Why she's not: She wasn't able to fight off the Axeman, despite having some pretty strong magic up her sleeve. (-75) Total points: -75
Final Verdict: 150 points.
She just keeps bringing everyone back from the dead, all while twirling twirling twirling to victory.
WINNER: 2 THOUSAND POINTS.
(And don't worry, Fleetwitch. You'll meet your idol soon enough.)