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American Horror Story: Season 3, Ep 9

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This episode of American Horror Story: Coven, felt very much like the midway point, more so than last weeks episode, as new important players are introduced who threaten, not only the Coven, but the voodoo priestess and her followers. After the failed attack on Nan in Luke's home, that saw he seriously wounded and his mother die, we learn who was behind the attack and why. There is also the revelation as to who was behind the acid attack on Cordelia and the reason behind it.

As usual, we start off with a cold open, where we see a very young Hank out hunting with his father. We are meant to think it's an ordinary deer hunt, with Hank's dad telling him how he was sick the first time he had to kill. Hank is told to get ready with a rifle that he's barely big enough to hold, and then his father goes into some brush. What ends out coming out from between the bushes is a bedraggled crone who clearly looks witch-like in appearance and Hank struggles to shoot the woman. The woman starts to plead for her life and suddenly flames shoot from her hand directly at Hank. His father pushes him out the way but gets his lower arm burned in the process. He kills the witch and is obviously disappointing in Hank but cuddled the boy anyway.

As it turns out, Hank belongs to a group of people who have been hunting and killing witches since Salem and Hank's father is the head of the organization. He appears to have a second-in-command who he looks to favor over his own son and it looks to be bothering Hank. After the shooting at the end of the last episode it was kinda obvious that Hank was involved but I didn't quite know what his end game was and why he had done so. It was also strange that he murdered that woman in the hotel room a few episodes back but she did mention having powers so that explains a lot.

American Horror Story
Created by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk
Cast Taissa Farmiga, Emma Roberts, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy, Kathy Bates, Lily Rabe, Jessica Lange
Episode Release Date 11 December 2013
Ed's Grade: B+

Hank clearly had genuine feelings for Cordelia but Fiona could tell there was something off about him but I find it odd that a Supreme didn't know he was the enemy, however, this may have been because Hank wasn't fully on board with his father. The organization that's trying to wipe out all the witches and voodoo folk are also in the business of making money, which Hank clearly doesn't like. His father is clearly in this for the power and cash and this may be, in part, why Hank's heart isn't fully in the operation. What happens at Marie's hair salon wasn't entirely unexpected after the discussion Hank and his father have during their meeting. It was also a bit much the way we were continually shown Hank's father's burned hand.

At the end of the last episode, after Fiona has been forgiven by the coven members, she asks to see Misty's power in action by using her resurgence to bring Luke's mother back to life. Luke is now in hospital fighting for his life with Nan waiting outside because the mother won't let her near her son. Madison and Zoe turn up at the hospital (for whatever reason) and together they finally persuade the mother to let Nan sit with him. Nan has passed on some messages from Luke that make her believe she is a genuine clairvoyant but we soon discover that the mother has much to hide after the revelation about how Luke's father really died. The bible thumping woman isn't as pure as she makes herself out to be. I wonder why she hasn't been curious about how she was raised from the dead.

Fiona goes to Marie's hair salon with Delphine's severed head in a box to try to persuade the priestess to join forces with the witches, while the witch hunters are trying to kill both groups. Little does she know that Marie is in cahoots with Hank, but things are about to change in their relationship. Fiona leaves the boxed head at the salon, where Queenie is ordered to burn it, but instead, takes Delphine's noggin upstairs where she forces the racist immortal to watch the entire Roots saga, The Color Purple, and various other videos that show the suffering and final freedom of black folk, which I thought was extremely funny and righteous. Queenie is determined that Delphine learn about the people she tortured and murdered before she finally dies.

Cordelia is struggling with her blindness and Myrtle tells her she wishes she could give her her own eyes, but Myrtle decides to fix the problem in her own way, which also allows for some revenge in the process. Myrtle invites the remaining two council members for lunch, and poisons the pair with something that paralyzes. She then scoops out an eye from each of their sockets to fix Cordelia's sight. How she goes about the repair isn't shown for some strange reason, but we do get to see what Myrtle does with the two bodies, as she chops them up and dissolves the severed bloody body parts in acid.

Cordelia had gained a new power while she was blind but now that she has her sight back, she can no longer touch people to see what they've been up to. It's a burning offence to murder a witch, as Fiona was already threatened with earlier but I wonder what is supposed to happen to someone who murders council members? This is where we might actually see something interesting (and determinant) happen to Myrtle because she was very quick to cover up the fact that the council wasn't there when mentioned, by telling Fiona they were refusing to see anyone.

Fiona has discovered Kyle hiding in a room and after Madison and Zoe return to the coven they see Kyle and Fiona playing cards. Fiona has fixed Kyle so that he's almost his old self again and tells the others she plans to use him as a guard dog, now that Kyle has killed the one she had just bought.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, as I do each and every one of them, I was left with more questions than usual. This episode felt like it was meant to be two hours long, but had to be quickly edited to fit in the time slot. I've never really bothered about the fact no one stays dead in Coven but I just hope they don't keep using this get out of jail free card they have in the shape of Misty Day.

Will Hank reappear, I wonder? Where is the ghost of the now talking Spalding? How did Hank quickly recover from all those injuries inflicted on him by Marie? Is Queenie dead, and if so, will Misty do anything about it? What will happen to Myrtle? Why did Myrtle take such savage revenge on her council buddies when it wasn't they but Fiona who orchestrated her death? Why didn't Myrtle just take both eyes from one of them instead of one from each that didn't even match? Why do we have to wait until 8 January 2014 for the next episode? When Fiona went to the salon with Delphine's head, was anyone else waiting on Brad Pitt turning up to ask, "what's in the box?" (Se7en?)

TV Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer

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