American Horror Story: Fearful Pranks Ensue

American Horror Story: Fearful Pranks Ensue October 30, 2013

The scariest parts of American Horror Story never have anything to do with the occult, the supernatural, or the unexplained. Instead, the scariest parts of AHS are when it shows American society at its worst. Tonight’s cold open began with a flash-back of the lynching of a young African-American high school student in the early 60’s. In the real world, many racist assholes got away with such crimes, in the world of American Horror Story you’ve got Marie Laveau to dispense justice and it’s glorious.

Twenty minutes into tonight’s episode and I’m still replaying the images of Laveau’s zombie army in my head. (My wife jokingly worried that AMC’s The Walking Dead might be tempted to sue.) I’ve never been tempted to cast a spell as vengeful as Laveau’s opening salvo, but given her (albeit fictional) circumstances I’d certainly never fault her for it. I was cheering as her army of the undead rid the world of a few undesirables.

I almost think this show would be more interesting if it had been set in the 1970’s. The flashbacks of Fiona Goode and her rise to the title of Supreme have been some of my favorite moments, and what I thought the show would actually look like when it was first announced. Tonight’s trips in the Way Back Machine to a more Harry Potter-like Robichaux Academy were a lot of fun, I hope they continue to some extent. The spell-book used by the young Myrtle Snow (of the “Witch Council” and Fiona’s top in-house adversary) looked like something I’ve seen before, namely one of my Books of Shadows. (I was happy and surprised to see a list of knot magics in there.)

I liked the addition of the Witch Council, and it felt oddly familiar to me too. The three witches involved reminded me of real people I’ve actually met in the Pagan Community (and I’m obviously not sharing any names). All three had varying degrees of eccentricities that felt real, and probably even more importantly, made for great television. I hope they are a recurring thing, at least in small doses.

This week felt more like a set-up or a transition episode. Josh Hamilton’s Hank Foxx (husband of Cordellia) turns out to be (most probably) a serial killer. Delightful. I actually called it a few minutes before he shot his internet girlfriend. Weird, and genuinely creepy. I was certainly wrong about Queenie enjoying a little Minotaur love last week. I was starting to think we had lost another student at the Robichaux Academy when Queenie’s injuries were revealed, glad that’s not the case, and what do you know? Madison might still be alive after all. At least her body is still in the picture, albeit upstairs in Spalding’s (Denis O’Hare) attic. My wife was happy to see O’Hare actually doing something this week too, she’s a fan from his True Blood days where she assures me he was the only person on that show capable of actually acting.

It’s the night before Samhain/Halloween, so this ended up being a little short.

Favorite Lines (And there weren’t many this week.)

“Bonfires have become jack-o-lanterns and harvest offerings just candy.”

“Who’s the baddest witch in town!?”

“Their blood, I used it to paint my day room brick red.”

“You old hens, what have you come to cluck about?”

“That thing you lack honey, charisma.”

“He reeks of bullshit, and I don’t understand how you cannot see that.”

Observations from the wife.

You can add another crime to the myriad of atrocities committed by Delphine LaLaurie, she handed out those horrible peanut butter candies wrapped in orange and black paper.

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