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‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Recap: ‘The Sacred Taking’

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN The Sacred Taking
Michele K. Short/FX

Episode 8 of this season’s ‘American Horror Story: Coven,’ aptly titled ‘The Sacred Taking,’ is all about knowing and taking your rightful place.

Take Queenie for instance. The episode opens with her walking through a sea of rats and deadbeats under a bridge. She is approached by a raggedy man, pulling out his junk to pounce on her, who she then proceeds to beat down with her human voodoo doll skills. Zoe and Madison manage to be at the right place at the right time, showing up right as Queenie is preparing to carve out the mans chest. They try to talk her into returning to the coven, but it seems Queenie has been turned. Plunging her hands into her victims chest, she pulls out his ‘dark’ heart. Unlike the coven, the Voodoo Queen is doing what she can to keep Queenie on her side, which means telling her such heart surgery will strengthen her powers. And regardless if it does, Queenie abides and tells her old school mates ‘war is coming, and you are going to lose,’ with a beating heart in her hand.

Unlike that lively beating heart, Fiona’s cancer has taken a toll. She says she feels the “suffering of all the souls that ever were or will be have soaked [her] body.” Fiona has fearlessly surrendered to the idea that she will die, but will do so on her own terms, stating “I’ll stay alive just to spite them.” Knowing her health is linked to the next Supreme, she is biding her time to find out who it is to make a move.

Meanwhile, Luke, the neighbor Naan saved during the Halloween zombie apocalypse, is forced to drink a mixture of bleach by his god fearing mother to cleanse himself from the inside out. Poor Naan is tormented by the fact that he is being hurt, but Cordelia is more worried about their survival as a coven, which currently entails the battle plan to kill Fiona. For that plan to work Madison must stay hidden, their plan has to be flawless and so does the execution.

Such talk shows us that Cordelia is coming into her own, and with that shimmering moment Misty comes barging into the house. She has been hunted by a man with a gun and is seeking asylum with her recently resurrected friend. Cordelia takes Misty’s hand and uses her power to learn more about Misty, then tells her she is welcome in the coven. When Cordelia is introduced to Misty’s friend, she hears a voice she thought she would never hear again. Aunty Myrtle is back, fluffy red hair and all, and — according to Myrtle — Misty is the next supreme.

The coven’s big bad plan is to make Fiona kill herself.  Part one of that plan is to perform The Sacred Taking. The ritual ensures the survival of the coven, which has been enacted just three times, where the current Supreme sacrifices herself so that the next Supreme can rise and take her place. With Fiona, it’s all about trying to get her to kill herself, and Cordelia intends to push her mother to the edge.

Part two of the plan is to drive Fiona mad. She is faced with Madison smiling, so lively, so young, twirling in a flowing red dress before her with the rockin’ ‘Season of the Witch’ playing in the background. Madison tells Fiona she is the next Supreme, and that her future will go one of two ways. She can burn at the stake, which would be “messy and painful although very entertaining” according to Madison, or she could swallow some pills, go to sleep, stop suffering, and off herself. What’s a dying supreme to do?

Nothing, because she is interrupted by Myrtle who tells her Madison brought her back to life, and that her only choice is in dying by flame or by pill. Fiona doesn’t want to give up the Axeman — someone she loves, someone that cares for her — but with the help of Myrtle (of course) convinces herself he would abandon her in her dying moments. Surrendering to her fate, Fiona decides to go out in style with a full face of makeup, a groovy head scarf and a plush fur coat. Fiona takes the pills and asks Myrtle to take care of Cordelia, and to hang her photo in the place she had chosen. Fiona closes her eyes and is awakened by Spalding, now a very well informed ghost.

Spalding tries to help Fiona, but she rebuffs him, telling him she is finally doing a good thing for the coven by taking her own life. He answers her martyr talk by telling her she has been played, and gives her the details on what has really been going on. Once the truth comes out, Fiona spits up her pills and comes back with a vengeance, promising to avenge Spalding’s murder right after she avenges her own.

We cut to Delphine, locked up in a cage “unfit for a human.” She asks Queenie what she did wrong to deserve such a fate, but it is because of what she has done that Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen, finds the cage fits her just right. Delphine taunts Laveau, telling her “Whatcha goin ta do, kill me?” Poor Delphine doesn’t understand that just because she can’t be killed doesn’t mean she can’t feel pain, which is why Laveau cuts off her hand. The fun for the Voodoo Queen has just begun.

Fiona make her way back to the room where the coven has remained huddled, waiting for her to die, and asks only to meet the “swamp witch.” Misty disappears to see Naan, and is instead found by Fiona who coaxes her to bring back Luke’s crazy mother. Zoe leads Cordelia next door, who finds a bullet that was meant for the coven. Hearing about the impending danger, Zoe goes back for Kyle who finally speaks a full sentence. He tells her he loves her, and sadly for Madison, she hears this love talk and realizes Kyle isn’t hers and maybe never was.

With love comes pride, and it’s Fiona who is proud of Cordelia. The will and power Cordelia and the girls demonstrated makes Fiona believe the coven may have what it takes to survive. Fiona is proud of her daughter for doing what needs to be done, a pride that apparently only comes when you try to kill your own mother. A quick knock at the door ends this tender mother/daughter moment to reveal a mysterious box on the porch. What could be in there you ask? A pony! Fire crackers! Another minotaur head! Nope, it’s even better. It’s Delphine’s head. Goes to show you the Voodoo Queen is no nonsense, and doesn’t let her power get to her head. Too soon?

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