It’s no wonder we’ve lost sight of all we used to love about American Horror Story; the Robichaux witch coven, so prospective at its beginning, has now dwindled into something that makes these witches look like they deserve to be burned at the stake.
Realizing how quickly the excitement for season 3 shriveled away, I didn’t expect much from this finale, except maybe a few questions answered, some notable deaths, and an action-packed witch brawl. Let me warn you, however, to not expect much from this last episode.
As is customary at one point in every season, a musical-type scene introduces “The Seven Wonders” (Remember “The Name Game” from Asylum?), with none other than Stevie Nicks performing. The witches are all studying for their big test — when it comes to this “supreme” nonsense, you lose, you die.
At first it seems like it’ll be a good show, as the witches have to perform telekinesis, mind control, transmutation, and must even get to Hell and back. But it’s not as interesting as you might think.
During this tight race, we lose Misty Day, in the most unexceptional way. Unable to escape from her Hell, she vanishes into thin air. Poof! There goes one of the strongest characters AHS has seen. We also lose Zoe during a game of transmutation tag (though only for about twenty minutes, because the coven manages to bring her back to life), and Madison (death by Kyle; even though, you know, she’s a witch, and he’s, well, Kyle. But we’ll overlook this).
Zoe wakes up from a disappointing version of her Hell — Kyle broke up with her again and again on a loop.
This, along with a few other anti-climactic events, made this AHS finale forgettable.
40 minutes into this episode, I realize that all hope I had for a powerful finale is gone. Things are officially not going to pick up. Cordelia somehow regains her eyesight — finally we can look at her without cringing — and is revealed as the coven’s supreme. Who else would be more fit for this role? Her first task as supreme is to bend to Myrtle’s will and burn her at the stake, for the murder of a witch sister and colleague. A quite pathetic death, considering we’ve already seen it before. But this is what “The Seven Wonders” presents to us: everything we’ve already seen before. It’s why this finale is so anti-climactic.
Once Cordelia reveals her beloved witch coven, every young witch from across the country lines up at Robichaux’s gates for a taste of the awesome. And then Fiona shows up.
Cordelia is hardly surprised to see her there — and neither were we — but Fiona’s physical decay is something to gawk at. Though the cancer is in its last stages, Miss Fiona Goode sits cross-legged with her cigarette between her fingers. We learn that she’d made a deal with the axeman to fake her own death, just to get rid of him. This last dialogue between Fiona and her daughter is probably the only part worth watching from this finale (“You were the monster in every one of my closets”), and as Delia holds her mother while she takes her last breaths, all is forgiven. Fiona’s version of Hell is also pretty interesting: an eternity with the axeman in a house that smells like catfish.
But this still leaves us with some questions: if Fiona knew her daughter was the supreme all along, why did she kill Madison? Why didn’t she kill her daughter? It seems that several bloody messes this season could have been avoided.
Apart from truly pitiful ‘Hells’ (Is an eternal breakup really your worst nightmare, Zoe? We thought your character had more depth than that), AHS missed the opportunity for exceptional psychological horror. It’s reminiscent of season two, when we shoved leading characters into brick ovens for no reason. Some of our favorite characters this season — Myrtle, Misty, Nan — just simply disappeared with no justification.
There are rumors that next season features a circus; another great opportunity for producers to branch out and create something truly horror-worthy [Editor’s note: Ryan Murphy has denied this]. Though expectations are set high, we have to remember what happens with a good topic once we get into the plot. Not much, as we’ve learned from Coven and Asylum.
If you’re planning on watching this finale, skip to the end. Fiona Goode is the only one that has saved AHS from its complete collapse.
Read Hypable’s recap of the Coven finale at this link.