American Horror Story: Coven continues its streak of bringing strong female characters together on one screen with the addition of Stevie Nicks tonight. Check out our full recap below!

With the title, “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks,” American Horror Story: Coven gives us a performance by Stevie Nicks that is certainly a moment audiences will anticipate. Nicks delivers in this episode, but her performances round out another chapter of stellar scenes from the strong female cast.

Truce: After losing everything, who can you turn to but your enemy for help? In her darkest hour, for the last 300 years, Marie Laveau turns to the Coven for protection from the witch hunters she initially hired to do her dirty work. But revealing her weakness to Fiona is only the tip of the iceberg of troubles awaiting Marie that night. As twilight creeps over the Coven, Marie is visited by Papa Legba, the Haitian Creole voodoo embodiment of death and fertility.

In a flash back, we see Marie summoning Papa during child birth with her determination to keep herself and her baby alive through the labor. It is when she is at peace with her child that Papa appears. In exchange for one innocent soul per year, Marie will live forever. The first soul offered is that of her first-born, the following souls are “borrowed” from other parents. With a little voodoo assistance, Marie smuggles a child from the labor and delivery ward of the hospital for her dues.

Mouse Hunt: Cordelia, Marie, and Fiona discuss Hank’s involvement with the notorious witch hunting family. The other cheek that Cordelia turned towards Fiona is slapped away when Fiona berates her for being blind to the fact that a witch hunter lived among the Coven for so long. Marie interjects that she is also at fault for hiring Hank and reminds them that placing blame is not going to help ensure their future.

In their first act of equality, Marie and Fiona attack the Delphi Organization where it will hurt them the most: their finances. Watching the mice navigate the maze, the FBI mirrors Marie and Fiona with an invasion of the Delphi organization in Atlanta, halting all trade and keeping their leader from the resources. As the spell comes to a halt, Fiona is overcome with fatigue. Marie takes Fiona upstairs and listens to Fiona explain the ritual of the Supreme to her.

Everyday that the girls’ powers become stronger, Fiona’s cancer maintains a direct correlation. Fiona inquires about Marie’s deal with Papa Legba. Marie informs Fiona that if someone demands his attention enough, he will present himself.

Ashes to Ashes: Nan’s powers are showing much more promise beyond telepathy. Mind control becomes her weapon of choice to prove to Madison, in a racy manner, that her chances at being the next supreme are greater than she anticipated.

Nan and Zoe find out that Luke passed away at the hospital and pay Joan a visit to see if they can find his body, possibly to mourn, but more likely to bring him back. Death is not a… well, death sentence for these ladies anymore. Joan confides that she cremated Luke, and he will reside in their home. Nan’s anger cannot be controlled, and she takes her mind control out for a tragic test drive. Zoe watches helplessly from the corner as Nan forces Joan to “cleanse” herself by drinking a gallon of bleach.

American Horror Story Coven Nan

An Innocent Soul: Fiona summons Papa Legba with an offering of cocaine and the intention to hand over her soul completely to him. With her current state promised for eternity in return, there is only one item preventing the transaction: Fiona’s soul does not exist. While Fiona has done nothing to prove her emptiness otherwise, it is striking to see her struggle with her new identity crisis. On the one hand, she is now free to kill all the ladies of the Coven, but on the other, her entire life has left her without anyone or any redeeming quality to take to the other side.

When Nan catches Marie with the kidnapped baby, Fiona devises a plan that may save Marie from murdering a child once again. If Papa wants an innocent soul, a tainted soul may do just as well. Marie and Fiona drown Nan in the bathtub with the intention to pay both of their debts with Nan’s soul. Papa is disturbed by the evil their partnership has sparked. He takes Nan with him to the other side, but this may not be the last we see of Nan haunting her past.

The Magical Stevie Nicks: Fiona’s intention of bringing Stevie Nicks to Misty Day was two fold: Allow Misty to feel the power that comes with being the Supreme, and show the other ladies of the house that not all hope is lost for them to prove their abilities. This trick works especially well for Madison. She is, after all, the reincarnation of Fiona’s youthful self.

Nick’s haunting performance of “Rhiannon” on the piano casts the perfect eeriness of hope in Misty’s soul for a future as a leader of women. However, Madison takes it upon herself to ensure that Misty is not too comfortable in her new glory. The ladies follow a funeral parade to a cemetery where Madison raises a man from his coffin to show Misty she is not as special as she thinks. The shawl she received from Stevie is nothing more than a piece of memorabilia from a life that she must now leave behind. As Misty bids farewell, Madison smashes her head in and closes the coffin on her. The grave diggers finish their job, placing the casket in a mausoleum. The running for Supreme is becoming a smaller race by the minute.

It’s been a day: The violence, greed, and ruthlessness of the episode kept the pace moving, but it is the final scene that slows the racing heart of the show and hits viewers the hardest. As Fiona winds down from her revolutionary day, she greets Nicks at the piano with an exhausted appreciation for her companionship. Nicks begins to softly sing, “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You?” as Fiona migrates to the couch and collapses slowly into the cushions. Having nothing and everything to live for sets Fiona against herself, which is the hardest battle to face alone.

Scene Stealer:

Myrtle Snow (yet again): One of the lighter moments of the episode arrives when Cordelia questions her place in the Coven. No longer in her mother’s favor and tortured by her blindness to Hank’s sordid past, Myrtle offers her little comfort outside of the soothing sounds of her theremin and a quick comparison of Fiona to Hillary Clinton. Long live, Myrtle Snow.

Watch American Horror Story: Coven episode 11, “Protect the Coven,” Wednesday, January 15 at 10 p.m. ET on FX

‘American Horror Story: Coven’ spares no lives — who are you sad to see go?

Have you ever stopped to consider who in the Muggle world could actually play Quidditch in the air? There appears to be an answer, believe it or not: Skydivers.

A group of ’em jumped out of a plane recently, hopped onto some brooms, and managed to toss a Quaffle to one another — and then they got it through a hoop. Plus, they did it all while wearing Ron Weasley / Half-Blood Prince Quidditch gear. The Hogwarts Quidditch teams would be impressed! Watch below:

Quidditch has actually been played for years in the Muggle world, thanks in large part to the International Quidditch Assocation. They hold an annual World Cup which has been featured on Snapchat two years in a row.

Of course, the IQA teams don’t play in the air like these skydivers did. Maybe these guys should start a team for next year’s World Cup?

Revisiting the ‘Captain America’ movie from 1990: A lost masterpiece?

For a second there, Chris Evans almost tricked me into thinking Captain America was cool.

10:00 am EDT, May 6, 2016

Forget Captain America: Civil War. The 1990s straight-to-video version is where it’s at.

A week ago, I had the pleasure of watching Captain America: Civil War, the third movie in Marvel’s esteemed Captain America trilogy.

There is no denying that the Russo brothers have created a masterpiece. While I personally didn’t think it lived up to the expectations set by the phenomenal The Winter Soldier, the third installment of Cap’s story has everything you could ask for in a comic book movie: Beautiful people and special effects, great acting, incredible fight sequences, humor, conflict, and heart.

But enough about Civil War. We’re here to talk about another Captain America movie — a movie I wasn’t aware existed until earlier this week, when the Screen Junkies brought it to the attention of the world.

Related: 9 Bucky Barnes moments we want to see in future Marvel movies

Captain America was not a property that I, a little Danish girl whose closest thing to fandom growing up was Duck Tales, was ever exposed to. I certainly don’t remember seeing this American-Yugoslavian straight-to-VHS production at my local Blockbusters, if it even came out in Europe at all.

Honestly, this whole ‘Captain America’ thing would probably never have appealed to me if not for Avengers, in which I thought he was kind of funny (but not as funny as Thor), and later Captain America: The First Avenger, which genuinely moved me, and for a long time was the only comic book movie I had more than a passing interest in (Peggy Carter may have had something to do with that, too).

So color me surprised when, on a dare, I decided to give the 1990s version of Cap’s saga with a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes a whirl, and actually… maybe… possibly… liked it?

But wait, isn’t this the worst movie of all time?

Captain America 1990 sucks

Let’s get this straight: Cap ’90 sucks. It’s awful. It’s exactly what you’d expect a superhero movie made in the 90s with b-list actors would look like.

When The First Avenger came out, ’90s-Cap Matt Salinger (yup, that Salinger) did an interview with GQ in which he admitted that the new Marvel movie, “looks like what we had hoped ours would look like.” Heartbreakingly, Salinger went on to confess that he had asked Marvel for a cameo in the movie, which they didn’t grant him. (I feel like he’s my Steve now, so this hit me really hard. Love you Matt.)

But to be honest with you, I don’t really care that it’s objectively terrible. I sat down to watch this movie in an effort to educate myself on Captain America’s history (and to gain new appreciation for the MCU), and, maybe because I was expecting everything about it to be awful, I was honestly surprised by how much this movie got right.

All the moral ambiguity you want in a ‘Cap’ movie

Captain America 1990 Steve Rogers

After Age of Ultron, there was a lot of talk about Chris Evans’ Steve being too clean, too nice, too noble. ‘Real’ Steve Rogers fans recognized that the comics character has a dark side, that he can be selfish, that he’s human.

And, for all his buffoonery, Salinger’s Captain America actually, albeit possibly by accident, embodies a lot of the traits we look for in a flawed Steve. Twice he fakes carsickness (!), does a silly run (!), and steals an innocent person’s car (!), leaving them stranded on a deserted road because of some stubborn conviction that he doesn’t need their help (seriously, it’s so dumb and also hilarious).

He’s allegedly a patriotic soldier whose father died in the war, and who leaves his family to become America’s first supersoldier. In the movie’s first 20 minutes, he heads straight into battle with Red Skull and falls into a pile of snow before anyone even realizes he exists, then wakes up 50 years later and heads straight back into the same battle.

During their final confrontation, Red Skull tells him, “No one cares about you,” and Steve’s reply is, “I care.” The world isn’t aware of Captain America in this version of the story, and the values he’s supposedly upholding are irrelevant to everyone around him.

The movie may tell us otherwise, but in actuality, Captain America is just a guy with a grudge, a would-be hero who’d never make it round the block if everyone around him didn’t jump in to help him out. (This probably wasn’t the character flaws fans had hoped for, but it is a nice change to see a supposed superhero actually having to rely so heavily on his non-superhero allies.)

Captain America 1990 Red Skull

Meanwhile, the movie’s villain, Red Skull, is the one with the tragic past. This was back before Hollywood knew how to make interesting good guys, and so they poured all their characterization into the villain: The movie opens with him as an innocent child in the 1930s watching his entire family get murdered, and then he’s tortured and transformed into a monster.

Red Skull sees Steve as his ‘brother,’ and when we catch up with him in the 1990s, he’s gotten a plastic surgery overhaul, and is working with his daughter Valentina, who for all intents and purposes is his second-in-command. During WW2, Red Skull was working with the Nazis to bomb the White House (don’t worry, Steve rode that rocket all the way from Italy to Washington, and onward to Alaska!), but when that failed, he apparently decided to settle down in Rome and become a low-key Mafioso.

In 1993 (don’t ask why this movie takes place three years after it was made, that’s just part of its magic) he has this big plan to kidnap the President and implant him with some kind of control chip, and when that also fails, he decides to just blow up everyone.

Captain America 1990 piano

He stands by a piano — which is significant because he was playing the piano right before the Nazis made him watch as they killed his family — and tells Cap, “We are both tragedies. And now I send our two tired souls to rest.”

And Steve? He strikes a pose and declares, “Not if I have anything to say about it!” before using his shield to knock Red Skull off a cliff and possibly-very-likely slice the head off Valentina in the process. Subtle, this Steve is not.

But, intentionally or not, this actually leaves us with genuine Sympathy for the Devil, a depth which The First Avenger arguably didn’t allow for (Red Skull was pure, sadistic evil in that version).

It’s kind of feminist (no, really)

Captain America 1990 Erskine

I mean look, it’s the 90s and lead girl Sharon not-Carter totally gets locked in a cell, Ultron-style. But pretty astoundingly, none of the ladies in the movie — of which there are quite a few — are ever actually damsels.

The Erskine character played in the Marvel movies by Stanley Tucci is actually a woman in the movie, named Doctor Maria Vaselli. She starts out as a Nazi scientist working on the Red Skull serum, but when she sees what they do to the kid she rebels and, when they try to shoot her, escapes.

She begins working with the American government to improve the serum, and by the time Steve is all ready for his dose, she’s still around. She’s killed, of course, like Erskine is, but having a woman in such a position of authority in the 1930s, so matter-of-factly, just reminds me that the ’90s were a lot more chill about what we’d consider ‘progressive’ in 2016.

Captain America 1990 Bernie

Then there’s Peggy Bucky Bernie, Steve’s one true love who promises to wait for him “forever, and ever, and ever and ever.” You think she’s just a doe-eyed love interest until we catch back up with her 50 years later. Turns out Peggy Bucky Bernie did wait for Steve, but not forever.

When Steve finds her, she tells him she waited till she was 38, then basically said ‘f*** it’ and got married and had some kids, because she wasn’t actually gonna let her life pass her by. When she confesses that she feels old and ugly compared to him, he tells her she’s beautiful, which is also kind of neat, in this age of women being told they’re ‘too old’ to exist at age 26.

Later she dies, killed by Red Skull’s daughter, and we learn that even when her life was on the line, she never gave up any information about Steve — a hero, in her own, quiet way.

Captain America 1990 Sharon

And then there’s Bernie’s daughter Sharon. If you thought Civil War made it weird with Sharon being Peggy’s niece, oh boy — not only could this Sharon have been Steve’s daughter in another life, but the two women are also played by the same actress!

But Sharon, for all that she’s not the awesome, badass Agent 13-version of Sharon we meet in the MCU, is actually a pretty refreshing lead female character. For one, she’d never explicitly made Cap’s love interest, and she’s also got a very specific non-romance-related reason for tagging along with him.

Captain America 1990 women

“We get our orders from the Red Skull’s daughter”

When Bernie dies, Steve mourns for about 0.1 seconds, but Sharon is obviously devastated. She follows Steve to Rome in order to confront Red Skull, and learns that Valentina is the one who killed her mother. Sharon finds herself up against Red Skull’s daughter several times (and the two even have a few conversations that earns Cap ’90 a pass on the Bechdel Test), before she ultimately punches her in the face. Cap might be the one to kill Valentina, but Sharon definitely got her moment.

At one point, Sharon also pulls Steve’s own silly car stealing trick on him, basically sacrificing herself by letting Red Skull’s henchmen catch her so Steve can get away (if you’ve seen Civil War, this might ring a bell).

Okay but it’s still awful, right?

Captain America 1990 Red Skull 2

Oh don’t worry, it’s terrible.

For one, the movie does absolutely nothing to explain what the serum actually did to Steve, other than cure his limp. He’s stronger and can throw a frisbee with deadly accuracy, and that’s about it… but in fairness, I guess that’s kind of true for Evans’ Cap, too. The lack of a physical change — he’s a dopey dude and post-serum he’s still a dopey dude — really diminishes the effect of him, however, especially considering the dorky costume they make him wear.

Also, Cap freezes in the ice within the first 30 minutes, and beyond being mildly wary of tape recorders seems completely unperturbed by the world of 1993. There’s no Black Widow, or Bucky, or Howard Stark, or any of the other people the MCU have taught me to assume would of course be present in a Captain America movie.

Captain America 1990 kid

“Pictures don’t lie and neither do best friends”

There is however a President Kimball, a super sympathetic Al Gore-type environmentalist, who ends up helping out with the whole saving-the-day thing (this is a movie about Captain ‘Murica after all).

Tom Kimball actually saw the rocket-surfing Steve back in the ’40s, and the transition from the ’40s to the ’90s is done through newspaper clippings showing how Tom went from a boy who dreamed of being the president, to the actual president (that part was actually really cool, even if they made a really obvious spelling error — see below).

Captain America 1990 newspaper

He also keeps up with his childhood best friend Sam, and their friendship through the film actually feels genuine, amidst all the terrible stunt coordination and one-liners.

Sam, who helpfully drops a Human Torch reference (Chris Evans, it was meant to be), continues to believe in Tom’s Captain America, even after Cap leaves him stranded on a highway. And when Sam is killed, still in an effort to protect Cap — who gives no f***s — he leaves Tom some kind of decoder locket thing he’s had since they were kids. #ImagineYourOTP

Captain America suffers from spectacularly bad production value, and some misguided (and half-assed, to its benefit) attempt to make Captain America a stoic, square-jawed Superman rip-off. The punch sound effects are taken straight out of a cartoon, some of the backdrops are laughable, and Steve’s actual character arc is non-existent: He’s a good soldier who wants to be a good soldier and continues to be a good soldier — his only real personality trait is that he likes to pretend he’s gonna barf and then steal people’s cars.

Captain America 1990 woman

But around the epic fail of the hero himself, there’s actually a semblance of an interesting story. There’s a tragic villain ripped from his family and forced to become a monster, raising his daughter to be a leader in her own right. There’s a strong-willed girl who loses a parent and follows the one man who may bring her justice, and there’s a president whose faith in this mythical Captain America may be an expression of his faith in a better world — a faith which, if the desperation and ill-contained frustration of our contemporary Captain America is anything to go by, we’re collectively beginning to lose.

Am I giving this movie too much credit? Absolutely. It’s cheesy, badly made, and not very much fun. But it’s also dark — a child is tortured, a family is gunned down, and Red Skull’s daughter has to listen to a recording of her grandparents being killed — and, of course, there are cool chicks doing motorcycle stunts. At the end of the day, there’s a lot to enjoy about the 1990s version of Captain America.

As someone whose knowledge of Cap pretty much begins and ends with Chris Evans’ MCU version, I was actually pleasantly surprised by this supposedly-and-actually-awful, but still surprisingly solid, Captain America movie.

“Listen to me!”
“No time, Flyboy.”

With lines like that, what’s not to love?

Marvel’s Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson has heard your concerns about the movie’s whitewashing.

Sometimes “complaining on the Internet” actually works — because sometimes you have intelligent arguments, that can’t be ignored.

This seems to be the case for fans voicing concerns about Doctor Strange, Marvel’s upcoming supernatural superhero film starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular doctor, and Tilda Swinton as the gender- and race-bent Ancient One.

When the trailer came out, it was followed by an immediate outcry of concerns over the movie’s seeming appropriation and erasure of Asian culture.

While everyone agrees that Tilda Swinton will do a fantastic job as the Ancient One, deciding to make the character of Celtic origin — while still placing her in Asia (decidedly not Tibet) — doesn’t sit well with fans and professionals in Hollywood who are tired of the lack of Asian representation on screen.

As our Donya Abramo argued in her brilliant article on the topic:

“By removing The Ancient One’s Tibetan origins, yet keeping the setting decidedly Asian, they have been erased from the narrative entirely, and the movie has shifted into more explicit Orientalist overtones. It makes it incredibly difficult to celebrate a female Ancient One at the expense of other, much needed representation — and there are certainly enough Asian and Asian American actors that both could have happened. It also sets a dangerous precedent that there are only two options for Asians in Hollywood: stereotype or invisible.”

The situation was only made worse when Marvel released a statement about the issue, claiming to have a “very strong record of diversity in its casting,” and that making the Ancient One’s origin Celtic is an example of how Marvel “regularly departs from stereotypes.”

Asian industry professionals Hollywood have been particularly outspoken about the issues with this, and now, Scott Derrickson has revealed via Twitter that he’s paying attention:

While the movie is done and dusted, it’s always wonderful to see directors acknowledge the backlash to their perpetuation of tropes or erasure (similarly, we’ve recently seen the Russo brothers call out the need for LGBT representation in Marvel movies), as opposed to insisting there isn’t a problem to begin with — and we can only hope that the studios are listening and learning, too!

‘Doctor Strange’ hits theaters on November 4, 2016