Two to go.
American Horror Story is always an exponentially increasing whirlwind of crazy. Given that it started out pretty damn out there, by this point it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it’s like a mental patient screaming in your face. No, wait, that was Asylum…
So whilst you wipe the spittle from your face, it’s worth remembering that despite mid-season stumbles, this has still been the best series so far. The plot twists have been over-the-top, the characters madder than a box of frogs, and the lines of taboo pretty much nonexistent.
And yet, the last episode bathed the camera in blood. What can top that?
More blood, apparently.
No seriously, having pretty much crossed everything else off its list at the start of the series, the producers seem to have been left with a whole load of unused corn syrup, and decided to simply drown the cast, set and camera in it. Which isn’t a criticism, because what AHS can do with a bucket of blood is something you need to see.
Following all the excitement of last episode, LaLaurie has done the only reasonable thing to do with an immortal voodoo priestess; hacked Marie Laveau into pieces and hid her around New Orleans. The (apparent) culmination of Laveau’s story is suitably brutal, and although we don’t get to experience the sarky joy of Angela Bassett’s disembodied head, the mutilation scene alone is enough.
Also; Papa Legba. I’m still unsure what he’s supposed to be (Queenie suggests he’s a god), but Lance Reddick has the undeniable stage presence that even sparingly used he fills the show nonetheless. Kathy Bates, too, finally embraces the full unlikability of LaLaurie, revealing the character as irredeemable. Though even monsters love their children apparently.
Elsewhere, it’s supreme season once again. Madison remains convinced that she’s the supreme, because arrogance. Zoe thinks it’s her, because she brought a hobo back from the dead, which actually doesn’t count for much since Queenie did the same to Misty. And Misty has been bringing back the dead since the first episode, so if that’s the given metric, then she has a fair claim.
Next episode we see the whole coven undergo the supreme exams, so viewers can only hope that we’ll get to see Madison self-immolate. The scene where Misty beat her to a pulp was oddly satisfying to watch.
But the shocker of this episode was Fiona. I can’t pretend not to be surprised at the decision to remove Jessica Lange’s character in the penultimate episode — though anyone thinking she won’t appear in the finale anyway hasn’t been paying attention thus far. It was an excellent bow-out though; Fiona’s instability has been the driving force of the series, and her violent departure was both the playing out of her arrogance, and set the scene for “Seven Wonders”.
As the bitchy witches saw off her killer — Danny Huston’s Axeman, who really has surpassed my initial mediocre assessment of him — there’s a hint of Julius Caesar about it. Which is appropriate, given the power vacuum.
The crazy has been turned up to eleven. I have no idea what to expect from the finale, except for it to shock and astound even more. That’s part of what makes this series so excellent; it defies anticipation, and laughs in the face of your — and my — attempts at prediction. If more series had AHS‘ disdain of cliche, then TV drama would be much better for it.