This post contains spoilers for the “American Horror Story” Episode 3.1. If you do not want to be spoiled, DO NOT read on!
Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Written by Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy
This time around, “American Horror Story” is all about witches – past and present. Showrunners Falchuk and Murphy have chosen a beautiful setting in New Orleans and an absolutely fantastic cast of new and returning players. Jessica Lange, Taissa Farmiga, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Lily Rabe, Jaime Brewer, and Sarah Paulson are back. Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, Kathy Bates, Patti Lupone, and Angela Bassett are new major players. Murphy has promised that this season will be lighter than “Asylum” and it’s clear from the season premiere, he intends to have fun with his newest plotline.
I’m already in love with this season. I can definitely tell that this season’s mood will be closer to the first – the horror evenly balanced with black comedy. And you can’t go wrong with a nearly all female cast of strong, independent characters! I’m thrilled to see Farmiga and Brewer come back, and even more so to see Farmiga and Peters reunited, they have such great chemistry. I was excited to learn that real life brutal killer Madame LaLaurie would play a large role in this season, and even more excited to hear Bates would be playing her. Similarly exciting is Bassett’s role as the voodoo queen Marie Laveau, an important figure in New Orleans history. As they did in previous seasons, Falchuk and Murphy are weaving historical figures with their supernatural stories (Elisabeth Short in Season 1 and Anne Frank in Season 2). This particular story lends itself especially well to that, considering the wealth of New Orleans’ past citizens associated with nefarious and magical dealings.
Do I even need to talk about how amazing Lange is? Fiona is much closer in personality to Constance than Jude, but there’s a thread of languid sinisterness that connects all three. She’s already sucked someone’s youth dry and brought back Madame LaLaurie, but I have a feeling she’s only just getting started. I’m anxious to see what Paulson does with her role as Cordelia; she’s much more clinical and exacting than her previous characters in the series, but I have a feeling that her mother will corrupt her soon enough. Roberts really surprised me with how effective she was at playing the spoiled mean girl. I’ve only seen her in indie nice girl roles thus far. Sidibe wasn’t given much to do in this episode, but hopefully that will change and we’ll get some back story on her character, because I find her power fascinating. I’ve heard rumors that Peters will be a Frankenstein-type character and won’t talk for his first seven episodes. I’m interested to see how that works, because I think most of his onscreen charm comes from his stellar line delivery.
This episode flew by for me and definitely left me wanting more. If Falchuk and Murphy can keep it up, I’m pretty sure “American Horror Story: Coven” will be the best season yet. And that’s saying something, considering how much I enjoyed the first season!
The Best Bits:
It’s a tough choice, but I was really impressed by the music choice in this episode!