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American Horror Story, Ep.3.06: “The Axeman Cometh” one step forward, one step back

American Horror Story, Ep.3.06: “The Axeman Cometh” one step forward, one step back

American Horror Story, Season 3, Episode 6: “The Axeman Cometh”
Directed by Michael Uppendahl
Written by Douglas Petrie
Airs Wednesdays at 10:00 PM on FX

They have never caught me and they never will. They have never seen me, for I am invisible, even as the ether that surrounds your earth. I am not a human being, but a spirit and a demon from the hottest hell.

Danny Huston guest stars on the sixth episode of American Horror Story: Coven, as an axe-wielding killer whose spirit is released from the dead by Zoe after communicating with him using a Ouija board. Much like Asylum, Coven is cramming in as much as they can in terms of plotting. Last season featured Nazis, aliens, demons and a Santa Claus killer to name a few; Coven so far introduced zombies, minotaurs, voodoo priestesses, and re-animated corpses. “The Axeman Cometh” continues to draw inspiration from historical figures and atrocities that took place on the streets and in the swamps of the Big Easy. First it was in the form of Laveau and Madame LaLaurie, and now we have The Axeman of New Orleans thrown into the mix.

Thankfully The Axeman storyline is pushing the plot forward, leading to the discovery of Madison’s body and her eventual resurrection. His introduction also comes in the form of a stunning opening flashback, culminating with Miss Robichaux’s class of 1919 repeatedly stabbing him to death with the sweet sounds of opera blasting in the background. As per usual, American Horror Story makes some great casting choices, especially with its villains. Topping the second season’s Ian McShane is a different sort of secondary baddie in the form of Danny Huston. Huston is perfectly cast as the saxophonist by day, and psycho-killer by night. His role seems to be building toward a game-changing mid-season character reversal for Jessica Lange’s Fiona; perhaps reminiscent of Sister Jude’s removal from the head of the the Briarcliff Mental Institution in last year’s Asylum. Fiona is short on allies, and now that she has crossed paths with the newly freed Axeman, we can expect that the writers will place her in some form of immediate danger. Now undergoing chemo treatment, Fiona discovers that she can read people’s thoughts; but more importantly, she realizes that deep down she desires to be loved by someone. Will her loneliness blind her to the Axeman’s true intentions, or will she be able to read his mind and see him for the monster he really is?

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In the most disappointing reveal in “The Axeman’s Cometh,” we learn that Cordelia’s unfaithful, murdering husband, Hank, is working for Fiona’s biggest foe. Turns out, Hank’s a witch-hunter, working with Marie to help figure out the locations of the remaining descendants of the Salem witches in order to execute them one by one. The truth of Hank’s identity is one of those twists that doesn’t make much sense. Considering Marie’s powers, I can’t help but wonder why she even needs Hank’s help. In fact this entire subplot stinks of lazy writing. If viewers were hoping that a witch-hunter would perhaps bring some real detective work, or at the very least, a thrilling hunt, they’ll be incredibly let down. Instead Hank acquires his information by simply eavesdropping on the meetings between Cordelia and other potential, future Coven members.

– Ricky D

Other thoughts:

There is certainly plenty of raising the dead this season.

I’m glad Madison is back, but I can’t say the same for Kyle. Evan Peters is a great actor, but in season three, he is reduced to grunting or running around nude.

You have to like the nod to Rocky Horror’s Riff Raff.

No sign of Madame Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) this week. As I mentioned in previous reviews, her character is the least interesting this season, so I can’t say she is missed.

The Axeman: “I am not a human being, but a spirit. A foul demon from hottest Hell.”

Zoe: “Alright you twisted, tea-serving necrophiliac, what’d you do to Madison?”

Spalding: “I’m a man of uniquely developed appetites.”

Misty: “Get him outta here! He broke Stevie.”

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Madison: “I need a cigarette.”

Laveau: “I look like the Taliban to you?”

Kaylee: “I just want to find a good husband and have three kids. I think I have a good shot. I work out and play fantasy football.”

Laveau: “When I plant a fat-ass cracker bitch, I expect her to stay planted, not spring up like that damn ragweed.”

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