Welcome to the sixth episode of American Horror Story, where I come face to face with my greatest fear: bad New Orleans accents!
We open in 1919, where a man sits behind a typewriter and confesses in voiceover that he is the Axeman. For those of you who don’t know, the Axeman was a notorious real life serial killer that ax murdered several people in New Orleans.
He describes himself as a “demon from the hottest hell,” which is accurate for anyone who has ever been in New Orleans in July. The Axeman carries his axe in a saxophone case… but wait a minute, don’t they call guitars axes? I might be wrong; everything I know about rock bands I gleaned from Josie and the Pussycats.
The Axeman, like all serial killers, enjoys long walks on the beach, sending taunting letters to the police and collecting newspaper clippings of his murders. You know, murdery sorta stuff.
We hop on over to Miss Robichaux’s School for Latent Sexual Longing, where the witches are all in a tizzy. They’ve just read that the Axeman is out for blood tonight, but he’ll spare the homes of anyone playing jazz music. Personally, I’d rather get an axe to the face than listen to jazz, but that’s just me.
While the witches suggest busting out the Victrola, the phonographs, and the piano forte, their Supreme, Millie, shuts them down. Guess someone else hates jazz as much as I do! BTW Millie is played by Grace Gummer, Meryl Streep’s daughter. From here on out, I’ll be calling her Baby Streep.
Baby Streep balks at playing jazz just to please some psycho. Women are about to get the right to vote, the tide is changing, and it’s time to shut this murdering shit down once and for all!
The Axeman walks down the street listening to the sounds of jazz coming from every house. He balks when he hears opera coming from Miss Robichaux’s.
Axeman walks into the school and approaches Baby Streep, who is playing with tarot cards.
Before he can axe her, Baby Streep stabs him in the chest. All the witches descend on the Axeman and stab the crap out of him.They are also all wearing black robes, because group activities are always more fun with matching outfits.
Back in present day, Zoe goes through Madison’s belongings, including a tabloid spread with the words “I do what I want!” Where have I seen this before?
Zoe tries on her sunglasses, smells her perfume, steals her underwear, and finds a teeny tiny gun.
She also finds a teeny tiny bottle of vodka, which rolls onto the floor and into the closet. Zoe chases after the vodka; it’s called priorities, people.
Inside the closet, Zoe discovers a secret hiding place filled with feelings, dental dams, old photos, and a Ouija board.
Zoe shows the photos to Queenie and Nan, and rightfully asks the question: where did all the fucking witches go? Apparently there used to be more than three students in this school, and Hogwarts hasn’t opened an American program, so what the hell happened?
Zoe takes charge, because that’s what she’s all about now, and says that they have to find Madison. She busts out a bottle of absinthe, because booze always helps people find what they’re looking for… if that thing is an unsatisfying sexual experience and a headache. Thanks, alcohol!
The twitches bust out the spirit board and use a shot glass to contact the ghostly realm. The only thing I’ve ever contacted with a shot glass was all of my exes, but whatever.
Queenie is hesitant to mess with the board; her grandma once released a spirit and the spirit burned her house down. So you know, fuck spirits.
Someone starts communicating with the twitches through the spirit board. It’s someone who was murdered in the house, which narrows it down to about five hundred people. JK, it’s the Axeman. Queenie breaks the shot glass before they release any more murderers.
Meanwhile, Fiona is in the hospital receiving chemo.
Turns out, chemo gives her mind reading abilities, and she hears the thoughts and worries of the other patients. Fiona, in no mood for this, rips out her IV and goes to leave.
The doctors convince Fiona to stay, and she admits that the only reason she’s going through chemo is to stay alive to help Cordelia. Fiona also wishes for one last great love affair before she goes. Hey girl, Spalding is still single.
Meanwhile, back at Miss Robichaux’s School for Teen Sleuths, Zoe finds out all about the history of the Axeman from the internet. She also tells us that a sax is also referred to as an axe. The more you know!
Nan and Queenie read in the old witch diaries about the Axeman’s murder. Apparently his soul is stuck in the house, and he wants to use Zoe to get released. Zoe is convinced he knows where Madison is, because all ghosts know all other ghosts, right?
Queenie and Nan are NOT on board with this plan, so Zoe goes ahead without them.
Zoe asks the spirit board for Madison’s location. She offers him release in exchange for the info, which… GROSS. She says “release” like, ten times in a creepy sexy voice and it’s upsetting.
The Axeman spells out “attic” on the board, and Zoe climbs into the attic. She finds Spalding’s creepy doll house tea party setup, and dead body smell.
She opens the trunk to find Madison’s decaying body, and Spalding covers her mouth before she can scream! I legitimately screamed at this scene and then felt immediately embarrassed.
Cordelia is brought home by Fiona and Hank, and she’s outfitted with some sunglasses and a cane. She’s also wearing black now, bc symbolism.
Cordelia is furious with Hank, as every time she touches him she gets flashes of him banging that redhead. She demands an end to the bullshit— someone lost her sight but gained some backbone.
Cordelia kicks him out, and Fiona calls him Jughead, which is hilarious.
Since being blinded, Cordelia has been given the sight (which I guess is what we are calling her powers now). Fiona tells her it’s the greatest gift to have, but the hardest one to live with. So it’s like magical herpes?
Fiona tries to help Cordelia undress, but her touch causes Cordelia to live through Myrtle’s burning. Cordelia is heartbroken. This show really loves putting Sarah Paulson through the ringer. I hear that next season they’re going to shoot out her kneecaps and give her a dairy allergy.
Fiona decides to leave Cordelia alone, but she’ll send Delphine to check on her. Great plan, because Cordelia will certainly not have any traumatic visions touching a racist 200 year old mass murderer and torturer.
As Fiona gets the fuck out of there, the twitches interrogate Spalding. Nan uses her mind reading skills to translate for him.
I bet you’re wondering how Zoe managed to escape his clutches? She knocked him out with a porcelain doll! You guys, only on this show are Madam Alexander dolls used as weapons!
They put a metal spatula on a hot plate and burn Spalding for information. He tells them that he killed Madison for creepy sex reasons, which jives with his whole doll house creepy aesthetic. He also says they can’t do shit to him, because… I don’t know why. Maybe he has butler tenure?
Queenie is ready to kill him, but Zoe senses that he’s lying. Instead, Queenie spatula burns her own face, thus burning Spalding’s. I mean, he’s sitting right there Queenie. Just burn him directly. No one likes a show-off.