American Horror Story 309 Recap: The Yankee Eyeball Swap

Welcome to the ninth episode of American Horror Story, the show that has simultaneously lowered and raised the bar for television everywhere. Is this show ridiculous? Of course! Am I at all interested in watching TV shows that DON’T feature a talking severed head of Kathy Bates? NOPE NOPE NOPASAURUS REX!

This show has ruined real life for me, you guys. Like, if the four horsemen of the apocalypse appeared before me (and Riese wanted me to recap our imminent demise) I would take an iPhone pic, write something like “Neigh Girl Neigh!” underneath, and then take my place alongside all the other doomed souls.

This week’s vocab word is: shoinks! It’s a combination of “shit!” and “yoinks!” Spread it like wildfire.

We open on father and son campers in the woods. It’s 1991. Turns out it’s Baby Hank and his dad, who are on Hank’s first witch hunting trip. Is this how men bond?

Mom had to stay home because her menses attracts bears

Mom had to stay home because her menses attracts bears.

Dad tells Hank not to be nervous, and gives him a rifle bigger than he is. Apparently they’ve been hunters for generations, killing witches, upholding the patriarchy, driving the priestesses of Avalon into the mists. You know, just bro-ing out.

Kid, you are no Carl Grimes.

Kid, you are no Carl Grimes.

Soon, a bedraggled looking woman stumbles out from the brush, begging Baby Hank not to shoot her. Dad screams at him to gun her down, and Baby Hank chokes, because he’s a fucking child and not a soulless killing machine.

I got lost at the 1993 Michigan Womyn’s Music Fest and have been wandering the woods ever since.

I got lost at the 1993 Michigan Womyn’s Music Fest and have been wandering the woods ever since.

The witch casts a stream of fire at him and Dad runs and saves Baby Hank, getting mighty singed in the process. Dad shoots the witch and tells his son to have no mercy, to never forget what they are, and to maybe get some aloe for his extra crispy hand.

South Coast Boutique is having a fire sale?

South Coast Boutique is having a fire sale?

And that’s why you don’t yell in the house!

And that’s why you don’t yell in the house!

Over at Marie Laveau’s salon, ladies are getting their hair done while Queenie works the phones. Their busy day is interrupted by (Golden Globe nominee!) Fiona and her (Golden Globe snubbed!) cardboard box of Delphine’s head.

I’m using this caption to confess my love for the Queen Latifah movie Beauty Shop and I am not ashamed

I’m using this caption to confess my love for the Queen Latifah movie Beauty Shop and I am not ashamed

Fiona tells Marie that they need to talk, what with the war on witches/witch hunters/revived Christians, etc. Marie refuses to talk to her, but then remembers that health inspector rule about severed heads in the work place and ushers her into the back room.

"Attitude" face

“Attitude” face

"Shut the fuck up" face

“Shut the fuck up” face

"Who did I leave hanging on line 3?" face

“Who did I leave hanging on line 3?” face

They adjourn to the back room, where Delphine’s body is still chilling in her cage. The body waves half-heartedly at Fiona, who looks appalled. Marie tells Fiona that since she dug up Delphine, she’s her problem. Ah, the old “finders keepers losers weepers” rationale.

AHS309-00026

Head? Gone. Hand? Gone. Bedazzled sweater? Still rocking it!

Wow, remember back in episode one when Fiona just dug up Delphine to get her beauty secrets? Was this show ever so young?

Fiona is there to brook an alliance between the covens and warn Marie of the witch hunters. Marie isn’t interested in an alliance and tells Fiona that the witch hunter (who is on her payroll) is a white girl problem and none of her concern.

One, cut a hole in a box. Two, put Kathy Bates head in a box.

One, cut a hole in a box. Two, put Kathy Bates head in a box.

I don’t know, Marie. As an over-privileged Caucasian, I consider myself an expert on white girl problems. They usually involve adderall, skiing, and Taylor Swift, right? I feel like witch murder is maybe an everybody problem.

Throughout this whole conversation, Delphine’s head has been providing color commentary from the box, and it’s hilarious. Fiona has to jam some stuff in her mouth just to shut her up.

This year, Santa is switching from coal to severed heads. Merry fucking Christmas.

This year, Santa is switching from coal to severed heads. Merry fucking Christmas.

Marie tells Queenie to take the head out back and burn it in a fire. Delphine is psyched to maybe possibly finally die. Fiona leaves behind the head and any hopes of an alliance.

Meanwhile, back at Miss Robichaux’s Obstacle Course for the Recently Blind, Cordelia is banging around the kitchen and trying to cook some eggs. I know that all the help is gone, but can’t Nan or someone take five fucking minutes and make this woman an omelet?

Nan, is that you? You’ve grown so tall and cast iron!

Nan, is that you? You’ve grown so tall and cast iron!

Luckily Myrtle is there, and she watches Cordelia break all the eggs and stumble around like she’s Mary from Little House on the Prairie. Cordelia even says the following: “Could people please not move things? Some of us are blind!” I believe that was the first thing Helen Keller signed to Anne Sullivan.

Should I tell her she’s cooking with the rat poison? No, it’s the only way she’ll learn.

Should I tell her she’s cooking with the rat poison? No, it’s the only way she’ll learn.

Myrtle goes to help her and tells Cordelia that she wasn’t the one who blinded her. We see a flashback of Young Cordelia being ditched at Miss Robichaux’s by Fiona. Myrtle takes her in and raises her like her own daughter, and it’s really sweet and touching, which is an emotional note that AHS almost never hits.

Where did my mother go?

Where did my mother go?

She’s following Hoobastank on tour, I’m your mother now

She’s following Hoobastank on tour, I’m your mother now

BTW, how cute are Myrtle’s glasses in this episode? When I’m old I’m just gonna go full on crazy and wear all the shawls and fingerless gloves and cat’s eye glasses and embarrass the shit out of my children.

Portrait of the recapper as an older woman

Portrait of the recapper as an older woman

Anyhoo, Cordelia doesn’t need her magic sight to know that Myrtle loves and cares for her. Myrtle tells Fiona that she’d pluck out her own eyeballs to give her sight again. This is what we in the “biz” call foreshadowing.

From there, we wiggle our noses and hop on our broomsticks and fly on over to Atlanta to a big fancy pants company called Delphi Trust. Hank is there to meet with his dad, who owns the company. Turns out that dad held that old hunting trip faux pas against Hank, and denied him a seat on the board. Furthermore, Hank is in fact a low-level witch hunter whose only job is to collect intel from Cordelia.

So…do you like The Wire?

So…do you like The Wire?

Unfortunately, Hank has been going rogue, what with the Marie Laveau alliance/unsanctioned hotel witch murders/general douchery/unwillingness to wear non-flannel shirts. Poor Hank cowers under his father’s glare; he has nothing to contribute to the witch hunting or the multi-million dollar corporation… which does what, exactly? Manufacture silver bullets?

Adding insult to injury, Hank finds out that it was his dad who authorized Cordelia’s blinding, as a way to make her more dependent on Hank. Whoops, that backfired like whoa.

So twenty spanks with the paddle and then I’m in the frat, right guys?

So twenty spanks with the paddle and then I’m in the frat, right guys?

Hank is upset, what with his real love feelings for Cordelia, and his dad immediately yells at him about losing himself in the lie/she’s a witch/no girls allowed blah blah blah this is boring.

Is that Head n’ Shoulders?

Is that Head n’ Shoulders?

Meanwhile, back at Miss Robichaux’s School for the Culinary Arts and Crafts, Myrtle is fawning all over her new melon baller and serving lobster to Pembroke and Quentin.

I guess you could say I’m a baller, shot caller…

I guess you could say I’m a baller, shot caller…

This is surprising, as the last time they saw her they burnt her at the stake. But they’re totes sorry about it, so it’s cool, right?

And then we were like, "ooh sick burn!" because you were on fire, get it?

And then we were like, “ooh sick burn!” because you were on fire, get it?

Anyway, Myrtle is looking fresher than ever and the lobster is a-flowin’ so let’s let bygones be bygones! They try to toast Myrtle before succumbing to poison because this is American Horror Story and this is how they roll. Turns out that Myrtle gave them a paralyzing drug, so they are totally helpless when she takes that melon baller and scoops their eyeballs out.

You guys, SHE MELON-BALLERED THEIR EYES OUT! THIS IS A SHOW ON TELEVISION AND THIS IS THE WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN!

Come on, Vogue!

Come on, Vogue!

Myrtle takes those freshly melon-balled eyes and magicks them into Cordelia’s face, and abracadabra Cordelia can see again! Myrtle gave her one blue eye and one brown, just like a Turkish angora cat she used to own. Lezziest spell ever, right? Myrtle could pull Ellen and Portia scissoring out of a top hat and it would still be less gay than this spell.

Awesome! I always wanted to look more like your cat!

Awesome! I always wanted to look more like your cat!

Fiona arrives at the school and overhears Cordelia telling Myrtle that she can’t just go around jacking eyeballs. Myrtle equates it with throwing a drowning man a life preserver, which is totally the same thing… if that life preserver was made out of the intestines of your former colleagues.

And I see no one has been playing the piano forte in my absence!

And I see no one has been playing the piano forte in my absence!

Fiona is awestruck to see that Cordelia’s sight is back, although she balks at the mismatched eyes. I guess someone’s a dog lover. Fiona and Myrtle start bickering and Fiona calls her a charcoal briquette, which, LOL. When Fiona asks about the origins of the eyeballs, Myrtle jokes about anonymous donors, and we see a quick scene of her hacking up the bodies and yukking it up like a nutbag. She also says that the council isn’t seeing anyone right now because EYEBALL PUNS! All of the shoinks.

"Eye" killed them! Get it? Get it? Bc I ripped their eyes out

“Eye” killed them! Get it? Get it? Because I ripped their eyes out.

Cordelia has had enough and tells them both to shut the fuck up and get over their drama. This means that Myrtle has to respect Fiona as the Supreme and that Fiona can’t threaten Myrtle with banishment to Pyramus, New Jersey. I would totally watch a show about a wacky witch banished to New Jersey, BTW.

Blow job face

Blow job face

Cordelia reminds them that the real danger is outside the school, not inside it.

Here’s a quick tally of the dangers found INSIDE the school:

  • Axeman locked in a Ouija board
  • Racist serial killing maids
  • A creepy butler with a doll fetish
  • A murderous Supreme
  • Some decaying minotaur penis?
  • The corpses of old council member who could rise as zombies
  • A killer vagina
  • A murdering Frankenboy made entirely of rapists

GREAT JOB CORDELIA THIS PLACE IS SAFE AS HOUSES.

Cordelia goes to take a nap and hugs Myrtle. That’s when she realizes that her magic sight is gone. Oh well, two eyeballs forward, one step back.

I’m gonna rest my eyes, try not to hate-sex all over the parlor

I’m gonna rest my eyes, try not to hate-sex all over the parlor

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, where she works as a screenwriter/blogger/pop culture geek. She’s obsessed with dachshunds, the Whedonverse, 90's dance parties, and roller derby. She loves the word "Jewess" and wishes more people used it to describe her. Follow her ramblings on Twitter why don't you?

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20 Comments

  1. Thumb up 5

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    If I could have one wish, it would be that Ryan Murphy would never go near racial issues or disability issues or issues of any kind at all. Really? Footage of the Selma riots alongside a scene of a white man killing a roomful of black women? That is tasteless as fuck.

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      Ryan Murphy is so pretentious you could tell he really though he was saying something with that final sequence. If Glee and this show is how is going to treat black characters and race issues then I wish he would stay as far away from them as possible next season.

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      That was certainly one of the most insensitive, utterly stupid scenes I’ve watched in a long time. I can’t even fathom how someone would come up with that and then actually make it happen on national television. The whole season has issues with racial issues and respect but really after this episode I don’t think I can watch anymore. It’s ridiculous.

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    Am I wrong in saying neither of the last two seasons were anywhere close to as ridiculous as this one? By the end of this week I was so pissed off/confused about everything.

    Without even getting into the overall what-the-fuckness of everything this week…

    1.Kyle, what the hell? I thought we were supposed to find him harmless/sympathetic. He lashed out at his mother because of the years of abuse and then was misunderstood and thought of as a monster because he couldn’t articulate what had happened. Then, all of a sudden, he just snaps a dog’s neck and Fiona brings him downstairs to play gin? What even is that?

    2.These witch hunt guys make zero sense. It was ridiculous when somebody that dumb was Marie Leveaux’s insider but the idea there is some giant corporation deploying inept morons to kill off witches with a view to, well who the fuck knows what is just pain in the brain levels of dumb. How did they go from being a pre-Salem brotherhood to a corporation? Like what, some guy just decided to get in a tax lawyer and appoint a board of directors to his family murder business??

    3.No WAY Crazy Enema Mom is killing the son. Even if he does know she killed his dad. It makes no sense when she has been so obsessively creepily maternal and overbearing all season. Hello! He allowed you to give him a fricking enema because he’d been sinning. I don’t think he’s going to tell on you!

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    Your recaps are brilliantly funny. Thank you! Speaking as an actual descendant of two hanged Salem women (Rebecca Towne Nourse and Mary Towne Eastey–sisters) I do wish they’d get the Salem stuff right, but otherwise I am loving this crazy, sick, completely bewildering season. The Ryan Murphy method seems to be, Avoid such trivialities as plot and substitute with a weekly helping of strange occurrences and bizarre eventualities that eventually collapse under their own weight, creating a dramatic denouement. And give the fabulous Lange, Bates, and Bassett some of the best lines ever heard on television.

    I’m reading this whole season as a riff on the fashion world, with Fiona as Anna Wintour, Myrtle as Grace Coddington (she’s dressed and coiffed exactly like her–I have a side-by-side picture to prove it but your site won’t let me post it), Maria as Iman (in competition with Vogue with her new online mag), and the girls as interchangeable, personality-free models who look good but are systemically vacant. LaLurine represents the eternally rapacious industry as a whole, eating its young, and the men are entirely beside the point. Misty Day is the only Real Woman and, despite her obsession with Stevie Nicks and lacy shawls, she’ll triumph. I think it works as a metaphor. What do you think?

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      OMG I JUST READ THIS AND I COULD NOT POSSIBLY AGREE MORE!!! My mind is blown.

      I would also like to posit that the Harmon family members in season one are all metaphors for how Americans treat mental illness, and the Asylum characters are a thinly veiled critique of celebrity obsession and tabloid culture.

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