Welcome to the fourth episode of American Horror Story, the show that teaches us that even creepy butlers and scarecrows need hugs too. It’s the Halloween episode, so let’s see what fresh hell they have for us this week!
This week’s vocabulary word is “grurst.” It’s a combination of “gross” and “worst.”
We open in 1961, where we see a young boy riding his bike down the street.
A car full of racists speeds up behind him. They run after him and corner him in an alley. I think we all know where this is going.
Meanwhile, Marie Laveau is running her shop and talking to her clients. She is rocking a fabulous bouffant and looks stunning as always.
She talks to a customer who is sending her son, Henry, to first day of integrated high school at De La Salle. The mom talks about how times are changing, what with Kennedy and astronauts and West Side Story being released.
Mom has faith in the future, which is especially heartbreaking when we see that future getting lynched by the worst people in the world. Marie and the mom show up at the lynching site, and while the mom wails in anguish, Marie just silently watches.
Back at the salon, Marie rustles up a drummer, a snake, and some chalk and starts voodooing some shit up.
She guts the snake, there’s a magic card catalogue filled with spells, and she drinks from a mug of fire.
Meanwhile, the murdering racists are gathered in a shit shack to celebrate their lynching.
Suddenly, a hand rises from a grave.
Zombies start crawling out of graves and murdering the racists!
They tear the racists limb from limb, and Marie goes white-eyed like she’s White Willow or something.
We cut to a room full of creepy porcelain dolls, a grammaphone, and a tiny tea cups.
Hold on to your tiny fucking doll hats, because creepy butler is hosting a straight up tea party in a room full of dolls! I thought I would be shocked, but let’s face it, this is exactly what we all pictured creepy butler doing in his spare time.
He hears shouts from downstairs, and wanders down into last week’s episode to see Fiona murder Madison.
Wrong place, wrong time, creepy butler! Fiona smokes a cigarette and tells him that the coven can’t afford to have a lousy Supreme right now, so he rolls her up in the rug.
Creepy butler, whose name we find out is Spalding, pours Fiona a drink.
Fiona tells Spalding that she enjoys their little talks, especially since he lost his tongue. Backhanded compliment much, Fiona?
They hear noises outside, and Fiona goes to the potion room to investigate. She finds broken glass, an overturned table, and a bleeding Queenie.
Fiona asks Queenie who hurt her. My money is on the giant fucking minotaur right behind you!
Fiona wakes up Cordelia by telling her that her student has been attacked by a minion of hell. Cordelia quickly gets to work and puts on her nerd glasses and lights a candle.
Fiona and Cordelia agree that this is some dark voodoo, courtesy of Marie Laveau. I mean, she’s the only other powerful witch in New Orleans so it’s not that hard to figure out, but whatever.
Cordelia blames Fiona for provoking Marie and denying her a voodoo baby. Fiona tells her that she went there to show strength, but that Cordelia undermined her by showing weakness and pain. You know, classic mother-daughter conflict. It’s just like the fights I have with my mother, only replace “voodoo” and “dying witch” with “midnight texts asking me how to program the DVR.”
Queenie stops breathing, so Fiona breathes life back into her mouth. Queenie is revived and everyone is going to shut the hell up about it, because the council showing up.
Fiona goes to her room, exhausted after a long day of witch/minotaur slaying and mouth to mouth. She tells Delphine to get out of her closet, which is hilarious because GAY JOKES.
Delphine tells Fiona that Queenie saved her life (teachable moment!) and she’s scared the minotaur will return. Fiona tells her to go sleep, the minotaur has been handled.
Meanwhile, at Marie’s salon, Marie is doing Cora’s hair (who I believe was the mom in the flashback but I wasn’t paying enough attention). Cora is going to a Halloween ball at the governor’s mansion, and she needs to get her hair done because “if the hair is nappy, white people ain’t happy!”
Cora offers to pay but Marie refuses her money. I love how no one in this salon questions that Marie never ages/is a voodoo priestess. It’s just business as usual.
A giant box gets delivered, and it’s definitely not got a severed minotaur head inside.
PSYCH! That’s exactly what it is. The minotaur head blinks up at her and Marie screams.
Meanwhile, back at the house that incest built, FrankenKyle is beating his bloody head against a sink. Zoe tries to clean him with a wash cloth.
I love it in horror movies when people are covered head to toe in blood and someone gives them a hand towel. Um, you’re gonna need an industrial hose, guys.
Zoe apologizes to FrankenKyle, and asks him if he’s hungry. BECAUSE THAT’S OBVIOUSLY WHAT HE’S UPSET ABOUT, ZOE. This girl is the grurst. She goes downstairs to make him some tuna salad (gross) when she spots some rat poison. Maybe she should put FrankenKyle out of his frankenmisery.
Zoe goes to feed FrankenKyle, but he’s gone! She rushes outside to see people in their Halloween costumes. She’ll obviously never be able to track down a blood-covered piñata of a man in the midst of all these children in plastic Avengers costumes!
There are literally three people on the street, and they are all black children. Try harder, Zoe. Try harder.
Meanwhile, at Miss Robichaux’s School for Sexual Experimentation (aka Wellesley study abroad program) Fiona tells Delphine to come do her… zipper on her dress. It’s Halloween, her favorite day!
Delphine is less enthused about the holiday, telling Fiona that evil spirits will walk the earth, the dead will rise, Time Warner cable will go out, etc. For a mass murderer, Delphine sure is a nervous nelly.
Fiona rolls her eyes and tells her that nowadays Halloween is just candy, slutty costumes, and casual racism. She should feel right at home. Fiona puts on her witch hat, and proclaims herself the baddest witch in town. She is not wrong, y’all.
Meanwhile, a furious Marie is getting a serious spell going: drums, snakes, goats, skulls, chalk, the works. Her friend/co-worker Chantal is concerned that Marie might be starting a magic race war.
Marie’s friend reminds her that Marie was a peacemaker back in the day. In the 70’s, she sat down with Anna-Lee to declare a truce and split up territories. Marie also rocked an amazing Angela Davis afro. Angela Bassett’s wig budget must be out of control.
Marie tells Chantal that the truce is over, and it’s fight or die time. You’re either with Marie or against her. Chantal wisely knows better than to tangle with Marie, and stays out of her way.
I bet you’re wondering what Cordelia’s husband is up to. No? Too bad. Cordelia is talking to him on the phone while he’s in Baton Rouge on a business trip. Or so she thinks. He’s really in Baton Rouge to have rough, bed-breaking sex with Alexandra Breckinridge.
There are hairy butts and sweaty pounding and it’s all pretty off-putting. I liked Alexandra better in season one, when she wore slutty maid outfits and grinded (ground?) all over Mena Suvari.
After sex, they talk about Halloween, because this is the Halloween episode, remember? She loves to dress up. Husband is not a big fan, although he was a monster last year. This is boring.
Back at school, poor Cordelia takes care of Queenie, who is still on bed rest. Delphine watches. Queenie wakes with a start, and Delphine thanks her for saving her life.
Nana rushes in with news: the council is here! And they are dressed like Lady Gaga backup dancers.
The council consists of Quentin, Pembroke, and Myrtle Snow (yay! Frances Conroy is back!) Cordelia assumes they are there to discuss Queenie’s assault, but they’re not. Cordelia then starts rattling off all the crazy shit that’s happened in the past couple of days, horrifying the council.
Fiona shows up and tells Cordelia to shut her mouth before she confesses to using magic to cheat on the SATs. Fiona then starts to charm to council. Apparently, Fiona made Quentin’s book a bestseller and she probably banged Pembroke, judging from the abundance of eye-sex.
Myrtle Snow, however, is having none of it. She tells Fiona that Nan summoned them, as she can no longer hear Madison’s thoughts and rightly assumes she’s dead.
Meanwhile, Spalding makes a giant scarecrow on the front lawn, and then hugs it.
The official inquiry has begun, and the council is interviewing everyone at the school. Cordelia is especially under investigation, as the students are her responsibility/she only has four of them, etc. If a witch kills another witch, the penalty is death by fire.
Cordelia claims that Madison is a special case, what with her being famous and all.
The council interviews Zoe, asking if she thinks Madison is a powerful witch. Zoe says that she was very charismatic, and that she played twins in The Parent Trap, which is not easy.
Queenie tells the council that Madison was a stone cold bitch, who liked “hard drinking, big dicks, and trouble.” Who doesn’t, am I right ladies? (*jumps out of window after 50th iteration of this joke). She also says she probably died giving the grim reaper a handy, which is all kinds of hilarious.
The council asks Cordelia if she saw Madison manifesting any new powers, but Cordelia didn’t notice. She does, however, notice that her rug is missing. Way to be perceptive.
Nan, carving a pumpkin, tells the council about Madison setting those curtains on fire. Who else knew about Madison’s powers?
Meanwhile, back in a Baton Rouge hotel room, Hank and Kaylee are eating vending machine food and having a whole conversation about it. And then the best part: they met in an online community for people who collect Thomas Kinkade paintings! Apparently shitty hotel art is a gateway drug to adultery.
Kaylee is falling for Hank, and tells him not to break her heart. Instead, he takes out a gun and shoots her in the head. What the fuck is going on? Only a Ryan Murphy could integrate microwave burritos, the painter of light, and cold-blooded murder into the same scene.
Meanwhile at Witch Court, Fiona is being cross-examined the council.
Myrtle insults Fiona by saying she was a crappy Supreme. She misses meetings, avoids councils duties, and always skips witch jury duty.
Myrtle reminds Fiona that there is more to being a Supreme than jetsetting across the globe and being professionally fabulous. This is also not the first time that Fiona has been at Miss Robichaux’s when a witch has gone missing.
We flashback to 1971, where Young Fiona is sobbing it up in front of the council. She claims that Anna-Lee has run off somewhere, when we know full well she’s wrapped in a rug and buried in the backyard.
The council hosts a party naming Young Fiona as the next Supreme.
In the corner, Young Myrtle seethes. Apparently she’s not buying Fiona’s bullshit, and knows she’s getting away with murder. Young Fiona, in full mean girl mode, calls Young Myrtle “dogface”, which is ridiculous because Young Myrtle is hot.
Apparently Young Myrtle’s witch power is honesty/protecting the truth. She works her nerdy magic to enchant Young Spalding’s tongue to only tell the truth. The council is interviewing him tomorrow, and since he is slavishly devoted to Fiona, he must know something.
The students are woken up in the middle of the night by the sounds of screaming. They find Young Spalding in the bathroom with his tongue cut out. There goes that plan.
Back to the present, where Myrtle isn’t about to let Fiona get the better of her this time. She’s got a book of matches with Fiona’s name on it. Myrtle calls Spalding as a witness, and starts interrogating him. She gives him a piece of paper and a pen to write down the name of the witch who cut out his tongue. She maybe should have thought of this like, 40 years ago, but whatever.
Spalding takes the pen and writes down… Myrtle Snow! Myrtle promptly freaks the fuck out.
We flashback to Spalding overhearing Myrtle’s plan at dinner. He goes to the bathroom and prepares to cut out his own tongue.
Young Fiona shows up. Spalding finally speaks! He uses his final words to tell Fiona that he has always loved her, and promptly cuts off his own tongue.
Flashback to the present, where Myrtle is having a meltdown. She knows that Fiona killed Madison because she was the rising Supreme, just like she killed Anna-Lee when she was the retiring Supreme.
Cordelia jumps to Fiona’s defense. She says that Madison was never the next Supreme: the Supremes are always healthy, and Madison had a heart condition. We know this because Cordelia happens to wander in on Madison using a blood pressure cuff thingy.
Fiona and Spalding share an “oh shit” look.
Meanwhile, Marie is casting all of the voodoo with all of the props. I would love to know how much money this show spends on snakes, drummers, and chalk.
Marie is using the same spell she used earlier, and zombies start popping out of graves. I wonder who they’re off to kill?
Meanwhile, Delphine is giving out candy to little kids and trying to get the hang of this newfangled holiday.
Nan lights a candle for Madison, and Zoe accuses her of being morbid. Zoe wants to go looking for Madison, as she’s the only person in the house who still thinks she’s alive.
Meanwhile, Spalding sets out Halloween candy for his creepy doll family and puts on an old timey bonnet and nightgown.
He also takes out a lacey white dress and lays it beside the latest addition to his doll collection: Madison’s corpse. GROSS. This tea party just hit a whole new level of grurst.
Fiona and Cordelia go out for a drink to celebrate not going to witch jail. Cordelia wants to play three questions with her mother.
The first is, why does she hate Hank? Fiona tells her that he reeks of bullshit, and rightly so. She then lies to Cordelia about killing Madison, and tries to find out who the rising Supreme is. Cordelia is too drunk to tell her, and stumbles off to puke before she can give Fiona any info.
After puking, Cordelia is washing her hands at the sink when a figure in black tosses acid into her face. NO! Not her beautiful flawless face! Goddammit, show.
Back at Miss Robichaux’s School for Juvenile Delinquents, Shirtless Neighbor shows up with cookies for Nan. That’s nice, I guess.
There’s more banging at the door. Delphine assumes it’s more trick-or-treaters, but she’s shocked when she opens the door to see her three zombie daughters! Zombie family reunion!
They are joined by several other zombies converging on the school. It’s a zombie attack cliffhanger!
NEXT time on American Horror Story: Zombie attack! Cordelia’s scarred face! Someone gets burned at the stake!