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American Horror Story - 3.03 - The Replacements - Review

'The Replacements' is full of shocking revelations, awkward cringe worthy moments, and of course the typical horrifying events. At this point, I'm convinced that Ryan Murphy has a book with a million ways to shock and horrify the AHS fandom. The third installment of Coven was amazing, in my opinion, although hard to watch at times. Mr. Murphy and company seem to be pulling out all the stops with this season. As uncomfortabe as AHS makes me, I still find that I simply cannot look away or change the channel. Whether it's racism, incest, rape or just plain out gore, Coven is twisted and bizarre but in a way that only makes me want more.

The episode starts off with Fiona, tossing and turning in her bed. She reaches for a bottle fo pills, but notices that there is nothing to take them with. She heads downstairs and through the hallway. She pours a drink and proceeds to swallow the pills down with the alcohol. She looks over to her right at a painted portrait of a woman.

In a flashback to 1971, a young Fiona is having a conversation with an older woman, the woman in the painting who was the Supreme of her time. Fiona is asking the woman, Anna Leigh, how she knew she was the Supreme. Anna Leigh tells Fiona that by the time she was Fiona's age, she had already begun to demonstrate mulitple powers, in addition to the proficiency of the seven wonders. Fiona demands that Anna Leigh let her prove that she is able to do the aforementioned sorcery. Anna Leigh scoffs telling her that she's still a child. Fiona says she is ready and counters that she simply doesn't want to be replaced by her. She continues by stating that when the new Supreme begins to flourish, the old Supreme begins to diminish. Fiona declares that Anna Leigh has been fading and she becomes angered. Anna Leigh asks Fiona if she'd like her to show her the power she still posesses. Fiona responds by telling Anna Leigh that she's weak and they both know why. Fiona pulls out bottles of prescription pills and lists Anna Leigh's ailments...diabetes, heart trouble, and liver failure. After telling Anna Leigh that she's getting weaker as Fiona gets stronger, Anna Leigh smacks Fiona across the face. Anna Leigh tells Fiona she would rather see herself burn in Hell than to allow Fiona to take her spot. She begins to walk away, but Fiona appears in front of her and before Anna Leigh can say a word, Fiona slices her throat where she stands. Anna Leigh collapses to the floor and bleeds out. Fiona looks over and sees a young Spalding. As it goes back to Fiona, it's present day at the academy, and Fiona turns to see Spalding standing there. She asks him if the cat's got his tongue and saunters off.

Then we see Fiona, in the present, at a bar. She's sitting with a drink looking serious, taking everything around her in. There's a voice over and she talks of a dance, that no one ever had to teach her, a dance that she's always known. Her 'princes' were men of all types but one thing was the same for all of them. "..Every one of them, certain they lead...but it's always my dance. I make the first move, which is no move at all." She goes on to recount how she knew men would just gravitate to her, and how they were primitive yet beautiful. She recalls that she danced with finesse and abandon and that only the faces changed, but it was always her dance. She finishes the monologue with, "I never suspected the night would come when the dance would end."

Fiona is next in a large office speaking to a plastic surgeon. They're discussing Fiona's upcoming surgery and the video he is about to play for her. He is going to show her an instructional video on the surgery he will be performing on her. He cautions her, but she's quick to tell him that if she's going to commit butchery, she "wants to see how the sausage is made." The surgeon understands and presses play. He begins to describe the procedure, and Fiona begins to tear up. She wipes the tears from her face and steels herself up to continue on.

Zoe has paid a visit to Kyle's mother. She packs a bowl as Zoe tries to give condolences. She lights the bowl and takes a hit and then tells Zoe that Kyle had a stash in his room and that she'd been sleeping in there. She tells Zoe that when his father left, Kyle became the man of the house. She says that he worked part time as an SAT tutor and did repairs and was a natural gentleman and Zoe agrees. Mrs. Spencer goes on to ask Zoe if she can share something with her, and Zoe of course wants to know. Kyle's mother describes how she was about to hang herself when she got a phone call. She tells Zoe she almost didn't pick up, but something told her to, and that and that she was a saint to make that phone call. The mother takes another hit, and wishes that she could hold Kyle again and begins to break down. She wishes that she could see Kyle again, even just to say good bye and Zoe tells the woman that she'll see him again. She says how she envies the believers. Zoe tells her she doesn't know how it works, but Kyle hasn't left them.

Then we have a brief scene of the new neighbors moving in. The boy takes his shirt off to wipe the sweat off of himself. Nan and Queenie are on the balcony watching when Madison comes up to see what's going on. The boys mother brings out drinks for her son and the moving crew and she tells him to put his shirt on, spouting bible verses at him. She sees the girls staring down at them and orders him to go put on a clean shirt.

In what is one of my favorite scenes, Delphine is watching President Obama give a speech, weeping and asking God why he's forsaken this country. Fiona comes into the room and Delphine is in disbelief that a black man is the President. Fiona informs Delphine that she voted for Obama twice and then goes on to say that there has even been a colored secretary of the state, supreme court justice and even the poet laureate. Delphine can only hiss, and say, "Lies!." Telling her that she has a lot to learn and that she'll learn it here, Fiona whips out a maids uniform and shoves it at Delphine. She informs her that she's going to be the new maid at Robichauxs.

Queenie, Madison and Nan are having a light snack at the academy. They're talking about their new hot neighbor and Madison finds it funny and calls the other girls virgins. Nan reveals that she isn't a virgin and guys think she's hot and also confesses that Queenie is a virgin. Then suddenly the new maid slowly comes into the room. Queenie realizes that it's the woman who hit her over the head and begins to sass her. Delphine gets angered that Queenie would speak to her, let alone in the tone used. Delphine concedes that even though she is a maid, there are limits to her servitude. Queenie orders Delphine to place her food in front of her or else she'll frisbee a plate at her head. Delphine slowly pushes the cart toward Queenie, and stops when in front of her. She picks up a plate and pauses for a moment before launching it at the wall. Queenie is enraged, calling her a cracker bitch, and just as things could get physical, Fiona appears, shouting and causing them to stop. She asks what exactly is going on with the two and Madison explains what happened. Delphine states that she will not stoop to serve Queenie's 'kind.' Fiona then decides that Delphine will become Queenie's personal slave. She tells Queenie she can tell Delphine to do whatever she wants. She ends the conversation by stating that there's nothing she hates more than a racist.

Stevie Nicks' 'Sara' is playing as we find Misty laying in bed with Kyle in her shack on the bayou. She's singing along to the song, looking at him and smiling. She tells him how Stevie didn't really find her voice until she and Lindsey joined Fleetwood Mac. She snuggles up with him and Zoe appears at the door. Misty jumps up and brings her over to the bed where Kyle is. Misty straddles Kyle and unbuttons his shirt and flings it open revealing his scars are almost completely healed. Zoe is amazed and Misty explains that there's humic acid in the mud and how it burns the scrapes and bug bites. Of all his wounds, the wound where they sewed Kyle's head to the body is still the deepest and needs more time to heal. Zoe touches Kyle's shoulder and says his name and asks if he remembers her. He reaches out and touches her hair, holding it for a moment before Zoe fixes her hair. She tells Misty she has to take him home. Misty becomes upset, claiming that she's the one who healed him and how she bathed and fed him and nursed him to health. Zoe says she knows and she owes Misty big time. Misty tries to get Zoe to stay for dinner, but Zoe insists they need to go. Zoe gets Kyle off the bed and struggles to get him righted and moving. As soon as Zoe is starting to move Kyle toward the door, Misty gets distraught and grabs Kyle's arm. She spins him to face her, and tries to convince Kyle to stay but he grunts in anger and swings an arm at Misty to get her off of him. Zoe quietly asks Misty to leave him alone and tells her he needs to go home. She starts to guide Kyle out of the shanty and looks back to tell Misty that she'll be back for her. Misty watches as they leave and quietly says, "No you won't." She starts to tear up, and quickly she grabs a shawl and puts it around her shoulders. 'Sara' is still blasting in the background as Misty stands in the middle of the room and begins to imitate Stevie's twirling.

Nan has convinced Madison to accompany her to the new neighbors home to deliver a cake to welcome themt ot he neighborhood. Luke opens the door and the girls welcome him to the neighborhood and introduce themselves. Seeing that they have a large cake, Luke invites them. Nan tries to make small talk, but Madison takes no time to start hitting on the boy. Nan tells Luke that she made the cake with yellow cake and lemon frosting because she knew it was his favorite. He tells Nan that it's the one thing he can't resist. Madison becomes irritated that she's being ignored for cake. Luke hits the nail on the head when he tells Madison he assumes she's used to getting all the attention. Nan tells Luke that Madison is a famous, and he tells the girls that he doesn't watch t.v. or have the internet. Then Luke's mother, Joan Ramsey, then appears and thanks the girls, but tells them they have to leave for church. Luke is slicing pieces of the cake and she tells him that they'll bring it with them to share. Madison quips that it isn't even Sunday, and the Ramseys tell the girls that they're going to bible study, to maintain their relationship with the Lord. Madison scoffs and tells them that's all a crock of shit and how she doesn't see why anyone should wait when they can have their piece right now. She picks up the knife to continue cutting the cake, when Joan grabs her hand and tries to get the knife from her. After a quick struggle, Madison sends the knife flying across the room, just barely missing Joan. Joan then forbids the girls from talking to Luke or stepping foot on their property again. The girls finally go to leave and as they're walking out Madison telekinetically sets the curtains on fire. Nan says she never knew Madison could do that, and Madison replies that neither did she.

Then we have a scene where we see both Cordelia and Fiona at their respective doctors offices. Cordelia's doctor informs her that she is unable to bear children. Fiona is told that she will be unable to have her surgery now or anytime in the forseeable future. Both the women threaten to go to other doctors and both doctors and are told no other doctor can help them.

Zoe is driving Kyle to his mothers and Kyle is staring out the window of the car. She tells him that she knows this is the right thing to do and that if he can remember anyone, it should be his mother. She believes once he sees his mother, everything will be ok. She parks the car, and gets Kyle out of the car and walks him up the front porch. She stands him up at the front door, rings the doorbell, and takes off. She hides behind a tree and watches as Kyle's mother finds him. She screams and opens the door and he falls into her arms. As his mother is holding him, he looks directly at Zoe, seemingly frightened. Kyle's mother then drags him into the home and shuts the door.

Fiona is sitting at a table back at the academy, fiddling with a couple pills in front of her. She then takes the pills with a glass of alcohol as Spalding appears with Joan from next door. Fiona asks who he has there with him, and Joan introduces herself. She tells Fiona that her and her son have moved next door. She then gives Fiona a Bible, telling her that she always brings a copy when she visits someone for the first time. Joan, unsure of what Robichauxs actually is, tells Fiona that a couple of her girls had trespassed on her property. She tells Fiona that one of the girls was dressed so scandalously that she's unsure of the long term effects to her son. Fiona remarks how she knows that all the bible thumpers are hypocrites and the biggest perverts out there. Joan angrily tells Fiona about the knife incident and how close she was to being harmed. Fiona quips that Madison needs to work on her aim. Joan tells Fiona that the girls better not trespass again, or she'll call the police and file charges. Joan speaks of assault with a deadly weapon and then brings up arson, which piques Fiona's interest. Joan then tells her how one of the girls set her curtains on fire, although she didn't know how. Madison then appears and tells her that she had summoned the devil. Joan turns around and tells Madison to stay away from her son. Madison wishes Joan good luck on keeping Luke away from her. She then jokes that Luke is probably so backed up that all she'd have to do is say 'panties' and he's blow his load. Joan warns them all to stay away from her and her family, in Jesus' name and then leaves. Madison is walking away when Fiona calls her back over to her. As she comes back, Fiona pulls out a cigarette and asks Madison if she has a light. Madison gets what she means and after a moment, she lights Fiona's cigarette with her mind. Madison is beyond impressed with herself, and Fiona is looking worried. She tells Madison to sit down and have a talk with her.

Kyle is laid out in his bed, staring off into space, when his mother enters his room to see if he's asleep. She sits down on the bed with him and he finally looks over at her. She tells Kyle that when she had walked in on him in the shower earlier that day, she noticed something. She tells him that she knows his body, and that he looks like someone else. She says she doesn't understand and when he looks away she tells him that he's still her baby. She then cuddles him and begins to kiss him in a way no mother should be kissing her child. She then kisses his neck and her hand begins to roam down to touch him in a way no mother should be touching her child. She whispers that she's here now as she continues to touch him. All Kyle can do is begin to cry.

Cordelia pays a visit to Marie's shop in order to seek her assistance. After a moment, she is brought back to where Marie is sitting with an ipad playing solitaire. Cordelia thanks Marie for seeing her so quickly and takes a seat in front of her throne. Cordelia tells Marie how she's known of her, her whole life. She begins to confess who she is, and Marie tells her she already knows who she is. Cordelia then asks Marie to tell her about her fertility ritual. Marie tells Cordelia that that spell is not easy for anyone. We then see the ritual being performed. Cordelia is in a red dress and escorted by two men. On the day of, Cordelia is to bring 2 ounces of her husbands semen in a mason jar. We see that the jar is given to Marie and she drops it into a fire that's burning. Around Marie, there are men playing bongos and women dancing. Marie then eats what appears to be a pepper and begins to do a dance along with her fellow tribe members. Cordelia is lifted and carried to the center of all this. A goat is brought to her and held over her and she lifts her dress up. At the climax of the ritual, the mason jar bursts and Marie slices the goats throat, blood spilling all over herself and Cordelia. Cordelia rubs the blood all over herself. Marie says that when it's over, she sleeps for four days and four nights. When asked how soon it could be done, Marie says it needs to be the full moon and will cost Cordelia fifty thousand dollars. Cordelia is shocked at the price and Marie states that they've had a one hundred percent success rate. She resolves to get the money somehow and asks when the new moon is. Marie then bursts out into laughter, and tells Cordelia that she would never do the fertility ritual on her because she is the daughter of her enemy. Cordelia starts to say that her mother has ntohing to do with her being there and that she doesn't even know about the visit, when Marie reveals that Fiona has already paid her a visit. She tells Cordelia that her mother messed with the wrong witch and that she knows it and now Cordelia knows it too. Cordelia sheds a single tear as Marie cackles.

Fiona and Madison are sitting outside having lunch discussing Madison's life before the academy. She reveals that her mother put her to work as soon as she could and it was hard to stop being that she was the only one bringing in money. She admits that she hated it and tells Fiona that one time her mother snorted half her coke and had the cops arrest her afterwards. Fiona admits she was a bad mother too and Madison tells her it's not too late to change. Fiona tells the girl that she's tried but still feels it's too late. Fiona says that she still has so much to give and to teach and Madison tells her to teach her. Fiona then shows Madison how to control someones mind from across the street. Madison makes a man walk into the middle of the street and remain there even as cars are swerving around him, almost slamming into him. Madison is shocked and questions which one of them caused it, but the look on Fiona's face tells Madison it was her. Madison happily takes a sip of her drink and a grim look crosses over Fiona.

Back at Robichauxs', Queenie has put Delphine to work. She's already made her a sandwich with chips and is making a chicken pot pie. Queenie then decides she wants a peach cobbler and Delphine tells her that she'll never get a man eating like that, let alone one to love her. Delphine says that peach cobbler won't keep her warm at night. Queenie tells her that Dr. Phil said that children from broken homes use food to replace love and that it's comforting. Delphine says she needs to find a new physician when she hears somethign outside. Suddenly, the minotaur she created charges at the window where Delphine is looking out. She quickly runs to the door and locks the it and tells Queenie her old houseboy is out there and he's looking for her. Queenie is about to unlock the door but Delphine cries for her to stop and then the creature rams the door. Both women jump back and Queenie goes to look out the window. Delphine tells Queenie about the houseboy and who she really is. Queenie recalls the house tour and realizes that Fiona dug her up and goes after Delphine. She begs for Queenie's help and she orders Delphine to get up. She tells her to go hide and she'll take care of it, but not before slicing her hand and wiping some blood onto a cloth napkin. Queenie goes and unlocks the door, slowly opening it and moving to the porch. She walks out front and along the border of the house and she finally sees the beast. She then starts leading him, shaking the napkin in front of her, coaxing him into Cordelia's lab. She stops and tells the man she knows what he did to Delphine's daughter and that she knows that he just wanted love. She tells him that she has been called a beast before too and that they both deserve love. Queenie then begins to touch herself and asks him, "Don't you wanna love me?" The minotaur approaches her and walks around, caressing her face with his horns. He stands behind her and his hand goes up to her shoulder for a moment before he quickly grabs her and covers her mouth to muffle her screams.

Kyle is rocking back and forth on the floor in his bedroom when his mother comes and tells him that she's invited Zoe over for dinner. He continues to rock as she starts asking why he didn't tell her about Zoe. She admits to being possessive and says she didn't mean for it to go so far or on for so long. She stands facing the bookshelf telling him she thought he needed it as much as she did. When she turns around Kyle is standing up right in front of her now. She asks him what happened to him, and she says she knows his body. She rips his shirt open and says that it isn't him and asks who he is if he's not her son. She starts to cry and kiss him. She tells him no one can love him like she can and then she turns around and starts rubbing herself on him. In a rage, Kyle grabs a trophy, screams "NO!" and begins to bash his mother in the head, blood splattering all over him. Zoe arrives at Kyle's place and goes to knock on the door and finds it already open. She goes in calling out to see if anyone is around. She slowly makes her way through the house and goes to Kyles room. The door is wide open and she immediately sees Kyle's mother on the floor, face completely bashed in. She turns slowly only to find a blood covered Kyle standing right outside the doorway.

Madison and Fiona finally make their way back home, in a drunken stupor. Fiona stars talking about the portraits of past witches in the academy. She tells Madison to get her portrait painted early and starts to point out where their respective portraits will go. Madison says she doubts that she'll ever even graduate fromt he academy and Fiona tells her that she will because she is the next Supreme. She asks Fiona how she knows and she tells her that she knows because Madison's powers are growing and it's because she's the source. Fiona goes on to say that her life force is draining out from her and into Madison. Fiona then confesses to Madison that she's been diagnosed with cancer and she's not expected to have even a year left. Madison offers to get the best doctors for her and Fiona won't have it. She tells Madison that even though she's led a sordid life, she's always lived it in style and is adamant that she'll go out that way too. She reflects on her life and how she had so much power but only used it for herself and how she was a lousy Supreme. She then starts to talk of her mentor, Anna Leigh, and how she taught her everything she knows and was majestic and powerful. She then tells Madison how she thanked her former Supreme, by slicing her throat, right where they're standing. Fiona pulls out the very knife that she'd used on Anna Leigh and tries to give it to Madison. Fiona says that Madison needs to kill her for the sake of the coven. Madison refuses and shakes as Fiona tries to make her take the knife. Madison screams for Fiona to stop yelling at her and after a brief struggle, Fiona slices Madison's throat. Madison drops to the floor and Fiona sees that Spalding is standing with a napkin. She accepts the napkin and wipes her hands of the blood and hands it back to the servant. After she lights a cigarette, she take a seat under some of the portraits and says, 'This coven doesn't need a new Supreme...it needs a new rug."

The actresses of Coven are phenoms, delivering perfection at every turn. I'll truly miss Madison with her all out unapologetic bitchiness. Although, this is AHS so you never know, she could come back somehow. The music and sound effects have been haunting and chilling and at the same time beautiful. In this episode, in particular, the camera work stands out for me. All the beautiful lenses and angles that are utilized truly make the episode even more interesting. Coven just keeps getting better and better and I personally can't wait for next week.

Kelly Ann
I am a reviewer for SpoilerTV, reviewing True Blood and American Horror Story. I also enjoy Grey's Anatomy. I also run and or contribute to several True Blood accounts across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

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