American Horror Story: Coven
|American Horror Story: Coven|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Original run||October 9, 2013– present|
|List of American Horror Story episodes|
American Horror Story: Coven is the third season of the FX horror anthology television series American Horror Story. It premiered on October 9, 2013, and is scheduled to conclude on January 29, 2014.
It's been around 300 years since the Salem witch trials. Those witches who remain are almost extinct and in danger once again. A school has opened in New Orleans to teach young witches how to protect themselves. The long-absent Supreme, Fiona (Jessica Lange), arrives to ensure the safety of the coven and their secrets. Fiona's daughter, Cordelia (Sarah Paulson), teaches at the school. Events reveal a long-held rivalry between the witches of Salem and the Voodoo practitioners of New Orleans, as well as a historic grudge between Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) and socialite serial killer Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates). The primary theme of the season is oppression; specifically, the oppression of marginalized groups. Other themes include witchcraft, Voodoo, racism, and family, such as the relationships between mothers and daughters. The season is set primarily in modern day and includes flashbacks to the 1830s.
Cast and characters
- Sarah Paulson as Cordelia Foxx (8 episodes)
- Taissa Farmiga as Zoe Benson (8 episodes)
- Frances Conroy as Myrtle Snow (5 episodes)
- Evan Peters as Kyle Spencer (7 episodes)
- Lily Rabe as Misty Day (6 episodes)
- Emma Roberts as Madison Montgomery (8 episodes)
- Denis O'Hare as Spalding (8 episodes)
- Kathy Bates as Delphine LaLaurie (7 episodes)
- Jessica Lange as Fiona Goode (8 episodes)
Special guest stars
- Angela Bassett as Marie Laveau (8 episodes)
- Gabourey Sidibe as Queenie (8 episodes)
- Danny Huston as The Axeman (3 episodes)
- Patti LuPone as Joan Ramsey (2 episodes)
- Stevie Nicks as Herself (2 episodes)
- Lance Reddick as Papa Legba
- Jamie Brewer as Nan (7 episodes)
- Josh Hamilton as Hank Foxx (6 episodes)
- Ameer Baraka as Bastien/Minotaur (5 episodes)
- Alexander Dreymon as Luke Ramsey (4 episodes)
- Jennifer Lynn Warren as Borquita LaLaurie (4 episodes)
- Raeden Greer as Pauline LaLaurie (4 episodes)
- Ashlynn Ross as Marie Jeanne LaLaurie (4 episodes)
- Dana Gourrier as Chantal (4 episodes)
- Riley Voelkel as Young Fiona (3 episodes)
- Leslie Jordan as Quentin (2 episodes)
- Robin Bartlett as Cecily Pimbrooke (2 episodes)
- James DuMont as Dr. Morrison (2 episodes)
- Christine Ebersole as Anna-Lee Leighton (2 episodes)
- Mare Winningham as Alicia Spencer (2 episodes)
- Alexandra Breckenridge as Kaylee (2 episodes)
- Grace Gummer as Millie (1 episode)
- Grey Damon as Archie (1 episode)
- Michelle Page as Young Myrtle (1 episode)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|26||1||"Bitchcraft"||Alfonso Gomez-Rejon||Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk||October 9, 2013||3ATS01||5.54|
|Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga) accidentally kills her boyfriend while they have sex for the first time and is told that she belongs to a long generation of witches. She is sent to a private school in New Orleans that teaches young witches how to survive in the modern world. The school is owned and run by Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson). After a witch named Misty Day (Lily Rabe) is burned at the stake, Cordelia's mother, Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange), arrives to ensure their protection, but also to find a way to regain her youth.|
|27||2||"Boy Parts"||Michael Rymer||Tim Minear||October 16, 2013||3ATS02||4.51|
|Still seeking to be perpetually young and beautiful, Fiona questions her captive Madame LaLaurie (Kathy Bates), who says Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) gave her an immortality elixir, killed her family, and buried her alive. Fiona visits Laveau in a 9th ward salon and creates a renewed rivalry between the Salem witches and the voodoo practitioners. Meanwhile, Zoe and Madison (Emma Roberts) decide to cast a resurrection spell in order to bring Kyle (Evan Peters) back to life. When Kyle reanimates as a scared, angry monster, Zoe must seek help from Misty. Elsewhere, Cordelia and husband Hank (Josh Hamilton) have trouble conceiving a child, so he wants her to cast a fertility spell.|
|28||3||"The Replacements"||Alfonso Gomez-Rejon||James Wong||October 23, 2013||3ATS03||3.78|
|Madison and Nan (Jamie Brewer) take a liking to the new next door neighbor, Luke (Alexander Dreymon), but have problems with his overly-religious mother (Patti LuPone) and after an encounter Madison develops pyrokinesis. After hearing about Madison's new power, a weakened Fiona realizes she is the next Supreme and gets close to her. Meanwhile, Zoe visits Kyle's distraught mother (Mare Winningham) and takes him home, not knowing of her true colors. Cordelia is told by her doctor that she can never have a baby and goes to Marie Laveau for help. Madame LaLaurie is forced by Fiona to be a maid to the students, causing tension between her and Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe).|
|29||4||"Fearful Pranks Ensue"||Michael Uppendahl||Jennifer Salt||October 30, 2013||3ATS04||3.71|
|Continuing from the previous episode, Fiona tells Spa'lding (Denis O'Hare) to get rid of Madison's body and rescues Queenie from the minotaur. At Kyle's house, Zoe hastily cleans up the mess that he created, but ends up losing him as Halloween commences. Away on a "business", trip, Hank cheats on Cordelia with his girlfriend, Kaylee (Alexandra Breckenridge). The Council of Witchcraft visits the Academy to discuss Madison's disappearance. After receiving a gruesome present from Fiona, Marie officially ends the truce between the witches and Voodoo practitioners and calls upon the dead to wreak havoc on the Academy.|
|30||5||"Burn, Witch. Burn!"||Jeremy Podeswa||Jessica Sharzer||November 6, 2013||3ATS05||3.80|
|Continuing from the last episode, Zoe and the others go on the defensive when zombies attempt to get into the school. Faced with death, Zoe unleashes a new power. Madame LaLaurie deals with the fact that she was a horrible mother when she sees her own daughters amongst the hordes of zombies. After Cordelia's attack, Fiona also deals with the fact that she was a bad mother. The Council returns after the attacks on Cordelia and the girls, but Fiona manages to persuade them into believing Myrtle (Frances Conroy) attacked Cordelia due to her grudge against Fiona.|
|31||6||"The Axeman Cometh"||Michael Uppendahl||Douglas Petrie||November 13, 2013||3ATS06||4.16|
|Zoe, Queenie and Nan decide to come together as a coven and use a spirit board to find Madison's location and they have an encounter with the Axeman of New Orleans (Danny Huston), who wants the girls to release his spirit. A now blind Cordelia reveals her new power and finds out about Hank's indiscretion, causing him to worry that she will find out his real secret. Fiona desperately wants to have one last whirlwind romance before she inevitably dies.|
|32||7||"The Dead"||Bradley Buecker||Brad Falchuk||November 20, 2013||3ATS07||4.00|
|Fiona has a tryst with the Axeman, which is complicated by the side effects of her chemotherapy. Zoe reattaches Spalding's tongue and interrogates him, killing him after he admits Fiona was Madison's real murderer. Madison and Kyle bond over being undead. Delphine and Queenie bond, and Delphine tells Queenie that the other witches will never truly accept her because of her race. Queenie visits Marie, who offers to let Queenie join the voodoo practitioners if she brings her Delphine.|
|33||8||"The Sacred Taking"||Alfonso Gomez-Rejon||Ryan Murphy||December 4, 2013||3ATS08||4.07|
|Fearing for their lives, Misty and a resurrected Myrtle arrive at the coven to escape a witch hunter. Cordelia, Zoe, Nan, Madison, Misty and Myrtle concoct a plan to kill Fiona, who worries about her cancer affecting her love life. The question of who will be the supreme arises. Captured, Delphine is tortured by a vengeful Marie.|
|34||9||"Head"||Howard Deutch||Tim Minear||December 11, 2013|
|35||10||January 8, 2014|
|36||11||January 15, 2014|
|37||12||January 22, 2014|
|38||13||January 29, 2014|
In January 2013, series creator Ryan Murphy hinted that a clue about the third season would be hidden in the tenth episode of the second season. In a later interview discussing that episode, he stated: "I sorta feel like for the third version I want to do something that's a little bit more 'evil glamour.' Just something that's a little bit more...one of the things that I missed this season was I really loved having that Romeo and Juliet youth story with Violet and Tate [from the first season]. I want something like that again and we're doing something like that in the third season. And we're contemplating shooting the show in a different place. We're contemplating shooting it in a place in the country where true horror has been." In a later interview, Murphy added that the time period for the season will be modern day.
Executive producer Tim Minear has stated that, while this season's tone might be lighter with more humor, the global themes of it will be "oppression of minorities of all kinds, and within that idea, minority groups going after each other and doing the work of the larger culture." He added, "While there is a strong feminist theme that runs throughout Coven, there are themes of race and themes of oppression, and themes of family — especially mothers and daughters."
Series executive producers and co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have stated that, as with the second season, "many actors" will return for the third season in different roles. Jessica Lange, Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson have all been confirmed to return. Murphy added that Lange will portray a "real glamour-cat lady", who was later named Fiona. Paulson said in an interview that her character will be "definitely different". She added, "Basically, she's going to look different, and my relationship to Lange is going to be quite different this time. At the beginning of last season, no one knew that Lana would be the hero, so it's possible I could end up the evil one this year. As of right now, there will be some of Lana Winters' qualities in my character, but I don't know for sure." Taissa Farmiga, who played a leading role in the first season, will co-star as a character that is involved in a prominent romance during the third season. Lily Rabe has also been cast as a lead in the third installment. Frances Conroy has also signed on for the season in a role later to revealed as Myrtle Snow. Oscar-winning actress Kathy Bates has also been cast to co-star in the third season. She will portray a woman who, at the start, is Lange's character's best friend, but will become her worst enemy. Murphy has stated that Bates' character will be "five times worse than [her] Misery character" and is also inspired by a "true event". In April 2013, it was announced that Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe would also be joining the cast in an unknown role, later revealed as Queenie.
On May 13, 2013, Murphy announced via Twitter that Oscar nominee Angela Bassett and two-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone had joined the cast. In July 2013, Bassett confirmed she would be playing a voodoo priestess, based on Marie Laveau. In a June 2013 interview, LuPone said her character would not be a witch, but "the personification of the religious right, 'like Piper Laurie in Carrie.'" It was also announced in May 2013 that Emma Roberts had been added to the cast. Roberts will play Madison, a "self-involved party girl."
In July and August 2013, respectively, Murphy announced through Twitter that first season alums Denis O'Hare and Alexandra Breckenridge had joined the cast in unknown roles. In August 2013, Ryan Murphy announced that he had cast Christine Ebersole as a "good witch-type gal". In an August 23 interview, Jessica Lange revealed that Mare Winningham had joined the cast. On August 28, Leslie Jordan announced that he had joined the cast. Emma Roberts will play Madison, confirmed as one of the main cast members. In September 2013, Alexander Dreymon was cast in an unnamed role described as "the handsome young man who moves in next door to the Academy."
Principal photography for the season began on July 23, 2013, in multiple locations, one being New Orleans, Louisiana. "After two seasons shooting in Los Angeles, the series moves to [New Orleans] for its third season," writes the casting call. "Filming begins July 23, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana and will continue through January 2014." Despite Ryan Murphy stating that the third season would take place in multiple cities, New Orleans is the primary setting of the third installment.
American Horror Story: Coven has received positive reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 85% of 33 critics have given the season a positive review. The site's consensus is: "A noteworthy ensemble cast combined with creepy storytelling and campy, outrageous thrills make American Horror Story: Coven a potently structured fright-fest." It scored 71 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 24 reviews. The ratings slipped for the second episode, delivering 4.5 million viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49 - down 17 percent from the premiere. 
Awards and nominations
|2013||18th Satellite Awards||Satellite Award for Best Actress - Miniseries or Television Film||Jessica Lange||Pending|
|Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Kathy Bates||Pending|
|Best Television Series – Genre||American Horror Story: Coven||Pending|
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