The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks
|"The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks"|
|American Horror Story episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Alfonso Gomez-Rejon|
|Written by||James Wong|
|Original air date||January 8, 2014|
|Running time||47 minutes|
"The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks" is the tenth episode of the third season of the anthology television series American Horror Story, which premiered on January 8, 2014, on the cable network FX. The episode was written by James Wong and directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.
In this episode, Fiona (Jessica Lange) tries to out the next Supreme with a visit by Stevie Nicks and Madison (Emma Roberts) tries to eliminate her competition for the Supremacy. The episode is inspired by real-life rumors about Stevie Nicks' alleged involvement with witchcraft. This is also her acting debut. Angela Bassett, Danny Huston and Patti LuPone also guest star as Marie Laveau, the Axeman, and Joan Ramsey, respectively. This episode is rated TV-MA (LV).
Shortly after being sheltered in the Coven, Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) steals a newborn baby from a hospital in the middle of the night—after being reminded of an old agreement with dark forces in the form of Papa Legba (Lance Reddick). The next day, Fiona (Jessica Lange), finding out Hank (Josh Hamilton) was hired by Laveau, is furious that Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) allowed witch hunters into the Coven and plans a scheme against them before they strike again.
Later, Misty Day (Lily Rabe) is overwhelmed when presented to Stevie Nicks, who gives away her trademark shawl to Misty as a lucky charm for the Seven Wonders trial. At night, Marie Laveau nurses Fiona, weakened from executing a jinx to ruin Delphi Trust (the witch hunters' wealthy front); Laveau then reveals the source of her immortality: "to sell the soul to Papa Legba, an ancient voodoo spirit, and obey his commands no matter what once a year", which in Marie's case is to get him an innocent life starting with her own baby centuries ago.
Madison (Emma Roberts) reveals to Nan (Jamie Brewer) and Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) that since being revived, her heart murmur has disappeared, making her eligible to be the new Supreme. Nan counters by saying she could also be the new Supreme, as she has developed mind control powers. Nan and Zoe arrive at the hospital to visit Luke, but are told he has died. At a funeral parade for those killed at Marie Laveau's hair salon, Madison challenges Misty that she is just as powerful as her. She proves this by bringing a man back to life at the cemetery. As Misty stands over the man's now empty casket, Madison bricks her in the head and buries her alive, stealing her shawl in the process. Later that evening, Nan uses her now-increased powers to mentally force Joan (Patti LuPone) to kill herself by drinking bleach as punishment for murdering her son.
Back at school, Cordelia breaks down, feeling useless and responsible for the impending war. Shortly after, the Delphi Trust, losing half of their finances in less than 10 minutes, suspects witchcraft influence and starts planning the extermination of the Coven. Fiona summons Papa Legba, offering her soul in exchange for eternal youth and willing to do any request for it, but the spirit turns down the deal as he claims she has "no soul to give". After this, she wryly becomes determined to kill all of the Coven in order to murder the new Supreme.
Marie and Fiona decide to get rid of Nan, considering her too dangerous after she finds the stolen newborn for Papa Legba and starts claiming she would be a better and kinder Supreme. They offer her as sacrifice to Papa Legba, drowning her in the bathtub. He reluctantly accepts the substitute for the newborn and warns Laveau and Fiona of being "trouble" together. Later, Fiona, distraught by her health and the recent events, weeps while listening to Nicks playing "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You?" at the Academy's piano.
Rotten Tomatoes reports an 83% approval rating, based on 12 reviews. The critical consensus reads, "The titular rock star provides grounding for "The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks", an enjoyably odd episode that becomes bolder as it progresses, even if the characters and storylines grow more difficult to track." Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club gave the episode an A− rating, saying, ""The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks" is by far the best episode of this season of American Horror Story. Freed from the constraints of its endless circling and with an actual villain to face off with, the show's characters start actually doing stuff, and the series' momentum grows exponentially." However, he added: Iit's also a completely ridiculous episode of television." Matt Fowler from IGN gave the episode a 7.3/10 rating, saying, "While offering up a handful of surprising moments, "The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks" was still Coven's weakest entry. The sick and depraved danger fell by the wayside, replaced with soap-y Supreme competitiveness."
The episode received a 1.8 18–49 ratings share and was watched by 3.49 million viewers in its original American broadcast, a decrease from the previous episode.
- "'The white witch lives!' Stevie Nicks to guest star as sorceress on American Horror Story: Coven". Mail Online. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
- "Stevie Nicks Talks 'American Horror Story'". Rolling Stone. December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
- "The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks – American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 10". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- VanDerWerff, Todd (January 8, 2014). "American Horror Story: "The Magical Delights Of Stevie Nicks"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
- Fowler, Matt (January 8, 2014). "You Two Together. Big Trouble.". IGN. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
- Bibel, Sara (January 9, 2014). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'American Horror Story' Wins Night, 'My Strange Addiction', 'Psych', 'Real World Ex-Plosion' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 9, 2014.