The Seven Wonders (American Horror Story)
|"The Seven Wonders"|
|American Horror Story episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Alfonso Gomez-Rejon|
|Written by||Douglas Petrie|
|Original air date||January 29, 2014|
|Running time||48 minutes|
"The Seven Wonders" is the thirteenth and final episode of the third season of the anthology television series American Horror Story, which premiered on January 29, 2014, on the cable network FX. The episode was written by Douglas Petrie and directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.
In the episode, the remaining witches compete to perform the Seven Wonders in order to find out who is the next Supreme. After the new Supreme rises, the Coven goes public with their powers. Stevie Nicks guest stars as herself at the beginning of the episode, singing "Seven Wonders" as the girls prepare. This episode is rated TV-14.
The witches prepare their powers to compete in the Seven Wonders, as Stevie Nicks sings "Seven Wonders" on the first floor of the Academy to wish the girls good luck. The witches begin their trials with Telekinesis, and all four witches pass the trial. The next trial is Concilium – mind control; Misty (Lily Rabe) and Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) succeed on each other. Madison (Emma Roberts), instead of demonstrating her power on Zoe (Taissa Farmiga), makes Kyle (Evan Peters), now the new caretaker, drop his tray of beverages and walk over to Madison to kiss her. Zoe responds by making Kyle do the same thing. Furious, Madison makes him choke Zoe. The altercation is broken up by Cordelia (Sarah Paulson), who flings Kyle across the room.
For the next challenge, all four witches perform Descensum, travelling to a personal hell, a sun-up deadline for their return. Queenie, Madison, and then Zoe return. Misty is unable to return from her hell - being forced to dissect a frog in high school science class - and disintegrates to ash. The remaining three witches succeed at the next trial, Transmutation (teleportation), and play a game of tag with the power. Zoe ends up teleporting on a pike over the Academy's gateway, and dies. Queenie fails to revive Zoe, removing her from the running for Supreme as she has failed one of the Wonders, Vitalum Vitalis - resurrection. Madison refuses to revive her and instead proves her power by killing a fly and reviving it. With Queenie failing Vitalum Vitalis, Madison is the sole remaining Supreme candidate.
Myrtle (Frances Conroy) convinces Cordelia to take the trials, since she is of royal blood. Cordelia succeeds in the first five challenges, performing Transmutation immediately after her Descensum. Then Madison and Cordelia compete at Divination, which Madison fails. Madison curses the remaining three out and leaves to pack her belongings to return to Hollywood, threatening to expose the Coven publicly. As Madison is in her room packing up her belongings, Kyle enters the room and chokes her to death for her refusal to bring back Zoe. Cordelia's final task, Vitalum Vitalis, is bringing Zoe back to life. She succeeds and faints shortly after. When she awakes, her vision is restored, and having completed the final trial in the Seven Wonders, is proclaimed the new Supreme. Spalding (Denis O'Hare) appears to Kyle, and states to him he is "the help".
Cordelia goes public about the witches and their powers in a television interview. Files and a map show emerging witches nationwide. Myrtle reminds Cordelia that she herself must pay for killing the other Council members. Cordelia resists, saying that Myrtle has been like a true mother for her, but Myrtle insists that she once again should be burned at the stake. Cordelia pronounces her sentence and sets her ablaze.
Young women surround the Academy, waiting to take their places as students. Cordelia officially invites Queenie and Zoe to be her Council and they accept. Downstairs, Fiona (Jessica Lange) awaits her. Fiona expounds that the Axeman (Danny Huston) assisted her, and that she implanted a vision into him of killing her. Even though Fiona is quite ill and aged, she is still trying to make good on her plan to kill the new Supreme. Fiona expounds that when Cordelia was born, Fiona knew of her impending mortality and that she must die for her daughter to truly live. Cordelia laments that Fiona was always her villain. Handing Cordelia a knife, Fiona insists that her daughter put her out of her misery, now that she is powerless. Cordelia declares that no one can help her move on to the end, and that Fiona must let herself go. As they hug, Fiona dies in Cordelia's arms. Fiona awakes, young and restored, to a rooster crowing outside a farmhouse, where the Axeman's vision of an idyllic life together is played out. She is repulsed, and he tells her that every morning she awakes unaware of what has transpired; she wants Cordelia back. While this place and situation are the Axeman's heaven, for Fiona, they are her hell. In the background, Papa Legba (Lance Reddick), having claimed Fiona's soul, smiles at her.
Kyle, as the new butler, opens the door for the new students. They settle in, and Cordelia declares to the assembled that their purpose is no longer simply to survive, but to thrive. One of the young witches asks who is the Supreme, to which Queenie responds that they are all looking at her, pointing at a smiling Cordelia.
Rotten Tomatoes reports a 67% approval rating, based on 12 reviews. The critical consensus reads, ""The Seven Wonders" doesn't quite deliver the payoff viewers might have hoped for, but it does curb the season's downward slope with a decently entertaining and visually impressive finale." Matt Fowler from IGN gave the episode a rating of 8.0, adding, "There were still a few head-scratching moments, but essentially "The Seven Wonders" put a bow on the season – with the few remaining villains getting their just deserts." Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club rated the episode a C−, stating, "It seemed beyond the writers on Coven, who revealed in "The Seven Wonders" that they were similarly incapable of getting us interested in the actual end games of all of these characters."
The episode received a 2.2 18–49 ratings share and was watched by 4.24 million viewers in its original American broadcast, a marked increase from the previous episode.
- "(#313) "The Seven Wonders"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
- Barnes, Bronwyn (January 31, 2014). "Myrtle Snow's last word". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
- "The Seven Wonders – American Horror Story: Coven, Episode 13". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- Fowler, Matt (January 29, 2014). "Either Crown Me or Kiss My Ass.". IGN. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- VanDerWerff, Todd (January 29, 2014). "American Horror Story: "The Seven Wonders"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (January 30, 2014). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Wins Night + 'American Horror Story', NBA Basketball, 'Wahlburgers' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 30, 2014.