Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen American Horror Story: Coven Ep. 13 – “The Seven Wonders.”
“I was Liesl.” – Madison, on her own personal hell.
In the first season, when everyone died in the end, it was shocking. In the second season, when everyone died in the end, it was fitting. And this season, when everyone died in the end… and the middle and the beginning, it was simply boring.
At this point my problems with this season of American Horror Story are very well documented and the season finale did nothing to change my opinion. AHS has never been known for its stellar character development or structurally sound plots, but it has always excelled in shock and awe. In the end, the absence of that signature is the true failure of this season.
In previous seasons a plot would be introduced as a one about a serial killer and quickly evolve into aliens and Nazis and demon possession. You never saw those twits coming, but when they did you couldn’t see any other direction. This season was presented as one about a coven of witches attempting to find its heir apparent and in the end that’s truly all it was ever about.
And while I cheered on that focus at the beginning of the season, it’s now clear that such a narrow scope does not work well for the AHS brand of storytelling. Oh sure, they threw in a few distractions; a creepy doll collector, a torturous salve owner and a crazy Patti Lupone, but in the end they only had one story to tell and way too much time to tell it in. So they reverted to the same beats over and over again. People died, people came back and people died again.
In the end, it was Cordelia who was crowned the new Supreme. I suppose there was supposed to be some poetic justice or greater message about a daughter sucking the life from her mother, but the point wasn’t well made. Not that I expected it would be.
I sincerely hope that Coven will remain an anomaly in the AHS annals, but I admit I fear the worst. After three seasons of “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” storytelling, the writers may have run out of interesting things to throw.
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