New Show Recap: American Horror Story 3×06, “The Axeman Cometh”

In this week’s episode the Axeman cometh… to charm a down and out Fiona.

We begin in 1919 New Orleans to the clicking and clacking of a typewriter crosscut with the gruesome axe murders of a few unlucky NOLA residents. Our fiendish Axeman (Danny Huston) writes an overwrought letter in which he promises to strike again on a specific night but will not murder anyone in houses with a full jazz band on hand. You see, in addition to breaking into people’s homes to horrifically butcher them with a small axe, the Axeman also enjoys playing the axe. He’s a swinging saxophone player who loves jazz. You can’t make this stuff up.

The Axeman (Danny Huston) puts an axe into his saxaphone case in American Horror Story: Coven episode 3.06 "The Axeman Cometh."
A multi-talented axeman

Over at Miss Robichaux’s, the coven debates on how best to handle the Axeman’s threats. After a rousing speech by a young witch who reminds them of their magical powers in addition to their political power (they’re young suffragettes as well), they decide it’s off with his head. They lure him into the house by playing something decidedly unjazzy, then come out of shadows wielding knives and stabbing him to pieces, Ides of March-style. I just got an image of a dejected Homer Simpson sadly wailing, “Saxamaphone” into little Lisa’s axe.

Anyway, with the Axeman seemingly dispatched, we rejoin the current coven as Zoe finds a spirit board and decides to use it to find out what happened to Madison. I can already tell this is a bad idea, and Queenie agrees. But, Drippy Zoe gives everyone a shot of absinthe and tells them to “witch up” before diving right in. No absolutely no one’s surprise, they manage to summon the Axeman, who they all realize is a Very Bad Man. Queenie puts an end to this nonsense, and she Nan decide that they’re going to sit this one out, much to Drippy Zoe’s dismay.

Over at the hospital, Fiona gains the power to read thoughts during a course of chemotherapy and just about decides to give up when she steels herself for Cordelia’s sake. She’s feeling lonely and dejected and wonders aloud if she can still have one last, great romance. Her oblivious doctor smiles blandly and tells her that his mother found someone on eHarmony which doesn’t seem to bolster her sinking spirits. Fiona assures another mother undergoing treatment that she’ll make it to her daughter’s wedding, but I think Fiona is trying to reassure herself.

Back at Miss Robichaux’s, Drippy Zoe decides to do the spirit board thing on her own. She promises the Axeman she’ll release his spirit from the school if he will point her toward Madison. He’s good for his word and Zoe quickly finds Madison’s decomposing corpse in Spalding’s creepy attic apartment. I’m a little shocked that someone could keep a rotting corpse in there so long without anyone smelling it, but then again who knows what kind of ventilation they’ve got going on there. In any case, just as Detective Zoe discovers Madison, Spalding grabs her from behind!

Meanwhile, Cordelia arrives home with Horrible Hubby Hank by her side. When he touches her for a second time, she gets more flashes of his sex with and murder of  Red-headed Kaylee (Alexandra Breckinridge) from last week. Cordelia doesn’t glimpse the murder though, only the tryst, but that’s enough for her to send Hank packing. When they’re alone, Cordelia also finds out that Fiona had “Auntie” Myrtle burned at the stake. Fiona claims it’s for her acid attack on Cordelia, but we know that’s a load of poop. I hope Cordelia learns the truth and depth of her mother’s awfulness and soon.

We cut back to the young ladies of Miss Robichaux’s questioning and torturing Spalding to find out what happened to Madison. Spalding falsely confesses to the murder and claims, in graphic and weirdly poetic detail, that he did it because he’s some kind of necrophiliac. Queenie’s ready to kill him and bury him in the backyard, and Nan’s right there with her. But, Not So Drippy Detective Zoe suspects that he’s lying and wants to him alive as a sort of hostage. Will she find out the truth of what Fiona did to Madison?

Next, we finally see Franken!Kyle again when he pops up in Misty’s swamp just as she’s watering a crop of burned but slowly reviving Myrtle. She attempts to bathe him, but he panics when he flashes back to his mother’s abuse. Zoe arrives just as Kyle sets upon destroying Misty’s little shack, and Misty is super pissed about him destroying her Stevie Nicks tapes. Zoe brings Misty and Kyle back to the school with her. She chains Kyle in the basement before she and Misty combine powers to bring Madison back to life. Madison, who has looked a lot better, weakly demands a cigarette.

Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) comes back to life in American Horror Story: Coven episode 3.06 "The Axeman Cometh."
She’s had better days.

We then visit Marie Laveau, who meets up with a visibly distressed Horrible Hubby Hank. Oh yes, for Horrible Hubby Hank is actually Hank the witch-hunter, and he’s been hired by Marie to take out Fiona’s coven. In a flashback, we learn that Kaylee, who he killed last week, was a witch whose pyrokinesis seemed triggered by stress. I need to take a minute here to rave over Angela’s performance and Marie’s lines. I nearly cackled myself into a delighted coma when she raged, “When I plant a fat ass, cracker bitch, I expect her to stay planted, not come back up like goddamn ragweed!” (Could do without the fat shaming though, c’mon Marie.) As you may guess, Marie thinks Horrible Hunter Hank isn’t getting the job done and warns that he’d better kill all the witches in the school and very soon or he’s toast. I’m left wondering exactly why Hank needed to have sex with Kaylee before he killed her? He’s still horrible even if he works in service of the fabulous Ms. Laveau.

Back at Miss Robichaux’s, the girls quiz Madison on what happened before she died. Madison only remembers a flash of red before everything went dark. Nan asks her if she saw a flash of light, but Madison says there’s nothing on the other side but darkness. They adjourn down to the kitchen, minus Madison but now with Misty, and decide to hide Madison until she’s feeling better. Zoe invites Misty to stay, but Misty senses something bad in the house and elects to leave. She’s right to do so because the Axeman appears to a frightened Cordelia and angrily demands the release of his spirit as Drippy Zoe previously promised. To save Cordelia, Zoe lives up to her aforementioned drippiness by releasing the Axeman’s spirit and unleashing him onto an unsuspecting New Orleans. I’m not quite sure if she and the other girls realize that yet though.

The Axeman takes a jaunty walk through town, whistling the entire way, and ends up sitting right next to a miserable Fiona. Of all the gin joints in all the world. He smarms some compliment at her, and Fiona seems genuinely flattered by and giddy over his attention.

The Axeman (Danny Huston) and Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) flirt in American Horror Story: Coven epise 3.06 "The Axeman Cometh."
Fiona, honey, no.

Next week: Fiona probably had sex with an axe murderer; Zoe seems about done with zombie Kyle; Queenie visits Marie Laveau; and Cordelia finds out what her mean mommy did to Madison.

What say you about “The Axeman Cometh,” readers?

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Marena

Marena recently earned her Master of Arts degree in Social Justice & Human Rights & primarily explores social justice issues in the production & consumption of popular mass media. You may find her creating fanworks, testing her hand-eye coordination with beadweaving, flailing over her fictional faves, reading everything from fanfic to theory texts, or watching low budget sci-fi. You can find her writing on Marena ni yukyats.

3 thoughts on “New Show Recap: American Horror Story 3×06, “The Axeman Cometh””

  1. I really like reading your write-ups of each episode, Marena! Usually, I watch the show with my sister and we have a running commentary, but I haven’t been able to do that lately, so it’s nice to read what someone else’s thoughts have been.

    This episode…man, I just feel so terrible for Kyle. To an extent, I can relate to the character, but gosh, to have undergone that kind of abuse and not have a voice to tell someone–reminds me of Lavinia in Titus Adronicus. Heartwrenching. I am digging Misty’s character more each week. For all her quirks, she seems to be the most self-aware of all of the witches. I’m interested to see what happens when Myrtle returns to life and if/when Madison remembers. Marie Laveau was once again amazing. I could listen to Angela Bassett talk for days on end. Horrible Hank needs something absolutely horrible to happen to him. And I wish Zoe would be less…drippy. I keep wondering when Queenie will meet up with Marie Laveau. I feel like she’s going to change allegiances at some point in the series. I also wonder if, eventually, the two “covens” (not sure if I can call Laveau’s faction a coven or not) will unite against a common enemy or if this season will wind up merely pitting women against each other. I’ll be really disappointed if that’s the end result.

    1. Oh, I love watching shows like this with others and discussing it in real time. The other person ALWAYS notices something or many something I didn’t too which is fun. :) I hope you’re able to watch with your sis again soon.

      I feel awful for Kyle too. Zoe believe she’s created a monster, and I can see why she thinks that. But, it’s terrible to see Kyle suffer so and not be able to tell anyone and now people think HE’S the monster. :(

      Misty is amazing, and I wonder if she’ll be in the running to be the next Supreme. I’m wondering if she knows how Myrtle ended up the way she did what Myrtle will do once she’s well again. What if she and Madison form some kind of alliance (IF Madison ever remembers what happened.)

      Gosh, I really love Angela Basset as Marie. I hope we’ll see more of Marie and her personal back story in upcoming episodes. I also hope either she or one of the coven give Horrible Hank what he deserves. He skeeved me out from day one, and now I know why. Just. No.

      Sigh. Zoe. I love the lady because she seems to go out of her way to protect the coven and tried really hard to find Madison. But, she’s so…drippy. C’mon Zoe, I know you can drip much less, lol.

      And, YES, exactly. I really want to see them unite and compliment each other’s powers. I would be really just…ugggggghhh if it’s down to these women tearing each other down and especially given that it’s not women at the helm of this show. :/

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