New Show Recap: American Horror Story 3×08, “The Sacred Taking”

In this week’s American Horror Story, Cordelia tries to orchestrate Fiona’s death, and Fiona has never been a prouder mama.

[Please see this post from stegawhorusrex for a complete list of episode triggers and warnings.]

We begin by joining Queenie as she takes a nighttime stroll through a shanty town. According to the soundtrack and Queenie’s nervous expression, danger lurks around every corner because it’s not like, in real life, homeless people are more likely have violence perpetrated against them than perpetrate violence. She walks and walks until she finally meets the guy she’s been looking for. Predictably, he’s a violent, Black man looking to cut her to pieces. Sigh. He doesn’t know Queenie’s power, and she quickly dispatches of him.

Madison and Zoe emerge out of the darkness… for reasons. They’re shocked and appalled that Queenie has murdered an “innocent” man. Queenie informs them that he’s actually a murderer and a rapist right before she rips out his heart for voodoo purposes. Madison and Zoe ask Queenie to come back to their coven. Queenie firmly declines. They go back and forth for a moment in an exchange that’s a little on the nose with Queenie ultimately declaring, as she holds this man’s heart in her hand, “Witchcraft. Voodoo. This town’s not big enough for both of us.” That’s just in case you’ve missed this entire season.

Queenie holds a heart in American Horror Story: Coven episode 3.08, The Sacred Taking.
No jazz before the rumble.

After the credits, we join a very ill Fiona who pontificates on her impending demise in between scenes of her vomiting, rolling around on the floor in pain, Cordelia asking her to please die before Thanksgiving because her food is terrible, and hanging out in bed with the Axeman. In a bit of foreshadowing, they discuss the possibility of people wanting her dead before her time. She refuses to commit suicide and determines to “stay alive just to spite” anyone who wishes for her death. In the meantime, Detective Fiona sets about finding out which witch (haha) is destined to be the next Supreme, presumably so she can cut her throat next.

Next door to Miss Robichaux’s, Hot Neighbor Boy’s mom is displeased with his gallivanting around with Nan and the rest of the witches. She declares that he’s impure and needs to be cleansed “from the inside out.” To accomplish this, she makes him strip down and jump into the bathtub for an AJAX enema. Yikes. Luke’s panicked expression indicates that this isn’t the first time Mommy Dearest has subjected him to this kind of horrific mistreatment. The show’s really going all in on the abusive mothers this season.

Back at Miss Robichaux’s, Nan’s freaking out about what’s happening to Luke, but Cordelia doesn’t have a moment to spare for him or for Queenie who is “dead to [her].” She needs them all to focus on taking out Fiona. Just then, Misty interrupts their plotting when she comes to them for sanctuary from the murderous sights of Horrible Hank. Hank, predictably, fails to kill her or the resurrected Myrtle. That evening, they all come together to perform “the sacred taking” in which the reigning but ailing Supreme gives up her life so that a new Supreme may arise to lead the coven.

Of course, for this to work, they need Fiona to kill herself. To accomplish this, Cordelia & Co. hatch a needlessly complicated scheme in which Madison pretends to be the new Supreme so Fiona doesn’t suspect that Misty Day is the new Supreme. Then, Myrtle emotionally beats on Fiona until she finally capitulates and lies down to die. It’s a really long and kind of boring scene that eats up a lot of time. But, it ends with the spirit of Spaulding giving her some ipecac and telling her that the other witches just did her dirty. Fiona decides to confront them.

Across town, an empathetic Queenie feeds a starving LaLaurie a cheeseburger with all of the fixings. LaLaurie sadly asks Queenie why she did this. Didn’t Queenie like her crumbles? Didn’t she like LaLaurie’s potpies? Obviously, her crimes pale in comparison to good food, and especially when you’re begging for the sympathies of a fat person. I try not to choke on my spit as Marie enters and puts an end to this nonsense. She sends Queenie away, and LaLaurie immediately reverts back to her haughty, racist self. Marie remains unimpressed and liberates LaLaurie’s hand from her arm then walks away as LaLaurie screams into the commercial break.

LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) begs Queenie in American Horror Story: Coven episode 3.08, The Sacred Taking.
I mutilated & murdered dozens of slaves, but I make a spectacular dinner spread. Listen to reason.

Meanwhile, back at Miss Robichaux’s, Nan’s rightfully angry that none of the other witches believe that she could be the next Supreme. So, she storms out and heads over to see Hot Neighbor Boy. Horrible Hank stalks her from his car, and I warn the show that it better not even think about it. She makes it into the house and, in an interesting call back to Jamie Brewer’s character from season one, finds Luke tied up and gagged in a locked closet. Nan frees him, and they make their escape, but Luke’s mom catches them just as they’re leaving the house. She calls the police and tells them that she’s caught an armed and dangerous intruder in her home.

As Nan and Luke move into the living room to confront her, Horrible Hank shoots at Nan and misses. Hank is such a failure. I’m glad because he nails Luke’s mom and kills her. But, I am immediately annoyed again because he also nails Luke right in the noggin. Luke appears to still be alive but in bad shape when the police arrive to assess the scene. As Nan leaves with Luke, both Misty and Fiona head on over to see what’s up (after a tense, “Surprise, I’m still alive!” scene with Fiona). The other girls follow, and Cordelia finds one of the bullet shells and sees everything but Hank’s horrible face. At the same time, Misty demonstrates her powers for Fiona by bringing Mommy Dearest back to life. Why?

There’s a brief scene between Zoe, Kyle, and Madison here, but I could not possibly care any less, so onto the next morning. Cordelia and Fiona bond over Cordelia’s attempt on Fiona’s life. Fiona’s proud because Cordelia and the other witches “showed some real grit.” Cordelia jokes that if she’d known that all she needs to do to earn her mother’s respect is try to kill her, she would’ve tried it a long time ago. But, in all seriousness, she’s glad that Fiona’s still breathing because with Horrible Hank trying to kill them all, they need their Supreme more than ever.

As they’re discussing what to do next, the doorbell rings. Fiona answers to find a single box on the front porch and no delivery person. After checking it for anything dangerous, she brings it into the house. She and Cordelia open it to find the severed head of Madame LaLaurie blinking in shock and voicelessly screaming for help. Marie has spoken.

A severed head lies in a box in American Horror Story: Coven episode 3.08, The Sacred Taking.
And, yet, she stills lives.

Next week: Cordelia regains her vision; Luke fights for his life; Hank still sucks; and Fiona comes to Marie for an alliance.

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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.

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