CR. Michele K. Short/FX
CR. Michele K. Short/FX
Welcome to the Coven. But be careful, something majorly spoilery this way comes!
American Horror: Story Coven finally premiered tonight, introducing viewers to Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's latest season of horrors. Season three's brew? A delicious potion of camp mixed with scares with a splash of female power.
The premiere episode, cheekily titled "Bitchcraft," had a lot going on: A major death in the form of Evan Peters' frat boy Kyle (Nooo!). A blast from the past, courtesy of Kathy Bates' super-evil and racist serial killer Madame LaLaurie popping up very much alive in the premiere's final episode. Two kills committed by sexual intercourse. (Isn't being a witch fun, Taissa Farmiga's Zoe?!) Plus, we were introduced to all of the season's major players, including Jessica Lange's fabulous Supreme witch Fiona and her daughter Cordelia (Sarah Paulson), who runs a school for young witches, played by Farmiga, Gabourey Sidibe (human voodoo doll Queenie), Emma Roberts (telekinetic mean girl Madison) and Jaime Brewer (the clairvoyant Nan).
Turns out, the premiere didn't even scratch the surface of just how crazy-awesome Coven will be, as we chatted with Murphy about what's ahead for the witches, young and old, including a Frankenstein-inspired love story, Fiona's faceoff with LaLaurie (who becomes Queenie's "personal slave") and the major death coming in episode three. Seriously, prepare yourselves now for a feast of scoop...
Old vs. New: Not only is the Supreme, but she's "the world's biggest liberal," so expect sparks to fly between her and Kathy. "She starts to find out about the horrors of what that woman did who was a real woman who actually did all the things we showed you, and worse," he says. "She makes Kathy Bates be Gabourey's personal slave as payback. So through that relationship Kathy Bates has an entire season of guilt and remorse and learning about the gravity of what she did."
He continues, "It's a meditation on race relations in this country. There's a very strong arc on the Salem witches and the voodoo witches and can't we all get along to fight our common enemy? It really is an allegory for any minority group in this country."
Voodoo Hairdo: While Angela Bassett's character Maria Laveau played a small but pivotal role in the premiere, stopping Bates' reign of terror over the slaves back in the day, fans can expect to see a lot more of her. In the present day! "In the second episode, Jessica finds out about Maria Laveau and it turns out Maria Laveau runs a hair salon called Corn Row City where she's gone undercover all along," Murphy reveals. "And [Fiona] says, 'Give me the eternal life stuff.' And Marie says, 'You give me back Kathy Bates. I know you dug her up.' That begins the war."
Season-Three Mystery: The question you should all be asking: Who is the new Supreme? "We have a lot of Salem flashbacks throughout the show where the girls learn about their ancestors. And more people come into the show, other witches to that house and they also have very specific powers," Murphy explains. "And the great mystery is which of these people you have met is the Supreme? Who is going to take Jessica Lange's throne? So the show also has a really great thriller aspect to it this year, which is we really don't find out till episode 12 who that is."
So yeah, it's safe to say that Lange's isn't just in New Orleans to teach the girls how to protect themselves. "Oh, she kills one of them in episode three," Murphy oh-so-casually reveals. "She's not giving it up. She thinks she's found out who the Supreme is and that person gets killed, which is the great fun for Jessica."
CR. Michele K. Short/FX
Silence Is Golden: Don't cry over Evan Peters' Kyle being offed so soon! He will be back…but with a Frankenstein twist. "Evan's story kicks off in episode two. The big girl story is that Zoe and Madison go to the morgue. Taissa is obviously in love with Evan's character, and they find out that the boys are badly, badly mangled and decapitated," Murphy previews. "So Emma Roberts' character decides to build the perfect boyfriend. She takes Evan's head and other parts that she desires and creates this thing and they use a spell. And that's his arc. That's his season. He's brought back or not. And she's in love with him and [tries to] rehabilitate him, but of course she can't be with him because she'll kill him."
Oh, and he won't be speaking anytime soon. "Evan loves that part because for the first seven episodes he doesn't speak. So we had to do a lot with body language and mime. I made him watch Bride of Frankenstein several times."
More Than Meets the Buttoned-Up Blouse: Though Paulson's Cordelia is very reserved and cautious about her powers, as well as the girls' powers, viewers can expect to see a major change halfway through the season. "Sarah starts off prim and proper and then something happens in around episode five that forces her to say, 'OK, maybe my mother is right,'" Murphy teases. "And that's also a great dynamic to play, a mother and daughter who really don't like each other. Where Sarah starts out and where she ends up is completely the opposite of where she's playing now."
Of her dark turn, Murphy says, "Well, you meet her husband in episode two and suffice to say, it's no good."
American Horror Story: Coven airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. on FX.
What did you think of the American Horror Story: Coven premiere? Sound off in the comments!