AHS S3, E3: “The Replacements” by Cat Scully


This is the episode I have been waiting for. So far, I’ve been pretty tame in my reviews, waiting for the other shoe to drop and the season to start acting like the past ones. I felt the build up was necessary and, knowing the series and how it never lets me down with crazy, I patiently waited. The wait really paid off with episode three. Finally we see some crazy hit the fan, and when it does, oh man was it unexpected.

We finally get the answer to the question, “so how exactly did Fiona become the Supreme?” the moment the episode starts, showing Fiona with her mentor Anna Lee. With a tense argument over what makes a proper supreme and a slice to the neck, Fiona kills her mentor and finds herself Supreme a little too early for her own good. This, subsequently, leads us to the explanation of why the butler had his tongue removed.

It’s revealed that when a Supreme starts to fade, it’s because she’s giving her powers to a younger Supreme who will take her place. Apparently, that much witchcraft can’t exist in one place and it starts to make all too much sense that Fiona is dying of cancer. Then, the natural question is, who is stealing Fiona’s power? Zoe would be too easy, and thankfully, the answer isn’t her:it’s Madison.

By now, we all know that guilt follows Zoe like a little, black cloud and she craves the resolution of her guilt. She calls Kyle’s mother, hoping to receive some solace in potentially returning her son to his mother. What she finds is a less than perfect picture of a grieving pothead who openly offers Zoe a hit of her pipe. Learning that his mom was going to hang herself with grief, she resolves she must reunite them. This proves more than a little problematic as Misty has attached herself to the now-healed Kyle through tending to him. Zoe promises to take him and come back to visit Misty, but she knows its complete bull.

Meanwhile, a problem moves in next door:and by a problem, I mean a handsome boy with a tyrannical Christian mother. Queenie, Nan, and Madison watch the shirtless boy, Luke, move in and set out to meet this strange, new neighbor. They form a welcoming committee with a yellow cake and Madison in a barely there dress, but Luke completely ignores Madison and treats Nan with respect instead. When Luke’s mother interrupts, Madison retaliates and nearly cuts his mother ,Joan, with a knife. In another act of revenge, Madison unwittingly lights the drapes on fire, manifesting another talent. Later, Joan meets with Fiona and returns the knife with a bible in tow. Fiona ,rightly, puts her in her place and sends her packing, however, the long term battle between the two has started, thus, leaving Fiona with two enemies and a dwindling list of help. Through this altercation, Fiona realizes Madison has manifested one of the seven wonders required to become the Supreme.

The moments with LaLaurie are becoming increasingly hilarious as she watches the “magic box” television and finds an African American president. Fiona sets to disguise her as the new maid, but as LaLaurie sets to serve Queenie, a small bomb of drama is handed to us on a crafted silver platter. Fiona punished LaLaurie by making her serve Queenie every second of the day, saying “there is nothing I hate more than a racist.”

In Cordelia’s quest to get pregnant, we find that both Fiona and Cordelia have a blood work problem that denies both of them treatment to their quench their desires. Cordelia decides to pay a visit to Marie LeVeau and ask for a voodoo solution to her fertility problem as her last hope. There’s no way in hell that Marie will help her, but she still leads her on, toying with her how the process would work and how they could help her. We get a beautiful voodoo sequence of the ritual with Marie dancing alongside her voodoo tribe, finally seeing some voodoo enter the season. Still, she throws it all in Cordelia’s face, saying “too late for tears, damage is done.”

Zoe takes Kyle back to his house, ditching him at the doorway for his mother to find, acting more like a Frankenstein monster than ever. He enters the house giving a knowing look back at Zoe, letting us all know something is wrong. His mother visits him in bed that night and her sweet words of missing him quickly turn into her making out with him all the way to fondling her son in bed. Despite their grotesque relationship, we learn that his mother knows something is wrong with him and that he came back “wrong.” Eventually, the intimacy becomes too much and Kyle smashes her skull in with a trophy, leaving her there for Zoe to find when she returns to check up on him.

While LaLaurie makes Queenie food, and we have  a small motherly scene of advising Queenie to find love instead of food, the Minotaur arrives. This forces LaLaurie to reveal to Queenie who she really is, begging her on her knees to hide her. Queenie decides to take care of it, cuts LaLaurie’s hand and wipes it on a rag, then goes outside to face the Minotaur. She leads it with the smell of LaLaurie’s blood to a dark alley. Relating too much to the Minotaur, saying she was a beast like him, Queenie offers herself sexually to him. He circles behind her, acting like he’s about to fulfill her lust for him, and instead the Minotaur takes her to do who knows what with her.

As Fiona trains Madison, consulting her and learning more about how her coked-out mother forced Madison into acting, Fiona plays it like she wishes to impart her wisdom:but as soon as she sees Madison get a man to disregard his own safety by walking into the middle of the street, she knows Madison is taking her power. Fiona takes Madison to a bar later that night and sees her youth fading before her eyes as Madison descends into drunkenness. Back at the house, Fiona confronts Madison, asking her to end her life so she won’t have to suffer anymore and to become the new Supreme. But in their arguing, Madison’s throat is cut instead. Fiona regards her on the carpet and looks back at the butler, delivering the best line of the season so far: “this coven doesn’t need a new Supreme. It needs a new rug.”

The only thing I’m left with hoping for at the end of this episode is we still haven’t seen any voodoo on witch fighting or action. Although the buildup is tremendous, this season may start pushing it too far without the battle if it keeps going at this rate. The religious next door neighbor may end up burning them all alive before we can get to the battle, but I’m still hoping for the best:and AHS hasn’t failed me in that regard yet.