‘American Horror Story’ 3.07 Recap: “The Past Is Best Left Buried”

‘American Horror Story’ will be off this week due to the holiday. To help ease the pain of that a little, the show ran an extra ten minutes long last Wednesday. As you might expect, the added time was filled with delicious perversity.

Episode ‘The Dead’ is all about… well, lots of things that have been dead and should probably stay that way.

We open with a flashback to Kyle in his fraternity days. At a tattoo parlor with all his buds, he announces his dream to become an engineer. “I got one life and I’m not wasting it,” he insists. As we know, that life won’t last too long. Cut to the present day, and Frankensteined Kyle freaks out when he sees all the tattoos on his body parts that he knows don’t belong there. Having failed to poison him previously, Zoe contemplates putting him out of his misery with a gun, but ultimately can’t bring herself to do it.

Madison, herself brought back from the dead, tells us in a voiceover that she’s unable to feel anything. This has left her with a great emptiness. After discovering Kyle hidden in the academy, she bonds with him over their shared experiences with death – and by “bonds with him,” I mean has sex with him, because that’s pretty much the only way she knows how to form attachments. Poor Zoe walks in on them banging and believes that’s the end of her own relationship with Kyle. Not necessarily, though. Madison later invites her into a threesome. It seems that Zoe’s curse of killing anyone she has sex with doesn’t apply to those who are already dead. Bonus!

Also getting her groove on this episode is Fiona, who has a one-night stand with the resurrected serial killer known as the Axeman (Danny Huston). As this scene played, I had to question how the Axeman could have an apartment to bring Fiona back to. I shouldn’t have underestimated the writers that way. The dead guy in the bathtub would explain how the Axeman got his new digs. Fiona actually isn’t so bothered by that. She’s done her own share of killing, after all. She’s a little more weirded out, however, when the Axeman tells her how he’s been watching over her ever since she was a little girl first attending the academy. What started as a paternal urge to protect her grew into lust when she hit adolescence and eventually love when she matured into womanhood. This is all sorts of icky. Fiona storms out, but I’m sure this won’t be the last of her pairing with the Axeman.

Meanwhile, Cordelia discovers that Madison is back, and has a vision of her mother murdering the girl. She warns Zoe that, as a potential next Supreme, she will surely be in Fiona’s sights next. But Cordelia wants to take action first to prevent that. “We going to kill my mother,” she declares. “Kill her once. Kill her good. Kill her dead.” And you thought you had mommy issues!

Before Zoe can get on board with this plan, she needs to confirm Fiona’s guilt, and the best person to do that is Spalding. When Zoe finds his enchanted tongue preserved in a box, she uses magic to restore it to him. Now able to talk again, he’s also incapable of lying. Although he resists, Zoe forces him to tell her that Fiona killed Madison. With that information verified, Zoe stabs the creepy butler in the heart: “You’re done talking.” Spalding is now the second person Zoe has intentionally murdered, but he didn’t get to go out as nicely as the first one.

Off in her own storyline, Queenie visits Marie Laveau to see what the deal is with all these voodoo witches. Laveau welcomes her. In fact, she tries to convince Queenie that she belongs with them, not with the white bitches who will never understand her or treat her as an equal. But in order to join their voodoo family, Queenie needs to do one important thing for Laveau – deliver Mme. LaLaurie to her.

This seems like it might be a problem, because Queenie and LaLaurie have actually started to bond a little. LaLaurie may have been a horrible, horrible monster in her day, but she’s trying to make amends and become a better person. In a very funny scene, Queenie introduces her to the miracle of fast food, which LaLaurie devours enthusiastically. Nevertheless, by episode’s end, Queenie dupes LaLaurie into coming with her to the hair salon, oblivious to who owns it. When LaLaurie realizes the deception, she begs Queenie to help her. Suddenly cold, Queenie heartlessly turns against her. She can never be friends with or forgive a woman who has done such evil things as LaLaurie has done.

As her revenge, Laveau locks LaLaurie in a cage and bleeds her, in order to make the beauty cream concoction that LaLaurie used to make from slaves’ blood, including an infant sired by her husband. Smearing the woman’s blood all over her own face, Laveau enthuses: “Beautiful!”

The twisted genius of this show is that it can even make a vile psychopath like Mme. LaLaurie sympathetic, yet refuses to allow her the comfort of redemption.

As I said, the show is off this week for the holiday. Too bad, because I’d kind of like to see what kind of demented madness the writers might come up with for a Thanksgiving themed episode.

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