'AHS: Coven' finale delivers a few surprises

Sarah Paulson as Cordelia, Taissa Farmiga as Zoe, Lily Rabe as Misty, Gabourey Sidibe as Queenie,...

Sarah Paulson as Cordelia, Taissa Farmiga as Zoe, Lily Rabe as Misty, Gabourey Sidibe as Queenie, Emma Roberts as Madison, Frances Conroy as Myrtle. (Handout)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:02 PM ET

“What's a 'supreme?' ”

“You're looking at her.”

With those words, the third season of American Horror Story – full title, American Horror Story: Coven – came to an end on FX and FX Canada.

Consider this a SPOILER ALERT if you haven't watched yet, but I definitely can say that the third season ended more satisfactorily than the first two. And when I say satisfactorily, I simply mean more completely, with fewer questions and open ends.

I have been a big fan of all three seasons of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's American Horror Story, because it consistently has been the only show on TV where I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen next. And that served the finale of American Horror Story: Coven perfectly, since it essentially became a sort of Survivor for Witches, with a handful of candidates involved in various competitions to determine the next “supreme.”

The winner wasn't even a contender when the episode began, although I did suggest earlier this week that Cordelia, played by Sarah Paulson, could be a possibility to emerge. There was great irony to this, since Cordelia had never gotten along with the woman she was replacing, her mother Fiona, played by the gloriously creepy Jessica Lange.

So there was surprise in the final episode, not only with the emergence of Cordelia, but also with the fact that Fiona was still alive. Turns out she hadn't really been murdered by the Axeman (Danny Huston), but she had inserted that memory into the Axeman's brain, to facilitate her own escape.

But Fiona couldn't escape cancer. And she couldn't escape her past deeds, either, as she found herself in hell, living the same mundane day with the Axeman, over and over and over again. What a great scene that was. What a true hell that would be for Fiona.

The one quibble I'd have with the finale will make me seem like kind of a bad guy, I fear. But I was a little disappointed when, after Zoe (Taissa Farmiga) accidentally impaled herself, they brought her back to life. Nothing against Zoe, but she was sort of the “rooting interest,” so to speak, and when they killed her, my first reaction was, “Wow, way to up the ante.” But they couldn't stick to it.

There was death, though. Misty (Lily Rabe) never made it back from hell. Myrtle (Frances Conroy) demanded to be burned at the stake - again - for her crimes. And Madison (Emma Roberts) was murdered for the second time, on this occasion choked by the violent hands of Kyle (Evan Peters).

At the conclusion, only Zoe, Kyle, Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) and the new supreme Cordelia remained, ushering in a new era for witches.

As both an ending and a beginning, the finale of American Horror Story: Coven had it covered.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

 


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