TV Review: American Horror Story: Coven – Episodes 7 and 8 (USA, 2013)

AHS-coven

More secrets are unveiled in this episode and things begin to look interesting again. In episode 7, Queenie and Delphine’s friendship grows as Zoe and Cordelia attempt to discover Madison’s murderer. The turning points in this episode are quite dramatic but, as observed in previous reviews, the lack of effective characterisation has decreased their impact. Unlike previous seasons where the horror emerged from our need to protect the characters, now it’s more ‘something that happens to the characters’.

The inconsistencies of characters are becoming more apparent and, for me at least, the characters contradict themselves exchanging their goals and motivations in a heartbeat for cheap drama. This episode contains a lot of dialogue and the constantly moving camera is utilised well to push these scenes along meaning the episode doesn’t drag. This is a very average episode but it depends on the taste of the viewer.

For me, I cannot connect with these characters because I find them clichéd and transparent acting rather as vessels to further the plot rather than the motivators of the plot. However, if you disagree with this article this episode will be great fun because it sets events in motion with the potential for devastating consequences.

Episode 8, meanwhile, hints at the conclusion we’ve been waiting for: the demise of Fiona and the ascension of the new Supreme. The episode is more stylistic than previously, playing with some interesting techniques most notably Misty Day’s burning and resurrection as well as the swinging pans that transport one setting back and forward through time. Along with Fiona’s narrative strand continues Marie’s torture of Delphine and Hank’s pursuit to assassinate the Witches in Miss Robichaux’s Academy.

Again, it comes down to personal taste regarding how much you enjoy the episode. There were moments where I should have felt a particular emotion but didn’t. The script has improved since the last episodes with a reduction of clichés and some unique scenes.

Another criticism of the episode is that there isn’t much left to resolve and suspense is beginning to dwindle. Here’s hoping that the next episode will serve a fresh batch of secrets and plot twists that make us hold our breath. The scratch match between the Witches of Salem and the Voodoo Witches seems to be all that’s left and it’s wearing thin as we continue to wait for something drastic to actually happen. At this point, the season is lacking tension and the content isn’t leaving me hungry for more and the lack of believable characters has made the season dry.

As a whole, there is plenty to keep the viewer entertained but the episode isn’t memorable. Perfect if you’re looking to watch something you don’t need to think too hard about.

Episodes Review Score: THREE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

American Horror Story: Coven airs Monday nights on Channel Eleven.