1 Nov 2013

American Horror Story: Coven - Episode 3.04 "Fearful Pranks Ensue" Review

This week on American Horror Story Coven brought us the beloved Halloween episode that we all look forward to each year, and after a pleasing two-parter in the first season, we were always getting something to die for, and luckily 'Fearful Pranks Ensue' strikes just that; though, the Halloween spirit could have been cranked up a notch or two.

The episode starts with a continuation of the events that ended the previous episode of Madison getting her jugular sliced by Fiona in an attempt to take down the next supreme  and to get a satisfying episode which final act is targeted around 'What happened to Madison'. The entire episode was stuffed with dark flare, sizzled with fun, and although the episode takes a serious turn for the demented, we can appreciate all the fun little things the episode brings, like Spalding building a scarecrow, then giving it a little squeeze after. Thankfully, that's not all we see of him and getting a display of his back-story makes the character a lot more interesting on many levels; he may not utter a word, but the whole ordeal with the dolls and dressing up and very much dead Madison makes for a deep and darkly fascinating character, one of which I would like to see a lot more of.

Another character who gets the darker treatment is the husband of Cordelia, Hank who proves to be a lot more evil than initially thought. Not only does he cheat on Cordelia with Kylee, played by Season 1's phenomenal Alexandra Breckenridge, who unexpectedly dies without even enough screen time. Hopefully we will see more of her which is unlikely unless she is in fact a witch, which could actually turn out to be a pleasing little plot twist. Her line "Halloween is a time were anyone is aloud to become who they want to be" and Hank's reply "I dressed as a monster" was an early indication of what he was hiding, so for him to pull out his gun and pull the trigger really wasn't that big of a surprise; I hate the character but I'm interested to see what he is capable of.

Once again, the series falls into plot overdose and is starting to cram multiple plots into one which by this stage is apparent and unwanted. The very beginning of the episode introduces new elements to the story behind the black community in the show, and although the connection hasn't quite been made between the death and voodoo, it still doesn't feel unnecessary  considering the fact that we already have the Kyle sub-plot that quite frankly feels overdone and a little lifeless like Kyle himself. Whether or not Murphy will get past this bump I am not completely sure just yet, but if they continue to keep Kyle the way he is then the show could easily go downhill from here.

The episode may capture some fun elements, mostly from the Thriller-esque turn near the end of the episode, and the fact that Marie can summon the dead through voodoo is actually quite frightening; I was surprised not to see Michael Jackson shuffle through the zombie crowd doing the Thriller dance, it was the perfect moment. I love the fact that zombies are being brought in, and it just adds another notch to the camp glory of the show, it may be the last thing it needs, but it works and that's all that matters.

On a side note, I think Nan may just be the next supreme, she has the power that will soon grow, and with the reveal that Madison wasn't the next supreme just proves that Nan could be the dark horse in all of this; whether or not it was her who threw acid on Cordelia I am yet to know, but it was defiantly a woman figure, and surely not Queenie (who came out with some kicker lines that really made me chuckle). Only time will tell, and hopefully sooner rather than later.

VERDICT: 'Fearful Pranks Ensue' may not be the strongest episode yet and it does get lost in the Kyle sub-plot, but it makes for a darkly twisted Halloween episode with added fun, and if that's not your bag then American Horror Story isn't your show.


  1. I would love nothing more than Nan being the next Supreme and turning out to be anything but innocent but knowing how predictable Murphy is, it will probably be Zoe :(

    1. aw yeah! Zoe is probably the one, we have followed her from the start, and him being so predictable he will make it here. Making it Queenie could catch us all off guard, she might bite the dust soon though.



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