American Horror Story: Coven 3×06 The Axeman Cometh Recap

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The girls make contact with a bad spirit stuck in the school while Cordelia recovers from her attack. Fiona struggles with her illness and various truths come to light.

Spoilers below.

New Orleans, 1919. The episode begins with the Axeman reading in voiceover a threatening letter he sent to the newspaper. In it, he promises he will murder again on Tuesday but those who have a jazz band playing in their homes will be spared. Some of those who do not will die.

At the school in 1919, the girls panic, except for one, Millie (Grace Gummer, Meryl Streep’s daughter). She reminds them they are powerful and suffragettes so they will not be intimidated while they are on the verge of great glory.

The Axeman walks the streets, New Orleans jazz pouring from every house, until he reaches the school. There, opera can be heard and the gate is open. The Axeman walks in and, axe in hand, he climbs the stairs. He enters Millie’s room, where opera music is playing on the phonograph. She sits facing away from the door, turning over tarot cards. He stops the record and says, “I gave fair warning, girl.”

She continues flipping the cards but stops when she pulls the death card. Millie tells him the reading was for him and the girls, hiding in the dark room, take turns stabbing him.

In present day, Zoe goes through a box of Madison’s things. Among them, she finds a gun and a mini bottle of booze that rolls into the closet. Zoe discovers there’s a hidden door in the back that has opened. Inside, she finds an ancient Ouija board and an old photo from when the school was overflowing with students.

Zoe tells Nan and Queenie witches are dying out and they have to have each other’s backs. She also says they have to find Madison. All drink absinthe. Queenie warns them about how dangerous spirit boards are. Zoe: “There’s three of us. You want to find Madison? Witch up.”

The spirit the girls make contact with is the Axeman and they find out he was murdered at the school. When Zoe asks who murdered you, he replies, “You did.” Upon discovering his name is Axeman, Queenie knocks the glass off of the table and blows out the candle, telling Zoe she should know who they’re talking to first. Good point. Axeman isn’t the friendliest of names.

Fiona is at the hospital, receiving chemotherapy. She starts hearing the thoughts of the patients around her, a gift she’s never had before. She can’t take hearing all the sadness at once and rips the needle out of her arm. A doctor Fiona finds patronizing encourages her to sit back down and continue treatment. Fiona expresses worry about surviving for her daughter and having “one last, great love affair.” Fiona, continuing to be more human, tells the one patient whose thoughts she heard that she will make it to her daughter’s wedding.

Zoe, Queenie and Nan find out through a diary and the class of 1919 photo that the Axeman was murdered by those girls. Queenie and Nan refuse to go further with contacting him. Zoe decides to do it alone. Okay, I have to say, I know Fiona and Cordelia have a lot going on right now but why are these girls constantly left to their own devices? It’s especially important since everyone keeps talking about the witches dying out. They need to go full blown Hogwarts and learn their power and how to fight.

Zoe promises the Axeman release in exchange for where Madison is. He tells her “attic” and she discovers Spalding’s dirty little doll secret and the now pungent corpse of Madison in a box. She’s really not looking too good. Spalding grabs Zoe and keeps her from screaming.

Blind Cordelia is led back to her room at home by her husband, even though she made it most of the way herself. He touches her and she sees his affair with the girl from a few weeks ago. Cordelia demands to know the truth. He denies everything and Cordelia and Fiona kick him out. Fiona touches Cordelia and she sees Myrtle burned at the stake. Cordelia is distraught by the death of her Auntie Myrtle.

In the attic, the girls have Spalding in a chair and demand he confess he killed Madison. Nan, reading his thoughts, says he’s thinking he’s not afraid of children. We see Zoe easily broke away from Spalding before and hit him over the head with a porcelain doll, knocking him out.

Back in present time, Zoe explains to him, “Here’s how this works, asshole. We ask the questions, you think the answers, she reads your mind.” Zoe presses a metal spatula heated up on a burner into his chest. We hear Denis O’Hare’s voiceover say he killed Madison for sex, which we know is not true. He also says they can’t do anything about it because it’ll expose the coven.

Queenie takes the spatula and presses it against her face. Spalding, feeling the burn on his face, passes out. Queenie laughs. Zoe doesn’t believe he killed Madison.

Now we catch up on our resident Stevie Nicks fan, Misty Day. She’s got Myrtle buried in the ground and pours healing swamp water on her. We can only see Myrtle’s hand but it’s moving. Kyle shows up and Misty Day cleans him up to the song Leather and Lace. Kyle protests, due to his mother’s sexual abuse. He has a full blown PTSD attack and destroys things in her cabin. He smashes her radio and she sobs.

Zoe shows up and Kyle runs to her, crying. Misty: “Get him out of here. He broke Stevie.” Zoe tells Misty she needs her help. Do we get Madison back soon? Yay!

Cordelia’s husband, Hank, visits Marie, telling her, “We have a problem.” Oh good. He’s working with Marie. This will end well for all involved.

Zoe chains Kyle up in the greenhouse. Misty tells Zoe he likes her. Misty examines Madison and says, “I can help you dig a hole. She’s already rotting and plus, she’s missing an arm.” Zoe shows she has the arm and tells Misty she has to bring her back. Misty tries but says, “There’s too much death inside her,” and makes Zoe help.

With the two pushing on Madison’s stomach, Madison starts gagging up all manner of gross things and a big ass bug crawls out of her mouth. Madison screams, thrashes and sits up. Madison, still corpse white: “I need a cigarette.”

Hank and Marie fight and we discover Marie hired him, a witch hunter, six years ago to get rid of all the Salem descendants. The redhead Hank killed, Kaylee, was a witch who can start fires. Cordelia had interviewed her for the school, which makes me wonder why Cordelia didn’t recognize her in the vision. Hank has killed nine witches in three years and Marie is furious it’s not more. She demands the heads of all of the witches at the school and for him to burn it down.

Zoe suggests Misty stay the night but she refuses. Zoe: “I thought you were looking for your tribe.” Misty: “I was and I am. This ain’t it. I got bad vibes. Real bad. There’s something foul in this house.” Many things, I’d imagine.

In her room, a shaky Cordelia struggles. She undresses and we see the Axeman in her room. Axeman: “I always hated this room.”

The girls watch Madison, who asks if she was in a car crash. She looks pale but far less corpse-y. Zoe explains she died and they brought her back. Madison says the last thing she remembers is red (Fiona’s dress) and that there’s no afterlife, just darkness.

The Axeman demands release from Cordelia. She says she can’t and he puts his hand on her throat. She screams and the girls go to her room but it’s locked. They look for a spell to make the Axeman move on and Zoe finds the right book and right spell, as if it called to her. The Axeman is released and Cordelia screams from the ordeal.

The Axeman walks down the street, whistling. At a bar, Fiona discovers her hair is falling out. The Axeman sits next to her and calls her a pretty lady. She smiles.

Next week, Queenie visits Marie, the Axeman sticks around and Cordelia finds out what happened to Madison.

All of the pieces are starting to tie together with Hank working for Marie and Misty bringing Myrtle and Madison back to life. Obviously, the Axeman is a problem. It’s too bad the girls didn’t find a spell to make him move on and not become corporeal again. Even though they found Madison, Queenie was right not to mess with the spirit board. I’m sure the Axeman and Marie are going to make things hell at the school.

What did you think? What do you think will happen to Spalding when Cordelia or Madison learns what he did? Will Misty find her own tribe or reluctantly join this messed up one? What was your favorite part of this episode?

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