'Horror Story' Scoop: Ryan Murphy Teases What's Next For 'Coven'
Jessica Lange as Fiona, Emma Roberts as Madison, Jamie Brewer as Nan, Taissa Farmiga as Zoe, and Gabourey Sidibe as Queenie in the 'American Horror Story: Coven' Season Premiere, 'Bitchcraft.'
"Fun" is not typically a word we'd associate with "American Horror Story"… that is, until now.
Following the grimly violent slog that was last season's "Asylum," tonight's premiere of Season 3 (aka "Coven") felt like a summer breeze, a welcome return to the campy vibe of Season 1. In fact, when "Horror Story" creator Ryan Murphy spoke to critics about "Coven" in a spoiler-heavy Q&A session, he used the word "fun" no less than a dozen times... and that's no accident. "I heard a lot last year, 'Oh, we love it, but it's hard to sit through,'" he admitted. "So I wanted this year to be not so hard to sit through, a little bit more light in tone." Well, mission accomplished.
But of course, we're just getting started: Murphy promised many wicked twists to come this season, including an ax-wielding arch-villain and a major witch death in Episode 3 (!). You're not afraid of a few spoilers, are you? Then read on to find out what's brewing for "Coven."
Karma bites Kathy Bates
The toughest part to watch in the "Coven" premiere had to be 19th-century socialite Madame LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) torturing her slaves in that god-forsaken attic of hers. But we saw all-powerful witch Fiona (Jessica Lange) dig her up at episode's end, and rest assured, her just desserts are on the way. "Jessica plays this great supreme witch who also happens to be the world's biggest liberal," Murphy teased.
"So she's holding Kathy Bates ransom. And she starts to find out about the horrors of that character, who's a real woman. Everything that we showed you, she actually did, and worse. So she makes Kathy Bates be Gabourey Sidibe's personal slave as payback. Through that relationship, Kathy Bates has an entire season of guilt and remorse, and finally learning about the gravity of what she did. So it's also a meditation on race relations in this country."
Witchcraft vs. voodoo
Angela Bassett isn't just stuck appearing in flashbacks, either: Her character, voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, is still alive and well in modern-day New Orleans, according to Murphy. "In the second episode, Jessica finds out that Marie Laveau, who was also a real person, has put this spell on Kathy Bates. Marie Laveau runs a hair salon called Cornrow City, where she's gone undercover. So Jessica shows up and says, 'Gimme the eternal life stuff,' and Marie Laveau says, 'Well, gimme back Kathy Bates, because I know you dug her up.' So that begins the war."
But the two rival witches eventually find a reason to join forces: "There's a very strong arc about the Salem witches and the voodoo witches, and 'Can't we all get along to fight our common enemy?'"
Get ready to meet more witches… and say goodbye to one
Put your pointy black thinking caps on, because we'll be spending time in class with the young witches of Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies. "We have a lot of Salem flashbacks throughout the year, where these girls who are students learn about their ancestors," Murphy hinted. "And other witches come into that house who also have very specific powers."