RJ Bayley – ‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Retrospective Part 8
This episode of American Horror Story: Coven, The Sacred Taking is a little scattershot with its exploration of female themes and morality it ascribes them, but it pulls through ideas used in previous episodes and pushes them as far as we’ve seen them go. A nice opening to this sees a homeless man threaten Queenie, saying he’ll “fill every hole you got”. Queenie’s learned her lesson now however. Back at the start of the series, feeling ostracized and unloved Queenie had sex with the minotaur that had fatal results, an episode that made the link between sex turning men into primal beasts. Here Queenie pulls her human voodoo doll magic on the accoster and rips out his heart. As the Salem witches look on Queenie also discloses that her victim has been preying on underage girls, so a man who has been, true to form, weaponising sex. As such is the show’s natural order, it’s Queenie who rips the sexual predator a new hole, instead of him filling hers.
We also see dual sides of femininity displayed in Zoe and Madison’s relationship with Kyle. Madison is clearly the overtly sexual side, meanwhile Zoe is trying to help Kyle to learn and eventually reintegrate into society. And of the two it’s Zoe and Kyle that declare their love for one another, the embodiment of nurturing, which the show aligns with women, rather than the sexual embodiment, which the show has more closely associated with men and cruelty. And Madison, come to think about it, has been a much crueler character than Zoe.
And the final extension of the gender associations that this eighth episode makes was one it was hiding right under our noses all along. So far Coven has strongly identified women with harmony, nurture, life giving, natural justice and nature itself. Women are represented as witches in Coven, so the supreme would therefore be the one most in tune with these aspects. So the supreme is named. It should’ve been obvious all along. It’s the one who lives in the heart of nature itself and keeps bringing people back to life. The supreme is Misty Day.
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