I believe that Ryan Murphy prides himself on ending American Horror Story seasons on a high happy-ending note, as happy as one could be considering the carnage leading up to denouement. Yet he has managed peace, resolution, comeuppances, in the previous two seasons, and I hadn’t considered the same would hold true this time.
While I found myself often bored by the ebbs and flows of this season, and disappointed because I loved the theme this season so much, I was pleasantly delighted at how things ended in “The Seven Wonders”. From the opening with Stevie Nicks singing the titular song, to finally unmasking the new Supreme (surprising but well deserved).
Our four Supremes in the making – Zoe, Madison, Queenie and Misty – gather for a toast then delve into their tasks.
Madison is bored and entitled, but the others have a healthy fear. Telekinesis is easy-peasy, but when they are forced to descensum to a place of a perpetual loop horror, Misty stays stuck in time, forever killing and reviving a dissection frog.
During transmutation Zoe manages to reappear on the fence stakes, one plunged through her gut. Cordelia demands that Madison show her powers of resurgence but she refuses, feeling this whole thing is beneath her and that the Supremacy crown should be hers.
It’s around this time that Myrtle chides Cordelia into believing Madison is the new Supreme when she herself has royal blood in her veins – why could she not rise to the challenge? Is she sure, Cordelia asks. “I’d stake your life on it,” answers Myrtle, who was infinitely the most fun this hour. She decides to, and with -what I believe is – a renowned sense of duty to the Coven, and perhaps the fear that their future lies in the hands of a self-righteous brat, rallies with amazing fortitude.
And, at last Madison gets hers, as she is unable to divine anything, calls out the Seven Wonders as a ruse, that she’ll go back to Hollywood and “normal” people, and goes to pack and leave, vowing revenge in the form of reveal and pitchforks. Kyle, however, will have none of it, for he is the Coven watchdog, and Madison let Zoe die, and so she must die too. Spaulding comes by to help clean up, as no one will be the wiser of what has transpired. “Who are you?” asks Kyle, after Spauding’s elegant speech. “The help,” he replies dryly.
And so Cordelia goes to save Zoe, and when she does she restores herself to “glowing radiant health”, her eyes and sight healed. She is Supreme, as Myrtle divined all along.
And so begins a resurgence for the Coven, and the Academy. Cordelia decides to name Queenei and Zoe to the new Council, and Mytle agrees, but she insists that she carry oput a very necessary duty – for kiling the former Council, Myrtle must burn at the stake. Cordelia wants none of it, but Myrtle knows that she must start staunch and strong to be the true leader the Coven needs to be. And so she is burned again, this time leaving this mortal coil with a primal scream (I rewound several times and couldn’t make out what she says, but I’m sure it was awesome)
And soon a line around the block of the gates of the Academy forms, to invite the new girls in that will comprise the new and improved Coven.
But still, one more loose end to tie….
Fiona sits in wait for her daughter, and they discuss the mortality that a mother faces as soon as her baby is born. I worry that Fiona will still somehow win, that the knife she hands to Cordelia to kill her will be plunged into her, but Cordelia, still soft and nurturing – motherly to her ghastly mother- just asks her to submit to death. “A divine being finally having a human experience”.
And then we see Fiona somewhat restored, in a small room with the Axeman, confused, angry, petulant. And this is her hell, eternal, with Papa Legba laughing it up at her expense. Fitting, and divine in and of itself.
And so the new Supreme addresses these new girls, gorgeous in glow, happy, satisfied, i imagine. Even knowing somewhere this whole ritual will play out again in 30 years or so for her, a girl in that crowd herself the next in line, doesn’t faze our Delia. She has come full circle to what she wanted, she has restored her beloved Coven.