Finally tonight, after more teasers than we’ve ever seen, “American Horror Story: Coven” debuts on FX. Read on for two more along with a “first look” video and five hints of what to expect this year.
Before we get to the video goods, TV Guide spoke with series creator Ryan Murphy, and we have the highlights here. For the full rundown, be sure to hit the link at the bottom of the page.
As to this year’s big bad: There are two villains this season. One is a gruesome minotaur with connections to both Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) and Madame Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates), all of whom you’ll meet in the opening moments of Wednesday’s premiere. But the other is based on a real-life person. “The Axeman [Danny Huston] was a true serial killer who was the Zodiac killer of New Orleans,” executive producer Murphy explains. “He would write very chilling letters to the press, and he would literally take an ax and cut people’s heads in two. He killed women, he killed men, he killed children, and he was never caught. He just sort of evaporated into thin air.” There will also be a Frankenstein-esque character, whose identity viewers will quickly discover.
How will the past affect the present? It’s the story of Laveau that Fiona (Jessica Lange) will take the most interest in. “The idea for the series is that Marie Laveau has perfected the idea of eternal life, which many people say she did and believe she still walks among people in New Orleans,” Murphy said. “The Salem witches are not immortal; they have not found that ingredient of everlasting life, and clearly that was the only thing keeping [Fiona] from living forever and taking everybody over so that is a big plot point.”
What’s the main mystery this season? While [Fiona]’s been off searching for the key to eternal youth, others are beginning to harness their powers in a way that could threaten her position as Supreme. “The great mystery of the season is which of the people you have met is the Supreme,” Murphy said. Don’t get too attached to any of the witches. “[Fiona] kills one of [the students] in Episode 3,” Murphy teased. “She’s not giving up that throne. She thinks she’s found out who the Supreme is, and that person gets killed.” He adds, “[AHS] has a really great thriller aspect to it this year. You really don’t find out until Episode 12 who that is [with the power to take Fiona’s place].”
Is there anyone who can keep things under control? Enter the council, who are charged with keeping order in the coven. The council includes Frances Conroy’s Myrtle Snow, the sworn enemy of Fiona, and Leslie Jordan, whose character is modeled after Truman Capote. “The council is a collection of very bizarre, funny witches who live among us, who are called in to put out fires,” Murphy said. “The big rule of the coven is if you are caught as a witch killing or harming another witch, you are immediately taken out and burned. One or a couple of the witches are killed very early on so the [council]… shows up… it’s basically like a court.”
As to the dynamic between Fiona and her daughter, Cordelia (Sarah Paulson): Their relationship is contentious at best but will quickly take a turn when Cordelia does what her mother never thought she could: tap into her full potential. “I was always fascinated by the dynamic of the show ‘Bewitched’ and thought, ‘What would really happen if Samantha listened to Endora and just went batshit dark crazy?'” Murphy said. “[Cordelia] does start very prim and proper, and there’s something that happens to her character around Episode 5 that forces her to realize that her mother may be right. They’re an odd-mother daughter relationship, and they really don’t like each other.” What could be the reason behind her sudden turn is the introduction of Cordelia’s husband in Episode 2. “Suffice it to say, he’s no good,” Murphy said.
Does all that make you even more excited about tonight’s premiere? Then check out these new teasers and first look video, and check back with us tomorrow with your thoughts.
The full “Coven” cast includes Frances Conroy, Taissa Farmiga, Jessica Lange, Alexandra Breckenridge, Kathy Bates, Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson, Jamie Brewer, Evan Peters, Gabourey Sidibe, Angela Bassett, Patti LuPone, Christine Ebersole, Danny Huston, Alexander Dreymon, Leslie Jordan, James DuMont, and Denis O’Hare.
“American Horror Story: Coven” Episode 3.01 – “Bitchcraft” (airs 10/9/13)
A young girl, Zoe (Taissa Farmiga), is shattered to discover she possesses a strange genetic affliction tracing back to the dark days of Salem. Zoe is whisked away to Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, a mysterious school in New Orleans devoted to safeguarding the few remaining descendants who share this unique bloodline. Harboring a secret agenda, Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange), the most powerful witch of their generation, returns to town, reigniting old rivalries with the Coven’s deadly enemies, the Voodoo.
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