American Horror Story continues to explore the events leading up to the apocalypse in “Traitor”, showcasing Coven’s style and wit.
This recap of American Horror Story Season 8, Episode 7, “Traitor”, contains spoilers. You can check out what we thought of the previous episode by clicking these words.
When an episode is called “Traitor,” you know it is going to be heart-wrenching. This one started that way literally, with Voodoo witch Dina ripping out a heart for revenge on an unfaithful husband. Love the detail of mixing the mistress’s heart with strawberries to make it go down easier. Dina’s role, after punishing the philanderer, is to get Cordelia a meeting with Papa Legba (Lance Reddick), the Voodoo spirit we met in Coven who guards the underworld crossroads. However, the death of Marie Laveau has left Dina bitter and she demands $100K for just a meeting. I set up meetings every day and don’t even get offered coffee half the time. Maybe it’s time to change professions.
Dina summons him, cautioning Cordelia against making deals she cannot keep. Papa appears, bringing with him Nan (Jamie Brewer), who apparently enjoys stirring up trouble in Hell. Cordelia’s plan is to have Papa stage a coup in the underworld. He’s game, in exchange for the souls of all the witches. What’s the world’s most powerful witch to do? For now, it’s a pass.
Joan Collins is back as Bubbles McGee, starring in a hilarious send-up of the Asylum Christmas killer (and a Tales from the Crypt episode), a cheesy film called Christmas Dismembered. She also happens to be a witch, who it turns out has a useful ability to read minds. Madison taps her to read Michael’s mind. So Myrtle and Bubbles do the only thing ladies of such style can do: they throw the warlocks a dinner party to trap Michael. If you are going to trick people, do it with style, darling. Their plan has a hitch when Michael doesn’t join them. But Ariel’s mind gives up enough–you know, the killing of John Henry and their “Kill all the witches” plan.
Back at the Coven, Coco gains the power to sense how many calories are in food, which is a fun parlour trick until she chokes on a snowball. Here is the big reveal that Mallory has an even more impressive surgery power, enabling her to save Coco’s life, much to many fans’ dismay. I actually find Coco pretty entertaining for just the sheer ridiculousness of her character. We can’t all be witty and chic.
Sadly, Cordelia is fading, as the new Supreme rises. But is that Supreme really Michael? We can’t be so sure. Zoe is certain it’s Mallory given that she has shown a power that no one has even heard of. The question of how Myrtle came back is also cleared up; Cordelia broke her vow and resurrected her mentor because she sensed danger. I’m fine with that. Myrtle is possibly my favourite American Horror Story character of all time.
I’m a sucker for a slow-motion formation walk (Tombstone, The Right Stuff, House Bunny) and the witches always take it to the next level. We get a fantastic shot of such a walk as they take Mallory to resurrect John Henry. In doing that, she also completes the Seven Wonders. Which means we have two Supremes? Maybe? This isn’t cleared up, but John Henry does clear up that it wasn’t his fellow warlocks who actually killed him, but a mystery woman.
Meanwhile, back at warlock school, Baldwin has crafted a powder that only kills women. Turns out he just stole it from a long-dead witch. Typical. Cordelia stops Ariel and Baldwin in their tracks. In an episode full of savage one-liners, Cordelia erasing their mouths after they say she is fading and tossing out “Say that again,” might be the winner. She’s not messing around. Thus, she sentences them to burn alongside Miriam, who Coco helped capture (see naysayers, she is useful). Since no witch can burn a warlock, she hands off that privilege to John Henry.
When Michael finds out they burned his beloved Miriam, you can bet there will be literal Hell to pay. Much as I love all these callbacks to previous seasons, it’s important to remember these are all flashbacks. The world will be destroyed. Yet the witches survive. What is exciting about all of this is the endgame. What is Cordelia’s plan?
Amber is a doctoral candidate in Language, Diversity, and Literacy at Texas Tech. She holds an MA in Literature and History and a BFA in Theatre. A Texas-based mother of two, she is an Associate Professor of English and History at Howard College.