The dead bodies are starting to pile up on American Horror Story: Coven. As is typical for this franchise, characters begin to get the ax as the season winds down and last night was no exception.
Hank, Luke, and (maybe) Queenie all bit the dust in the mid-season finale “Head.” EW talked to co-creator Ryan Murphy about all the developments and what’s in store for AHS: Coven in 2014.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’ve said “Head” is your favorite episode so far this season. Why is that?
RYAN MURPHY: So far it’s my favorite one of the year because I really love the tone of it, the acting in it, the direction of it. I like how everything is really connected to a really bizarre idea. You have Kathy Bates’ head. Luke’s head being able to communicate to Nan. I think there are two classic scenes in it: One is Myrtle with a melon-baller. And I love Kathy Bates watching Roots. We knew we were going to have Kathy Bates’ head so the whole thing came from ‘Let’s look at other ways we can talk about the head’ theme. Also, literally giving head at one point — so we really made it all work!
The witch hunter storyline really takes up a big part of this episode. Will we learn more about them and that world?
Yes. Obviously now that the Corporation’s plant is dead, we get much more into that when we come back from the winter break.
The big question is: Is Queenie dead?
Everyone wants to know that and I’m not saying but we do talk about what happens to her body in episode 10 so keep watching.
Well I assume when anyone dies on the show it’s possible they’re really dead.
That’s true. But historically around episode 9 or 10 we do sort of start to kill everybody off. This year is harder because there are characters who have the ability to bring people back to life.
My favorite scene is Marie and Fiona at Cornrow City and LaLaurie is headless in the cage.
I love when she shoos the fly.
This one has a great sense of tragedy but also more dark comedy.
Yeah I think the more we go on with the characters like Myrtle and LaLaurie, the more we’ve seen what those actors like to do. All of them have done so great with the humor this year, we just keep writing more and more of it because they’re so hilarious.
This was a pretty abrupt switch for Myrtle. Is that because she was burned? Or her love for Cordelia?
Well I think it’s three things. If you have a faith and you really believe in it and suddenly that faith is revealed to you to be hollow and untrue and everything you stood for is revealed to be a lie. And all those women and Quentin betrayed her in such a weird way. Then, there’s also the thing that she said in the previous episode that she’s seen the dark side in the flames. She’s come out of that more of a psychopath in Dior.
It seems like Cordelia and Misty are building a bond in this episode. Will that continue?
Yeah. The interesting thing we’re writing about coming back from the break is that all these girls have been friends and then it’s announced that the Seven Wonders are coming up which is the test you take to become the new Supreme. The friendships become a little more competitive and then hard to maintain for some of them.
This was a big episode for Joan. We reveal she’s not such a good lady. Will we see more of her?
No, she’s back. My favorite thing about that story is that many times the show has been criticized for a very anti-religious point of view, particularly last year. I like in that story that we say there is a God, that Nan reveals there is a God. And it’s God who gets her, not the witches. So that was a fascinating thing to write. I think it would have been easy to have her go berserk about the witches and the Satanic dark sided s***. In this episode a lot of faiths were disproven and her faith was proven to the point where she killed her son out of worry.
I loved that Madison rolled through the hospital in a fur hat.
I mean all the clothes have been so incredibly brilliant. They dress for visiting hours and they smoke in the hospital. It’s so funny.
And Marie wore that great hat at the end.
A lot of the clothes were influenced by that Yves St. Laurent mid-70s kind of thing.
So now that Hank is dead, I’m assuming his father will be pissed?
Oh yeah. One of the points we’ve been writing to and driving to is that if the voodoos and the Salems would only unite they could probably be unstoppable. Now they’re up against the biggest enemy which is The Corporation.
So will the final four episodes be about the voodoos and the Salems teaming up?
Yes. That’s one of the things. Marie and Fiona must join forces to beat this enemy. They have different ways and approaches about what they think they should do. Selfishly I just wanted to have a lot of scenes with Angela and Jessica together because they’re so great together. So I was like, “We gotta get Marie Laveau to move in that house.”
So does she move in?
Yes. She’s there for good.
My big question is What happens to LaLaurie’s head? It’s just sittin’ upstairs on that table.
Well that’s the big mystery that we must solve and we do solve it. I was obsessed with the idea that after the big shootout, the cops would go upstairs and there would be Kathy Bates’ head! So what happens if that would happen? That is a definite plot point that we need to resolve and do resolve.
Does Queenie’s work rehabilitate LaLaurie?
Well the question is Can somebody like that change? She’s always maintained I am a woman of my time. But I think that people can. I always point to my grandmother who was very sort of un-PC with her views but who at the end of her life really did come around and a.) have new points of view and b.) be very sorry and ashamed for what she did. So can LaLaurie do that is one of the things we’re interested in writing about?
In episode 10, will she regain her body?
Well I told you that head’s like a Christmas sweater that no one wants so you have to see where it ends up. When we did the resolve of what happens to the head, that’s the day she sent me…
Oh the selfie flipping you off?
Speaking of rehabilitation, Kyle finally seems normal. What can you say about that?
I think she’s kept him slow enough for her purposes and I love that she has made him sort of the Coven’s human Frankenstein attack dog. So that something that continues in the last batch.
Is he able to talk now?
“Head” is the mid-season finale.What can you say about the final four episodes?
Well we have a lot of special stuff. The next one is called “The Magical Charms of Stevie Nicks” starring Stevie Nicks. The last four are Can Marie and Fiona beat these witch hunters that have been after their groups for centuries. Who’s going to be the next Supreme? Who’s Kyle going to choose in terms of the witches? What’s going to happen to LaLaurie and what’s going to happen to the friendship between Queenie and LaLaurie? So those are the driving forces.
We’re just now writing the finale. I’ve never been sadder. At one point, as I told you, I had thought maybe we’ll spin this show off but that’s against the DNA of the show. You’d have to second guess who you’re going to get rid of the show and the fun of the show is that anybody can die at any point. I’m really sad to see that group of characters go even though in January we start writing the new season. But I’m gonna miss them.
No GG nominations for Angela and Kathy?