The latest installment of American Horror Story: Coven (which also happens to grace this week’s cover of EW) saw an immortal sadist having her first hamburger, a dead-dead-alive menage-a-trois, Angela Bassett handling fish heads and Denis O’Hare in a kimono. But there’s still even more to talk about so EW chatted with co-creator Ryan Murphy about the latest Coven developments and how Stevie Nicks fared with her guest-spot.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This episode was much more meditative and sad, which I think you said last week.
RYAN MURPHY: Yes, I think it is probably a little more serious and I think that it’s a little darker about that horrible state they’re both in. But then on the flip side we do give you Kathy Bates and Gabourey Sidibe at a fast food restaurant.
They both told me that was one of their favorite scenes to shoot. Did you guys enjoy writing that?
Yeah it’s a lot of fun. I think with that LaLaurie character particularly we always have fun in the writers room. We would ask ourselves questions and one question was What would Madame LaLaurie do when she saw that Obama was President? She’d have a complete breakdown. Then we were just spitballing and that idea that What would LaLaurie do when she discovers fast food? She’d go absolutely crazy. I love the line where Kathy thinks the box is speaking. And I love that whole story. I love how Queenie finally does the right thing and Madame LaLaurie finally gets the justice she deserves.
It’s an interesting twist because we start to think LaLaurie is nice and that she and Queenie are going to be like Laverne & Shirley. But Queenie gives her up to Marie Laveau. What can you say about LaLaurie’s future?
Well I just think now that Marie Laveau has her back she is going to make her life a living hell and she’s going to get her revenge. I think if LaLaurie thought living underground for all eternity was hell she hasn’t seen nothing yet! It’s sort of an interesting synthesis of the rock up the hill idea because she can’t die. So Marie Laveau can really make her pay over and over and over again and feel pain and yet not die. So we have a lot of interesting episodes dealing with that.
So in the next episode is Queenie fully immersed in the voodoo witches?
Yes she’s trying to acclimate with that culture. She finds it both liberating but the truth of the matter is she does miss her friends over at the Robichaux house. She’s a lady torn.
We talked about this before but the Robichaux girls seemed so sweet at first but are getting edgier, like Zoe killed Spalding.
I think in the brief period that all those girls have been in that house has really been trial by fire and they’ve really had to toughen up a lot. I think it’s an interesting turn. I think those girls are going from being sort of pacifists to being real rebels and fighters for their cause and you don’t f*** around with any of the witches in the coven. They literally, as Zoe does, kill to protect the lineage and the traditions. I like that turn for her. And Spalding had to pay.
I love that he’s tied up in a kimono.
I know. Well the interesting thing about that is he does come back of course. I think Spalding as a ghostly entity is almost more interesting than real life Spalding because he has many many many secrets. He knows where literally all the bodies are buried. The question is Who is he going to come back to protect?
Did you all always think Madison and Kyle would become a couple?
I think it evolved. I like the idea that they all get something out of it: Zoe gets to have sex without killing anyone; Madison gets to have sex with someone emotionally; and Kyle gets both worlds. I think that’s interesting.
The flashback with Kyle was great. Will we see more of those?
We’re working on a great one right now that shows you how Madame LaLaurie became Madame LaLaurie. So we’re researching what actually happened to her. How did she go from being this creature to Jeffrey Dahmer? What happened?
I love these scenes with Danny Huston and Jessica Lange. They’re so sexy and great together. Where will this go?
I love that relationship too. It’s very difficult when you’re casting a thing like this because you don’t know if it will work but I just always knew Danny Huston and Jessica Lange would have great chemistry. She texted me after their first rehearsal and just to say, “Wow this is really going to work.” I love that she forgives him for being a serial killer and she’s equally as murderous so it’s sort of like a match made in heaven.
Cordelia basically decides they’re going to kill Fiona. Will the final eps be plotting the death?
Well something happens in the next episode that is very eye-opening and illuminating for Cordelia which is this idea that no matter how much she hates her mother and no matter how horrible she is Fiona really is the strongest witch of them all. Do you get rid of your strongest player at a time when the witch hunters are trying to kill you? Also, Fiona is so smart she’s going to know if her daughter is trying to off her. Do you think she’s going to stand for that? I don’t think so. I feel something bad is in the works for Ms. Cordelia.
We see Hank briefly in his hotel room surrounded by weapons. Is he just going to unleash war on the witches?
Well he’s planning a big big big doomsday event, which we deal with in our winter cliffhanger, which is two episodes from now. It’s not pretty. It’s a great episode called “Head.” Everything is about things that happen in the head. If you saw the cover of Entertainment Weekly, you can kind surmise what happens to Kathy Bates.
What can you say about the next episode?
It’s called “The Sacred Taking.” It’s a tradition that dates back to the Salem days. Sometimes to protect other witches, a witch is allowed to create a sacred act, which is taking her own life. It is about that idea and the question is you know Fiona’s not going to go there on her own accord so the other witches try and get to her a place of trying to do that.
And we see the fallout of what being in Marie Laveau’s captivity leads to with LaLaurie.
Yes, the next couple episodes are really grim and horrible for Ms. Kathy Bates. But good for the audience. I think people love the Angela Bassett-Kathy Bates-Jessica Lange scenes so we’re writing a lot of those coming up for those 3 extraordinary actresses.
You tweeted a photo of Stevie Nicks on set filming her upcoming guest-spot. How did it go?
You know Stevie is just fantastic. I don’t think Lily Rabe has recovered. She was great. She gets to sing. She does a little acting, which she was great in. The great thing is Stevie has some wonderful ideas based on some of her songs so we were like, “Oh we’re going to use that.” So we’re actually going to try and have Stevie come back and do another episode because she’s so good.
For more on American Horror Story: Coven, pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly on newsstands Friday.
Tim Stack / Entertainment Weekly / Thursday, November 21, 2013