TV Review: American Horror Story: Coven – Episode 13 “The Seven Wonders” (USA, 2014)

coven13

We finally arrive at the big event the season has been hinting at, the “Seven Wonders” witch trial. If you’re expecting a thrilling build up of tension, ambitious witches sabotaging each other or anything that’s generally exciting in anyway you’ll be disappointed. It’s less like watching the end to a triathlon and more like watching a small child ride around in a circle on a tricycle, becoming more and more tedious with every lap.

What is so frustrating about the conclusion to the season was that it came nowhere near the level of tension, excitement and thrills a horror finale should have. It felt lazy. I must admit, the dramatic question, “is Madison the supreme?” does create a sense of dread within the viewer but this is as exciting as it gets. The teaser, which should be increasing my anticipation and excitement, is a reinvented music video of Fleetwood Mac’s Seven Wonders. Besides the trial being conveniently called the Seven Wonders, it has no place in the plot. It was random and seemed constructed just to show off that the show could put Stevie Nix in front of the camera.

Character and plot are consistency undermining each other. Character emotions only match the direction of the plot and characters emotions go from being extremely melancholy to extremely sad in a matter of seconds. There is a terrible contradiction near the end, but I can’t quote it without giving away the end. The writing is poor, voice over being required to actually hammer home who the supreme is when we already knew ten minutes ago.

The manner in which the trials are conducted is slow and tedious. Although we’re reminded that witches die undertaking these tasks, there doesn’t seem to be anything really at stake. These tasks don’t seem dangerous. It feels as though the writers didn’t fully understand the world they created and further revelation into how witches bring people back from the dead or how they get back from hell for instance could make it more believable when it happen. Powers become available when the plot calls for it and then suddenly disappear.

These last few episodes have been disappointing and illustrated poorly conceived plots and characters. Mildly enjoyable, the series has created a “chilled out” style of programming for audiences who aren’t looking for sophisticated stimulation. The writing has been below par and has been a stark contrast from the previous seasons. Despite being called American Horror Story, there wasn’t much horror in this season and it comes down to the character construction being too thin.

Review Score: TWO AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

American Horror Story: Coven airs Monday nights on Channel Eleven.

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