TV Review: American Horror Story: Coven – Episode 4 “Fearful Pranks Ensue” (USA, 2013)

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The fruits of plot and character seeds are beginning to flourish. Episode 4 illuminates character history and sets the foundation for war between the witches of Salem and the voodoo witches. Although a step up from the state the series began with, it is still unsubtle in conveying information.

If you haven’t seen the last episode, it’s best to watch it before reading on as the episode synopsis contains spoilers. In the wake of Fiona’s accidental murder, the council of witches has been summoned to Miss Robichaux’s Academy to determine the whereabouts of Madison. Furthermore, Marie Laveau’s Minotaur attack has sparked a war between the witches of Salem and the voodoo witches.

“American Horror Story: Coven” is becoming more interesting as the conflicts mount. Separate narrative strands are beginning to intertwine and impact of each other, elevating the enjoyment of the episode’s content.

At times, the acting was over the top. Frances Conroy usually portrays, Myrtle Snow, as a collected and slightly eccentric individual. During one sequence, she over performs outrage, closely resembling how a child would be outraged, which seems out of character.

As usual, the dialogue is artificial, giving weight to telling the audience direct facts and how to feel about them. One scene involves Fiona and Cordelia playing a drunken game of “I-ask-a-question-and-you-have-to-tell-the-truth”, an obvious writing ploy to convey information to the audience that seems clunky and again out of character.

The episode is very enjoyable to watch and I’m eagerly anticipating the next episode. It can’t be labelled the best season of the three, but “American Horror Story: Coven” is entertaining for the moment.

REVIEW SCORE: THREE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

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

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