The very first episode of this much-anticipated season begins in 1834 New Orleans. Madame Delphine LaLaurie, played by Kathy Bates, is hosting a party to introduce her daughters to the eligible men of the city. Later that night, as Madame LaLaurie is rubbing blood on her face to tighten her skin trying to help make her look younger, one of her daughters is "caught" with a slave. Madame LaLaurie tells her daughter she will tell everyone the slave forced her to have sex, which allows Madame LaLaurie to exact her punishment towards the slave as she sees fit. (Side note: This woman is crazy with a capital CRAY-CRAY!) She winds up having the slave chained up in the attic at the end of a long line of caged slaves. She wants him chained up because, get this, she has a severed bull's head that she has put over the slave's head. Madame LaLaurie now has a real-life version of her favorited Greek mythological character: the Minotaur. (I told you this woman is crazy.)
As Madame LaLaurie begins to run out of the blood she rubs on her face, she has her daughter cut open the Minotaur and extract his pancreas. After all, that is the body organ needed to make the best poultice for rejuvenation. Well, honey, the mighty, high Voodoo priestess Marie Lavaeu, played by Angela Bassett, finds out that her lover is chained up wearing a bull's head in Madame LaLaurie's attic and she is not happy. She tricks Madame LaLaurie into drinking a potion saying that it would cure LaLaurie's husband's infidelity. Never trust a Voodoo priestess, especially if you've pissed them off! After drinking the potion, Madame LaLaurie appears to be dead.
Now, switch to present-day ...
Zoe Benson, played by Taissa Farmiga, is sneaking her boyfriend into the house while her parents are out. They wind up having sex. As Zoe's boyfriend takes her virginity, his nose begins to bleed and, almost instantly, begins seizing. His death is ruled to be caused by a brain aneurysm. After the funeral, Zoe's mother tells her she's a witch. Apparently, the women in this family have inherited the ability to kill men with sex. To protect her, Zoe's mother sends her to New Orleans to Miss Robichaux's Academy; a place where witches are sent to hone their skill.
Zoe meets three other witches there along with the Academy's headmistress Cordelia Foxx, played by Sarah Paulson. The first witch, Madison Montgomery (played by Emma Roberts), is a Hollywood actress with the power of telekinesis. The second, Queenie (played by Gabourey Sidibe, who I'm not really a fan of), is a human voodoo doll. She can stab herself while looking at her enemy and her enemy will feel the pain instead of her. Pretty nifty, if you ask me. Joan Ramsey, played by Patti LuPone, is the third witch Zoe meets. Joan is clairvoyant.
Her first night there, Zoe and Madison go to a frat party. As Madison goes off to find some fun, Kyle Spencer (played by Evan Peters) eyes Zoe and is drawn to her. I felt like I was seeing Tate and Violet coming together again (same two actors played boyfriend/girlfriend in American Horror Story: Murder House). As much as Zoe likes Kyle she tells him it would never work between them. He seems okay with that and helps her look for Madison so they can go. Kyle walks in on a drugged Madison being gang-banged and videoed by his frat brothers. Kyle chases them out of the room and onto the frat bus they arrived in. One of his frat brothers knocks him out and tells the driver to go away. Zoe promises Madison that she's not going to let them get away with this and chases after Kyle to help him punish the guys. She winds up being too late and runs after the bus as it's driving away. Madison staggers up and uses her telekinesis to flip the bus and set it on fire. The majority of the frat guys die, including Kyle. Zoe finds out the main guy who drugged Madison's drink is still alive, but in a coma, in the hospital. She goes into his room to use her "womanly wiles" to kill him for what he's done.
The next day Fiona Goode, known as the Supreme witch of her generation and played by Jessica Lange, shows up at the Academy, much to the disappointment of her daughter Cordelia. Fiona takes the girls out for a walk in New Orleans. Along the way, Joan's clairvoyance kicks in and she walks in a tour of Madame LaLaurie's house. The other witches turn back, find her, and join her on the tour. They find out from the tour guide that Madame LaLaurie's body was never found after her run-in with Marie Lavaue. Joan's clairvoyance once again kicks in and she knows LaLaurie's body is under a brick walkway on the property. Later that night Fiona enchants two men to dig up Madame LaLaurie's body ... WHO IS STILL ALIVE!!!! Fiona invites Delphine into the house for a drink and to find out how she's still alive after all these years.
Oh my gosh, I loved the first episode and cannot wait to watch next week's. This season has started off so much better than American Horror Story: Asylum. If you have never watched an episode of American Horror Story, my recommendation would be to watch the whole season of American Horror Story: Murder House, skip American Horror Story: Asylum, and catch next week's episode of American Horror Story: Coven on FX, which I'm sure will re-run this first episode before the second one airs. This season already has crazy-spooky-weird-scary-awesomeness written all over it!
If I had a rating system, I'd give this five stars twice over.