Good news horror fans, American Horror Story has been renewed for a seventh sickening season — but did we really expect anything less from Ryan Murphy's slick horror anthology? We may only be four episodes into the current season, Roanoke, but undoubtedly people's minds will already be on the future of the franchise and where it will go next.
All the news of a seventh season has paved over the even bigger news of Murphy's intended "secret season." In case you haven't heard, the creator told Entertainment Weekly:
It’s my secret season... I’ve been working with a writer on a season that only he and I know. It’s like a two-year project that we’ll continue to work on the sly and not tell anybody.
I put it to you, don't go forward, go back! There is a reason that Coven is the highest rated season of the show. It has something to do with the sorority of witches, the arrival of Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates, as well as Jessica Lange ruling the roost. Coven really cast a spell on us; so with rumors of a secret season on its way, let's look back at how (and why) we should put on our pointy hats and hop on our brooms back to New Orleans.
Too 'Goode' To Ignore
While no one will ever top Jessica Lange, Riley Voelkel sure did try. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and her stint as "Young Fiona" during Coven was only beaten by the real deal. The interludes to 1971 were a welcome respite from the empty halls of Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies in 2013. Myrtle and Fiona battled for power, Spalding lusted after Fiona, and the coven was under the stewardship of (then Supreme) Anna-Leigh Leighton. Meeting the end of Fiona Goode's blade far too quickly, Christine Ebersole was vastly underused as Anna-Leigh in her season. The halls of Coven seemed much more alive back in 1971, and having both Voelkel and Ebersole back on our screens is a must for any Coven continuation.
The 10-Year War
It isn't just Game of Thrones that is known for its bitter battles. Coven revealed that between 1961 and 1971 the warring tribes of Salem and Voodoo witches went head to head. Briefly touched on in the fourth episode, "Fearful Pranks Ensue," it showed that Marie Laveau and Anna-Leigh declared a truce. Mainly we want to see Bassett rock that afro again, and channel her Ramona Royale. What caused the war between the Voodoo witches and the coven is unknown — also, where are the rest of the witches in that era? The 1971 coven has up to 60 witches, reduced to just four in 2013. By the end of the season, Cordelia had gone public and the numbers boomed, but where are the rest of Fiona and Myrtle's classmates?
Go To Hell
When we left Coven after an all-too-short 13 episodes, arguably the best characters were lurking in the bowels of hell. Misty Day was destined to dissect frogs for eternity, Marie Laveau and Delphine LaLaurie were trapped in the latter's house of horrors, while Fiona Goode would spend her days smelling of catfish and trapped with the Axeman. Sure, you could leave them languishing in their own personal hells, or you could bring them back. If for whatever reason Coven continued into the future, Cordelia Foxx may need all the help she can get.
While the larger issue of heaven/hell may be a touchy subject for the show, it could also be right up AHS's street. The Chuck Palahniuk novel Damned takes a group of recently deceased teenagers on a trip into hell; there they find dandruff deserts and mountains made from toenail clippings. You would need a strong stomach for that kind of stuff, but it sounds like something plucked straight from the mind of Ryan Murphy himself. Even if the characters are to remain in hell forever, they deserve a proper send off. We need to know what Delphine did buried in a box for 150 years!
- Why We Could See Lady Gaga's Countess Reappear In 'American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare'
- 'American Horror Story' Season 7 Is Officially Happening
- 'American Horror Story' S06 E03 Recap: I Shall Stack The Bodies High
Prison Break had a company, Fringe had a company...Coven had a company — evil corporations lurking in the background make for a series of their own, but we feel we never spent enough time inside the walls of the witch hunters Delphi Trust. Pre-dating even the story of Delphine LaLaurie, we are dying to know how the cult of witch hunters was formed in 1826. The Hateful Eight-style execution scene in the Delphi Trust offices massacred most of the employees, but with factions overseas they are down but not out. Just as the coven had to go away and regroup, maybe the Delphi Trust did too — meaning they are the biggest threat to Cordelia and co. Also, we never did find out who threw that acid in her face!
'Salem' Down The River
One aspect of witchcraft that we never really visited in Coven was the whole Salem aspect. We got the odd "old school" movie-reel telling, but we never stepped foot out of New Orleans to Massachusetts in 1692. Marie Laveau claimed to be a descendent of Tituba, and if any of you know your history, or have read Arthur Miller's play The Crucible, you will know the Salem Witch Trials were a pretty big deal for their time.
You only have to look at last year's surprise hit The Witch to see there is plenty of horror lurking in the woods of New England, not to mention an appetite for it. We have already seen Roanoke take the show on a darker root into the past of colonies — the reviews so far seem to show that it is working. The modern aspect of witches was great, but it always seemed like they skipped over the heritage of the coven; we do love a good period drama, and taking the witches back to the start is one way to ensure a faithful sequel.
Convene The Coven
While Coven certainly packed a lot into its 13 episodes, it always felt like there were a few sparse gaps. Why did the modern Witches Council only have Cecily Pembroke and Quentin Fleming? If Sabrina the Teenage Witch taught us anything, the Witches Council is a force to be reckoned with, not confined to two elderly spinsters.
I was originally an Asylum boy, thinking that no season of Horror Story could ever top the hallowed halls of Briarcliff Manor, and upon watching Coven I still wasn't swayed. However, a recent dip into Netflix reveals the untapped potential that Coven really held. We had Gabourey Sidibe's Queenie popping up in Hotel, but her quick demise left us thirsty for more Coven. So far the connections to previous seasons have felt tenuous at best — how about you really connect the show with a true follow up? Whatever Ryan Murphy's secret season entails, here's hoping there's something bubbling in that pot to surprise us all!
Would you like 'American Horror Story' to return to 'Coven'?