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"Bitchcraft" jump-starts American Horror Story: Coven with an ambitious setup, lively characters, and stylized action, though the overall narrative may come off shallower than intended.
AHS: Coven's strength lies in its individual flawless images.
Aaaaaand that's one action-packed, satisfying, yet hurl-worthy episode.
Like Asylum before it, Coven is immediately striking for how brutally it cuts to the bone of the subtext of alienation and subjugation that fuel the sources of Murphy and Fulchak's various riffs.
The plot is all a bit melodramatic and the characters might be just a little too sassy, but simply put, it's a fun show.
Overall, there are some cool threads that are started here in this episode, and director Alfonzo Gomez-Rejon brings a great eye in his direction.
Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have always constructed AHS's seasons as basically horror mixtapes, and the third time around feels just as fresh, ambitious, and insane as before, but with tighter construction and more instantly appealing characters.
I really, really liked this episode. The show seems like it's injected a good dose of "camp" into Coven, and I, for one, am happy about it.
It's too early to have thoughts. In fact, having written up two full seasons of the show, we're this close to declaring that it actively works to prevent you from having thoughts.
It was a solid premiere, and I think the more straight-forward approach bodes well for what the season will hopefully turn out to be if they don't get overly ambitious.
I can't say this season, with this annoyingly Hogwarts storyline, seems as promising as I hoped it would be. But let's keep our fingers crossed (or say a little spell).
With so many conversations the show clearly saw as significant being left unanswered, it seems Coven was regrettably content to simply point to problems without wanting to have a deeper discussion.
"Bitchcraft" was a good gateway episode for Coven, showing us a bit of magic, a bit of super-powers, a touch of voodoo, and a lot of misery.