“American Horror Story: Coven” continued unraveling its chilling tale on Wednesday with episode 4, “Fearful Pranks Ensue.” The latest episode of the FX mini-series introduced the Council of Witchcraft, a broken truce between the Salem witches and the Voodoo queen and of course, Spalding’s haunting story of how he lost his tongue.
The Council arrived in episode 4 to investigate the disappearance of Madison (whom Fiona killed in episode 3), and Myrtle, an old classmate of Fiona’s, was immediately suspicious of the Supreme witch. “American Horror Story” viewers already know that Fiona killed her predecessor, Anna Lee, so she could acquire the title of Supreme quicker. Through another flashback to 1971, fans learned that young Myrtle was onto Fiona from the start. Thanks to her gift of knowing when someone was lying, Myrtle set out to expose Fiona as the one who murdered the Supreme – something that within the Coven is punishable by burning at the stake. In order to reveal Fiona’s dark secret, Myrtle cast an enchantment that would force Spalding, who saw everything, to tell the Council the truth about the night Anna Lee went missing.
But Spalding was loyal to Fiona and decided to do something when he overheard Myrtle’s plan. Using his final words to confess his love to Fiona, Spalding then took a knife and cut off his own tongue so that he couldn’t spill her secret.
“Fearful Pranks Ensue” concluded with Spalding hosting a tea party with his porcelain dolls and a special guest – Madison’s body. The declaration of love and disturbing tea party left viewers wondering more about Spalding and his backstory. And fortunately “American Horror Story” creator Ryan Murphy shed a little more light on actor Denis O’Hare’s creepy character.
Murphy told Entertainment Weekly that Spalding is dedicated to the Academy and the Coven. “He’s from a line of men who historically their entire purpose was to serve the coven,” Murphy explained. “They’re not witches. They’re not of the coven. So he’s one of them. His entire existence is to protect those witches.”
But why the dolls? Spalding lives a lonely life, and the lack of a tongue doesn’t help. Since dolls can’t speak either, he’s developed a sort of friendship with them.
As for Madison’s addition to his collection – Murphy teases that what Spalding puts the dead witch through is “the most shocking thing we’ve ever done on the show.” And unfortunately for the teen, she won’t be getting a proper burial anytime soon. Dressed up in a bra and panties last time we saw her, Ryan Murphy dished that “dead Madison is in many, many, many episodes.”
What did you think of Spalding? Are you happy that Madison is staying around?