Why 'AHS: Coven' Needs To Make Nan The Supreme
We get it, American Horror Story . You want us to care about who the next Supreme is going to be. And we do, but the question is getting just a little obnoxious at this point. First, it was Madison, but that reveal was admittedly too early, so of course that was a ruse. Then, Cordelia was sure it was Zoe, and when that was too obvious, in comes Misty Day to shake things up. Now she's the frontrunner — Myrtle's so confident that she's already confirmed it — but something (like experience, perhaps) tells us this isn't the final word. And when we finally learn the true identity of the Supreme my money is on Nan.
In Bustle's first discussion of the one witch to rule them all, I supposed that Nan could be the series' wild card. After all, when the curtains when up in flames at Patti LuPone's house, we just assumed it was because of Madison. She'd already been destructive once with the bus of frat boys, why wouldn't the flames be her doing? Well, because Nan is the one with an emotional stake in the well-being of her neighbor's son — it's certainly possible that her emotions led her to involuntarily act out as we thought Madison had. Besides, AHS' camera tricks are notorious for leading us to the wrong conclusions so that we're surprised when the truth comes out.
But now, after witnessing the events of AHS: Coven's eighth episode, there's almost no way Nan isn't the Supreme. First, it's far too soon to crown one, so while Misty Day has the power of regeneration and that's got everyone a flutter, she falls into the Madison and Zoe categories: too easy. Of course, she could just be a road block on Zoe's path to Supreme-dom, but as we learned this week, the Supreme is a title that comes with multitudes of power and even greater responsibility. It's not actually all that desirable. If Zoe's the closest thing we have to a protagonist — and that sure seems to be the case considering her portrayal as the hero of the coven as well as the girl who gets the guy when Kyle's second sentence ever is "I love you" ("love" pronounced like "loahve," but it still counts).
If it the Supreme is Zoe, then we're headed for a predictable end with little payoff. There's no surprise there. If, however, there is another, we're working with something much more riveting. Add to that the fact that no one in the house even thinks for a second that Nan could be it — Madison says it's because her "armpits smell like fishsticks" to which Nan replies "You guys suck balls" — and we've got a plot that not only involves surprise, but triumph over preconceived notions about what a leader should look like as well as the mild bullying Nan endures. (This would also be a textbook Ryan Murphy special.) Nan's rise would be emotionally satisfying in a way that Zoe's simply could not. Plus, it would mean the rise of a inherently good Supreme, casting out the evil of Fiona's reign.
And if emotional proof isn't quite enough, there's also a bit more logic: the neighbors, Joan and Luke Ramsey. Their involvement in Wednesday's episode feels rather random. Wouldn't Cordelia's witch hunter husband have known enough to know that Nan was the only witch in that house? He shot at Joan and Nan, so it's clear he hasn't flipped sides to protect Cordelia's coven. In fact, most of LuPone's extreme Christian character's involvement makes almost no sense. She once visited Fiona to complain about their Godlessness, then she shows us her inappropriate and torture-driven relationship with her son Luke, then she's shot and resurrected by Misty, but what is her actual purpose? We all know Ryan Murphy respects her too much to give her a character whose story is simply "ignorant nuisance."
With LuPone's potential for more and the fact that the witch hunter just shot Nan's boyfriend in an attempt to kill her, Nan suddenly has a rather large stake in the war brewing outside of the coven's walls. But no one believes she'll be important to the fight and no one seems to care that she's saved Luke from peril twice now (first zombies, then his mother). But we're getting subtle hints each episode that suggest that it matters more and more.
If I'm wrong and the Supreme is one of the other predictable witches, it will be a grave disappointment.
Images: FX (3)