We flashback to a serial killer in 1919 called the "Axe Man" (Danny Huston) who hacks up women who don't love jazz. The worst. When he makes a trip to New Orleans he takes out an ad in the paper warning its citizens that if they do not blast jazz out of their windows, he will come inside and chop them up. The fiery young suffragettes of Miss Robichaux's take issue to some male oppressor forcing his terrible taste in music on them, so they flagrantly deny his demands, lure him into their home, and stab the ever-loving hell out of him. This traps the Axe Man's spirit inside the Academy for decades. Totally worth it.
Until Zoe finds a Ouija board, that is. Believing it to be the key to finding Madison, she begs Queenie and Nan to help her yield its power. They freak out and wisely refuse after a particularly disturbing session with the thing, so Zoe uses it on her own. It does lead her to Madison – and Spalding tries to take the blame for the murder, which Zoe doesn't accept – but it also accidentally releases the Axe Man into the house, where he terrorizes poor Cordelia (welcome home!) until Zoe's magic leads her to a spell that releases him into the world instead, which is what he was after anyway. So now there's a new killer on the loose. New Orleans just can't catch a break.
In other Cordelia news, upon arriving home she sees flashes of Hank cheating on her with Kaylie again, and kicks him out. He runs to Marie, who reveals that he has been working for her as a witch hunter this entire time (Kaylie was a Miss Robichaux alum as well), and she threatens that if he doesn't kill every witch in that house and burn it to the ground she will kill him.
But what's really important is Misty Day, of course. She's working on healing Myrtle with swamp water, she found Kyle and gave him a bath, and she brought Madison back to life at Zoe's behest. Misty Day gets shit done. Good news: Madison's doing a lot better than Kyle did after he was brought back to life (she can talk and everything). Bad news: She doesn't remember who killed her. For now.
As for Fiona, she's undergoing chemo therapy, and after expressing that she wants one more great love affair before she dies, accepts a drink from a handsome gentleman at the bar who turns out to be the Axe Man. Hopefully her newly acquired Nan-style gift of hearing other people's thoughts will help her out here.
Mindy Monez would buy Misty Day 100 new outdated yellow stereos and corresponding Steve Nicks tapes if only she could. You can tweet with her @garnisheater.
We open with a noir-styled opening featuring a man typing a letter on an old typewriter, smoking like a chimney as he does. He narrates as he types, and Google tells me he is typing the real-life letter the Axeman of New Orleans sent to newspapers in 1919. Oh, also, there was a serial killer called the "Axeman of New Orleans" in 1919. History, son!
A title card tells us we are indeed in the Axeman's time of 1919 for this week's flashback. He continues to narrate as he walks out onto the street, giving a contrasting jolly whistle on his stroll as his narration describes himself as a monster who will find more victims with his bloody axe, and soon. He stops in front of a house, and soon we are inside, watching a woman discover the crumpled body of her husband, an Axeman victim. The Axeman watches her in the shadows, and soon sneaks up behind her and gives her a great big crushing axe swing to the skull too. Very wrong, but my first thought? Some poor realtor is going to have a hell of a time selling that house now. I think it's time to install parental controls to protect me from HGTV.
We enter Miss Robichaux's Academy in 1919, where Grace Gummer is reading the Axeman's letter to her coven. Guys, let's take a moment to acknowledge that we have Streep DNA in the house this week. Look sharp! The letter goes on to explain that the Axeman loves jazz music (ugh!), and that every house that displays the blaring sounds of jazz will be spared his axe when he comes to town. This is the thing with jazz people. Always subjecting innocent people to it.
One witch points out how ridiculous it is to threaten people with violence for not being into jazz (I agree!), while a few others strategize how to produce a sufficient volume level with a Victrola. Grace Gummer, on the other hand, isn't standing for any of it. They are powerful suffragette witches, and no man shall impose their axe or their bad taste in music on them! It's time to demonstrate their power by taking down this jazzhole once and for all.
The Axeman is finishing his saxophone set in a New Orleans bar (he's in band, because all awful men are in bands) when a waitress asks him to walk her home. It's the night the Axeman is set to kill, and she's scared to be out alone. He tells her the Axeman won't touch her because rumor is he's a jazz-lover, and she's got "rhythm in [her] soul, baby." He horny wolf eyes her up and down as she slowly walks away. He can't even hit on women without bringing jazz into it.